I always have the same thought when I’m working out.
“Do. I. Really. Look. Like. That?”
I know mirrors are there to help people check their form — and take awesome gym selfies — but sometimes I look up after a hard set and see my face, matted with sweat and hair all askew and wonder why I don’t look like those girls on Instagram.
Then I remember that no one — not even those girls on Instagram — really look like that after a workout.
That’s why a new coffee table book currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter has really resonated with me. Minneapolis-based photographer Jonah Sargent went to yoga classes in his home state and in Germany to capture the awkward, hard-working faces of people practicing hot yoga.
The result is Faces of Yoga, a book that shows the variety of looks people make when they work out. The idea is not to ridicule people, but to empower and show that everyone has their “workout” face. Though it may not look like those airbrushed shots, each face is perfect all the same.
“When I first started yoga I was constantly distracted by how I looked and felt during class and I think that’s why a lot of people don’t try it — people are worried they’ll look or feel stupid,” Sargent wrote on his Kickstarter page. “In the era of Instagram profiles devoted to sexy yoga poses on beaches, it’s important to remember that we all look bad when we do yoga, so we should immerse ourselves in it and forget the rest.”
Sargent is hoping to raise $2,500 in order to ship the books in time for the holidays, and he’s well on his way.