Today would be my father’s 90th birthday. My dad was crazy creative and always coming up with new initiatives to inspire his congregation and fun activities for our family to explore. So today feels like a good day for me to start something new, which is perfect because an idea has popped up on it’s own and volunteered to be that new something.
It came in the form of a blog piece about how yoga selfies have gotten out of control. My pal, Ramit, sent to me via FB message, accompanied by a question, “Have you read this already or are you actually engaged in life instead?” The question got me to thinking.
No, I have not been involved in yoga selfies. I have neither participated of followed any instagram yoga selfie challenges. Frankly, I have mixed feelings when I see these photos. Like many yogis, I feel like that the yoga selfie fad is not for people like me. It seems more like a game for the young and perfect people.
But I know that this is where practice really comes in. Because if I am honest, I must admit that I don’t like getting my picture taken because of ego-clinging reasons. I came up in the theater and dance world where photo shoots were big deals, involving hair and make-up, lots of lighting, and a two-week crash diet. As a dancer that diet was cigarettes and diet coke. As a yogi, that diet was no alcohol, sugar, wheat, dairy, chocolate or salad dressing.
So the thought of a selfie — a picture that shows me as I am right now, today in this moment, without the beauty support system? Well, that gives rise to tiny anxieties that might easily grow into larger self-esteem issues. Best just to avoid photos all together, right? The article sent by Ramit agrees. It says that contrary to the claim that gorgeous yoga photos inspire others, yoga selfies actually promote this very lack of confidence. Some of us feel defeated and so we don’t join in. The author said it is because the yoga selfies are of skinny minnies, hyper-flexies, celebri-yogis and not us real people who are curvy or older or less adept in our asanas.
So! Today I am going to start my own Selfie at Sixty for 30 Days. It is not about being perfect or gorgeous but about being a real yogini at the age of 60. Some days I might be kind of awesome, but some days I will just be tired. Let me finally release some of this boring vanity and simply open to each day. I want to cultivate more gratitude for my life and the whole, big, beautiful world; for my body and what I can do if I take good care of it. This is not a contest or a challenge. It’s a practice. Let’s see what practice looks like at 60 years of age. Here is Selfie #1.