The short answer: Yes.

When I got started taking yoga photos, I was in my 200hr yoga teacher training. If I do some math, it has been 4 years since I took my first yoga photo. Yet, as I have grown in my yoga practice, I have come to realize that yoga photos and videos are more of a detriment to my practice than a help.


I was introduced to photographing yoga asana by a fellow YTT class mate who was documenting her progress learning how to do an inversion. I then became more and more interested in it as I began following the yoga community on Instagram. Seeing their pose photographs (a lot of them part of Instagram yoga challenges) encouraged me to participate and “show off” as it were. [Notice me senpai!]

As I later discovered…the more likes on your photo in an IG yoga challenge, the more likely you would be to win. [Thanks algorithm man!] Unfortunately, I could never do what the internet liked to win enough likes.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I think the photography of yoga asana is BEAUTIFUL! I love getting creative with background, lighting, clothing, and the shape of the body.


Photography Traps

Unfortunately, I believe that too many people who photograph themselves practicing yoga get caught here.

  1. They force themselves into unrealistic asana shapes without
    • warming up to get into the shape
    • working both sides
    • mindfully listening to their body, mind, spirit and what it needs
  2. They trick themselves into thinking that “this” is yoga
  3. They perpetuate the toxicity of yoga

Proof in the pudding.

I rarely warm up or photograph both sides. I never listen to my body. (PS. what do my body, mind, and soul usually say? It’s something like, “Yay, we’re taking a yoga photo. Art! Creativity! Yoga! Hooray!” “Ufta! I tweaked something.” “YIKES! Is that really what I look like? GROSS!” “This isn’t why I started practicing yoga. Now my heart hurts and I feel like I’ve been swimming in black goo.”) Once the mind chatter subsides because I’ve ignored it long enough to take my photo, I either can’t start or can’t finish the yoga practice I actually wanted to be a part of. And, if I choose a worthy photo to share on Instagram/Facebook, I add to the millions of other photos showing that yoga is a one-color, one-size, one-nope-not-you fits all practice.

It’s really discouraging…

So what have I learned?

  1. If I want to take a yoga photo, I have to wait until after my yoga practice, or I need to schedule a separate time outside of my practice.
  2. It’s important to set an intention for the yoga asana photo. Why am I doing it? Who am I hoping will see it? What do I want viewers to feel seeing my photo? Do I have anything to say along with my photo?
  3. It’s 100% okay to take yoga photos of asanas you might actually see in a yoga class not crazy balance poses, inversions, and pretzel shapes. Real talk: If you can’t “hold” the asana for 5 breaths is it an honest interpretation of the pose for your body? Maybe? Maybe Not?

Beauty Concluded

Once again, I think photographing yoga postures is an absolutely gorgeous and artful way of showcasing the strength, dedication, self mastery, and movement potential that yoga offers individuals. just remember that a picture cannot tell the whole story. Photos are an illusion – allowing you, the viewer, to see only what you are told to see, and nothing more.