#yogaeverydamnday just reached five million tags on Instagram!
When I created the hashtag years ago I never thought it would become such a huge movement. My intention was to inspire people to practice yoga daily (five minutes of meditation is yoga, too!), to show that yoga is for everyone and that this practice is so much more than just a pose. So much more than just the body. It can’t be captured in a photo or explained in an Instagram caption but it’s a personal journey of the heart and soul.
I’ve had amazing experiences thanks to Instagram and found a beautiful community to call home. I’ve shared photos from all over the world, captured classes of thousands of people, shared yoga with my family, my dog, my goat(!) and every big milestone in my life over the past years. Thanks to this platform I was able to found oneOeight, 109world, Island Yoga and Sgt Pepper’s Friends—all successful initiatives to make this world a better place.
However, I find myself continuously reminding people that the reality of my practice will never be captured in a photo.
The online world is beautiful, but it’s scratching at the surface of what yoga is. The tears I shed in Savasana, the frustration I feel in backbends, the joy of trying new transitions, the pain that comes and goes in my upper back, rolling out my mat close enough to hold hands with my husband in hip openers, breathing into a place that unexpectedly takes me back to my childhood, placing my forehead on the earth in silence, moving into child’s pose drenched in sweat after an intense sequence, repeating thank you thank, you, thank you to myself out loud because the gratitude I feel for my body and my breath sometimes becomes so overwhelming I don’t know what to do with my emotions… These moments, and many more, will never be captured by my iPhone.
Yoga is a way for me to reach out into the world, it’s how I connect with this vast community, but it’s also how I reach deep within myself. The essence of my yoga practice is vulnerable, personal and deeply intimate.
I hope that throughout this journey I’ve inspired you to roll out your mat from the heart, too. To practice with intention. To love yourself.
Every damn day.
Author: Rachel Brathen
Editor: Katarina Tavčar
Photo: Author’s own