50 Amazing Yoga Quotes and a Winner of the Manduka eKO Lite Yoga Mat Giveaway

Congratulations to Dani, winner of Daily Cup of Yoga’s Manduka eKO Lite yoga mat giveaway!! Thanks to all for participating, following, and sharing. The yoga quotes totally rock!! Now that I’ve read through all of them a few times it makes me want to go unroll my yoga mat right now.  I think you’ll enjoy reading and pondering these quotes as much as I have.
  1. “Inhale, and God approaches you. Hold the inhalation, and God remains with you. Exhale, and you approach God. Hold the exhalation, and surrender to God.” ~ Krishnamacharya
  2. ‎”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
  3. “One becomes firmly established in practice only after attending to it for a long time, without interruption and with an attitude of devotion.” ~ Yoga Sutra I.14
  4. Samskara saksat karanat purvajati jnanam. Through sustained focus and meditation on our patterns, habits, and conditioning, we gain knowledge and understanding of our past and how we can change the patterns that aren’t serving us to live more freely and fully.” ~ Yoga Sutra III.18
  5. “The attitude of gratitude is the highest yoga.” ~ Yogi Bhajan
  6. “For me, yoga is not just a workout – it’s about working on yourself.” ~ Mary Glover
  7. “Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” ~ B.K.S. Iyengar
  8. “Have only love in your heart for others. The more you see the good in them, the more you will establish good in yourself…” ~ Paramahansa Yogananda
  9. ‎”Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are.”  ~ Jason Crandell
  10. “ Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built.” ~ Rumi
  11. “You cannot do yoga. Yoga is your natural state. What you can do are yoga exercises, which may reveal to you where you are resisting your natural state.” ~ Sharon Gannon
  12. ‎”In the darkness, I am light.”
  13. “Everyone can do Ashtanga. Except lazy people.” Sharath Jois
  14. “Just breathe.”
  15. “Yoga takes you into the present moment, the only place where life exists.”
  16. “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 E. Frankl
  17. ‎”The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind & the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life.” ~ B.K.S. Iyengar
  18. “Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked.” ~ Yoga Sutras
  19. “In stillness all conflict must end.” ~ Phillip Urso
  20. ‎”To perform every action artfully is yoga.” ~ Swami Kripalu
  21. “Breathe…”
  22. ‎”Be at least as interested in what goes on inside you as what happens outside. If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
  23. “Don’t forget to breathe!”
  24. ‎”The more we sweat in peace the less we bleed in war.” ~ Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit
  25. “A photographer gets people to pose for him. A yoga instructor gets people to pose for themselves.” ~ Jay Fields
  26. Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu. 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.”
  27. “The most important pieces of equipment you need for doing yoga are your body and your mind.” ~ Rodney Yee
  28. “Stirum sukham asanam. Seated posture should be steady and comfortable.” ~ Yoga Sutra
  29. “When you inhale, you are taking the strength from God. When you exhale, it represents the service you are giving to the world.” ~ B.K.S. Iyengar
  30. “When we can remove the masks of our own making, then the one who has been longing to be seen sees itself unbounded, just as it is.”
  31. “You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside.”
  32. “The pose begins when you want to leave it.”
  33. “The wisdom obtained in the higher states of consciousness is different from that obtained by inference and testimony as it refers to particulars.” ~ Yoga Sutra
  34. “Let your practice be a celebration of life” ~ Seido lee deBarros
  35. “He shining, everything shines through him.” ~ Bhagavad Gita
  36. “Ashtanga yoga is 99 percent practice, one percent theory.”  ~ Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
  37. “Remember, it doesn’t matter how deep into a posture you go – what does matter is who you are when you get there.” ~ Max Strom
  38. “Make an attitude to be in gratitude, you will find the whole Universe will come to you.” ~ Yogi Bhajan
  39. “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~ Gandhi
  40. “The most important pieces of equipment you need for doing yoga are your body and your mind.” ~ Rodney Yee
  41. “Eye on the drishti!”
  42. “Any belief, whatever it is, is counterproductive in the context of the practice of yoga. One holds a belief instead of knowing. For example, you wouldn’t say you believe in your right ear, since you know your ear, no belief is required. Believing always excludes knowing. When jnana (supreme knowledge) comes through the practice of yoga, you will know. Do not be satisfied with believing.” ~ Gregor Maehle
  43. “Breathe through it, and release anything that does not serve you.”
  44. “First month paining, second month tired, third month flying.” ~ Sharath Jois
  45. “Namaste!”
  46. “Submit to a daily practice. Your loyalty to that is a ring at the door. Keep knocking, and eventually the joy inside will look out to see who is there.”
  47. “Practice and all is coming.” ~ Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
  48. “The world is the gymnasium where we come to make ourselves strong.” ~ Swami Vivekananda
  49. “Desire, ask, believe, receive.” ~ Stella Terrill Mann
  50. “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.”

