Yoga for Men; Translating the Goddess

I was taking a class at one of the studios I frequent.  As the class is moving through the flow, the voice of the instructor drifts into my consciousness.  She is going on about feminine power, releasing the female goddess inside and such.  I’m not really the inner goddess type.  But there was still a good message in what she was saying.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

What the message needed was translating.  Unleashing the inner goddess to sustain a posture means nothing to me.  Run it through the translator and I get dig deep and don’t move.  That means something to me.

I understand symbolic speech is great for bringing images to mind as a way of relaying information, messages or lessons without explicitly stating them.  The reason for this is that if I say something directly, what is communicated is limited by my vocabulary or the vocabulary we have in common.  If I use symbols instead, it opens a means to a deeper understanding.  However, both parties need to understand the references, or the whole scheme falls apart.

One easy example is “That piece of wood is as hard as a rock.”  Pretty much everyone gets that and it seems straightforward because everyone knows the reference.  But if I go a little out of the norm with “Stand as a dragon upon the mountain,” it becomes less clear.

Image courtesy of Page by Susan Silver.

Image courtesy of Page by Susan Silver.

The key to understanding these symbolic statements is to understand the reference.  Some will be easy, some a little on the fringe but understandable, and some are just so frou-frou that I just stare blankly and hope I get the meaning later.

Here is a list of things heard at yoga studios and how I think they translate to guy speak.  As you read through, if you have other translation ideas, or better, if you have other phrases in need of translation, please let me know.

  1. Release the inner goddess to sustain your posture – as stated above, dig deep and hang in there.
  2. Shine your light – Be all you can be.
  3. Take a moment to embrace your pricelessness – Congratulate yourself, job well done.
  4. Experience the delightful beings around you – Look around, be friendly, you might make a new friend.
  5. Live in your own authentic experience – Don’t do something just because the person next you is doing it.
  6. Transformational joy and delight – Honestly, I haven’t got a clue, so suggestions welcome…..
  7. Surrender to the universe – Leave your stress at the door and go with the flow.
  8. Gratitude for sharing your practice with me – Thanks for coming in today.
  9. Blessed inner light – You seem like a decent person, welcome.
  10. Namaste – Thanks, sometimes good bye (sometimes something a little less pleasant?)
  11. Om – Universal sound and typically the first chant new students hear.  Not scary and no one cares if you are tone deaf (at least they haven’t objected to me, and I *am* tone deaf).
  12. Honor the shining light within you – Good job, be happy.
  13. You are the love of your life (contributed by my wife) – Stop waiting for someone else to make you happy.
  14. Doing anything from a pure and loving heart – Do your best, don’t hurt yourself and don’t worry what the bendy person next to you is doing.
  15. Embrace your magnificence – Let your freak flag fly.

When I first started yoga I was frustrated and sometimes irritated by the flowery speech.  Over time I have come to understand the benefits it brings.  Being able to share an idea in a fashion that leaves room for interpretation engages the listeners and allows them the space to fit it into themselves instead of forcing them into the idea.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Over time the symbolic speech has become easier to understand as I have gotten more familiar with the references.  I invite and welcome additions to this list.


2 thoughts on “Yoga for Men; Translating the Goddess

  1. Pingback: 10 Reasons Yoga is Good for Men | Project Mayhem Bodies

  2. Pingback: 10 Reasons Yoga is Good for Men | Men Do Yoga Too

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