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My thoughts on taking photos during my yoga classes and events

Hello curious person


You asked and I’ve answered.


I want to start this blog post by stating that this is my personal opinion from my personal experience. There is absolutely nothing wrong with photos being taken, with consent, in a room where you are practising yoga.


I was chatting to a close friend the other day about photography in yoga classes. I was sharing a previous experience where I got to the end of the session, was spaced out from relaxation and had plans immediately after. Due to this, I had packed up my things and was ready to leave when the studio asked for a photo to be taken of the group. It was immediately awkward because, when I attend a class, I have typically allocated the set scheduled time aside for the class. It was awkward because I had to unpack all my stuff for this photo opportunity and I didn’t feel like I could say no in this group of consenting people.


To be honest, I think this summarises it perfectly. It’s hard to say no when everyone is saying yes. Dealing with this internal battle at the end of this relaxing experience changes the dynamic entirely. I don’t walk out thinking “I’m so relaxed”. I walk out thinking “why is there a photo of me with messy hair, spaced out and feeling scruffy?”.


Yoga is an internal process of self-connection. We all know that a yoga class can feel a little solemn with a side of resting bitch face because we are all navigating our internal landscape. It doesn’t require me to smile or maintain a facade to soothe the ego of the other people in the room. It means I get to just exist, on my mat, in that moment as I am without concern. This has, in my opinion, always felt compromised when a camera comes out.


Each yoga class is different, and that is a fundamental joy of yoga, so there are some teachers that snap photos and the students love it! That’s okay. I am not criticising. I’ve been to flow sessions and I’ve seen a timelapse after and it’s this beautiful dance of movement that’s mesmerising.


I made the decision early on in my teaching career that my space would be photo free whilst people are occupying the room. I think it aligns with the clients I attract and it aligns with me. I want people to come into a yoga class and feel safe (as possible in a public space). I don’t want them to feel observed and like they have to model for me to post on social media. My whole teaching approach is about embracing the options that are woven into each class. I don’t want to compromise that by placing someone in a situation where they feel like they can’t say no.


How do I capture my yoga classes? I take photos afterwards once everyone has left the room. I, particularly with Yoga Nidra, ask people to just leave their equipment where it is because it makes a great shot to see everyone’s bolsters, blankets and pillows laying on the floor. This is happening whilst they are enjoying a hot beverage, with their peers who are also feeling spaced out and rested, in another room.


I believe that any teachers or studios who want to take photos in a class should very clearly state iit in the advert for each class and event that they run or they should run set events for marketing purposes. This would be my approach if I ever decided to do it. I would host a class or event and allow people to join for free so I could gather photos.


What are your thoughts and experiences on this topic?


It’s been a pleasure sharing this one with you

Sam


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Hey mate, I hadn’t really given much thought on this, but I have to say that I’m with you. I’d feel a little uncomfortable with saying no if I was asked for photos without being forewarned that this may happen. I think I’d walk away with a slight feeling of “humph, not sure that I liked that much”.

I like your approach on your socials of the before and after room shots.

Ps never noticed you sneaking out to do this after Nidra…. Mind you I’m half asleep at that point🤣🙏☕️

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Sam Turner
Sam Turner
18. Aug. 2023
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It's nice that we're on the same page with this. You'd feel much the same as I would in that situation. It just lessens my experience when it does happen. There are plenty of yoga-related things that I attend and expects photos to be taken at but definitely not a class/event. Thank you! I think the pictures after Nidra capture the whole space perfect and it's so relaxing to look at because (if you've been in the room) you can feel that calm energy through the photo. I'm looking forward to tonight!

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