Inspirational Yoga Quotes

inspirational yoga quotes

"Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits.Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; for it becomes your destiny."     

“The sun shines down, and its image reflects in a thousand different pots filled with water. The reflections are many, but they are each reflecting the same sun. Similarly, when we come to know who we truly are, we will see ourselves in all people.”

  "Smile, breathe and go slowly."
Thich Nhat Hanh

“The attitude of gratitude is the highest yoga.” 
Yoga Bhajan
“Yoga, as a way of life and a philosophy, can be practiced by anyone with inclination to undertake it, for yoga belongs to humanity as a whole. It is not the property of any one group or any one individual, but can be followed by any and all, in any corner of the globe, regardless of class, creed or religion.”
Sri K Pattabhi Jois
“Compassion is for the very strong. Compassion does not come to the weak. People who are unkind, bullies who use rude language, they are not strong people. They are very weak people.” 
Yoga Bhajan

"The pose begins when you want to get out of it." 
Baron Baptiste  

"Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured."
BKS Iyengar

"Yoga is not just repetition of a few postures. It is more about the exploration and discovery of the subtle energies of life."
Amit Ray

"Practice, practice, practice."
Sri K Pattabhi Jois

A little weekend message.

Inspirational yoga quotes

In all moments, be who you are
and how you are 
and no one else.

Have a great weekend. Go be free.

Don't forget to let loose.

You'd think it would be the big things – the milestones – you remember most fondly. Your first car. Graduation. Twenty-first or fortieth birthdays. Or maybe signing the final line on your first mortgage and house.

For me, though, it never is. Sure, I have a vague recollection of those days. What happened. What I wore. That I threw my hat in the air or wrapped my hand around that antique gold front door key. But what I felt in that moment? What thoughts I had? It surprises me to say that they're no longer with me.

What are with me are the simplest, silliest memories. My husband and I in Melbourne Beach, caught in a thunderstorm that pelted curtains of rain as hard as hail. Dancing in it. Laughing in it. Splashing puddles. Not knowing that other beach-goers had taken shelter in their cars, watching us and thinking who knows what. And do you know what? I didn't care.

Saturday night was one of those simple, silly moments too. We ended up over at the neighbor's house, where a plain, homemade swing hangs from the branch of a tall oak. It had been a good afternoon, and the sky was lavender with impending dusk. Everyone was happy and light with doing more living and laughing than worrying.  

I trend toward cautious and am no daredevil (safety first!), but after seeing the smile on others' faces, up to the roof I climbed, pulling the swing and stepping off from the ledge feeling exhilarated and brave and stupid all at once – even though it's been swung from for years and years.

Not to be a buzz killer, but now that I'm back on the ground, I should say that this post does not mean to climb up to a roof or to stick around in a situation you feel is unsafe. What it does mean is: Don't forget to let loose. Don't forget, amongst all of your responsibilities and adultness, to have fun. Don't forget to do. And to be. This is where the good times live.

In my life at least, the best moments are the ones where I was so unaware of time and space that I was all in. All into whatever was before me, around me, near and dear to me. All into what was happening and what I was happening with – so much so that nothing else mattered. Not the stars in the sky. Not the sun or the moon. Not the way I looked. Or what I wore. Or how responsible I should be or how I should act my age. All that was with me was the joy of being. Of existence itself. 


A little weekend message.

yoga philosophy: interconnectedness
via Free People Blog
Whenever I go on LinkedIn, I'm always surprised to see that my two-hundred-and-something contacts connect me with more than five and a half million professionals. How is that possible, I think? But age-old yogic philosophy says we're linked to far more individuals than that. In fact, it reminds us that we're all interconnected. Interconnected by the threads of humanity, as well as the many characteristics that make us alive.

I must confess.

Though they may not be filled with all the juicy tidbits (ha! who can I kid?) of my life, each post here is a reflection of my thoughts and observations in relation to what's happening in my little corner of the world. Tuesday's post was especially close to home and heart. These last few weeks, since vacation, I've been racing against time. Wrestling it. Trying to make it fit into my schedule and not the other way around. As I opened Blogger to craft a message for today's post, the thoughts I intended to share slipped back into who-knows-where and the words written spilled onto the page.

More so than ever, this month has been one of going and coming and coming and going. Several days each week I'm out of town and on the road often. By the time I pull into our driveway, I have a feeling that sums up so much of our modern-day existence, and that is: I'm spent.

I know you can relate. 

My nose has been so close to the grindstone that I didn't even realize I was stretched so thin. Yes, I've been forgetful and my body aches in protest. But I thought I could manage. And that's what I kept telling myself – until the smallest of flags changed my mind. I pulled up the blog and saw all the typos and little errors in my recent posts. Though we all make mistakes and it may sound like much ado about nothing, writing is my livelihood, and I take both pride and care in how it's done – even here on the blog, which is a hobby. Clicking "publish" before proofreading is falling short of something important to me, and I believe that the type of things we talk about here deserve more.

