As a self-confessed quote-aholic I am continuously inspired by quotes by great leaders, thinkers, and spiritual teachers. I have chosen a few favorites that have been deeply healing and influential for me throughout the years. All of which can be related to the practice of yoga and the immense lessons and truths we ultimately discover as yogis.
1. "And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?" - Rumi
This quote by Rumi is essentially the question many of us ask at some point in our practice of yoga. For some, the whole point of the practice is to uncover the true self within. In my experience the ten years I have had on my mat have been the most healing, and revealing of my true spirit. I have discovered more about myself in the practice of yoga than in any other way. Many of us have found that this path to the heart can be a long and winding journey. What Rumi asks so simply and beautifully here is such an fundamental question as we grow as yogis. To look within is one of the highest lessons we can derive from the sacred practice of yoga. To know the self is truly the ultimate liberation.
2. “All the powers in the universe are already ours. It is we who have put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark.” - Swami Vivekananda
This is one of my favorite yogic quotes of all time. Vivekananda expresses how we can be our own worst enemy, when all we have to do is simply wake up to our divinity and inherent strength. The first two lines of one my favorite mantras is Asato Maa Sad-Gamaya, Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya, which translates to lead me from the unreal to the real, lead me from darkness to light. This quote is such a beautiful reminder to step out of the lower self or Asmita (ego) and fully embrace our strength, power and natural joy
3. “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”- Rabindranath Tagore
This reminder of the importance of Seva (selfless service) comes across beautifully in this quote by Tagore. For me, guiding and teaching people through the practice of yoga is one of the most joyful experiences of my life. Reaching out to a person in need is an expansive way to open your heart. It is the offering of your love and help that has the power to pull you back into joy.
4. “If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.” - Erica Jong
This quote has been a favorite of mine for years. I have lived by this quote.In yoga we learn to replace doubt with knowing and to replace fear with love. It is difficult to move outside of our comfort zones at times but that is often where the greatest rewards lie. Nothing is lost, nothing is wasted. Everyone and everything is a teacher of yoga.
5. “Bliss is a thing which is always there and is not something which comes and goes. That which comes and goes is a creation of the mind.”- Ramana Maharshi
Bliss or Ananda as its known in yoga is inherent in all of us. It is our own minds that take us out of a state of bliss and into a state of worry, anxiety or fear. The ego can deceive us into thinking we are not enough or don’t possess enough. This is known as a state of Maya or illusion. The renowned Maharshi unveils to us in this quote that the mind can create our suffering or our happiness.
6. “Be grateful for whoever comes,because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.” - Rumi
This quote by Rumi is such a beautiful reminder that everything in our lives, and everyone we come into contact with, can be an experience of yoga.Finding gratitude for all things, even the challenging times, are opportunities in disguise. We will grow and evolve through the most difficult situations. To shift into a state of gratitude is such a powerful practice...
7. “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” - Albert Einstein
Santosha or contentment is one of the Niyamas on the eight limbed path of yoga. To not constantly be seeking more and to sit in the peace of what already is, is one way we can free ourselves from the pull of the ego. Everything is a matter of perception, the choice is ours.
8. “Nonviolence is not a garment to put on and off at will. Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our very being.” - Mahatma Gandhi
Non-violence or Ahimsa is considered to be a crucial part of the practice of yoga. The thread of compassion can be woven throughout the life of the yogi. The way we treat others is a mirrored reflection of how we treat ourselves. Compassion for the self is important for us as a reminder that we are unique and perfected as we are.
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