Dating a Yoga Goddess.

Via Alex Smith
on Aug 4, 2010
get elephant's newsletter

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. LOL–“Yoga for Cosmo Girls.” This could be the sub-title.

  2. Namaste says:

    This reminds me. Does anyone know the word for the female equivalent of 'douchebag' (preferably Sanskrit)

  3. Yogini5 says:


  4. Duncan Smoak says:

    I wish more people would write sites like this that are actually interesting to read. With all the garbage floating around on the web, it is a great change of pace to read a site like yours instead.

  5. jat says:

    I dislike this article and don't think it should represent Elephant. Can you please once and for all take it down?

  6. miami says:

    If you disagree with it or don't like it, maybe its because you haven't yet experienced it?

  7. […] I rushed to create a title for this piece, I typed “Onlie dating.” I believe in serendipity. I believe in signs, so that stopped me in my tracks. On-lie dating. […]

  8. […] in Sanskrit means “goddess” or “female power,” and the “Akhilanda” means essentially “never not broken.” In […]

  9. RebeccaKetchum says:

    Carol Horton wrote a great article that speaks to this. Like Carol, I do NOT think that EVERYONE’s “true self” is sexier, thinner, or sweeter, as, for the most part, the yoga marketers are trying to convince us.

    Here's a link to it on my blog:

  10. Sara Young says:

    I'm a woman, I do yoga, I will never understand this post. It is more mystifying than what "a yoga goddess" is supposed to be….

  11. devacat says:

    This pure narcissism from a yogini? I'm 58, a teacher, and I mourn for us all if this is what we've come to.

  12. yan says:

    you saw thru my soul

  13. Yogini5 says:

    I'm with you – similar in age – this Yoga Goddess concept is just the spiritual cousin to the Cougar concept …
    If a woman around my age has money to burn, they could try to not look their age … they could try to starve themselves … they could buy in to the fantasy …
    Or they could actually get a full LIFE … which doesn't actually have to include a man or significant other …

  14. Peter says:

    So what you are saying is that you are complicated, this doesn't make you different from any woman ANYWHERE. What does eastern philosphy have to say about egomaniacs? For the record, I found your article to be the most annoying thing I have stumbled accross in a long time. That being said I do think you have a talent for writing and should continue to do so.

  15. RyanDavisAtGB says:

    The author is so far up her own ass she can't smell the shit she's shovelling.

  16. […] in Sanskrit means “goddess” or “female power,” and the “Akhilanda” means essentially “never not broken.” In […]

  17. That is very attention-grabbing, You are an excessively professional blogger. I have joined your feed and look forward to in search of extra of your great post. Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks

  18. ara.t.howard says:

    i suppose yoga is full of ego too.

    what better reason not to say 'fuck it' and just take a walk in the woods.


  19. KarmaDevi says:

    Then head to Arizona dearest! Cactus a-plenty there! 🙂

  20. elephantjournal says:

    Travis E. Duke I could digg it…

    Robin Klasson and some Yoga Goddesses prefer other Yoga Goddesses

    Erin Jamieson Blech. Yoga Goddess is a sweating, belching, farting, self-involved human. We all are. Step off the pedestal & represent yourself as a normal person, not a stereotype.

    Margaret Pitkin this article is so inane it hurts

    Rita Pitkin certainly there is no "one size fits all" in the Yoga world any more than this is outside of it…condom company, what????

  21. angie says:

    wow wow, such fun ideas in this post, thanks! I could relate to some of these things, most definitely 🙂

  22. Vision_Quest2 says:

    You have to times that by 3 for New York City, home of Dharma Mittra …
    Look at me and super spiritual merge here, big time …

    So glad I have mostly a home practice and that there are a few off-the-radar venues still …

  23. marc seltzer says:

    words have so many meanings — goddess means greatness or means superiority, depending on how its spoken and how its heard.

  24. Elizabeth says:

    As a yogini, I am mystified by this entire post.

  25. Vaso says:

    What is this article about anyway? And who is Yoga? What company is she/he working for?? 🙂

  26. Yoga God says:

    sounds like an excuse for some women to be smug, pretentious and self-centered. whatever… bitches in sheep's clothing. meh.

