Instagram users with substantial followings often use color, vividness and flair displayed through exotic destinations and lifestyle choices to present their lives to their followers. Instagram influencers, as they are called, strive to inspire and shape the creative minds that see their lives through the screen, often through new and atypical pursuits.
Jordyn Irelan –– yoga practitioner, world traveler and Ohio University student –– is one such aspiring Instagram influencer, who displays her life to a following of nearly 2,000 on her vibrant and tranquil social media feed. The Post chatted with Irelan about her travels, yoga practice and goals for the future.
The Post: How did you become involved with yoga?
Irelan: Well, my major is exercise physiology, and in the past, I have had a lot of broken bones and injuries from volleyball and rowing, so I was very interested in yoga as a way to heal myself. It was later when I realized that yoga could also become a way to show other how to heal like I did. Another reason was Sjana Earp, an Australian yoga instructor I found on Instagram. I saw her doing all these crazy cool poses, and I was like, “That is my goal!” So I started doing it, and I really loved how it affected my mind and body. I actually met her in Australia while I was studying abroad, and I started crying because she is easily my biggest inspiration.
P: When did you first realize your passion for travel?
Irelan: I first realized how much I loved to travel when I went to El Salvador for a mission trip about four years ago. I came back, and I was like, “Mom, Dad, I really just want to go everywhere!” And it became a goal after I studied abroad in Australia, which was last semester. So while I was there, I told myself that I gotta make this opportunity worth it, so I’ve tried to save up my money and use it to travel as much as I can.
P: Which is your favorite country that you’ve visited?
Irelan: Thailand because I was there with my friends, and New Zealand because the scenery was absolutely beautiful.
P: What do you want to do next?
Irelan: I really want to go WWOOFing –– that’s when you live on someone's farm, and you farm for them –– in Ireland. I also want to go back to El Salvador and work as an assistant tour guide this summer, if I can save up enough money to go. I also am working on creating a yoga/surf retreat for Bobcats to come back with me to El Salvador.
P: What made you choose OU?
Irelan: Honestly, I didn’t want to come here originally. I was supposed to row for Stetson University, but I decided not to last minute and OU was the only other college I applied for. It has worked out pretty well though. I love it here, and I can’t picture myself anywhere else now.
P: Where do you see yourself after graduation?
Irelan: It is starting to change, because a year ago I saw myself going to chiropractor or (physical therapy) school. I know that there is something for me eventually, but I don’t know what it is right now. I’d love to be able to do something that allows me to keep traveling and practicing yoga, so my ultimate goal would be to live somewhere in Central America and own my own yoga studio.
P: What is your favorite thing about being a traveler? As a yogini?
Irelan: With traveling, I love meeting new people and making new friends. I now have friends all over the globe. I also found myself while I was traveling and learned to appreciate the time I spent with myself, as well as others. With yoga, I’m not fully into the mental aspect if it, but the physical aspect of it absolutely amazes me. It is incredible what our bodies can do, and I’m very thankful for being more fit, confident and understanding of myself.”
The Post: What are some words of advice for world travelers, yoginis and Bobcats?
Irelan: For travelers, I’d say if you really want to make it happen, then save up your money and just go for it. I didn’t think i’d be able to do any of the things I've done but I’ve made it work and it was so worth it. For yoga kids, you don’t have to be flexible to start yoga, it is more about yourself and how you progress, so if you want to start, just start. And for Bobcats, try to study abroad if you can. It is totally worth it.