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How to Choose Your Yoga Pictures

As part of an ongoing social media contest, we asked our Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT®s) this week to upload a picture to their new online profile. This second assignment of the contest was to “Use Visuals.” On your RYT profile page, you can upload a main profile picture along with other pictures in your photo gallery. It’s a great opportunity to show potential students and employers who you are, and add some visual interest to your profile page.  

Yet, yoga pictures on the web can often elicit a bit of controversy. Some wonder, is this too self- indulgent? What should it matter to students what I look like? Isn’t the asana practice of yoga but one of the eight limbs?

These are all valid questions, and ones you should consider before choosing how to represent yourself and your teaching in visual form. The reality of teaching yoga is that it is, for most of us, an interpersonal relationship between you and your students in person. Pictures and imagery can help bring you to life more so than written text alone can in the digital world.

After browsing all of the contest participants’ beautiful pictures, we put together a few tips on how to choose yoga pictures that effectively promote your yoga teaching:

Mind the message

If you mainly teach restorative yoga, posting a picture of yourself in a challenging pose like forearm stand may not convey the right message. Consider whether your chosen pictures accurately convey the kind of classes you teach. Do you dig meditation? Perhaps post a picture of yourself in a meditative posture rather than an advanced asana.  This picture of Eric, RYT 200 from New York, in headstand works quite well, especially after reading his bio, in which he comments that doing a headstand doesn’t equate to mastery of yoga. Even without the commentary, posting a picture of any particular pose may or may not be appropriate; it depends on the student population you wish to appeal to, and whether the image conveys the right message for your teaching.

Image of Eric in a headstand

 

Crop carefully

Each website, including ours, will likely ask you to adjust your picture to a standard size. Our profile pictures let you crop and center your picture, so use these tools to make sure the final image doesn’t cut off your head, or appear awkward in some way. You may wish to resize your picture before you upload it to your profile, if you notice that it’s getting cut off, or consider cropping it to a square shape when uploading it to the site. This profile picture of Kelly, E-RYT 200 from Oregon, is a great example of careful cropping.

Image of Kelly with hands in prayer position
 

Show yourself in action, in addition to asana

Several of you posted some great shots of you teaching a class in your photo galleries, which  helps to build your credibility, shares a glimpse of your personal practice and provides a window into what taking a class with you looks like. We recommend that these types of photos can be uploaded into the photo gallery, as using a picture of you teaching in the main profile picture area (the circular picture on your RYT page) would be hard to fit in that space. Check out how Erin, RYT 200 from Washington, posted a teaching shot on her profile.

Image of Erin offering a hands-on assist for a student in downward facing dog

Set the scene

Do you teach outdoor classes, or at a studio? Several of you, like Pat, RYT 200 from Illinois, posted pictures of the places you teach, which can be a nice way to build your online portrait as a teacher. Consider what the scene might convey to a potential student. Posting pictures of you on vacation in exotic places may be a bit misleading if you don’t regularly teach classes on the peak of a volcano or edge of a cliff. If you wish to show your adventuresome spirit, however, those pictures may be appropriate! Consider placing captions on the pictures or editing the “name” field of your uploaded images to better describe the scene and set the context for each shot.

Image of Pat in front of the studio where she teaches
 

Phone a friend

It’s always a great idea to ask a few friends for their thoughts on your marketing materials. Consider asking a fellow teacher or student – someone that knows your teaching style – which photos best represent you and your personality. 

We’re so excited to see all of our RYTs diving into their new online profiles. If you haven’t logged in to your account and updated your profile, use these tips and tricks to make your new RYT profile shine. 

Stay tuned later this week for the next assignment in our contest on Facebook


Related Articles:

Tips for Crafting a Yoga Bio
Here are a few ideas we gleaned from perusing the bios of your fellow RYT®s that may help you to create a bio that appeals to potential students…read more 

Tips for Entering Your Teaching Hours
Our profile completion contest continues! This week’s assignment was to Tally Up Your Teaching Hours in your RYT® profile and share them publicly...read more

Describe the Types of Yoga You Teach
The fourth assignment in our profile completion contest was to “Enter the Types of Yoga You Teach” in your RYT® profile...read more

Build Your Online Yoga Resume
The fifth and final assignment in our profile completion contest was to “Share Where You Teach” in the "Teaching Experience" field of your RYT® profile...read more

 

 

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