Dating a Yoga Goddess.

Via Alex Smith
on Aug 4, 2010
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Via the lovely, feisty Holly Westergren and our friends over at Sir Richard’s:

Okay boys, gentlemen, not-so-gentle men, knights in shining armor, pimps and playas…

You’ve see us in the gym, in yoga studios, in magazines or on TV. Maybe you’ve even taken our classes—we yoginis, the flexible dare-devils on a spiritual mission who seem to float around the world so freely. We’re a different breed. Most of us are born travelers, nomads even. Most of us don’t like societal rules and conventions. And most of us don’t adhere to them and have dedicated our lives to living outside boxes in some way or another.

This is a beautiful thing that many men find intoxicating and exhilarating— until they realize that it also scares the shit out of them. This is true especially for the kind who look good in ties.

For the multi-talented beautiful Yoga Goddess, finding a life partner who is traveling down the same road or wants to walk hand-in-hand with a Yoga Goddess on her journey is much more difficult for her than any forearm balance. Yoga Goddess, more specifically, a woman from a Western civilization who teaches yoga for a living, especially in a metropolis of some kind, is a complicated creature who has elected to remove her Western goggles and instead apply and be guided by Eastern philosophies and practices of self-actualization.

This makes her an intriguing and complicated creature to most men, but I assure you, she is not entirely inscrutable. You have only to understand that underneath her yogi persona, your Yoga Goddess was probably fed fairy tales for most of her life, where damsels in distress waited to be rescued by the Prince. Now she is grown up and she is a Yoga Goddess, a yogi who has discovered her dharma ( this is the Sanskrit word for one’s “virtuous path”) and a devotion to God which has eased her existential distress but probably not completely relieved her of the distress of the romantic variety.

A Yoga Goddess can appear to many like an untouchable, statuesque, ephemeral, mystical, zany, Aphrodite-esque theatrical mess on wheels. To many men, she is bewitching and beguiling, she can unsettle you with her eyes and bring you to tears when you least expect it. A Yoga Goddess can see souls. She knows how to make you feel things you may not want to feel, which leaves many men feeling too vulnerable in her presence to ever feel good enough. Know that the Yoga Goddess of your dreams is not out to emasculate you but that it is her wish and it is within her power simply to help you open your heart. Sometimes, a Yoga Goddess forgets her own power and forgets too that a man might not want the woman he is pursing to have that effect on him. Know that she knows this but can’t always help it. Her soul work goes deep. The tricky part is, as a highly sensitive healer and woman with deep compassion for human suffering, she no doubt has walls of her own that you will have to be willing to tear down for her to feel safe enough to let you in. Therein lies her beautiful complexity.

So, here are some essential things you should know before you set out to win the heart of a Yoga Goddess of your dreams:

1) Get over the fact that a Yoga Goddess is probably someone who is a little bit dangerous to take home to meet your mother.

It occurred to me recently that this picture alone might actually have been why my last relationship didn’t work. If you want your Yoga Goddess for your very own, you must grow up and get over needing your mother’s approval. Yoginis are sparkling, creative, charming, intelligent, beautiful, sexy, highly intuitive and charismatic women who your mother might not love at first and will come to love eventually. But we’re also wild and free-spirited, with a lotta bit of hippie hell-raiser on the inside, which has the potential to feel threatening to many mothers who just want their son to settle down with a nice girl who won’t make too many waves. The good thing is that these qualities are usually countered with equal parts compassion, faith, and altruism. Yoginis also have chameleon qualities, so it is possible that your Yoga Goddess might be willing to dim her light for a meeting with the parents, but do not be surprised if your beloved Mumsy gives her the snake eye for reasons you cannot and will not ever understand. It’s a witchy woman thing.

2) Yoga Goddesses don’t do small talk.