A thought and another thought: Keep it Simple and Real

Fostering the desire for luxuries is the surest way to increase misery.  Do not be the slave of things or possessions.  Boil down even your needs. Spend your time in search of lasting happiness or bliss. ~ Paramahansa Yogananda
How to Be Happy All the Time

Expect to see Michael Stone’s latest book out in June,
Awake in the World: Teachings from Yoga and Buddhism for Living an Engaged Life.

As our gaze wanders, our mind follows

A few favorite paragraphs near the end of A.G. Mohan’s excellent and brief biography, Krishnamacharya:

‘In purity of food lies purity of mind. When the mind is pure, awareness is unbroken.’ Chandogya Upanishad 7.26.2

Traditional explanations of this famous saying note that the word food refers not merely to what we eat but to what we see, hear, smell, or touch as well. Pratyahara is to restrict all ‘food’ for the senses. Control over the senses is necessary to lead the mind to purity. And only a clear mind can remain undisturbed in the practice of awareness, the cardinal practice of yoga.

Krishnamacharya  used to emphasize that food in its literal sense was very important: disciplining the diet is one of the first steps in gaining control over the mind. In addition to controlling his food habits, though, Krishnamacharya also controlled his other senses. As an example mentioned earlier, he generally kept his eyes down, whether he was sitting on the verandah or in his room or walking to teach a class. As our gaze wanders, our mind follows. By preventing our gaze from straying needlessly from the task at hand, we take in fewer distractions.

Other favorite gems from the book, which rates a solid five stars for its lucid and precise stories and anecdotes from a devoted student of Krishnamacharya.  An inspiration to any on the path of yoga.

The Centre for Yoga Studies website also has a number of articles written about Krishnamacharya by his students. Interesting material if you’d like to read more about this modern-day yoga pioneer.

Yoga Challenge Day 8: Sunday Morning

Yoga as a path is the way out of our present conditioning and the way toward freedom from habitually ensnaring conditions…”
~ Michael Stone in The Inner Tradition of Yoga

sunday morning, originally uploaded by gosia janik.

Looking forward to the birth of another week. Happy 4th of July!

Self-Discipline and the Yogi

Excerpt from The Shambhala Guide to Yoga by Georg Feuerstein.

In order to gain the unsurpassable bliss of the Self, the yogin willingly adopts a life of strict discipline.  The aspirant begins by carefully regulating his or her moral behavior.  This forms the bedrock of all types of Yoga.  Reduced to its bare bones, yogic morality is the recognition of the universal Self in all other beings.  The various moral rules expounded in the Yoga scriptures are a symbolic bow to the Self within the other person.  Thus Yoga morality is inseparable from Yoga metaphysics.  In their moral conduct, the yogins aspire to preserve the moral order of the cosmos within the limited orbit of their personal existence.  In other words, they seek to uphold the ideals of harmony and balance.  This endeavor is by no means unique to Yoga.  Rather the moral code followed by its practitioners is universal and can be found in all the great religious traditions of the world.

As the American social critic Theodore Roszak correctly understood, the yogin’s first step must necessarily be a moral one:

“[H]igher consciousness is born out of conscience.  ‘Consciousness’/’conscience’: the very words are related, reminding us that we cannot expect to expand spiritual awareness unless we also expand our moral awareness of right and wrong, good and evil.  Later perhaps there will be ecstatic harmonies beyond the description of words in which the good and the evil of the world will be revealed as, mysteriously, the two hands of God.  But only the soul that has honestly cast out violence, greed, and deception may begin the ascent to that lofty vision…

“Surely too many Western practitioners of yoga are playing trivial games with the psychic and physiological spin-off of the divine science.  They learn to clearn their sinuses, to mitigate their migraine, to flirt with the joys of the kundalini.  Perhaps, besides achieving an enviable muscle tone, they even happen upon occasional intimations of samadhi.  But all these achievements become barbarous trifles if we forget that yoga, like all spiritual culture, is a life discipline and a moral wisdom.”