April 30, 2009

Gwen Bell: Yoga = Social Media?

Laptopasana, anyone? Gwen Bell on what yoga can teach us about…social media?

Gwen Bell has one foot in the yoga world. The other in tech. How does she keep her balance? By seeing through the form, and realizing that asana and meditation and cyberspace and Twitter have all got lessons for one another.

Sounds good, but what’s that mean? Facebook equals the primary series? Using props (like blocks, straps, blankets) is akin to using Tweetdeck? Well, sorta—Gwen Bell, my favorite yoga teacher slash social media mistress (as in Master; feminine) just hit another ball outta the park…er, stilled the waves of her mind via scorpion pose. Excerpt:


When Patrick (pictured above, inverted) and I decided to open a yoga studio in Japan, we were met with a wall of doubt. Other foreigners in Japan thought we were crazy to give up our high paying jobs to start a company. The Japanese folks we talked to thought we would burn out and bail out on it. People back home refused to invest, thinking it wouldn’t succeed.

We celebrate four years in business this July.

This is social web by the numbers. 
There’s a simple formula for getting involved with social media. We use it in yoga and it’s applicable in every aspect of our lives.

Social media, like yoga, is 99% practice, 1% theory. 

If you want to know how to do forearm balances, you practice forearm balances.
 It helps to have a teacher model Crow for you, but the basis of your practice eventually shifts from a focus on the teacher to a focus on your breathing.
To a focus on your form.
To a focus on your practice.

The same holds true for engaging in the social web. It helps, if it’s your first week on Twitter, to check out what those with thousands of followers are up to. How do they tweet? What do they tweet about? What gets the most retweets? But that’s just a guide.

What you can do with social media is going to come from your gut, not from someone claiming to be a social media expert.Mind you, it doesn’t bother me that some do claim expertise. In the yoga world, the equivalent would be Bikram Choudhury who famously said, “I have balls like atom bombs, two of them, 100 megatons each. Nobody fucks with me.” Then he proceeded to sue yoga studios that he felt infringed on his special brand of yoga. It takes all types…

…for the rest of Gwen’s great article on Yoga = Social Media, click to gwenbell.com.

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