Yoga in the social media age 

As a Yoga teacher, the social media world can be a daunting one – there are so many challenges to face and for me have included the following:
 

how do you share the message of Yoga with beautiful posts, staying authentic and keeping it real?

how do others perceive the message that I am trying to give out .. what is this message…and how can I make it clearer?

how do I want the world to see me…am I giving out any mixed messages

Will what I post breed insecurities or cultivate love and harmony… how do you break these digital social stereotypes?

and ultimately, what is my unique selling point

 

I realise that Social media is an exceptional way of capturing an audience but how do you capture the correct Yogi audience. Addressing all these challenges (and speaking from personal experience) it’s all bit of a learning curve. If you are a new yogi, you could start by checking out other Yoga teachers and see who inspires you. Follow them on their social media, like their stuff, comment and build an online community. If you are a Yoga teacher, think about how you feel when standing in front of your Yoga students what is it that your trying to teach … how do you want them to feel?
 

I know when I’m standing in front of my class I want to welcome them and make them feel safe and secure. This is done automatically as I soon as I greet them with a genuine smile… there may be the yogis who are dedicated to your classes and will attend like clockwork and have their designated space in the room. There may be those who drop in intermittently or those who go through a phase of coming and then time lapses between the sessions. Then there are those who have never tried yoga and now you are solely responsible to deliver a class that will do the practice of yoga justice … inspire them without intimidating them!
 

I would say my take on yoga and the way I wish to deliver this beautiful ancient discipline is by making it inclusive. This is not exclusive to the young, beautiful, physically strong and acrobatic women. For me, Yoga is for everyday people with real issues, who face every day personal challenges…it’s not all about the perfect bodies and perfect poses… it’s about the individual and where they are at on this journey we call life.
Yoga is, therefore, a unique practice – if we say it’s an individual practice, then no two people are on the same journey, we may cross paths but ultimately our journey is our own. I want students to realise is that if this journey is unique, it does not make sense to compete with anyone else. Such comparisons may make us feel inadequate and slow down our on progress and the beautiful journey that we are on. Yoga has no prerequisite. So why are we asking people to be physically fit or mentally strong before we arrive into a class?
 

Now the challenge is how to relay all of this onto my social media platform?
 

Being a British Muslim teacher the first thing you will notice is my appearance is unique, being a woman who likes to take care of my appearance and to look after myself can also send out a message which may be taking the message away from what I actually do?
 

I guess the question is can you post images that visually are attractive and send the message from the soul of what Yoga is and what the experience of yoga is with you when they join you in class.
 

How do you build the trust with complete strangers? How do you make them feel safe and secure without feeling judged, criticised and inadequate…I guess the reason why I’m writing this, is too really share with you what I’m facing each time I post … social media has become a place of portraying perfection, the image with filters and capturing the pose at just the right point. It’s not saying that there is anything wrong with pretty pictures we like looking at prety pictures. It’s more about showing the process we are all going through this process, and did you know that the physical practice of yoga is only 1/8 of what yoga really is about. I want to be able to share the 7 other parts of yoga to get people to understand it’s mind, the body and soul connection. I’m interested in what stufents would like to hear about, learn more about, what are the real challenges people face when thinking of coming to a yoga class. I want you be able to inspire, educate and welcome them to this wonderful ancient art known as yoga .. 
I want to be able to inspire, educate and welcome everyone to this wonderful art called Yoga.
 

Yoga has been a valuable tool which has aided me through ill health, emotional difficulties, grieve, loss, post-pregnancy blues and accepting the changes my body goes through. It has aided me to find myself, my voice and my calling to life! I feel blessed to have the privilege to share that I am not perfect and that’s the beauty of it all – we are all perfectly imperfect and it’s finding acceptance in that and bringing out the best in ourselves and others through positivity.

Mumtaz. 

October 2017.

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Benefits of extended side angle pose (Parsvonkonasana)

Benefits of Extended Side Angle PoseParsvakonasana relieves stiffness in the shoulders and back. It provides a deep stretch to the groins and hamstrings, and it also improves stamina. This pose strengthens the legs, knees, and ankles, while also stretching and toning the abdominal muscles. It is known to be therapeutic for constipation, infertility, sciatica, menstrual discomfort, and low backache.
This pose requires and builds strength throughout the entire body, and is therefore best practiced closer to the beginning or the middle of a standing pose sequence. It helps to prepare the body for deeper leg and groin stretches, such as Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana) and Wide-Angle Seated Forward Fold (Upavistha Konasana).