Selfie Nation

Leave Hilaria Alone: Why It’s Okay to Instagram Your Yoga Selfies

These yoga snobs must be in warrior pose, because these are some fightin' words.
HOW DARE YOU. (Photo via instagram.com/hilariabaldwin)

HOW DARE YOU. (Photo via instagram.com/hilariabaldwin)

You have to be leading a pretty charmed life if one of your chief gripes is the fact that Alec Baldwin’s wife is uploading yoga selfies on Instagram.

And yet, that’s exactly what a few NYC yogis did in the New York Post today. In the story “Celebrity posers have yoga world in a twist,” yoga instructors throw major shade at celebs like Gisele Bundchen, Kaley Cuoco and the aforementioned Hilaria Baldwin. And it’s not because these ladies have disparaged those who practice yoga — it’s because they’re partaking in it too publicly.

And it’s just one more example of critics crying “attention whore!” at women who dare to control their own images using social media. Why do they even care what goes on in another person’s Instagram feed? Let’s allow them to explain.

“In a sense, it mocks what yoga is,” swears Jennilyn Carson, a yoga blogger and major crybaby. “There’s a sentiment that they’re doing a disservice to yoga by putting these pictures out there. It’s showy and basically everything that the practice is not supposed to be about — ‘Look at me and these awesome poses I can do!'”

She goes on to insist yoga is “our own personal practice that we don’t need to exploit through selfies,” apparently not realizing that talking shit about fellow yogis is also not really what yoga is about.

Totally against the principles of yoga, right? (Photo via instagram.com/hilariabaldwin)

Totally against the principles of yoga, right? (Photo via instagram.com/hilariabaldwin)

The pettiness doesn’t stop there. Kay Kay Clivio, a lead teacher and trainer at an NYC yoga studio, calls yoga selfies “a publicity stunt.”

Clearly in a bad mudra, she continues, “Yoga is a practice of body meets grace. And being humble. And I don’t know how humble or graceful that is. I don’t know what her intention is. Is it teaching people how to manage their stress or uplift themselves — or is it just wanting people to follow her and have the most followers?”

A publicity stunt to gain followers — you mean like agreeing to be interviewed so you can criticize certain yoga practitioners while plugging your own studio? I don’t know how humble or graceful that is, either.

Scrolling through the story, you’ll notice that all of the examples given are photos of women except for one. And many of the women are wearing revealing clothes or high heels. Take that into consideration and it’s pretty clear what this is really about: punishing women for daring to attract attention for their appearance.

One blogger flat out decries the photos for being “sexy or glamorous,” saying they’re “a little contradictory to the original intention of the practice.”

But hey, maybe some of these stars do yoga to make themselves feel more sexy and glamorous. Maybe they’re more into it for physical reasons rather than spiritual ones. And maybe — scratch that, definitely — they’ve inspired a lot of their followers to take up yoga thanks to their Instagram efforts.

There might be a few legitimate reasons to critique selfie culture — we honestly haven’t heard any yet (selfies solve crimes!) — but the experts quoted in this article just prove that people who are bent out of shape about the content of other people’s Instagram feeds are often just jealous and spiteful. Let’s just allow Gisele her downward dogs and get on with our day, shall we?

Follow Molly Mulshine on Twitter or via RSS. mmulshine@observer.com