For those of you interested in movement (and we don’t mean just those of you who identify as a ‘mover’, we mean all of you Acrobats, Martial Artists, Yogis, Dancers, Gymnasts, Pilates-ists? Is that a word? ) it’s safe to say that the majority of you have used a social media platform to share, discover and connect about movement. Before we begin we want to mention how much we love, use and are grateful for these platforms! It’s amazing that we can share what is happening at the studio with you online.Or check in and share what our instructors are up to. It’s also inspiring to see students practising, connecting and posting both inside and outside of the studio. We mean it, we’re really obsessed with all your photos and videos! Scroll, Like, Scroll, Comment, Share…
Of course, with any great tool comes great responsibility and we want to take some time to discuss the importance of and some tips on safe practice.
The School of Instaglam:
Instagram is filled with many glamorous pictures and videos! You can find perfect shots of handstands with the perfect beach background. Someone doing king pigeon while balancing on a paddleboard. Or Yogini’s doing the splits and backbends between a vintage door frame. These are exciting and inspiring to see. From an artistic standpoint, it’s captivating to explore beautiful feeds. As well as to appreciate all the hard work that goes into them. What is less highlighted however is all the mistakes, practice and outtakes that are behind every good photo. It takes sometimes hundreds of shots to get a single good one, even for the professionals. Speaking of professionals, keep in mind that most of the people you follow on Instagram are just that: Professionals. They do this for a living and spend years of training to get to where they are.
Unless you are an unprofessional athlete, and even then, don’t beat yourself up about not performing like one:
Idealising a professional’s practice is an easy way for us to get frustrated with where our bodies are at or even to get jealous of someone else’s practice. Instead, its good to remind ourselves what our motivation is for practising movement. Is it the joy of the movement itself? Or the feeling you have when your joints move smoothly and your muscles are strong? If you’re not sure why you love movement, now is a great time to ask yourself why. Appreciate what your body can do instead of focusing on what it can’t do. Reflect back on where you were at a year ago and track your progress. You’ll probably surprise yourself and gain a whole new level of appreciation for your progress.
Ask yourself why you want to do this:
Are you working on learning how to do a handstand? Finally getting a full wheel? Or that unnameable trick you found on Instagram (seriously click that link. He is barley human)? There is nothing wrong with wanting to learn new skills. First, off they can be extremely fun and satisfying to achieve. We’re all for pushing the limits and overcoming challenges. That is a good challenge in itself. However, it’s also important to ask yourself whether or not it’s safe or even good for your body to perform. Splits, handstands, and other tricks are not natural skills for our bodies. Although we can certainly do them with the right conditioning and training, it’s important to know that they can be hard on the body over time. Check in with whether or it’s an important goal for you or if your ego is the one calling for that glam shot. If you do decide to try challenging skills we have some suggestions first to make sure you proceed with health, safety and longevity in mind.
Before you start a new skill see if you have the prerequisites to perform that skill. For example, before trying to learn pistol squats, evaluate your squat first. Can you sit comfortably in a squat without any pinching in the hip? Do your heels reach the floor and how is your ankle mobility? If you have limitations to the prerequisites, focus on attaining those first. It just doesn’t make much sense to advance into a squat on one leg if we can’t do one safety with two. That will not only help you achieve the results you want faster, but this is a much safer progression. You’ll help to prevent injury and have better mobility and health.
Talk to an expert
Social media can be a great tool for inspiration, sharing and to a certain extent learning but be careful with this last one. There are many yogis, movers and instructors on Instagram that share really quality content. They share good tips and advice about their practice. That being said they are not there with you in person. They don’t know your body, its strengths, and weaknesses and if what you are about to try is safe for you. They can’t check to make sure you are doing the skill properly, safely or with proper feedback. Therefore there is a huge potential for misunderstanding and injury. Instead, seek out an expert in your area. Dharma Movement Company is full of amazing teachers that are always excited to teach and give feedback. Attend classes, workshops and movement jams. Ask lots of questions and seek out help. If there is a really specific skill or area you are working to improve private sessions are a good option to fast track your progress.
Connect with us
We’d love to connect with you through social media. You can find us on Facebook and Instagram, use our hashtags #dmc #thepathofmovement #moveallways or tag us in your photos! We’d love to see what you’re working on and to see your progress. We’d also love to see you in class working with our experts who know best and know how to keep you moving and learning safely classes and workshops which are also a great place to meet new friends.
We can’t wait to see your photos and videos
Social media responsibly