Since I joined Instagram two years ago, I have taken part in about four Instagram challenges. They were all related to yoga poses but there are also other challenges for general fitness, such as those hosted by @blogilates, who posted a 30-day challenge for her followers. By taking part in this challenge and using the appropriate hashtag, people can follow the progress of other people and motivate themselves! It’s like having a virtual exercise buddy.
Taking part in yoga challenges on Instagram has forced me to practise poses that I normally avoid and also allow me to document my progress over two years. Here is how it works:
1. The host shows a preview of 30 poses to be done daily for one month. There are usually a few hosts per challenge and sponsors that will give out prizes, such as yoga leggings, at the end of the challenge to a few people.
2. To enter the challenge, you have to follow the daily poses and include the names of the hosts and the sponsors in your Instagram post so that they can take a look at your entry. Do this for the next 30 days or 10 days, depending on the length of the challenge.
3. Take a pretty picture! Get a friend to place the camera at a low angle if your pose is close to the ground. Choose a nice background. The beach is a good choice.
4. Use the hashtags provided by the host, which should allow other people to easily find your photos. It is very encouraging to get nice comments and words of motivation on your photos!
When I started on one of my earlier challenges, I couldn’t straighten my legs in firefly pose. One year later, I looked less like a cockroach and more like a firefly! I dare say that my photography skills have also improved – I became more fussy about lighting and background when I took photographs.
In this case, the firefly pose was something that I would never practise on my own if I wasn’t forced to. Indeed, I went on YouTube to search for instruction videos. I fell on my bum many times and tried different variations before I figured out the right way to carry my weight. I also learnt the various stretches to prepare for this pose.
The next example is a pose that I couldn’t do one year ago but is something that I can do now without a wall. It’s not very pretty but the beauty about fitness – be it yoga or lifting weights or running – is that there is always room for progress.
A year ago, I couldn’t perform a forearm stand without leaning my weight on something. Today, I can do it without a wall. Both these photos were taken for Instagram challenges. You can follow me on @paleorina if you want to check out my attempts to push my fitness boundaries.
If yoga is not your thing, check out @blogilates as mentioned above. @shauntfitness, who is the creator of the popular home workout videos Insanity and T25, also has fun 5-minute challenges for busy people.
There are even pole dance challenges. @cleosrocknpole hosts one that requires dancers to get into tricks with the most amazing names such as tick tock and caged rose. I can’t even imagine what these moves would look like.
What I really want to say that no matter what your workout poison is, it is likely that you will find like-minded people on Instagram. Try a challenge – you might just find that it’s just the thing you need to push your fitness to the next level.