Yogis: Love Begins with Your Own Selfie. ~ Jen Warakomski

Via Jen Warakomski
on Jul 19, 2013
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There is a lot of recent debate going on about the “Yoga Selfie,” from the New York Times to Yoga Journal.

Within this debate lives an animated discussion and, unfortunate judgmental heat, which is being blasted about something that appears quite innocent, and creative.

To explain, a “Yoga Selfie” is essentially defined as a photo of a yogi, striking a pose, taken by them. Be it at arms length or if set up on a tripod, the camera has taken on a larger role than ever before in what we call today’s version of self-expression, the “selfie.”


Pictured: @masumi_g

Instagram is quickly becoming the open-air field of expressing oneself in various “yoga selfies.” And, really—what is the problem with all this? We have been watching people “tweet before they eat” and see all the inner workings of people’s weddings, births and other daily personal declarations online. Now we have the “Yoga Selfie,” which can be considered another personal expression of one’s yoga practice, their journey, and essentially—their inner selves.


Pictured: @laurasykora

As acclaimed artist and dedicated yoga practitioner, Robert Sturman, who is well known for taking beautiful photos of yogis in various poses, says “we artists have been doing ‘Selfies’ (self-portraits) since the beginning of time. It’s not just a way to document where we are. It’s also a way to grow into and become more of who we are. I am all for the ‘Selfie.’ And, if you feel like sharing it with the world, what’s the harm? Make yourself vulnerable—it inspires others to do the same.”


Pictured: @robertsturman

I cannot agree more with this perspective, and want to let you know that in case you think this statement is just for artists, you are right—it most certainly is!

Wait, what?

Well, thanks to genius photography apps, tripods, timers and technology in general—we all are artists because we are creating something that shares our voice.

For example, remember how much debate you may have had with yourself for your own initial social networking or [maybe!] online dating profile photos? These photos defined you. You were the creator, the artist, of the message, tone, impression that you wanted to put out there. That takes a lot of courage, something that is also underrated in this world of putting everything that we feel some emotion about, on the line—in the form of being online!

You may have been a little vulnerable when you first started putting your voice out there, but now how many online photos of yourself do you have out there? How far you have come, how much you have grown!

And, when looking at the “yoga selfie” from a expression standpoint, it is just that, another language that is woven into our ever expanding form of communication, information and inspiration that we call the internet. Putting ourselves, our voices, out there to share with the world is an act of courage, and also vulnerability.

While allowing the subject to experience these emotions, and navigate their own self-love, it may just stimulate and inspire others to do the same.

Imagine this, yogis: we celebrate that sense that we love ourselves enough that we can share this selfie photography medium with one another—complete strangers, and close family and friends. Duality disappears, love emerges and, viola! We have union! This is the definition of yoga = union = we are all in this together.

Be inspired to go out and make art, create your own expression.

And go ahead—take a new photo, because you love your own selfie!

 k copy

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 Ed: Bryonie Wise


About Jen Warakomski

Jen Warakomski: I am a E200/500 RYT and Certified Reiki Master currently based in Lucca, Tuscany in Italy. One of my deepest joys is to teach and share the wonders, technique and mystique of Classical Yoga, along with the therapeutic power of meditation and relaxation that is achieved through both Yoga and Reiki Healing. Connect with me on the webFacebookTwitter, Instagram and Pinterest.



9 Responses to “Yogis: Love Begins with Your Own Selfie. ~ Jen Warakomski”

  1. cp says:

    My issue with these “yoga selfies” is not that they are egotistical or out of line, i completely understand their wish to “inspire”. What i have a problem with, as a yoga practitioner and teacher, is that it is downright dangerous for beginner or the average yogi to attempt the poses that they consider a “challenge”. I know that it is one’s own responsibility to take care of and listen to their body, but these people have become somewhat of celebrities on instagram and i believe it is the duty of anyone in a spotlight position to give off the best example to their fans. These gymnastic type moves they do are not common or possible to the average yogi. They should not be portraying it as so.

  2. Carrisa says:

    I think Selfies are Fabulous!! I've practiced Yoga for over a decade and still find myself inspired by ideas and postures that others have so un-self-ishly shared with the rest of us 😉 Yes, there may be beginners that may be tempted to try some of these asanas… but if others jumped off a bridge, would they still follow? We all need to use a bit of common sense. Personally, I love the inspiration and watching Yogis grow in their practice! This article was PERFECT! <3

  3. Wild, Well & Wise - A Path to Wholeness says:

    I personally struggle to see the selflessness or disappearance of duality in selfies. I think we are treading into new waters with this trend, and I wonder how selfies express the inner dimension of yoga practice. While these images are beautiful and inspiring, they are also saying something to those who are beginners about the accomplished, and they are inevitably creating a "striving for," particular to the physical dimension among the more practiced yogin.

  4. The Bombshelle says:

    I am a newbie to yoga and I certainly know that 99% of these poses are completely out of my reach. If anyone is lacking in common sense enough to think they can attempt these poses, their body will provide them with swift wake up call "You want me to do what now..?? Uh-uh…you can't do that, sorry!"

    And I love to see these yoga selfies, to be inspired by the dedication and commitment it took to get there, and see the joy it gives to the yogi to share that special moment with the viewers. I know this is only one tiny facet of the vast yogic universe, but it sure is beautiful and makes me happy. 🙂

    PS love the article and perspective Jen!

  5. Kelli says:

    I think Yoga Selfies are annoying and should be banned. Case Closed.

  6. brandiblomquist says:

    People are free to express themselves however way they feel and I believe that 'selfies' are one way of doing that. To me they are inspiring and fun to see 🙂

  7. Dave says:

    "Imagine this, yogis: we celebrate that sense that we love ourselves enough that we can share this selfie photography medium with one another—complete strangers, and close family and friends."

    Jen, any thoughts on why all selfies "love themselves enough that they can share….." only after they have learned to do [insert name of advanced pose here]??

  8. Sarah says:

    That is what you happen to think, while others find them incredible inspiring so… actually the case is not closed. People need to stop worrying about what everyone else is doing and focus on themselves and their own spiritual journeys.

  9. Inspiring quest there. What occurred after?

    Take care!