33 Short, Sweet Yoga Quotes from the Masters.

Via Michelle Margaret Fajkus
on Sep 24, 2013
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Image source: CompleteYoga.co.za

Who doesn’t love a good yoga quote?

I am in the process of redesigning my website and have therefore been mining books and webpages for quality quotes on yoga.

Whether you read them for personal enlightenment, to share with your friends or yoga students or to include in your yogariffic blogs, I hope this collection of sayings from Indian yoga masters will be of benefit.

With all due respect to my fellow Western yoga teachers, the masters from India have us beat when it comes to memorable quotations about yoga and meditation practice in specific and Life and Truth in general.

Here are my favorite 33.


From the Granddaddy Yogi of Us All, T. Krishnamacharya:

1. “Why do we need money beyond a point? If we are free of ill health, enmity, and debt, is that not enough? Too much money only leads to less peace.”

2. “Where is the delusion when truth is known? Where is the disease when the mind is clear? Where is death when the Breath is controlled? Therefore surrender to Yoga.”

3. “No one is wise by birth, for wisdom results from one own’s efforts.”

4. “Rid your body of its impurities, let your speech be true and sweet, feel friendship for the world, and with humility seek wealth and knowledge.”

5. “In the practice of Yoga one can emphasize the body, the mind or the self and hence the effort can never be fruitless.”

6. “Master your breath, let the self be in bliss, contemplate on the sublime within you.”


From the esteemed founder of Iyengar Yoga, Mr. B. K. S. Iyengar:

7. “Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.”

8. “When you inhale, you are taking the strength from God. When you exhale, it represents the service you are giving to the world. ”

9. “Penetration of our mind is our goal, but in the beginning to set things in motion, there is no substitute for sweat.”

10. “Healthy plants and trees yield abundant flowers and fruits. Similarly, from a healthy person, smiles and happiness shine forth like the rays of the sun.”


From the Mysore Ashtanga Yoga Guru, Sri Pattabhi Jois:

11. “Yoga is 99 percent practice and one percent theory.”

12. “Do your practice and all is coming.”

13. “Yoga is possible for anybody who really wants it. Yoga is universal…. But don’t approach yoga with a business mind looking for worldly gain.”

From Krishnamacharya’s son, the wise T.K.V. Desikachar:

14. “The success of Yoga does not lie in the ability to perform postures but in how it positively changes the way we live our life and our relationships.”

15. “The quality of our breath expresses our inner feelings.”

16. “The ultimate goal of yoga is to always observe things accurately, and therefore never act in a way that will make us regret our actions later.”

From Paramahansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi:

17. “Have only love in your heart for others. The more you see the good in them, the more you will establish good in yourself.”

18. “The more you meditate, the more helpful you can be to others, and the more deeply you will be in tune with God.”

From Ammachi, the Hugging Saint:

19. “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.”

20. “True happiness is when the love that is within us finds expression in external activities.”


From Geeta Iyengar, daughter of B. K. S.:

21. “When this body has been so magnificently and artistically created by God, it is only fitting that we should maintain it in good health and harmony by the most excellent and artistic science of Yoga.”

22. “The body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in.”

From Sri Aurobindo of Auroville fame:

23. “Everyone has in him something divine, something his own, a chance of perfection and strength in however small a sphere which God offers him to take or refuse. The task is to find it, develop it & use it. The chief aim of education should be to help the growing soul to draw out that in itself which is best and make it perfect for a noble use.”

24. “The practice of Yoga brings us face to face with the extraordinary complexity of our own being.”


From the Masterful Jnana Yogi, Jiddhu Krishnamurti:

25. “Yoga exercises are excellent; the speaker does them every day, for an hour or more; but that is merely physical exercise, to keep the body healthy, and so on.”

26. “I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect.”


From Yogi Bhajan, Guru of Kundalini Yoga:

27. “The attitude of gratitude is the highest yoga.”

28. “By our stumbling the world is perfected.”

29. “Feel good, be good, and do good.”

From the Terrific Swami Sivananda, founder of Sivananda Yoga:

30. “Live in the present, forget the past. Give up hopes of future.”

31. “This world is your body. This world is a great school, This world is your silent teacher.”

32. “Put you heart, mind, intellect and soul even into your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.”

