No pictures please

Let’s imagine something: you are in a plane, or a train, or lying on the beach and you take a nap. The pilot, flight attendant or lifeguard snap a picture of you and post it on social media. He (or she) is proud to show the world how relax people are when they travel (or sunbathe) when he or she is in charge. Wouldn’t it be weird (if not creepy)? How would you feel?

Let’s imagine another thing: your kid is at school, working, and the teacher takes a picture of your kid, post it on social media as a proof of he or she being a good teacher, the kid looking like he (or she) is really focusing on the exercise. How would you feel about it as a parent?

Now imagine (or remember if it has happened to you) you are in a yoga class, and the teacher takes picture of the practitioners, are you staying totally natural, focusing on your breathing, staying in tune with the sensations in your body, or are you trying to go a little bit deeper to look better, or because your neighbor goes deeper and you don’t want to stand out you’re forcing a little bit more even if it hurts, and even though, as your teacher probably told you, each body is different and you should left your ego aside.

Speaking of ego, what are the teacher’s motives? Is it keeping memories of a good class, or is it something different?

Now let’s imagine one last thing, you are let’s say in headstand your balance starts to feel precarious, how is your teacher going to help you while holding a phone or a camera?

I know I’m not gonna make a lot of friends with this article, but I don’t have a good opinion of teachers who are taking pictures during class, specially during savasana, and who post those pictures on social medias or on their website. In fact I avoid going to their class. I recall someone in particular, a famous yoga teacher from LA. I really wanted to take his class but I never did because he was posting videos of his students in savasana.

What is savasana? A moment of profound relaxation, where you are supposed to let go of everything and release all tensions to allow your body to benefit of the practice that just happened. So you are eyes closed lying on your back and relaxed, don’t you think it’s creepy that people take pictures of you in that moment? And post them? Don’t you think it’s somehow a violation of your intimacy? Because that’s how I feel, and I couldn’t completely relax knowing that while i’m vulnerable lying down, eyes closed, somebody might film me.

Yoga is supposed to be a sacred moment, and the teacher is supposed to hold a space where you feel safe. How can you tune in yourself when someone snaps pics of you? Are you really gonna stay focus and natural?

And you, yoga teachers, are you 100% sure your students are gonna stay focus and not trying to go deeper (and potentially hurt themselves) because they know you are going to publish pictures of them? Do you really think they are totally letting go in savasana knowing you’re probably holding your phone and making videos? And most importantly are you really sure you are doing your job of teaching yoga while filming, or may be more the PR part of it? May be ask yourself: Why is it you’re doing that? Isn’t that ego?

I understand taking pictures or videos in a workshop, or festival, or training setting, with everybody’s consent. I also understand filming and promoting an event, you gather people that totally know why they are here, it’s a promotional class, and films and photos will happen.

What I don’t understand is when it happens during regular classes. Students deserve respect, their practice deserve respect, we live in a world that emphasizes so much on how we look like, can’t we, as yoga teachers, provide them with 75 minutes where appearance has no importance, where the inside is more import than the outside? And where smartphone and cameras do not belong? Isn’t that our job in the end?

May be, if as a teacher you really feel you have to take pictures, ask some volunteers after the class, while they are still warmed up to do a couple of poses? Just a thought….

Published by cheyenneyoga

SmartFLOW yoga teacher. I've studied Power vinyasa, restorative, and yoga for pregnant woman with Tamal Dodge in Los Angeles. After that wonderful time, I felt attracted by movement and flow, so I studied with Shiva Rea for 300 hours her Prana Flow style. But after a yoga for scoliosis workshop and after realizing what I want in my practice and for my students, I've decided to focus on a more alignment focused yoga, and started studying with the great Annie Carpenter. Now, after more than 400h with her, my teaching skills had changed for the best. The more I learn the more I have to share with my students, so I follow different trainings every year and I had the great honor to learn from amazing teachers like Krista Cahill, Maty Ezraty or Dona Holleman. I'm now teaching SmartFLOW YOGA, Hatha yoga, restorative yoga and chair yoga (for people with less range of motion) in Monaco most of the time, but also in some magical events such as Burning Man in Nevada. Ambassador of a great VEGAN BOOTS BRAND pawj california, think cruelty free Ugg style boots. Use the code Cheyenne10 for 10% on their website. Yoga inspired jewelry designer: Pepper Kreation

2 thoughts on “No pictures please

  1. I agree totally. But sometimes I take a picture when I see one student in a real progress and it’s mostly to show him or her how he or her is doing well. So the picture is for that personn first.
    During a master class or Atelier / workshop, I prefer to ask somebody to take few pictures for memories, souvenirs and also some time to show in my website. But I can’t do both, teach and take pictures !


    1. Absolutely! I am with you. The teacher shoud think about why he or she takes the picture and when it.s in savaasana I doubt it’s for showing the progress made by the students 😜! 🙏


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