Yoga goddesses usually cut the shit and get to the stuff that matters. Questions like, “What do you feel? Where do you feel it? What do you believe? Have you surrendered?” are a Yogi Goddess’s version of small talk. A woman who has chosen a spiritual path and dedicates her life’s work to helping people unify their mind, body, and spirit in profound and transformative ways is just not very good at shooting the shit with strangers and will tend to fire away questions that get right to the heart of the matter. If you need her to tone down the yoga talk, simply brief her before dinner with your boss. You can take her to work functions and she will do just fine for a while, but you might hear her take very deep loud audible breaths throughout the course of the night to manage her sensitivity to the noise and heavy lifting of bullshitting. Keep in mind, in her line of work, she meets people for the first time on the floor in sweatpants, and spends her days reading about God and breathing. So, don’t be surprised if she might need to go and do a headstand in the corner after a few vodka tonics to handle the change of scenery and relax her face from all the fake smiling.

3) Yoga Goddesses consistently crave and create adventure for themselves and others.

Yogis by nature are adventurous so if you’re not willing to be adventurous, in all kinds of ways, if you need to play it safe because you’re afraid of what people will think, then the Yoga Goddess is not for you and she probably won’t date you anyway. For the Yoga Goddess, it is not enough to simply like the idea of adventure. She will test your strength, she will keep you on your toes, she will love it if you surprise her just as much as she surprises you. If you’re a stable, steady kind of man, she will love you for your groundedness but ask you to abandon it on occasion in the name of faith, courage, and wisdom. That’s just how it goes. One of the most romantic things you can do for a Yoga Goddess is to plan a trip for the two of you and surprise her with it. She is used to taking the lead with plans and orchestrating events. To be cared for in this way is a Yogi Goddesses’s dream. And yes, the adventure extends to the bedroom, naturally. Don’t be scared. Yoga Goddesses are very gifted and patient teachers and healers.

4) A Yoga Goddess will turn your world upside down.

If you fall for a Yoga Goddess, it is very likely that she will very gracefully turn your buttoned-up world upside down. Afterall, she has been called to teach people to see things from another perspective, to look at things differently, to encourage people to challenge their ideas about who they are and what their lives should look like. This is probably why many men will date Yoga Goddesses for a time but never marry them. The potential for change is too great for many men who are intrigued by the possibility of being with someone so free-spirited but who are ultimately uncomfortable with what life might look like with someone who is so comfortable with uncertainly, so in tune with and guided by spirit. Someone who possesses an ardent faith in things unseen can feel too intense for someone who is not prepared or interested in a spiritual journey. So, while your Yoga Goddess can be playful and fun-loving, she takes her life, her vocation and her spiritual path very seriously. A man who earns a Yoga Goddess’s love must respect and admire her work, understand its value to humanity.

5) Yoga Goddesses are mysterious.

Yoga Goddesses do not go out of their way to be mysterious, they just are, simply because they have surrendered to the mysteries of life, have given up searching for answers for why things are and very comfortable living the the gray areas of life. If you are a rigid thinker, the Yoga Goddess is not for you. She is a free-thinker, open-minded and open-hearted. She prizes authenticity over knowledge and accomplishment and leans into the mystery of life at every turn. In my experience, this terrifies and confuses many men. Yoga Goddesses are not good planners since they are usually out doing God’s work, will entertain detours if led by spirit to go left instead of right or to be late for an appointment because of a chance encounter with a mystical stranger who seems to have an important message for her. She will require your trust and patience and she will return the favor tenfold. If she keeps you waiting, chances are she will have a magical reason for it, a wonderful story that keeps your faith in things unseen alive. She’ll tell you about it while giving you some kind of exotic massage. She cannot be rushed. And she will not let anyone else set her pace for her.

6) A Yoga Goddess is the hostess with the mostest.

She will cook you things to balance your doshas and if you don’t know what those are, she will help you identify them. She will play amazing music from all over the world that will transport you into other galaxies. She will know what to do with your body in many situations as well as what kind of oils to rub on it and where to make you feel like the God you are. She will create a house of harmony, health, balance. She will want to care for your mind, body, and spirit. She can’t help it. It’s her job.

7) A Yoga Goddess is still a material girl.

A Yoga Goddess is not immune to desires of the flesh. Though she has probably made the decision, at certain points in her life to disengage from the material world as part of her spiritual training, she does still enjoy earthly comforts like jewels and fancy dinners and unexpected trips to exotic locales. And she is still a girl looking for a boy to love her, honor her, and ravish her.

8 ) A Yoga Goddess cherishes her freedom and yours.

