1. “Inhale the future. Exhale the past.”
– Eckhart Tolle
Breathing is such an important part of life and keeping calm, the unity of breath, mind, body and soul is yoga, and yoga is your breath.
When we perform a new stretch or try to hold our balance, it’s our breath that we rely on to deepen that stretch or breathe into a new asana. It’s no wonder really – this is what brings us to the present. And when we’re too busy feeling bad about the past, or worrying about the future, our breath is always there to guide us through it.
I love this quote so much - as it's as much about letting go and releasing stress, toxins, build up and truly expelling that by using the breath, deeply to move away from the past - that does not matter any more at this moment in your practice - you can truly let go and inhale the future.
2. “Yoga is not about touching your toes. It is what you learn on the way down.”– Jigar Gor
Indeed, yoga is a physical practice. But it’s equally about connecting to you mind as well. The unity of Body, Mind and Soul = Yoga.
We can learn a lot about ourselves on the yoga mat that we never considered before.
When you start your practice, you will get to know the asana's individually, but when you know them well and can move into your own practice and flow, that's when the magic happens.
It's in this learning that you begin to un-learn the way you have been put together and start to know yourself more and more.
It’s a meditative state when you’re finally able to get away from the high paced world we live in.
And that means your mind finally gets a chance to find some clarity and peace, freedom from the chaos around you and the mind chatter.
So why is that important?
Yoga teaches us about the self, through the self.
It lets go the ego, slowly, calmly and at your own pace, and when you start to flow and bring the breath into your practice and truly switch off from the world around, it is amazing.
When you leave the yoga practice, you’ve developed a deeper level of understanding about yourself. You might be trying to touch your toes, but on the way to do that, on the way down there you might just connect to something deeper and experience new freedoms, love and gratitude!
That's why yogis are all peace and love - because they know the true essence in all of us.
3. "It's not about being good at something. It's about being good to yourself." - Unknown
This is so true - you don't have to be upside down all the time or standing on your hands to be 'good' at yoga.
Just turning up at your Yoga Mat is enough, and from the moment you roll out your mat, you can feel it, you can feel the letting go.
Rolling out your mat is the hard part, the rest is just being good to yourself, whether that is simply breathing and letting go of the past or doing some serious asana work or deep stretching.
It all makes you feel better.
So, it's not about being good at that instagram handstand, those pictures all look so beautiful, but really it's not - it's about inspiring others to try, to turn up at the mat and meet your Self there.
Use your Yoga practice to be good to yourself.
4.“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” – The Bhagavad Gita
The Bhagavad Gita is an ancient scripture that narrates part of the story of Hinduism. When you begin practicing yoga, it is genuinely like the start of a whole other journey.
There are many who experience a sort of coming home feeling, that is a comfort, a life changing part of them coming to the forefront and to love, to the self.
You set out with no knowledge, no experience of yoga and for most of us, not much stretch or bend!
But as you learn and practice yoga more often, you find out more about yourself.
You find out how to quite the mind.
You find out how to control your breath.
How to concentrate.
And how to truly connect the body and mind in a way that you’ve probably never experienced before – it slows everything down, brings you to the present.
And that’s the beauty of it – yoga will help you grow as a person.
It’s like a transformation that’s fuelled by the magic of yoga.
5. “In truth, yoga doesn’t take time – it gives time.” – Ganga White
The health benefits are quite remarkable. No wonder Yoga is spreading throughout the world so quickly, it really is amazing.
There have been many studied into the benefits of practicing yoga, here are some of the common health benefits.
- increased flexibility.
- increased muscle strength and tone.
- improved respiration, energy and vitality.
- maintaining a balanced metabolism.
- cardio and circulatory health.
- improved athletic performance.
- protection from injury.
So this quote is so true! When you take the time to set aside for your Self and your practice - Yoga really does give you time - in the long run it improves so many factors in your life!
It should be taught in every school up and down the country, in fact the world! As a general life skill to help navigate stress for children.
6. “Meditation is a way for nourishing and blossoming the divinity within you.” – Amit Ray
Such a beautiful quote, 'the divinity within you', this is speaking to the more spiritual side of the practice and meditation.
So often we neglect the other element to being 'us'. To being human and that is spirituality. Beyond our own religions, beliefs and faiths, yoga helps us to connect to the more spiritual side.
Just the techniques of creating a quite mind and clearing negative energy can prepare us to meet the soul on a daily basis.
Like walking in nature alone without distraction can feel the energy of the earth and that can start to open you up, so can meditation and yoga have a similar effect. Nature is healing.
It transcends being human to connect to something vastly more universal.
When you start your journey to a calmer presence, you may think what on earth are they all talking about - the divine within you?!
But after time, after connecting to your breath, regular practice, like a lotus flower - you can feel the rising of something within you.
It can be slow or can be very very quick - like an awakening - but it starts a whole new journey back to the true essence of being.
7. “The longest journey of any person is the journey inward.” – Dag Hammarskjold
It takes time, a lifetime even to journey within! I have been practicing Yoga for 24 years and I feel like I may have just taking one step up on the mountain and connecting within.
As an artist, I feel this connection within deeply before I paint and in sessions once in a while from my practice.
Not every practice is a deep - true - connection to the magic of yoga. Sometimes, it's just a light jog down the path.
There is a great book, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior 1 & 2, I love them both... his journey is entertaining , enlightening and also a reminder of the journey within and there is no race to get there. You have nothing to prove.
Let the ego go. The journey inward is special, opening and enlightening.
8. “The attitude of gratitude is the highest yoga.” – Yogi Bhajan
Sometimes we all need a reminder to just be a little thankful!
Here are 5 ways to develop an attitude of gratitude:
- Appreciate everything. To cultivate an attitude of gratitude look for things to appreciate daily, they can be small like the thank you for 'this day'...
- Express gratitude every day. ...
- Surround yourself with gratitude mindset focused people, those moaners can go. ...
- Take ownership of your present, live more in the present moment. ...
- Commit to a gratitude practice. Like everything in life the effects of a gratitude practice aren't felt immediately, though sometimes it's enough to lift the spirit! But a good practice, can improve your mood, your attitude to life and just uplift your whole energy!
You can practice gratitude throughout the day with mala beads - as you turn each bead, say something you are thankful for... or write 5 things each day at sunrise or in bed at night that you feel very thankful for, keeping a journal by your bed.
9. “Just Breathe”
Think this is one of my favourites - sometimes you really do forget to breathe properly and connecting to the breath is so important to calm the nervous system and help more energy through the body.
Taking 5 minutes breath breaks throughout the day is a great way to connect within.
Belly breathing is a lovely meditation. Even a one-minute breath practice can transform you from stress head to calm... in ONE minute!
Simply switch you attention, step away from the screens, close you eyes or focus them downwards to the tip of your nose.
Expand the belly as you breath deeply - and slow your breath... repeat eight times or continue until you feel your mind is clear.
10. "A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms."
This one is great for us who constantly compare ourselves to others... aka... the whole world!
My friend once said to me, "Comparison is the thief or all joy" and I asked her to repeat it many times since!
To remind ourselves, there is no joy in comparing our lives, journey, skills, bodies with others.
We are all here to bloom, again taking our inspiration from nature, the great healer, nurturer, teacher.
We are all on our own journey and in yoga class if can become easy to compare yourself to others, it's a difficult trap to not fall into - but by reminding myself of this saying and repeating that we are hear to bloom in our own ways.
That is the power of the journey within and getting to know and love your Self - through yoga.
Hope these beautiful quotes inspire and transform your practice.