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Instagram hurts: A yogi’s worst practice

To avoid serious injury, focus your attention on the breath, not the feed.


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There are several excellent reasons to practice Yoga (and several million #yoga hashtags on Instagram), but fuel for social media or aesthetic motivation definitely aren’t among them. And yet, there has been a sharp increase in yoga-related injuries according to Benoy Mathew, a leading British physiotherapist, who now treats four or five yoga teachers a month, as opposed to the two per year he started out with. Why? Apparently there is a surge in under-qualified, Instagram-conscious instructors, too quick to get their pose on, in more ways than one.

Here we take you through a typical ‘Gramstand flow. Only suitable for experienced or intermediate level scrollaholics. Welcome to the class, namaste.

Gramstand Flow

1. Begin standing with your fingers spread wide, thumbs flexed and inhale. Bend elbows and shift weight of your iPhone Max Pro to your left hand for a better timelapse capture for your followers. Exhale.

2. Once on all fours, tuck the toes under in excited anticipation of all the likes you’ll get, and, during the exhale, lift knees a few inches off the floor, maintaining a tight, Lululemon-ed core and excellent angle on your bum.

3. Interlace your fingers behind your head and walk your feet closer to your screen, making sure to utilise wide angle camera aspect ratio to elongate the legs. Don’t be tempted to jump up into final pose, you’ll appear to have skipped the prep part of your practice (you have, but no one needs to know that, and inhale)

4. With an exhalation bring your feet up. Bring your feet up. Bring your feet-, OK jump up into it - we can skip that part on the edit. You will collapse in your neck, shoulders and mid-back because your core isn’t quite there yet, but your Instagram students will LOVE the flame print on your Lucas Hugh crop top.

5. CRACK. Ow. Shit. (It’s OK we’ll edit that bit out too). Land back on the right leg with left leg at an unusual angle. Do 10 reps, then call chiropractor and run an Epsom salt bath while you give the flow a Tik Tok edit and.. post! Oh my gosh, 189 new followers! Who says you need a specific qualification to teach yoga on social media, certainly not the UK's governing body of practice, that’s for sure.

Illustration I Cépé



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