Please be careful where you take your Insta photos
This summer, a 23-year-old woman in Mexico fell 82ft off a balcony plunging headfirst and breaking more than 100 bones in her body. She had been attempting a yoga pose on the edge of the balcony and was photographed seconds before the horror fall. At the time of writing she was in a critical condition but alive after many hours of surgery. It is a warning to us all about the perils of taking photos or selfies in dangerous locations. And it is a message worth heeding in an era where competition for likes and followers online is fuelling the desire for more sensational images. A few years ago, Rolling Stone magazine published an article entitled, ‘Death by Selfie: 11 Disturbing Stories of Social Media Pics Gone Wrong’. We’ll spare you the details but the clue as to what happened in each case (11 separate stories) is in the title. None of these stories relate to yoga but there is a common thread in the inherent risk of striving for that perfect Instagram
pose under perilous circumstances. In the October issue of OM (issue 101) it was pointed out by a kind reader that one of the illustrative photos we had used showed a man performing Side Plank on a railway line. We won’t show the photo again here but it’s fair to say that we would not recommend performing yoga on a railway track under any circumstances. It is not just dangerous locations either. We have also come across yoga photography that offends local customs or sensibilities. One yoga traveller in Asia was quizzed by local police recently after taking photos of herself at a number of sacred sites, which she then posted on her Insta account. The photos offended locals who complained to the police, forcing the yogini to delete her images. Yogis are a creative bunch, so keep on snapping that asana…but please be mindful of where you are shooting and practicing. And don’t succumb to social media pressure to be more daring, more extreme than the others — that’s not yoga at all.