What kinda Instagram posts do you get lost in?
Workout videos of beautifully toned and beautifully tanned women?
Health bloggers with perfect recipes photographed in perfect bowls?
Or maybe the private lives of your favorite celebs,
or just the everyday lives of your friends?
You ever observe what’s goin through your mind when you’re scrolling through this stuff?
Are you inspired? Envious?
Like, does it make you wanna get in the kitchen and whip up your own buddha bowl? Or drop everything and get to a boxing class so you too can take sweaty photos in a sports bra?
OR does it make you slump even further into your chair and feel like nothing you do will even come close to the perfection you see in that post so why try…
Maybe it’s a bit of both?
Recently I’ve found myself watching lots of yoga videos. You know, the ones featuring a super fit woman in her gorgeous studio space, or an adorable couple yoga-ing together with their golden retriever pup just casually rollin’ around in the background? (Seriously, it’s pretty addicting, check it here).
In case I haven’t mentioned, by 22 years old, I was already a certified yoga teacher, teaching full-time in Boston and practicing 6-ish days a week. My body was the strongest it’s ever been. I felt confident, “had shit figured out,” all that good stuff…
By my mid twenties, though, my body had started to break down. I’d torn both hamstrings and had a partial tear in one hip. My body was totally outta whack, and I woke up every day feeling tension all over and weaker than ever.
These injuries changed the course of my yoga practice/career, so much so that I quit teaching and began practicing only gentle and restorative postures (which some days literally looks like a 20 minute savasana. Period.)
Now, you can imagine, it can be real tempting for me to spend hours scrolling through Instagram (and don’t get me wrong, sometimes I still indulge!), watching those yoga videos and getting lost in the glitz and glam of other people’s impressive postures and their equally impressive yoga-wear, feeling discouraged and nostalgic for the days when I too felt unstoppable.
But in a recent hiatus from social media, I realized somethin’…
There’s a line between admiring someone else’s work and letting it get in the way of doing your own. Social media offers up a lot of “ideal” scenarios (which is what makes it enticing) but it’s our job to stay grounded in our own reality and not miss a chance at our own growth (Insta-worthy or not).
For instance, for me, yoga videos are still fun to watch but the only way for me to be deeply inspired is to get back on my own mat. Today, my yoga practice isn’t about conquering fancy postures or pushing my body to the limit. It’s just simply a road home. It looks different than it once did, but the heart of the practice is the same. In it, through it, I find stillness, clarity and a place to fully rest. And the more I do it, the more I find.
So, let’s see what you can find …
Once again, consider the posts you get lost in.
First, ask yourself: What specifically draws you to this post? Is it something you wish for yourself? Maybe something you once had but feel you’ve lost or buried? (i.e. strength, creativity, confidence).
Next, can you catch yourself when you move from admiring and inspired territory to envious and defeated territory?
And if you can, that’s the moment to put the phone down. And to go in search of what you’re seeking. A real life source.
Go to the farmers market.
Grab your guitar.
Pick up a paintbrush.
And if nothing specific calls you, just sit in silence.
For as long as it takes.
Until you find something truly worth getting lost in.