Feb 22, 2012
How I Use Pinterest in My Yoga Practice (And How It Can Help You Connect With Your Passions, Too)
Pinterest has inspired me to incorporate surfboards into my practice! Haha, no. Pinterest is the fastest-growing social media site ever. Which you know because you're on it! Everyone is on it. But not everyone knows quite what to "do" with it (how many followers do you have with 0 pins and 0 likes?)
Pinterest is the Internet's virtual pinboard, with everyone tacking up--"pinning"--their interests. It's completely photo-based, lending itself to pretty photos of "things": things to buy, things to cook, places to visit. It looks like a shopping list for your dream shopping spree, which can leave people who aren't jazzed about finding the exact right lilac-and-honey-themed centerpiece for their table, or redoing the bathtub in spanish tile at a loss for how to use the site for themselves.
There is a joke somewhere in here about how Pinterest = Goop, and I will get back to you just as soon as I've worked out that punchline.
Anyway, I'm not a redecorator, or a wedding-planner, and although I do pin occasional outfit ideas, I don't get really excited about pinning "things I want to buy" because it has the ability to become the graveyard of "things I'll never be able to afford."
BUT I have found a ton of success using Pinterest to inspire my yoga practice.
Whenever I log on to Pinterest, I'll scan my home page of people I follow and what they've repinned, decide it's too full of orgiastic cupcakes and now I'm hungry, and then either click on the Fitness tab or do a search for "yoga."
The Fitness tab--under "Everything" on your header--is a treasure trove of motivational macros:
There's a ton of motivational stuff: "fit" photos, motivational quotes, complete workout circuit sheets, even healthy recipes. It CAN get a little thinspirationy at times, especially with all the "oh, she's soooo skinny I want those collar bones!" captioning, and while I get that some people will post a photo of a celeb and say "I want her body" and that is a thing people say, it just weirds me out because even when I loathed my body I always wanted my own body, just better-looking.
What I love to do is do a search for "yoga." Then I get to see what everyone else like me on Pinterest is looking at, and talking about. I pin some stuff if it's particularly inspiring, or if it's a pose that I'm working towards, I'll pin it so it inspires me and reminds me what my goal is, onto my Yoga Life Pinboard.
I've found some great yoga blog posts through Pinterest. Everybody has the same fear about falling on their face in crow! And I've found some great 'Pinners to follow who also pin yoga stuff, so I can keep getting more and more new ideas.
But what I really love is just to look at pictures of people in the poses. When I'm on the treadmill, or when I was lifting weights, I liked to check myself out in the mirror. I know it's just supposed to be for "checking your form," but I guess I'm a narcissist! I was a kid who spent a good deal of her time on the couch or at a desk, so it still amazes me what my now-active body is doing. I'm running! My ponytail is flying in the breeze! These are my muscles!
You don't get that in yoga, there are never any mirrors. Because it's not about the form. It's not about what you look like, it's about how a pose feels, and I get that and respect it. But scrolling the photos of people in even the simplest poses, imagining that my body makes similar lines, I feel something I've felt so rarely in my life: graceful.
I also love to pin photos of people in the hard twisty poses or the inversions that I've gotten down. It reminds me how much I've achieved by being dedicated, and it motivates me even more to go back to the mat to have new "I did this" poses to pin.
So I guess the moral is that I've found a way to make yoga and Pinterest competitive. Ha! Is there a medal or some kind of award for that?
But really, Pinterest has deepened my commitment to my yoga practice. It has given me a new source of inspiration, and it's a fantastic tool to access a broader yoga community. And I think my Pinterest philosophy can help anyone navigate this new social network: follow your passions. In every other social network, we're worried about what other people will Like or Retweet. But Pinterest works best when you use it completely selfishly.