#Instagram #Yogis: A Close Look At Instagram Challenges

#Instagram #Yogis: A Close Look At Instagram Challenges

Hate it or love it, the power of social media is breaking down boundaries and reaching unchartered territory more and more each day!  With over 200 million active users monthly and over 7 million a day it’s no wonder Instagram is quickly becoming a modern day playground for connecting, sharing and promoting within all populations.

The yoga world is no stranger to the Instagram challenge craze where you can find yogis with tens of thousands of dedicated followers! Headstands, handstands, tricky sequencing, acroyoga and inspiration are all popular pictures and videos you can find through the various #stopdropandyoga, #outdooryogis and countless other hash tags.  One of the most popular trends among the Instagram yogis is the good, fun, old-fashioned instagram challenge.  Each day the host features a pose and instagrammers participate by snapping a shot or 15 second video of the same pose or sequence.  The instagram challenges include hash tagging and following guidelines so everyone can connect.

Yoga Digest recently participated in the AcroVision 10 Day Instagram Challenge.  After having so much fun, we spoke with AcroVision creators, Ashley Galvin and Dylan Werner, who both teach yoga full time in L.A. and combined have over 55,000 followers on Instagram.  We wanted to know why these challenges are so popular.  Here is what they had to say:

YD – What’s so rewarding about the instagram challenges?
AcroVision – “The community involvement. We will get people commenting on other peoples challenge post in support, cheering each other along and being really encouraging of each other. Our challenge winner on our last challenge was chosen partly because of this.”

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YD – How many challenges have you hosted?
AcroVision – Acrovision has hosted 1 challenge. I’ve (Dylan )hosted 5.

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YD – How many people total do think have participated?
AcroVision – Around 200 people were on this last challenge. Maybe more. It’s hard to tell.

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YD – Have you gained clientele from Instagram and your challenges? If so, how many?
AcroVision – I’ve (Dylan) had many amazing opportunities that I’ve received from Instagram. It’s a global platform and has a global reach. I’ve had exposure to parts of the world that I would never had the opportunity before. I recently taught a sold out workshop in Jakarta, Indonesia and I’ll be teaching in Thailand this October. Both opportunities from Instagram.

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Wow! Thailand? Not too shabby! One of the things Yoga Digest enjoyed most about this Instragram challenge is that there was a non-profit organization called UPLIFT Yoga Bash affiliated. All participants were asked to follow them as part of the challenge as well as parter Yoga Beyond. UPLIFT Yoga Bash was created by Erica Austin to bring awareness and give back to at risk teens. You can check them out at http://www.upliftyogabash.org/. Acrovision says they chose to work with UPLIFT because part of being a yoga teacher is giving back. They heard Erica’s story and felt compelled to help. Ashley and Dylan do acro performances for UPLIFT Yoga Bash!

While there is a ton of fun to be had in the Instagram world, you always have your critics. We asked AcroVision their take on the ‘anti-selfie community” and if they every get any flack about the “exploitation” of yoga.

AcroVision’s response “People that think that it’s a selfie community, are not a part of the Instagram yoga community. There is so much inspiration and learning that happens on Instagram. These “selfies” are someone else’s inspiration. It’s a personal representation of our practice. It’s the transparency of the journey. I hear the negative from some other yoga teachers, but they are the same ones out there doing ads for clothing companies. I don’t see the difference.”

So there you have it! Well said! Ashley Galvin and Dylan Werner actually met when they started doing acro yoga 3 1/2 years ago. Ashley fell in love with an acro picture she saw in a book and wanted to feel that same connection. They say the best thing about acroyoga is that it teaches you trust: both in yourself and in your partner. The hardest thing about it besides being hard…is the communication they said. Their favorite acro pose is “pops” and hand 2 hand. They would love to inspire more and more people to do acroyoga! Yoga Digest is looking forward to doing an Instagram challenge with AcroVision in September. Look for us on Instragram @yogadigestmagazine and @AcroVision!  We hope you will join us for the fun!

Jenn Bodnar

Jenn Bodnar is co-founder of Yoga Digest Magazine and has a genuine belief that yoga can benefit everyone. She is 200ERYT having attended multiple teacher trainings, facilitating yoga teacher trainings and studying and practicing yoga since 1999. Jenn is an avid fitness professional, who has taught and managed group fitness for many years. As a former competitive triathlete, gymnast and dancer Jenn loves the balance of strength, flexibility, perseverance and freedom that a yoga practice provides. She loves being active and outdoors with her family and friends. Jenn is a self proclaimed health food chef who hopes to leave a positive footprint by inspiring others to always choose happiness. “Watching people grow through yoga is one of the most amazing miracles to witness.”