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Int J Yoga. 2019 May-Aug;12(2):153-157. doi: 10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_50_18.

#Yoga on Instagram: Understanding the Nature of Yoga in the Online Conversation and Community.

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Department of Kinesiology, University of Windsor, Windsor, Canada.


Background and Aim:

The purpose of the present study was to investigate #yoga on Instagram to better understand the nature of who is posting about yoga, in addition to whether the traditional teachings are present.


A multimethod approach was utilized for this study. Using the Netlytic program, a text and content analysis (n = 35,000) was conducted to examine authors' captions/comments associated with #yoga collected over 9 days. An image and caption coding scheme was developed and used to analyze 100 unique authors and images from the larger dataset.


The text analysis revealed #fitness was the most cited word (n = 5491), suggesting an emphasis on the physical aspect of yoga. The content analysis suggested that the majority of words were categorized as good feelings (n = 32,747; 51%) and appearance (n = 30,351; 42%), while only a small amount was categorized as traditional teachings (n = 1703; 3%). Images revealed mostly women (n = 89; 89%), who were underweight (n = 68; 68%), in minimal clothing (70%), demonstrating a basic pose (n = 51; 51%), in an indoor environment (n = 57; 57%).


According to the text, content, and image analyses, #yoga on Instagram seems to emphasize the physical nature of yoga as consistent with the commercialization of yoga and not traditional teachings of the practice.


Eight limbs; Instagram; fitness; netytic; yoga

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