Recently I had the distinct pleasure of leading a two-hour yoga workshop on Embracing Your Inner Goddess. In the workshop the participants learned about the qualities goddesses possess, one of which is the importance of lifting up and supporting our fellow goddesses. This is a subject near and dear to my heart because all too often we forget the importance of bringing to light the great work women are doing in our communities and offering our support. Each time I give this workshop it reminds me of how lucky I have been to have strong, smart, women lift me up as I’ve gone through my life, and I thought now would be a good time to give them a shout out and share the love right back. So, in no order of importance, I’d like to introduce you to a few of the goddesses who have touched my life:
Angela Farmer – An early yoga pioneer, today in her 70s she is still teaching yoga. She is one of the many role models I admire. I recently got the opportunity to practice with her and loved how generous she was with her students. When I got a chance to speak with Angela after a class, she offered up great advice to me. Angela encouraged me to find my yoga – to not be so concerned with what the different styles of yoga are, and what I think I should be teaching, but rather focus on finding what yoga is for me individually. Now I ask, “Where do I want to open up more? Where do I want to close?” instead of always focusing on whether my arms are straight in a pose. Find Your Yoga – great advice that I’ll be diving into deeper as I evolve as a yoga teacher.
Carol Peter – Carol was the first person to hire me for an advertising job in Ohio. She had faith in me, helped me learn and grow without micromanaging me, and gave me a great deal of responsibility, which was integral in building my confidence and marketing acumen. She became an invaluable mentor to me and one that I still call upon for guidance today. If you live in Northern Ohio and have a dog who needs training, give Carol a call, as she is now living her passion of working with canines through her business Cold Nose Companions.
Racheal Ennis and Cherie Greenwald – These two women are yoginis and entrepreneurs. Cherie is the owner and yogini behind the patented non-slip NamaSTAY Yoga Towel, and Racheal is the owner and developer of VerniceVita Yoga mats made with memory foam. If you are not familiar with these products, do yourself a favor and check them out as they have both completely transformed my yoga practice. I have much gratitude for Racheal and Cherie for believing in me to help build their brands. When women help each other, they help themselves!
Gwen Surratt – I had the pleasure of taking one of Gwen’s yoga classes on a recent road trip that landed me at the Yoga Factory in Westerville, Ohio. I loved Gwen’s gentle teaching style, her mellow all-instrumental playlist, and her signature “Namaste Y’all” closing at the end of class. I was even more inspired by Gwen when she told me she has been teaching yoga for over 30 years!
You can pick up one of these awesome Namaste Y’all t-shirts for $20 by contacting Gwen at gwendawn @gmail.com.
Amy Hendricks – Both a student and a friend, Amy has lifted me up and supported me as a teacher many times. More than showing up for classes with a smile, she was the first one to sign up for my first yoga retreat, and she’s been integral in helping me find locations to teach at in the winter months when it’s just too chilly on the beach. I can’t tell you how lifted up I feel when I look out and see her sharing her smile.
Caroline Gronowski – Caroline, the owner of Yoga Bliss Akron, also had faith in me when I was first beginning to teach yoga and brought me in as an instructor at her beautiful studio. Through the organization Off the Mat and Into the World, Caroline is an inspiration for me in the volunteer work she had done to raise funds and serve those in need in Haiti and India.
I am going to get myself in trouble with this post because there are a hundred more women I could and should list here (sorry, Mom), but I hope you all are picking up what I’m throwing down. We all have the potential to lift up and support the women in our lives. It can be as small of a gesture as a smile or hug, or simply being kinder in how we speak of each other, to as big of an offering as a job or mentorship to help another woman learn and grow.
A goddess recognizes and honors other goddesses. She lends her support to the work of other goddesses. She does not feel competitive or threatened by other goddesses and understands that what is good for one is good for all, that when one shines, the light benefits all.
Try on some goddess power today!
Got a goddess in your life you would like to give a shout out to? Please leave a comment below and share what makes her so special!