September 24, 2013

33 Short, Sweet Yoga Quotes from the Masters.

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

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