Could I proof better? Yes. Could I flip open the MacBook and still try for the three posts per week I've been doing lately? Yes. Would both take more time than I have to give right now? Yes. It would steal the evenings from other things I hold dear, which are not things at all – friends, family, and, especially my husband. To not scale back for this crazy month would be to ignore my own advice to slow down. It would mean I was too committed to my to-do list, and it would mean giving up now for later, when my proverbial ducks are in a row and everything's checked off and done.

yoga philosophy: respecting limits

But none of us are guaranteed a later, are we? I hear that said so often, yet when I stop to think about it – what it really means – my heart drops into my stomach and my mind races with what I haven't done, thought, heard, loved, laughed, comforted, helped and sought. And I want to get out there and be in the middle of all those things. Now.

So, really, I suppose this is a long-winded way to say that I'll be posting once per week for several weeks, plus the weekend message. Thanks for your understanding and for visiting – it's humbling and uplifting that you read this blog, and it is such a joy knowing that there are like-minded individuals all over the world.


Time to slow down.

yoga philosophy: time
via Pinterest
Every now and then, time seems to unravel beneath me. You know how it goes. All the moments of the day become tumbled together and are swept away into "How is it already X o'clock?" Then, 8 a.m. becomes 3 p.m. and 3 p.m. gives way to pulling the covers up to our chins.

In these instances, when the days go by like a popsicle melting in the summer heat, we may be there for each and every moment, but we're still not really present. Sure, we're not thinking about the past or the future. But we're also walking, breathing, existing in a way that's detached from where we are or what we're doing. In other words: We're here. But we're not now. 

I've said it once before (and I'll say it again): It's easy to blame the hands of the clock as the hours slide by. We mutter things like "There's not enough time in the day" or "Time flies." But, really, time is just as reliable as it has always been.

Which means it's us. 

We are moving faster. 

Too fast, perhaps.

Logic says that not getting enough done in the day is cause to work harder and more efficiently. "Make the most of your time," we say. But is living detached really making the most of anyone's time? Since when did harried and frantic and preoccupied become the norm? 

Trying to beat time is bad for everyone. It means neither you nor I are present for or even aware of the good stuff. The stuff that lives between the lines of a to-do list and not at the end of it. The stuff you only see when you look around and interact with each and every person who crosses your path. The stuff you only see when you...

Slow down.

A little (belated) weekend message.

Central Park, Pinterest, via

Life is short; live it. 
Love is rare; grab it. 
Anger is bad; dump it. 
Fear is awful; face it. 
The moment is sweet; cherish it.

Seven Keys to Letting Go

yoga philosophy on letting go

How to let go, live and let live:
  1. Be in the moment (or at least not in yesterday or tomorrow). Things fester. Too much past or too much future is a breeding ground for discontent thoughts and emotions. In the moment? There's only time for what's happening here and now. Staying in the moment is tricky, though. Sounds silly, but a good way to start is to give yourself a little (gentle) mental slap when you start to drift into dangerous territory. Think of it as lasso-ing yourself back in.
  2. Refuse to let your mind play the "what if" game. When I was one or two years into my career, I admitted to a designer friend of mine that so much of my time was spent imagining things. Creating little scenarios in my head. Daydreaming. Cultivating thoughts and things that weren't even real. I thought I'd be alone, but he fessed up too. Two wrongs, though, don't make a right. And, along with launching you out of the moment, the "what if" game uses a ton of energy that's not even being used for a good purpose. Like reality.
  3. Decide if confronting the truth would fall on deaf ears. Sometimes, when someone says something rude or snarky, it's easy to spit back a retort without thinking. Or, maybe more often (at least in my case) you keep your mouth shut and later wish you'd said something...anything. Not to be rude. But to say "Hey, I'm not a doormat." But here's the thing. People who are always saying mean things? They just may be mean, and there's not much you can do about it.
  4. Distance yourself for a bit. Not just from the meanies in #3, but from everything. Going away or putting some space between you and others can allow you to get back in touch with what matters and re-center and replenish your patience.
  5. Self care. I've noticed something about myself. When I'm feeling great and all is well, it's easy to forget crappy comments or insensitivity. They roll off my back, because, well, there's a lot of good in my life and no room for the bad. But, when my health is bad or times are rough, I'm a lot more likely to hang onto gripes or every word. Whether it changes situations or not, a little emphasis on the self can bring that feeling of well being back into order – right along with your ability to forgive and forget.
  6. Step away (I repeat: step away) from your phone. Just as things look different in print, things look different on the Web or in email, messenger or hangouts. If someone forgets an emoticon, the message's whole meaning changes...and not always for the positive. Don't keep checking for a reply or another note. Step away and try not to dwell.
  7. Breathe. True, this is good day or night. But I find it especially helpful for insomnia. When it hits the wee hours of the a.m., and my mind is spinning, I breathe in to the words of "There is" and exhale the word "nothing." Maybe it's just boring – like counting sheep – but it works.

When little things become big.

via Pinterest

Letting go of the little things is one of the hardest things for me to do. From this past weekend's message, it's also one of the most important. But I always find myself struggling with it when life is hard. When contentment isn't my first emotion. When there is not as much to look forward to. 

