To Selfie or Not to Selfie? 5 Yoga Journal Estes Park Presenters Weigh-In

We've all seen them -- yoga selfies are taking over our Instagram feeds. Some people view the selfies as inspirational, other view them as disgracing the ancient practice of yoga. We had a chance to speak with five Yoga Journal Estes presenters to find out their views.

TiffanyIt's changing yoga "[Yoga selfies] are changing yoga," said Tiffany Cruikshank,@Yoga_Medicine the Yoga Medicine anatomy expert. "Any change can be good or bad." It's spreading yoga. "More awareness of yoga is good in general," Cruikshank said. Don't look at Cruikshank for yoga selfies.  "Don't look at me for yoga selfies," she said. "I'm not good at yoga selfies!"


Kathryn Budig @KathrynBudig It's your call "I'm a big fan of to each their own," said Kathryn Budig,@kathrynbudig who has an Instagram following of over 82 thousand followers. If I'm not comfortable, it's probably my problem.  "All of attitudes and perspectives are stoking from our own insecurities," Budig said. "Some can rub me the wrong way. It's more of my issues, my reactivity."


For many yogis, yoga selfies aren't an issue they think about.  "I don't even see [yoga selfies]," said Baron Baptiste, founder of Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga. "I'm not a social media guy." (When asked to do a selfie for this article, Baptist refused. He said that may answer his view on selfies.)


Amy Ippoliti @AmyIppoliti Yoga selfies were started to document the yoga practice. Then they began to [sometimes] become sexual.  "[People take photos featuring] the crotch angle to build a following," said Amy Ippoliti, @AmyIppoliti who has an Instagram following of 21 thousand tight knit followers. "Why do you want them? Be professional, spread yoga but if you are attracting a following of pervs and they are saying horrible things and they are rapists, is that who you want following you?" Companies are signing yogis with major social followings even if their huge followings may not be their target audience.  "These are my friends; my friends are [taking yoga selfies]," said Ippoliti, an ambassador for prAna. "I respect companies who bring on people with reach that teach well." Is it safe to sign a popular yogi who hasn't been teaching long?  "You are responsible with who you are putting into the public eye," Ippoliti said. <h2


IMG_2422_opt It could help your practice. "It could give you good information on your practice," said Colleen Saidman, @colleensaidman yoga teacher and wife to Rodney Yee. There's nothing wrong with it ethically. The Yamas and Niyamas do not mention selfies.  "There's nothing morally or ethically against it," Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman agreed. Go for it. "Selfie on," Rodney Yee said.