I often get asked how many days a week I practice ‘yoga’. I find this an odd question to respond to, and often my answer shocks most people, because a lot of the time my ‘practice’ isn’t solely mat based. Some weeks I practice physically 6 days, some 7, some 2 or 3. BUT Yoga is not just about the physical. It is not about how many chaturangas you can do, how long you can be upside down, how toned your biceps are, or how flexible your hips are. This is simply one limb of yoga, the asana side, you could skip this entirely and still be practicing ‘yoga’. The mental and spiritual benefits of ‘yoga’ is just something else, something that is hard to put in words. It is something much deeper that encompasses consciousness and connectedness on other levels – something only experienced by truly living your yoga, not just practicing poses. Living daily from a place of kindness, of compassion, of love and authenticity both on and off the mat is essential for you to truly practice ‘yoga’.
There never is an end to yoga, you NEVER master all poses, you are forever a student, on the mat and in life, and you always have something and someone to learn from. Whilst I could rant and ramble on for hours, if not decades about this, I’ve decided to share with you 21 of my favourite quotes I use throughout teaching to help you find some clarity, to ignite some lightbulb moments, and to simply make you feel good (and I encourage you next time you go to practice your physical ‘yoga’, simply sit down comfortably, close the eyes, focus on breath and breathing deeply, and let your mind and body do what it feels drawn towards).
Enjoy these beautiful quotes:
- “I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides.
I honor the place in you of love, of light, of truth, of peace.
I honor the place in you where if you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.
Namaste.” ~ Ram Dass.
- “The important thing is this: to be ready at any moment to sacrifice what you are for what you could become.” ~ Charles Dickens
- “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” ~ Viktor Frankl
- “If something burns your soul with purpose and desire, it’s your duty to be reduced to ashes by it. Any other form of existence will be yet another dull book in the library of life.” ~ Charles Bukowski
- “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ~ Viktor Frankl
- “Today I want to belong. I want to feel safe and at home. I want to be aware of what it is like simply to be, without defenses or desires. I will appreciate the flow of life for what it is-my own true self. I will notice those moments of intimacy with myself, when I feel that “I am” is enough to sustain me forever. I will lie on the grass at one with nature, expanding until my being fades into the infinite.” ~ Deepak Chopra
- “Enlightenment is not something that occurs in the future, after 50 years of sitting cross-legged and saying “OM.” It is right here, in this instant. The reason you’re not experiencing this state of total peace and timelessness is because it is being resisted. It is being resisted because you are trying to control the moment. If you let go of trying to control your experience of the moment, and if you constantly surrender it like a tone of music, then you live on the crest of this exact always-ness. Experience arises like a note of music. The minute you hear a note, it’s already passing away. The instant you’ve heard it, it’s already dissolving. So every single moment is dissolving as it arises. Let go of anticipating the next moment, trying to control it, trying to hang on to the moment that has just passed. Let go clinging to what has just occurred. Let go trying to control what you think is about to occur. Then you live in an infinite space of non-time and non-event. There is an infinite peace beyond description. And you are home.” ~ David R. Hawking (from Letting Go: The pathway of surrender)
- “Each of us is here to discover our true selves; that essentially we are spiritual beings who have taken manifestation in physical form; that we’re not human beings that have occasional spiritual experiences, that we’re spiritual beings that have occasional human experiences.” ~ Deepak Chopra
- “If you suffer it is because of you.
If you feel blissful it is because of you.
Nobody else is responsible – only you & you alone.
You are your heaven & your hell too.” ~ Osho
- “What If?” ~ Ganga White
“What if our religion was each other?
If our practice was our life?
If prayer was our words?
What if the Temple was the Earth?
If forests were our church?
If holy water—the rivers, lakes and oceans?
What if meditation was our relationships?
If the Teacher was life?
If wisdom was self-knowledge?
If love was the centre of our being?”
- “You accept things as they are, not as you wish they were in this moment. This is important to understand. You can wish for things in the future to be different, but in this moment you have to accept things as they are. When you feel frustrated or upset by a person or a situation, remember that you are not reacting to the person or the situation, but to your feelings about the person or the situation. These are your feelings, and your feelings are not someone else’s fault. When you recognize and understand this completely, you are ready to take responsibility for how you feel and to change it. And if you can accept things as they are, you are ready to take responsibility for your situation and for all the events you see as problems.” ~ Deepak Chopra, from the 7 spiritual laws of success
- “You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.” ~ Maya Angelou
- “It was when I stopped searching for home within others & lifted the foundation of home within myself I found there were no roots more intimate than those between a mind & body that have decided to be whole.” ~ Rupi Kaur
- ”I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings. My wisdom flows from the Highest Source. I salute that Source in you. Let us work together for unity and love.” ~ Gandhi
- “Have only love in your heart for others. The more you see the good in them, the more you will establish good in yourself.” ~ Yogananda
- “Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
- “Remember, we are all affecting the world every moment, whether we mean to or not. Our actions and states of mind matter, because we’re so deeply interconnected with one another. Working on our own consciousness is the most important thing that we are doing at any moment, and being love is the supreme creative act.” ~ Ram Dass
- “Make peace with silence, and remind yourself that it is in this space that you’ll come to remember your spirit. When you’re able to transcend an aversion to silence, you’ll also transcend many other miseries. And it is in this silence that the remembrance of God will be activated.” ~ Wayne W. Dyer
- Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu – Translates to: “May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.” ~ Lokah Mantra
- “People say “I want peace.” If you remove I (ego), and your want (desire), you are left with peace.” ~ Satya Sai Baba
And finishing up with one from me to you, something I use and reflect on daily in meditation, in class, or whenever it pops in to my head..
21. “There is nothing more beautiful than love, kindness, and compassion. So my wish for you is to choose love, kindness and compassion in every moment of every day. My wish is for you to be treated with love, kindness, and compassion. And my wish for you is to be and embody love, kindness and compassion.” ~ Cat Elliott
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Breathe you wonderful being. Breathe. With So Much Love and Light,