|Demeter Mourning Persephone by|
Evelyn De Morgan
Around 10:30 in an otherwise awesome yoga video Katherine Budig encourages a yogini in Utkata Konasana to "Channel your inner goddess while you're there….And then again goddess pose. Goddesses don't get stressed out. They just look good all the time. Ok. So open it up. Smile. Find that space."
I’m all for grinning and finding space in my yoga practice, but the idea that goddesses don’t get stressed out is ridiculous. Not just ridiculous. Offensive. Katherine Budig is an awesome yoga teacher. I thank both her and Yoga Journal for offering free videos and podcasts. Free yoga rocks! Trivializing goddesses does not.
Millions of men and women across the planet worship and revere goddesses. From Quan Yin to the Virgin Mary, from Shakti to Persephone, goddesses continue to inspire and empower people in very real, meaningful ways. Even outside the realm of worship, storytellers, psychologists, artists, businesswomen, and parents “channel their inner goddess” to tap into the strength and creativity that goddesses embody. And while art traditionally portrays goddesses as “looking good,” these ancient archetypes aren’t meaningful because they’re beautiful or perfect. On the contrary, goddesses inspire because their stories teach us to rise above adversity, both in smiling serenity and teeth-gnashing fury.
|A statue of Sekhemet |
at the Brooklyn Museum
Without the space to stress and sweat, goddess become archaic fashion models. They look pretty and keep their cool, but fail to inspire. They exchange their stories for lipstick smiles. Fuck that.
So next time you’re dropping beads of sweat onto the mat or sobbing in savasana, embrace your inner goddess in all her furious, luminous, tragically transcendental, bi-polar glory….and keep breathing.