Don't Compare Your Hustle To Their Highlight Reel
Can we keep it real for a minute? When’s the last time you looked at someone’s Instagram feed and said, “I wish I looked like that. I wish I could do that. I wish that was me.”
It happens all the time in the yoga world. I know because I was a part of it. A while back I embarked on a 30 day yoga challenge that included posting a pose a day on my Instagram feed. Let’s be clear; people know me mostly as the guy who can eat 28 tacos, not as one who can do Crow Pose, so when I started getting compliments on some of the images I was able to capture…it felt really good. In fact, it felt incredible.
At that point I made a decision - to keep it real. For each picture of me in a “great” pose, I would also post a video of me TRYING to get into that “great” pose. That’s where the true yoga was, and always is.
Because in this crazy world of Insta famous influencers and online celebrities, I want to stand up and shout, “it’s not real!”. Of course your body doesn’t look like that. Duh…filters. Of course your home doesn’t look like that. Because they had a hazmat team clean that ONE room and no one was allowed in without wearing one of those “we’re taking care of E.T.” uniforms. And of course their kids are behaving. They’ve been told that if they don’t smile and make it Pinterest perfect, all their toys are going to get burned in a dumpster.
People post their highlight reel to social media. You don’t see the tears. You don’t see the questioning of whether or not they can do this. Instead, you see them in a field of poppies, in a ball gown looking like they’re auditioning for a T Swift video. One thing that I’ve come to realize is that yoga is about THE PROCESS. It’s about coming to the mat, settling in, and taking and leaving whatever you need to. These static images are devoid of the practice, and they ARE NOT yoga.
Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE these images. I love beautiful things. When I see a yogi post an incredible pose, I’m in awe, and I’m motivated. But I’m also conscious of the fact that for every amazing photo that you see on Instagram, there are 237 photos that didn’t make the cut. In one of them the yogi may have had a series of chins. In another, the lighting was all wrong. And in another you couldn’t see the logo they wanted to show off.
Don’t compare your process to the finished product of someone else. One of the most powerful things that I’ve learned in yoga is that there is no “right” or “great” way to do a pose. There is only what is possible for you in that moment. The idea that we are enough, even if what we’re doing doesn’t look exactly like it does on the internet is EVERYTHING.
So here’s what you need to do. Keep it real. Follow beautiful, incredible people that do amazing things on the internet, but be patient and understand that we do ourselves and everyone else a favour when we try to understand that some of the things we see on the internet might not be EXACTLY how things look in real life.