Fitness & The Divine Feminine

In Italy, where I just spent 10 days, Mother Mary, the Catholic symbol of the divine feminine, is everywhere. She’s the subject of paintings, depicted in statues, and etched on walls. Her image is printed on scarves, tees and tote bags. Every single church I walked by had the image of Mother Mary near its entry. I loved being “bombarded” by Her on the street, at restaurants and cafes, in gardens and inside homes. Clearly, there’s a reverence for the divine feminine in Italy. On the last day of my trip, I bought a tiny statue of Mother Mary from a street vendor near the Vatican (that’s Her in the above photo), and I’m not gonna lie, I’ve become slightly obsessed! She represents something that is severely lacking in my culture, something I crave more of, and something I aspire to bring back. 

To me, the divine feminine is not about religion or gender. It is ultimately about energy, yin energy to be more specific. Yin is not revered in the mainstream United States culture, and it’s not revered in the mainstream fitness world either.

Fitness follows culture, not the other way around, and our culture in America is very yang – it worships the masculine, which is force, action, effort, and doing. The feminine (a.k.a., the allowing, the ease, the softening) tends to be offered up as an option. Just look at a typical bootcamp class – 55 minutes of box jumping, sprint drills and pec presses, etc, then tacked on the end is maybe 5minutes of informal stretching, which, if you’ve noticed, half the class leaves before it’s complete! The Yin is an afterthought, a side dish, an elective. It’s glaringly imbalanced, it’s unhealthy and it’s unsustainable. 

To explain the concept of masculine/feminine or yang/yin balance, I go to the breath. Can you inhale without and an exhale? Can you exhale without an inhale? The answer is a resounding no – they are both of equal importance and value, and the need each other in order to exist. 

So beware the “too-much-yang mainstream fitness model” (seriously, there is no longevity to be had in it). Instead, infuse some Mother Mary energy into your wellness routine. I truly believe it’s the balanced blend of effort and ease, hard work and relaxation, and contraction and expansion that leads us to fitness salvation…and to shining brightly. 🤗