The yogic path is often called the quest for the jivan mukti, or the soul’s liberation. A woman who is on a yogic path understands that souls want what souls want and that a relationship is meant to be a place where those desires can be expressed without shame or guilt. This can make her seem like she has the potential to be so free-spirited that she just wants to be free-wheelin’, free-loadin’ and free-lovin’ her way around the world. Not so. A yogic-minded woman simply understands for herself that we are all here to be each other’s teachers and students and that there is no better place for the expression of that dynamic than in a loving partnership.

Read on for 9 and 10 over at the Sir Richard’s Salon.


About Alex Smith

Alex Smith first learned asana from an 80-year-old man under a banyan tree in India and never looked back. She teaches a breath and alignment centric vinyasa flow and is grateful each and everyday for her practice. When off the mat, she can be found writing, daydreaming, drifting down the med school path, and busting out ujjayi breaths on her bike, buses and mountain tops.


240 Responses to “Dating a Yoga Goddess.”

  1. Sophie Poppele says:

    Correction in my comment: I don't know where the name "Holly" came from, I meant to say Alex.

  2. Lucinda says:

    This is meant to be ironic, right?! Anyway, hilarious. But doesn't really inspire me about yoga. Unless it's ironic. Then it's pretty brilliant.

  3. Tmy says:

    This is awesome! I came in a lil nervous, wondering how many cringes I’d have lol but instead I had many head-nods, mmhmms, giggles and aweeee thank you for saying that so clearly”‘s ! Wonderfully written. I relate so much xo

  4. yogalime says:

    I am actually pretty disgusted by this article in respect of it's title 'goddess' and the image used 'another slim white woman, sexualising yoga in hot pants and high heels published by another 'Health and Wellbeing' media journal' – which conflicts with the yama brahmacharya in respect of sexual moderation, also moderation in the body, mind and speech. I would not share it, as it promulgates the Western outward sexualisation and objectification of women practicing yoga, associated with the commercialism of yoga by the West – all that I aim to negate when sharing yoga in the West. Yoga is an inward journey that teaches humility and awareness in all aspects. Peace, Sky.

  5. Alexza says:

    I loved it and totally identified with it. I expereinced a lot of this growing up…way before I even practiced yoga. Getting caught up in the yerm "yoga goddess" and not hearing the love of one's self and committment to one's path that is contained within it is to miss the point. We must truly learn to love ourselves with the intensity that we try to give and get that from our lovers. If we did thatb there would be a whole lot fewer codependent romantic relationships, which are, incidentally, an idea that we have been sold in movies and on greeting cards. All love stems from the relationship we have with ourselves and ultimately "God" or the "Great All" or whatever you want to call this unifying force…or not call it, which in turn reaches out to everyone and everything that we come in contact with. What could be greater and more yogic and far reaching in its grasp than that? All love begins at home. At least, that's how I see it. Maybe I'm a self absorbed jerk too. It takes all kinds.

  6. Liz says:

    This article read like an 18-year-old's email that's letting her best friend in on all the "badass" shit she can do once she moves out of her parents' house. The tone is irresponsible and immature. I know several yoga teachers- even more practicers- and while they all emit an admirable security that comes from self-awareness and dedication to faith, they never bloviate. And they certainly never imply that the freedom they experience with their chosen path entitles them to do whatever they want at the expense of others. Using faith/spirituality/enlightenment to justify selfish behavior (being late, saying whatever you want, not even attempting to get along with someone like your boyfriend's mother because you're a free spirit and she needs to just deal, etc.) gives a bad name to those who genuinely embrace yoga teachings for the good of everybody.

  7. Kathleen McFeeters says:

    FfAbUlOuS article..I can soo relate and plan to frame your article!<3

  8. Megan says:

    I agree. I feel like this should be called " how to date an asana goddess".

  9. Michelle says:

    LOVED this article. It makes me sad that so many narrow minded yoga practitioners are so quick to jump on the hate wagon. Unclench your asses and stay with the practice. One day you’ll find a bit more flexibility not just in your body, but in your mind as well. Try to laugh a little. It’s good for the body, mind, and soul. Thank you for this light hearted and entertaining article. Keep publishing these great and diverse articles Elephant Journal!!!