Holding on to things is like watching vultures. Circling and circling, drawing out the time before diving down to pick things apart. Rationally, I think we all know, that, in these moments, we're making mountains out of molehills, mostly. 

Turning the trivial over in the soil and letting it grow thorns. But dwelling on and cultivating little angers is also like poison. Poison that only sticks it to one person: the person doing the holding on. It leaves no room for love, for sunshine, for healing, or to spread arms wide open and embrace what's well and good. 

Letting go is what needs to happen. And, chances are, there's something we all need to let go. That's the reason for today's post. For the story that's below. For us all to start thinking about what we could send off into the ether and be better for doing so. No more vultures, right?

Author Unknown
A story tells of a merchant in a small town who had identical twin sons. The boys worked for their father in the department store he owned and, when he died, they took over the store.

Everything went well until the day a dollar bill disappeared. One of the brothers had left the bill on the cash register and walked outside with a customer. When he returned, the money was gone.

He asked his brother, "Did you see that dollar bill on the cash register?" His brother replied that he had not.

But the young man kept probing and questioning. He would not let it alone. "Dollar bills just don't get up and walk away! Surely you must have seen it!"

There was subtle accusation in his voice. Tempers began to rise. Resentment set in. Before long, a deep and bitter chasm divided the young men. They refused to speak. They finally decided they could no longer work together and a dividing wall was built down the center of the store. For twenty years hostility and bitterness grew, spreading to their families and to the community.

Then one day a man in an automobile licensed in another state stopped in front of the store. He walked in and asked the clerk, "How long have you been here?"

The clerk replied that he'd been there all his life. The customer said, "I must share something with you. Twenty years ago I was "riding the rails" and came into this town in a boxcar. I hadn't eaten for three days. I came into this store from the back door and saw a dollar bill on the cash register. I put it in my pocket and walked out. All these years I haven't been able to forget that. I know it wasn't much money, but I had to come back and ask your forgiveness."

The stranger was amazed to see tears well up in the eyes of this middle-aged man. "Would you please go next door and tell that same story to the man in the store?" he said. Then the man was even more amazed to see two middle-aged men, who looked very much alike, embracing each other and weeping together in the front of the store. After twenty years, the brokenness was mended. The wall of resentment that divided them came down.

It is so often the little things that finally divide people: words spoken in haste; criticisms; accusations; resentments. And once divided, they may never come together again. The solution, of course, is to let it go. There is really nothing particularly profound about learning to let go of little resentments [there are ways, though: next post]. But for fulfilling and lasting relationships, letting them go is a must. Refuse to carry around bitterness and you may be surprised at how much energy you have left for building bonds with those you love.

One thing at a time.

This is a fast-paced environment. Have you worked in one of those before?

I have. Of course, I reply.

Well, probably not like this one, he quips. Proud. Arrogant. Dusting off the phone. Shooting off an email. Clearing out Blackberry messages. (There’s no appropriate response here, other than a nod.) Then, as he wipes down the keyboard, sends off another email and deletes another Blackberry messages, he fires off the question I knew was looming. So, can you multi-task? 

I take my time. Let some space fill the air, until he looks up from it all, his face rearranged into impatience. I could only assume that I was keeping him from dusting the monitor. Drafting more emails. Doing something. Anything.

I can, I said.

Good, he boomed. Pleased.

But I don’t, I added.

Go--… he started again, as though my answer hadn't registered until he was halfway through the word. He finally looked up from everything. His full attention was finally on me.

I don’t do anything at the same time, but I get everything done, I tell him. Not caring whether or not I got the job because I couldn’t imagine working with...with this as the expectation.

yoga philosophy: forget the multitasking
via Huffington Post

He smirked. I see. Well, here we do everything at once and get nothing done at all.
It was my turn to smirk, but instead I smiled. Because that’s usually how it goes.

Did I get the job? Well, how the story ends doesn’t matter. The thing that matters is: Don't let anyone boss you around. (No, I kid.) But really: the way to accomplish anything is to give it your undivided attention. Your all.

Old place, new thoughts.

Last week, my husband and I headed out for vacation. A week at the beach. There was plenty of food, sand, warm water, ice cream, sunshine, and, yes, a sunrise. 

(The other days I slept in til 9.)


Sunset on Captiva

Who doesn't love a sherbert-colored beach cruiser?
It's a place we've been many, many times before. So, with Friday's post on my mind, I set out to see what we could find that was different than expected. Was there a place on the island we hadn't seen? That, in 12 years, we'd missed?

Yes and yes.

But more than the places we'd missed, we saw the places we'd been. Some of them we revisited or walked or drove past, but the island seemed just a bit different, just as it has with every trip.

And then it dawned on me. Even when a place hasn't changed, we've changed. Which means going to the same place each year may have just as much value as finding a new one. With life's challenges, maturity, growth, studies, etc., there's always the chance you'll be seeing wherever it is you love through wiser eyes.

I hope you had a great week too. Namaste.