Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Yogi's Guide to Twitter

My relationship with Twitter has been rocky at times. When I first flirted with it, I was quickly turned off by it's incessant chatter. I stopped tweeting, asserting that I could do everything I do on Twitter on Facebook. I re-evaluated my stance when I started this blog. I met lots of new friends that share my interests, and now it's the first place I go when I need input, support, or a good laugh. I get fashion advice, ideas for teaching yoga, and even find sources for stories!

But I realize there are many of you out there who still just don't get the point. Twitter is an amazing resources for yoga students. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!

1. Yoga Resource. In a story I wrote recently for Yoga Journal magazine (check out the Media section of the November issue) about online yoga videos, I chatted with the lovely Cora Wen (@CoraYoga). She told me a story about how she posted that she was practicing Scorpion pose on Twitter. When she got a few responses from her Twitter followers asking questions about it, she decided to make a video and posted it on YouTube to answer their questions. I'm not saying this is typical, but if you take the time to grow your Twitter following with people who love yoga (and love sharing yoga), you will get some feedback and answers to your yoga questions. 

2. Blog Teasers. It is nearly impossible for me to read all the quality blogs out there that I'd like to read. If you start by following websites and bloggers that you enjoy, you can get updates every time there's a new blog post. I follow so much interesting stuff, I tend to only read the blogs that hook me in 140 characters!

3. Get Recommendations. There are a few Twitterers who I trust so much, that when they suggest I read an article or check out a video I do it--right away! I know they've only pointed me to interesting, informational articles before so why would this time be any different? It invaluable, and it saves me a LOT of time wading through uninteresting things on the Internet.

4.  Get Reminders. I often log into my Twitter page for a break and see something like, "Take a yoga break!" "Remember, you are perfect just the way you are." or "Don't forget to breathe." I don't know about you, but I need all the reminders to relax and be mindful that I can get! My Twitter friends give me that.

5. Connect Locally and Globally. When I found out I was moving across the country, I posted it to Twitter. Within a few hours I had recommendations for yoga studios, places to live, and great restaurants from a yogi I had connected with who used to live in the city I planned to move to. Score! I've had this experience traveling, too. It's a great feeling to know that you have friends everywhere. I've meet Twitter connections in New York, Colorado, and South Carolina! Of course, you have to be careful meeting people from online in person (don't get out too much personal info, meet in a public place, all that stuff), but my experiences have been all positive so far!

How to Start? Follow your favorite websites, blogs, and yoga studios first! See who pops up in their feeds for more people to follow. Then, post interesting things that relate to the community you're trying to build (yoga, perhaps?). Respond to other Twitterers' tweets (just type @username before your response) and re-tweet the good stuff (like this: "RT @username" before their tweet).

Make sure you share the love on Fridays with the #FF hashtag (that stands for Follow Fridays) and it lets everyone know who's tweets you've been enjoying that week!

Twitter is all about sharing.. so try to give as much feedback as you can! As my mom would say: "You have to be a friend to make a friend!"

Oh, and don't forget to follow me! I'd love to connect with you!

Twitter code for Namanste: _/||\_