  10. Swami X says:

    I would prefer to hug a cactus as well but this has to do with a cactus fetish I have.

  11. Mr.God says:

    When the goddess term first appeared a few years ago in my world, all my female yogi friends became one. I enjoyed the intent and understood the meaning at that time, as an empowered woman who was conscious and free. I loved it. I've been in relationship with a few 'goddesses' and enjoyed those moments very much. That said, I think it has now moved on to be far more than that. I have seen it move from a playful term to one that seems to foster a delusional sense of a super power by just appointing oneself a goddess. A dangerous label, as any label is when it defines you. Irony is, I can see the responses from goddesses, that If I don't agree with your perspective, then something must be "wrong" with me. How very yogic. Have fun with it… but don't believe the hype. Between the pay wall concept and this article, I go bye bye Elephant Journal – Mr.God, and yes you can drop the formal part and just call me God.

  12. Daniele says:

    Dating a Yoga Goddess since 3 years, agree 100%!

    Good to know I'm not the only one, should we start a "Yoga Goddess boyfriends club"?

  13. bindifry says:

    is the author 16 years old? this is a new low for EJ

  14. Glen says:

    I married my Yoga Goddess.

  15. Jen says:

    Wow. What an egotistical article. Way to stereotype yourself and set yourself apart with a craft that was meant to connect one with the divine, which is the underlying love in everything in the universe. You just mocked your own craft to no end. This article should be called yogi hubris. Perhaps the feeling of separateness you are expressing comes only from you. Patangili is screaming at you from the astral plane.

  16. Erica says:

    I love this, and everyone who is giving you crap about it is taking life way too seriously. From one Yoga goddess to another, blessings and light to you.

  17. steveOhum says:

    Wow, though this article is three years old, its point of view is fresh, alive and well in our culture, and is deeply disturbing. It reflects an attitude about women that is very much mainstream and sexist, even though it's under the guise of anti-establishment spirituality. Women are expected to be beautiful and unattainable, held up on a pedestal of their own and society's making, where they get to be both spiritual (read conventionally feminine nurturers, care-takers and home-makers – it's their job) and material (still drawn to jewels, fancy dinners, and exotic trips). It is the condition of being regarded as glamorous, where the one being viewed is both dependent on and dismissive of our jealous or lusty regard. Referring to them as a 'them,' other, as creatures is also troubling – what, do they not consider themselves as equals? And are not all the things they expect from their perfect mates not also expected of themselves? Why on earth would anyone want to date an entitled, narcissistic 'theatrical mess on wheels' who doesn't have the capacity to control herself in public without big heavy sighs? …other than maybe for the sex with a hot body in exchange for jewels and expensive surprise trips? And she's going to expect her man to tear down her walls to feel safe? That's a common dysfunction known as 'wanting other people to do your inner work for you'. Egadz, the layers of sickness and dysfunction here run deep, and they are pervasive in this our confused culture that is obsessed with having it all not knowing exactly how foolish and misguided that is. We want the 'spiritual' life, but only insofar as it serves an identity and a lifestyle that keeps us as superior, separate and comfortable. In short, as long as it's all about me, then I'm good. That's definitely not 'living outside the box.' No offense to the author, you write well, and I know you view such yoginis as empowered, as does our culture – I just wish to point out the often overlooked, disturbing subtext in the 'yoga Goddess' phenomenon. Peace.

