The Irony & Bliss of Instagram Yoga

Lifestyle, Yoga

Life is balance guys. Every single thing can be detrimental to you if you indulge too much, right down to fruits and veggies. The reality is that we are always walking a sharp sword between two lakes, enjoying their beauty and indulging in their fragrances as immensely as possible with out falling in. With this key balance in mind, I’d like to talk about Instagram Yoga. You see, there is an entire world on Instagram of amazing people practicing yoga, taking snapshots and sharing them with each other. This has developed into challenges where a couple of people will give a key pose and then thousands will throw the pose back through a photo, the winner receives fun yoga clothes, bracelets, aromatherapy sprays and even privately roasted coffee beans. I got involved about 2 years ago on and off, after getting on my mat daily it felt natural to jump back into @carajuanabends and start making shapes.

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Many yogis look down on this practice, afterall yoga isn’t about getting likes and approval from others. It’s about calming your mind and bringing gratefulness into your life, but #igyoga can do that too… if you maintain a balance. I don’t make a lot of female friends, recently I’ve been working really hard at it because powerful women are just that, and I want that power in my life. But on InstaYoga I found beautiful wonderful women who support me and that is pretty magical. Aside from that I’ve also learned new poses and learned more trust in myself from the wonderful yogis in my InstaFeed. But I have seen some things that worry me for other people’s health and I am using this little soap box to cite these warnings.

  • Try not to compare. I’ve been there, 2 hours deep in Insta stalking and you’re wondering why you don’t have a six pack and then eat a ball of cookie dough. I’ve been there. But try your hardest to change the behavior, if you are going to compare in that realm of your life you’re going to do it elsewhere. Use Instagram as an opportunity to change your thought process when it begins to compare and instead learn to love yourself and others.
  • Don’t do poses that are too advanced, ever. If you’re thinking of attempting a new pose don’t do it with out physical help from an advanced instructor or yogi. You will hurt yourself eventually if you’re dangerous with yoga practice, it is imperative that your posture is correct or your skeletal structure will become irregular and eventually painful.
  • My most hopeful request, please also go to yoga class and get professional instruction. Don’t only practice at home because it is possible to learn something wrong and repeat it enough to cause pain. Get a gym pass or some classes at a local yoga studio to supplement your home practice, this will ensure that you’re safe in your endeavors. Making the pose look good is fun but doing it RIGHT is imperative.

Last but not least, YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL, YEAH, I’M TALKING TO YOU, and so are all these wonderful yogis on Instagram. Try not to get down on yourself or others, if you think it’s lame or defies “What Yoga Is” then just look the other way because it is a community full of love and harmony that nestles comfortably into precisely what yoga is, simply designed for a modern age.

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Cannabis & Yoga: A Match Made in Heaven

Lifestyle

There is a longstanding tradition of assuming that stoners are lazy, fat, and have a bag of Cheetos permanently attached to their hand. But this isn’t the case… all the time. There was actually a study done at the University of Nebraska that showed pot smokers to have a smaller waist circumference than those who have never smoked marijuana. With this in mind and due to the fact that I always rip a huge bowl before I go outside to practice yoga I thought that the world should know, cannabis paired with yoga practice can heal ailments.

When I was about 19 I had first started binge drinking and fell into a serious depression. I cried all the time and drank a fifth of vodka every 2 days. My skin was sallow and broken out in acne and most of all my heart was absolutely empty. I had always smoked cannabis but mostly as a party tool, something used to have fun or make me want to eat a ton of pizza. At this age I went to the doctor and got my first cannabis card, a piece of paper with a little metal seal that granted me access to all of the medical cannabis dispensaries in California, which was like Disneyland for a 19 year old in San Francisco.

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@carajuanabends

Going into dispensaries, seeing & smelling different strains, actually knowing what I was smoking; these things all helped me to realize that cannabis is a powerful medicine for the body and mind. Amidst this period in time I also started practicing yoga from Kate Potter’s Namaste series for FitTV as a mode of exercise since I had just quit the college soccer team and was starting to flab up. I noticed that together, yoga and cannabis were helping to brighten my life and dissipate my chronic depression. When all the psychologist wanted to do was prescribe me a pill that would strip the vivacious spirit within me along with my sadness, I could use this plant that grew from Earth and a sequential movement of my body instead. My practice slowly became less about being fit and more about finding a space of nothingness in my mind with which to heal it. Combining these two metaphysical tools built a foundation of health in my mind, body and spirit that was unmatchable at the time in my life to any personal realization.

This post has evolved, I had meant to make a case for medicating before practicing yoga. But instead I have remembered a goal that I set for myself back at 20 when I grew and started on my path to spiritual awakening. People need to know that combining yoga and cannabis can quiet, calm and relax the depression, anxiety, anger ridden mind when used correctly. I call out to everyone who has trouble being happy or who suffers from irrational mood swings. Talk to your doctor about cannabis, go take a yin yoga class. These things will help, you don’t have to be alone. You’re not weird. Brains are intense and it’s often those who think and feel deeper than the average bear that end up battling mental disease. I love you, if you read all the way down thanks. Apparently I needed to let that one out. ❤