Tracking Progress: Why I record my yoga practice
Yes, I am "one of those yogis who records my practice and posts it online". In fact, I do it a lot and I have no shame. I get a lot of questions about why and how I record my practices so I figured it's about time I address it all in a blog post for the world, haha! I know the world doesn't really care, but some of you do, so this one's for you ;)
Why I record the majority of my yoga practices:
I record my practices as a way of tracking my progress and actually seeing what I'm doing. For a very long time I practiced alone at home. I didn't have anyone to ask, "Does this look right?" or "Am I even upside down?" to. It was confusing to me not knowing where I was in space and not knowing if I was making any progress.
I later learned that we can actually digress and it's not a bad thing. Our bodies change and adapt over time and although recordings are helpful, it should never be a means of comparing yourself to the "old" you or "used to be more flexible" you. Trust me, I've caught myself many of times thinking, "Wow my backbends were so much deeper last year! What happened?!" But in reality, I was going through a lot in my life and my body was doing what it felt it needed to do to protect me (tighter shoulders and stiff spine).
So, I record my practices to track my progress, but I also do it for another reason. There's an uncovering and raw-ness in recording yourself doing something. It's awkward and feels weird at first. In the beginning you'll catch yourself looking in the camera a lot, checking out your butt and lord knows what else. But soon, you'll forget the camera is recording and catch some really authentic footage of yourself just moving and being present on your mat. Now, that's the good stuff. The really expressive movements of just being in your body that everyone else in the world might see but you. To me, it's a really interesting way of loving myself and posting the video anyway - regardless of the stomach roll or ass dimples. It's me in this moment and that's real.
So, how do I record my practices then?
When I lived with Ashley, our friends used to ask if I had her sit around and take my pictures while I practiced - L O L. That's ridiculous and cruel and the answer is NO. I sit my phone on a window sill or against my water bottle/yoga block/whatever I have handy and hit record. Sometimes I'm only half in the frame and I don't really even double check or care. I play with sitting my phone vertical and horizontal, practicing facing the camera and recording a side view, or diagonal view. There's a lot of creative thinking that can go into the process (if you want!). And then, of course, there's lighting and editing and music.
- Natural light will result is the clearest video. Not essential, just a matter of preference.
- Trimming the video, adding music, speeding it up or slowing it down can all be done in iMovie, Perfect Video, or other editing apps (both iOS apps - I'm not sure about android apps).
- Pictures from videos - simply check out your video and screenshot whatever image you want to grab. ***please avoid screenshotting a millisecond of a pose that you barely held and almost hurt yourself doing. We're trying to make yoga more accessible and REAL, people. Let's not lie about what we're actually able to do ;)
Whatever you decide to do with your recordings is your prerogative and no one else's business. I say, "Record on and create cool content."
So much love,
P.s. Want to start yoga but don't know where to start? Download "Before Your First Class", my free guide to everything you need to know before going to your first yoga class : )