|Bronze plaque by Alexander Sambugnac. Havana|
This bronze plaque adorns a tomb in Havana's famous Colón Cemetery. It is not exactly the 'correct' pose, but this beautiful woman has become my yoga Goddess. I love the visible strength in her core (determination, willpower, strength, courage), and the way she is opening her heart to life and love (vulnerability and courage). I crave her serenity even as she is striking her asana. She has an air of accepting the moment just as it is.
I, meanwhile, may wish I were Goddess but am entirely human, and this week my challenge is to cut myself some slack. I am learning to use yoga postures to explore my boundaries, physically but more crucially, emotionally. Physically, can I find a little extra strength, but also be gentle with myself and not push too hard at the edges? Emotionally, I am asking myself why I still head butt my boundaries? Why do I feel I should be strong at every moment? The idea makes me laugh at myself, yet, as my Mum's health declines further after years of Alzheimer's, I still think I should be able to take every new sadness in my stride without stumbling.
Yoga is showing me that there is a Goddess in all of us, but it doesn't mean that we are perfect. I know I am not alone in beating myself up because I do not achieve the goals I set for myself and because I can't make everything right for my Mum. That's why I'm sharing my vulnerability today, opening my heart.
Cutting myself some slack turns out not to be lazy, weak or uncaring but compassionate. And if I can't show compassion to myself, who else can I show it to?
Namasté ~ The Goddess* in me salutes the Goddess in you
*Usually translated as 'Spirit' but I'm allowing myself a little creative imperfection today. x
All photos © Andrew Holman.