How to take the perfect yoga selfie using your smartphone

Download an app, get yourself a mini tripod, and hold your pose for at least three seconds: how to rise to the yoga selfie challenge craze

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 November, 2015, 8:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 29 November, 2015, 12:42pm

Yoga selfies are all the rage.

A quick search under the hashtag #yoga on Instagram (which according to Statista has 400 million users, making it the most popular photo-sharing app to date) shows more than 15.8 million posts, way more than other popular forms of movement or exercise such as #pilates (2 million) and #calisthenics (1.4 million).

Thanks to a growing number of “challenges” that invite users to post and share images of themselves while holding a particular yoga pose, this number is not about to drop any time soon. Kino MacGregor, an international yoga teacher from the US with 890,000 Instagram followers, recently ran her #OctoberYogaSpice challenge, which attracted more than 120,000 posts.

To encourage people to participate, many challenges offer prizes to those who participate in full or those who post the most impressive pictures. Some hosts also use such challenges to raise funds for charity and how much the hosts or their sponsors donate will depend on the number of posts participating in their challenges.

But how do you capture that perfect selfie while you are upside down in sirsasana (or a headstand) for instance? Here are some tips and tricks.

First, you will need to download a camera app with the “interval timer” feature for your smart phone. I use an app called Camera Awesome. With this interval timer function, your phone’s camera will take a picture, for example, every three seconds. Hardware-wise, you may also want a mini tripod and a clip (the top part of a selfie stick) to properly stand your phone up.

With this set-up, you are ready to take your yoga photos by yourself. Just set your phone’s camera on interval timer, and with no rush, go in front of the camera and strike your yoga pose. And once you have got into the pose, hold it for at least three seconds to make sure your camera can capture the moment. Of course, you can always shorten the time interval, for example to two or even one second, if you are doing a pose that you think is difficult to hold.

Make sure you check your photos right after taking them as you may need to do a few more rounds to adjust the camera angle, the framing and your yoga posture. If possible, try to take a wider shot so that you will later have the flexibility to crop the photo to better position yourself in the picture.

One last thing to remember is that yoga challenges are not competitions and if you choose to do it, you do it for yourself.