// Thoughts on Social Media, Wellness, and Self
Social media has become a special place for me, that is used constantly in my business and interacting with brands, people and places I find inspiring and enlightening. Sorting out one’s role in this world of socials might be difficult but despite what boxes I might fit into, at the core of my work is a passion to share what I know with others. I’m ultimately an educator of yoga, and fitness; of mindfulness and peaceful living, and someone with some serious opinions on our bodies and our relationships to them.
In being on the inside of this strange, smoke and mirror laden social media fitness world, I see the pros and the cons of exactly where I am situated. Inspiration abounds and a sense of “we’re in this together” develops over common interests and issues. What’s better for someone in the wellness industry than to be able to reach far more people than they could in their neighborhoods and communities? To share their stories with the masses? It’s a special moment when I receive touching messages from people everyday, all over the world sharing their yoga pictures with me, saying they tried something new (yoga) because of me, or how they are taking back their own style in terms of health.
However, for all the power and inspiration we share, there is also a side that I know exists; as I’ve been there too, 62 weeks deep in someone’s page thinking, is this a feasible lifestyle? We can get trapped spending an unusual amount of time scrolling through pages of edited, nipped, tucked, and filtered photos of models and contrived lives. We start measuring ourselves against these often unreal standards. We compare our insides to their outsides, and it can never be enough.
Watching all this unfold around me, I had to step back and think about what my role was in all this.
I started posting yoga poses because I wanted to share my way of doing yoga and living that was free of rules and stereotypes. I have a deep and long attachment to yoga, the values it taught me and how it made me feel. Traditional American yoga standards didn’t really accept me, as I had always done things a little differently than the norm. But it was the only way I knew how to share; from a place of authenticity. If I can’t offer a genuine portrayal of how I maintain a healthy lifestyle in this body, then why am I here? You should all keep it moving if I can’t share that.
When we see something real and obtainable, or something we can look at and see ourselves, we sit back and realize it’s ok. It’s ok to be this shape or that, or to struggle with our bodies or our thoughts surrounding them. The most beneficial part of all this social media fitness, and what I most identify with in my own purpose, is the fact that we learn we aren’t alone. Social media will forever be criticized that it creates a false connectedness, and we will end up unsatisfied because of our neglected human need for relationships as we are lose touch with how to communicate in a real way. But, what if these messages and sentiments get people to local yoga classes, running clubs, or anything that is an in-person exchange? Fitness easily takes to group settings and can create common ground between even the most uncommon of individuals.
Once we see through dark corners and find the light in socials, we can take a conscious look at what someone is putting out and the messages they are sharing. You might just find some genuine exchanges of how we all strive to achieve a more healthy state. From what I have found, we are much more alike than we are different. In our triumphs and in our struggles; in our moments of celebration, and in our moments of insecurity and faltering self esteems, even if we never post anything about them.
Our physical bodies aren’t that different either. We all have the same shoulders, the same hips and most of us want to find a greater peace with our bodies, be it in how they move or in how they are shaped. We all seek a better sense of self, and want to find people to look up to that are living in a way we admire. Social media creates a place for that to include people all over the globe, with as many different shapes and sizes as there are different fitness disciplines and styles.
Social media, health and wellness might break us down as much as it brings us together, but I can only hope that we find fitness trends that can be turned into lifestyles, individuals who promote something positive in an other wise dark world, and a place of acceptance for our bodies and ourselves.