  18. Mimi says:

    This article screams 'please worship/love me' (especially when the writer refers to herself as a goddess). There seems to be just one lens – the ego. I read the subtext: your ex mother-in-law envied you/was intimidated by you/in awe of you and this was the reason your previous relationship failed. Unfortunately, this view prevents growth. It's true, some women can be intimated/threatened by others, but I think it's dangerous to see this as the ONLY reason you weren't able to connect with your ex mother-in-law (or, alternatively, why a man with a narcissistic/competitive mother might by drawn to you), and subsequently, her son. How does one heal self-absorption? I think this is a hard one to heal, because the ego will do whatever it takes to prevent you from going deeper (the antithesis of your self perception). Maybe, it's reading some of this feedback and resisting the urge to armour yourself with thoughts that it's because you're too threatening (to men or women), using humour/superiority as a defence ("I thank you for your feedback and I hope you find happiness" – would be an example of a superior/armoured response). Can you do what is the scariest of all, look deeply into the mirror (via some of this feedback, not via self worship). Wholeheartedly connect with the shame in order to heal. I tend to only selectively confront self-absorption in real life, and only when I really love the person and value the relationship. Otherwise, I avoid this confrontation, by walking away or sometimes stroking the lions' mane to prevent the lion's attack (which could be vicious or subtly passive aggressive). The reason I'm doing it now is 1) I love what the Elephant Journal does 2) Despite the fact I felt your article lacked self insight, you are putting yourself out there and that is a brave act, so rather than quietly ponder, I'm sharing my thoughts 3) This is a relatively safe environment for me to explore confronting self absorption in a way I'd normally walk away from (to avoid attack).
    It has struck me how easily the self-absorbed absorb even false flattery (striking of the mane as self protection), yet how easily they can shake criticism/true insight. Maybe the rest of us can learn to do a bit of this sometimes. I guess, the aim for all of us, is to see the truth. This is the paradox of yoga – for some, it can become a sophisticated shield that forms the ultimate defence as the opponent/partner can never pin them down.

  19. Nancy Gunther says:

    How very Interesting – that this article and ALL the responses generated – serve to explore a wonderful spectrum from one end of the YOGA continuum to the other. To use the author’s phrase, ” thinking outside the box,” has delineated – TOTALLY tongue a ‘n cheek – an emerging subculture of woman, sociologically speaking , that has sprung out of the pure and beautiful PATH OF YOGA. The article only serves to highlight how Yoga has impacted mainstream America. Thank God for that !

    I can appreciate how the YOGA PURISTS might be offended here and there by some of the glaring red flags inherent in the,article, but your commentary was valuable , too. Can you appreciate that YOGA is increasingly impacting society in a very powerful way both spiritually and mentally and physically ? Think sociogically , here, Relax. RELAX!!

    The purists among us were true to the integrity of Yoga , which illumined us. That was good.

    As sociologists and historians would remind us – any given group will have its PURISTS. In time, offshoots appear as FRINGE-THINKERS , who are not appreciated by the purists, which, is the case here.

    I am so grateful that YOGA practice / studios are increasing across this country and it is gaining respect at all levels of society. Yoga is infiltrating the role of women and men in society , which is a valuable contribution, that will lead us to greater mindfulness and humility and self-responsibility. Think of the bigger picture here and relax and enjoy the humor!

  20. ejesh says:

    is there anything in this article that has something to do with Yoga….Yoga as aicient tradition for physical, mental and(AND) spiritual practice?

  21. doublezebra says:

    Who self-identifies as a "goddess"? What nonsense. The reason why I'll never date a yoga goddess everything to do with the fact that anyone who calls themselves as such would be way too self-absorbed to think of anyone other than herself in a relationship and none of the qualities listed in the article. Wow.

  22. AndyP says:

    Actually I think a lot of men are both attracted and intimidated by the sort of 'yoga goddess' being referred to here. Of course all women who practise or teach yoga do not qualify – they may not be physically attractive or they may be spiritually beyond all that – but there is certainly a cohort of supersexy yoginis which fit the above description. Fortunately (or not?) all those I have met were otherwise engaged. Doesn't mean I wouldn't though – maybe next time around…

  23. This is quite awesome. Some points are fairly true and expressed in a touch in cheek way which is so needed for those who Are on an intense spiritual awakening 🙂

    Thank you for writing this!


  24. Adria Rogue Yogini says:

    I appreciate your well thought out comment, and would like to respond with my feelings on “Yoga Purists.” Anyone that does yoga, physical or spiritual, and thinks they know the best path or the purist and truest form has the farthest to go on their journey. Those that feel they have read the sutras, learned all they can about meditation, and can’t see that it is their own ego making them think their personal version of yoga is better than their neighbor. Those that fancy themselves modern gurus have much to learn. I recently took a class along side my students, and one of my regulars spoke up about how intimidated he felt that there were multiple teachers and yoginis that were more advanced in the physical practice. He said, “I feel intimidated by you all having such perfect practices. I quickly spoke up and reminded him that any Yogi or Yogini that thinks they have a perfect anything has completely missed the point and has a lot to learn…

    Again, I appreciate your polite and well thought out comment.