  27. Madhu says:

    Just one small point. It is not yoga but yog so you are no goddess when you dont even know how to say it correctly.

    YOG and not YOGA

    Someone has mutated this language to such an extent that even the experts in the original language have started using "MUTT" words for the language. Very sad.

  28. […] in Sanskrit means “goddess” or “female power,” and the “Akhilanda” means essentially “never not broken.” In […]

  29. […] I laughed out loud when I read Alex Smith’s funny (and, at certain points, dead-on) article, Dating a Yoga Goddess. Ah, yes, friend/mate/partner/family member beware: we yoga folk can be a bit […]

  30. I have to assume this was written to be tongue-in-cheek, otherwise I think I would throw up a little from all the self-indulgent & self-aggranding blahblahblah. It supports all the negative misperceptions of yoga and goes against everything I have come to understand yoga to be.

  31. Brian says:

    This is some of the most self indulgent bullshit I have ever read; however unfortunately for true practitioners of yoga I find this to be fairly accurate as far as the current culture which has popped up in my city. I bet this brat has a namaste sticker on her Range Rover.

  32. vmrweb says:

    A text-book worthy description of the inner world of people with strong narcissistic traits. Beautifully written.

  33. YogiAnon says:

    Agreed! Yoga godess? Really? *augh*

  34. kat says:

    agreed. labeling oneself a goddess? i mean come on. this article is so full of pretentiousness it would likely turn people off yoga. not to mention its hypocritical and attempts to throw all yoga teachers into the same box. not all females who do yoga feel this way or act this way…

  35. kat says:


  36. kat says:

    trust me. that's not it.

  37. Juan David Pedraza says:

    It only takes a few lines of this blog for the reader to muse that perhaps the author doesn't understand yoga, but when you get to: "7) A Yoga Goddess is still a material girl", and she asserts that "yoga goddesses" are still spellbound by jewels and fancy dinners, the jig is truly up.

  38. Renee says:

    Love it! thanks…nailed it!

  39. Katya Nova says:

    Alex, you are awesome. Love the article. I'm willing to bet you'd never owned a cactus. For the negative comments, inhale and lift your sternum, you Goddess You!

  40. notarecoveringyogi says:

    Lighten up people…

  41. james says:

    This article has a weird tone. I think "full of herself" might be the appropriate description.. which is sadly the opposite of what the yogi-eastern philosophy is supposed to be about.

  42. mara says:

    This cracked me up. But I must bring light to the heterocentric language employed. I am a woman (and yoga teacher) in a relationship with a transgendered person (female to male). I am very aware of how we are habituated to speak and think in "either/or" ways. I just wanted to raise awareness to this issue. Totally love this piece, though. Cracked my shit up ; )

  43. Rondon says:

    I think is more LA woman yoga ego and it should not be promoted. Most yoga teachers I know are a complete mess and are not what I would call relationship material. They appear more like needy new-agey women who are only ready to share a sexual space with you if they connect with you on their exact spiritual identity that they have created. Of course this identity has been created by being dumped by the husky masculine man or the rich daddy that chose to abuse them time and time again. I think this whole goddess thing should be trashed and a focus should be made more towards unity and being.

  44. goldie avenon says:

    this is the most ridiculous piece of trash i have ever read here. why bother calling yourself legit media if this is the kind of thing you are allowing to be written on your site. have a little more discretion and stop letting the modern bs yoga craziness get in the way of the real thing. peace.

  45. Trey says:

    I am in love with you Mara. I love how you do so many of these things mentioned above and you truly are and forever will be my Yoga Goddess.

  46. GeoffOfOz says:

    I wonder if there would be any praise if the gender in the article was changed to men… Dating a Yoga God. Me thinks not.

  47. Eugene Steele says:

    So I must pander to this “goddesses” unconscious fairy tale programming and “tear down” her walls?

    Noted. Please forgive me if I don’t find that even remotely appealing.

    Thanks for the thoughts on this particular human mask though.

  48. JoreJj Z. says:

    In total support of all yoga goddesses. I loved this article.