One More for Good Measure:

33. “The meaning of our self is not to be found in its separateness from God and others, but in the ceaseless realization of yoga, of union.”

~ Rabindranath Tagore


Mahatma Gandhi never said “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

See also: fabulous Pema Chodron quotes on Buddhism and Dharma.

And just for laughs:

“I have balls like atom bombs, two of them, 100 megatons each. Nobody fucks with me.”

Bikram Choudhury, not a valid guru


Do you have a favorite that’s not on the list? Add it in the comments section, please.

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Ed: Bryonie Wise


About Michelle Margaret Fajkus

Michelle Margaret is a Gemini yogini, writer, teacher and retreat leader who founded Yoga Freedom in 2002 in Austin, Texas. Her home since 2012 is Lake Atitlán, Guatemala where she lives in a tiny eco cabin with her Colombiano partner and their adorable daughter, dog and two gatos. Michelle has been writing this column for elephant journal since 2010 and has written some inspiring books, with more on the way. She leads yoga and mindfulness retreats and serves as the retreat managers for the stunningly beautiful Villa Sumaya on majestic Lago Atitlan. Her lineage is the very esoteric Yoga Schmoga, which incorporates hatha yoga asana, dharma (Buddhist) teachings, pranayama (breath work), yin yoga, mindfulness practices and meditation. Join Michelle on retreat in Guatemala!


12 Responses to “33 Short, Sweet Yoga Quotes from the Masters.”

  1. Piers says:

    "You are not your body, senses, and mind; body, senses, and mind are expressions of your timeless awareness. But to completely understand that you are not something, you must first see what you are not. You cannot say “I am not the body” without knowing what it is. So you inquire, you explore, you look, you listen. And you discover that you know only certain fractions of your body, certain sensations, and these are more or less reactions, resistance. Eventually you come to a body feeling that you have never had before, because when you listen it unfolds, and the sensitive body, the energy body, appears. It is most important to feel and come into contact with the energy body. Because in the beginning your body is more or less a pattern or superficial structure in the mind, made up of reactions and resistance. But when you really listen to the body, you are no longer an accomplice to these reactions, and the body comes to its natural feeling, which is emptiness." (Jean Klein)

  2. sandra says:

    "With practice, theory is obvious; without practice, theory is useless." KP Jois

  3. Laura says:

    "The primary aim of yoga is to free the mind from confusion and distress, and restore the mind to simplicity and peace," BKS Iyengar

  4. Linda V. Lewis says:

    Thank you for those quotes. They remind us that yoga is much more than a series of asanas! The West, preoccupied with appearance and the futile search for perpetual youth, often fixates on Hatha Yoga as a means to mere youthful appearance, forgetting that Hatha is more a means to Raj Yoga–meditation–which leads to being of mindful and awake benefit in this world.

  5. Gretchen Robinson says:

    “What is better than the practice of acceptance to help us live through life’s roller coasters with an ever-present glow in one’s heart?”
    ~Mark Blanchard

  6. Gretchen Robinson says:

    "Power Yoga is not about powering your way through a practice, nor how much power you have. It is about finding the power to go within to look at yourself, discover your True Self, the power to let go of expectations, and ego. When one can find the power to do this, the practice becomes easy, no matter how challenging it may be."

    ~Gretchen Robinson

  7. Gretchen Robinson says:

    "What is better than the practice of acceptance to help us live through life's roller coasters with an ever-present glow in one's heart?"
    ~Mark Blanchard

  8. Pat says:

    Hey take it easy on Bikram, he might blow up!

  9. Linnea Ahlgren says:

    "When the mind and the heart are stretched together in expanding self awareness,
    I assure you, there is instantaneous self transcendence
    and, therefore, limitless freedom."
    -Shri Swami Nirmalananda

  10. Nicolas says:

    “Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” one of my favorite 🙂 nice article!



  12. Joe says:

    leaving few of my quotes :

    “If there is no yoga, I would not appreciate flexibility and perservance , nor could I breath smoothly and eat smartly .”

    “Yoga is God blessed becauseit is not easy at all.”

    “When child I always prayed to God through my parents chants and rituals ; now, I truly touch God’s face through Yoga. ”

    Thank you !