What is an Instagram Challenge? I’m a little bit older than the target Instagram user, so I did not actually know and I had to do a little research when someone suggested we try one at Refresh.

Basically, an Instagram Challenge is an online event, often a month long, where people are given a topic to post an image about and use a hashtag to link their participation.  When people click on that hashtag, then you can see all the images that have been inspired by and tagged in the challenge.  It looked like a fun way to build community! You tech people are laughing at me. I know. It’s ok.

These types of campaigns are pretty common in the yoga world. They usually require users to take a picture of themselves in a yoga posture (asana). What I noticed with a little despair is that they are often young, white women in impossibly dangerous postures often in equally dangerous locations. For example, I will see someone doing a handstand on the edge of a cliff or the splits across a campfire. Okay, I did not actually see that last one, but it does not mean someone won’t try!

We wanted a way to get involved with our community online and outside the studio, but not in a such a superficial way. It had to be something beginners and seasoned yogis could do!  Our Instagram Challenge (#refresh30) was created to show you how yoga is more than just exercise and postures. It is all around you! Every day you complete the sentence “Yoga is _____” with our theme for the day. Then tag us and use #refresh30. You might just win a prize!

We are one week into our challenge, and here are some of our highlights [contributed and written by Ashley Whimpey]:

Day 1: Yoga is Om

We start with Om, the sound of the universe. It’s actually made up of three sounds –usually seamlessly woven together — “aah” “ooh” “mm.” It’s a beginning. It often marks the start and end of a yoga practice session, offering a space of transition.

Day 2:  Yoga is My Mat!

Traditional mats are awesome, though they don’t always travel well. The practice follows us off the mat, and we can take it to the open patio, the grassy backyards, the sunshine

Ok- One swimsuit! but the mat is so cute!

soaked decks, or even the cramped airplane seats. Your mat isn’t always a mat. It’s a state of mind. 💕

Day 3: Yoga is Flow Tunes

Do you flow to music when you practice, in silence, or do you prefer nature? Sound is all around you!

Day 4: Yoga is Better than something I left behind.

Tell us where you’ve come from. Celebrate how far your journey has taken you, as often as possible. Everyone gets to celebrate. #gainingweightiscool #startingover#thriving … The list goes on. Yoga brings us

Refresh Instagram
Yoga is Better!

together in movement for reasons as simple as wanting to touch our toes, to reasons as complex as recovery from illness. Yogic lifestyle can saturate a whole new world for you if you let it. What have you left behind to better embrace your true self?

Day 5 Yoga is joy.

Jumping, shouting, bold faced, happy, smile dripping, joy. Joy looks like bright colors and daring adventures to us. What does joy look like to you?

Day 6 Yoga is Human.

#Refresh30 // Unedited, raw, morning eyes. Human. Stretch marks, callouses, stray hairs. Human. Squishy, hard, rough. Human. Sweaty, tired, heartbeat. Human.

Day 7 = Yoga is… Community

It’s you! We are you and you are we. We love you, we celebrate you, we sweat and cry and laugh with you. You are beautiful and you make our community beautiful.

We have enjoyed playing along and even those that cannot come into the local yoga studio are welcome to play from afar! Beginner yogis and experienced yogis can join as well.  Our 200 Hour Teacher Training students have learned a ton about philosophy and anatomy that they are eager to share. Don’t have an Instragram Account? It’s easy! Just download the app and find a Millennial to show you how to use it. If I can learn it, so can you!

Interact with us online or in person at our local yoga studio in Old Town Alexandria, VA. We also serve Del Ray, Arlington, Oxon Hill, Fort Washington, National Harbor, Belle Haven, and surrounding communities.