Week 3- Social Media and Yogis
As I mentioned last week, I have a great interest in yoga, therefore I have decided to revolve my Netnographic project on the online yoga community. My starting point for this is observing the activity from one of my yoga teachers from her Facebook account.
(Image from Lari Hutton Yoga & Healing Facebook Page)
My yoga teacher is called Lari and from my own personal experience of practicing yoga with Lari over the last two years I can conclude that she is a very spiritual, traditional yoga teacher who incorporates Buddhist and Hindu Philosophy into all of her classes.
Instead of just teaching us yoga poses she always goes into great detail on the healing properties and benefits of every pose for our parts of the body and also our chakras. From this photo, I can see that she has successfully carried this part of her identity through to her food photo, has given a full breakdown of the healing powers of every ingredient.
Instead of merely describing her dish, she has related the dish to Sanskrit medical philosophy called ‘Ayurveda’ and demonstrates how the ingredients can balance our ‘Dosha’s.’ Her description of her dish projects Lari’s astounding knowledge on Buddhist and Hindu philosophy which tie in with her teaching style in classes.
By observing her language further, she has successfully constructed her identity of a traditional, Buddhist yoga teacher with a healing nature through the words “traditional”, “detoxing”, “balanced”, “cleanse the body and soul” and “gentle.”
Additionally, I can see that the photo is not highly styled like other food porn photos I have seen from my news feed over the past two weeks and it is very simplistic, tying in with her yogic lifestyle. The use the heart emoticon portrays that she is a loving, gentle person.
As I mentioned, Lari is a very traditional yogi, and it has made me wonder if all yogis in the online community construct their identities in similar ways. This has urged me to take a look at some modern yogis who are popular in the westernised yoga world and to see if they take a similar approach to their food porn photos.
I will start by looking at three US celebrity yogis of today: Tara Stiles, Kathryn Budig and Heidi Kristoffer and how they use food and social media to construct their online personas.
Tara Stiles is a famous NYC Yoga Teacher and is founder of Strala Yoga and uses a range of social media platforms to showcase her personality such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and has a website available at http://www.tarastiles.com which acts as a hub for her online activity and provides links to her online blog. She incorporates the use of social plug-ins on her website to promote and direct traffic to her other social media channels.
She currently has 46,245 followers on Twitter, 61663 Facebook fans and has a popular blog which also has plug-ins to divert traffic to her Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Tumblr platforms.
Her Tumblr page has a devoted section called ‘Tarastileeats’ which solely concentrates on recipes and food porn photos. Once again, she has utilised the tool of social plug-ins to advertise her other social media platforms.
Kathryn Budig is a US based yogi and is founder and author of Aim True Yoga. Like Tara she uses a different range of social media platforms and engages in blogging for online yoga community blogging platforms such as Mindbodygreen.com and Elephantjournal.com. She also uses social plug-ins to divert traffic to her social networks and her blog posts from her website http://www.kathrynbudig.com.
She currently has 63479 Facebook Fans, 34084 Twitter followers. Straight away on her Twitter page, I noticed the first post is related to Food Porn.
Her Pinterest account has 1458 followers and she has a pin board called ‘My recipes from Mind Body Green.’ which is dedicated to providing recipes and pictures of vegan food porn which she talks about in greater detail in her Mind Body Green blog which I will look at later in my research.
Lastly, I am going to look at Heidi Kristoffer and how she communicates to the yoga community. She has significantly less traffic that Tara and Kathryn however she provides a lot of evidence for vegan food porn in her online activity. She is part of the management and creative team at Strala Yoga and is considered a newbie in the celebrity yoga world. Like Tara and Kathryn she has created diversion to her social media through social plug-ins on her website www.heidiyoga.com.
She currently has 5135 Facebook likes and 3210 Twitter followers and regular blogs online relating to veganism and yoga.
Heidi currently has Instagram followers and she uses this to showcase her vegan food porn photos to the community. Her personal description of her identity portrays she is a “Vegan upside down girl living in NYC.” This straight away paints a picture of her identity as being a Vegan yogi.
Now that I have briefly introduced you to these three beautiful yogis and the social media types they use to target their audiences, we will be moving on next week to start unravelling how they construct their identities through the food images they post.
Hope you have enjoyed this week and please follow me on my journey next week