  25. eric mathias says:

    i'm not sure how puffed-up, cornball, ego-centric pieces have anything to do with a city. there are wonderfully grounded, fully practicing teachers everywhere from each of the cities that you've listed who couldn't get past the first paragraph. yoga teachers who "know who they are" need to spend a little more time on the cushion.

  26. charlie says:


  27. Elizabeth says:

    I feel this in my bones and grateful I have a tribe. I celebrate this tribe and its brave author! Thank you for sharing this delightful article, it rang so true for me personally, as a lifelong seeker and lover of life, and many styles of yoga – physical, mental, spiritual, energetic, spacial, emotional…the humor and authenticity of this writing is refreshing, such a shame so many expressed distaste, probably primarily for fear of the term goddess, but this does not dilute that truly magical and ever human blood that runs in our veins even prior to discovering the yogic art – it simply brings us all to union, with yoga and each other. Namaste’

  28. katrina says:

    tehehehee this article is sad but hilarious comments

  29. Megan says:

    I thought this article was hysterical. And adorable. But most importantly, not serious enough to get my panties in a wad over. Commenters: Lighten up. You’re making us look pretentious, uptight and generally irritating to be around. 🙂

  30. I AM THAT I AM says:

    Pretty cool article. Seems to all make sense. But lets not get carried and assume all yogini women are happy, healthy, grounded individuals! We all know yoginis that could benefit from some serious psychotherapy when the Gods aren't available! haha. You all know it too. People be cray cray.

  31. Sara Marie says:

    I have never read something that describes me, my heart, and my life so completely! Thank you…

  32. Meredith says:

    very well said! I agree with a lot of what you're saying, and would like to add: what if I'm a yoga goddess but don't teach yoga? I think it's any practitioner, really.

  33. sarahtrudeau says:

    Nailed it 🙂

  34. karen2202 says:

    Check out my response to this article here:

  35. Yamile says:

    since when do 'Yoga Goddesses' have to be from a western civilization? You do realize there are yoginis form South America, from Africa and let's not forget Asia (where it all started!) right ?

  36. Terry Tomsha says:

    I'm in!! Squared!

  37. drdavid911 says:

    Since Alex wrote this, why are you telling us you love Holly?????

    Next, many people here are distorting the hell out of it. First of all she is talking about Yoga Goddesses, and her description includes international travel and earning a living teaching yoga. VERY FEW "normal" yoginis do either of those things. She also mentioned beautiful or something to that effect. So, those weighing in on pretentious or saying a lot of yoga teachers aren't this are misreading the article ! ! She's (I think) talking about the TOP 1% of all yoga female instructors, the gorgeous ones with perfect figures that every man would like to make love to but as she points out, may be too 'square' for them. I thought it was a good article with a little tongue in cheek, but a lot of reasonable advice warning away the jackasses that just want to screw but not grow and learn.

    I could date a yoga goddess, only I'm already married to a woman who was one, but is now more of a Gardening Freak and a Zumba Fanatic, but she's the best cook on Earth has maintained her great figure by eating an excellent diet (as prescribed by Dr. Joel Fuhrman in his books Eat To Live and The End of Dieting), and remains constantly interesting.

  38. argon says:

    …because we all know that yoga was developed by a white, upper-class American woman on vacation in India. And aren't we all lucky that we get to benefit from her enlightenment?

  39. NAT says:

    Ahhhahh.. Cactus somtin'

  40. Nothing108 says:

    sorry ladies "self proclaimed goddesses" no man wants to date an ego that big. good Men want to date a humble woman whos yoga practice is not a walking advertisement. Yoga still meaning union of soul and universal consciousness transcends any idea of gender or body identification. an asana expert is hardly a yoga goddess, a yoga goddess is an awakened being simply donning the robes of a temporary female body. , i just cant stop myself from commenting on the inflated egoness of this article and the foolish culture around it. for the ladies who truly identify with this article, Yoga Goddess is a term that doesnt fit you, "McYoginis" is a more fitting description for asana experts that expect to find a man weak enough to submit to this kind of inflated ego…

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