37 Yoga Quotes That Are Insightful, Surprising, Revelatory, and Maybe Even Life Changing

“], “filter”: “nextExceptions”: “img, blockquote, div”, “nextContainsExceptions”: “img, blockquote, a.btn, a.o-button” }”>

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members!
>”,”name”:”in-content-cta”,”type”:”link”}”>Download the app.

If you’re a yoga student or teacher, you hear things related to yoga all the time. There are cues for your body or your breath. Insights that you hear on podcasts. Memes and captions that you scroll past on Instagram. Yoga quotes that you read in books or magazines. These yoga references shape not only your physical practice but your awareness of what yoga truly means.

Although certain insights linger for days—sometimes years—afterward. Some of these awarenesses not only inform your understanding of yoga but completely upend the way you’ve been perceiving and approaching life. You may not recall exactly where you heard them but they alter your understanding of the practice and help you expand its relatability to the larger experience of everyday life. Following are some of the thought-provoking, surprising, sometimes witty, and always soul-sating yoga quotes that we replay like mantras.

Just like your physical practice, any list of yoga quotes is merely a starting point. But that’s where it all begins.

37 Essential Yoga Quotes

1. Yoga is like music. The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul creates the symphony of life. —B.K.S Iyengar

2. Don’t practice yoga to get better at yoga. Practice yoga to get better at living. —Unknown

3. The brain is the hardest part of the body to adjust in asanas. —B.K.S. Iyengar

4. The actual shapes don’t matter. They really don’t. Managing a sensation as well as an ego, that’s where the benefit of yoga comes in. —Hiro Landazuri

5. Like so much in yoga, and in life, for that matter, experiencing the present moment is not something you do; it is something that just happens. You “do” the practice so that when the flash of insight arises you are awake enough to notice it.—Richard Freeman

6. Learn to watch your drama unfold while at the same time knowing you are more than your drama.—Ram Dass

7. Yoga doesn’t care about what you have been; yoga cares about the person you are becoming. —Aadil Palkhivala

8. The goal is not to tie ourselves in knots. We’re already tied in knots. The aim is to untie the knots in our hearts. —Max Strom

9. Without the yamas, known as the ethical rules, there is no success in yoga. —Dharma Mittra

10. Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are. —Jason Crandell

11. True yoga is not about the shape of your body, but the shape of your life. Yoga is not to be performed; yoga is to be lived. —Aadil Palkhivala

12. Yoga is a dance, not a wrestling match. —Bernie Clark

13. Keep in mind that, when you practice yoga, you’re not practicing to improve yourself. You are perfect. The practice is there to help you know that. —Maty Ezraty

14. We cannot teach what we do not practice. —Tracee Stanley

15. A feeling of aversion or attachment toward something is your clue that there’s work to be done. —Ram Dass

16. Every time you have a chance, go within and do your meditation. —Dharma Mittra

17. Yin yoga is like a conversation with your body; listen carefully, and you’ll learn profound truths. —Paul Grilley

18. The quieter you become, the more you can hear. —Ram Dass

19. One great benefit of yoga is that it increases our ability to pay attention to things that are increasingly subtle. —Annie Carpenter

20. To truly understand what it is to be in the light, you have to also understand what it is to be in the shadow. Because it is one thing to hold the light within myself, but how can I hold the space for another being when they are in their shadow and still love them? And not judge them?—Seane Corn

21. We each have an aspect of genius within that deserves to be elevated so that we can fulfill our potential. This requires acknowledging difference as a strength. —Dr. Gail Parker

22. Remember how imperative it is to master emitting your own frequency and intention rather than absorbing energy imprints from everything else. —Maryam Hasnaa

23. Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured. —B.K.S. Iyengar

24. Once you understand the grammar of yoga you can write your poetry of movements. —Amit Ray

25. You cannot get enlightened doing a fancy pose—no matter how perfect it is. It’s just not gonna happen. You have to explore your inner psyche, your mind-stuff, the monkey mind. —Maty Ezraty

26. It is not fashionable in so-called spiritual circles these days to talk of struggle. But the ancient yogis did not hesitate to acknowledge that life is full of struggle and pain. And yet, these early practitioners found that struggle itself could be transmuted into the most noble characteristics of the human being. —Stephen Cope

27. Know Yourself and half your life problems are solved. —Dr. Hansaji Yogendra

28. Happiness depends on how you accept, understand, and surrender to situations. —Mata Amritanandamayi (Amma)

29. Reality is beyond speech and thought. Only that which can be expressed in words is being said. But what cannot be put into language is indeed That which IS. —Anandamayi Ma

30. I hope you realize that what you are will never happen again. —Mel Douglas

31. Yoga was doing me before I was doing it. —Jana Long

32. The yoga has no expectations. It happens spontaneously, right? People say, “I’ve been practicing this yoga for 20 years, seems like I’m getting nowhere.” And I say, “Where you trying to get? You’re already there, don’t you realize?” —Manju Jois

33. It seems in modern life all we want is answers. Yet, in fact, what’s really needed are good questions; one’s that keep us going for a lifetime. For, as long as we live, this process of discovery continues, and we must continue to be interested in it if we are to live in any way meaningfully to ourselves. —Adam Keen

34. The first rule of success is being able to enjoy where you are right now without worrying about where you should be right now. —Dr. Hansaji Yogendra

35. I think it’s possible for all of us to use our yoga to distract us from our yoga. Because we get so caught up in the form that we forget the soul. —Judith Hanson Lasater

36. “It’s really that my expectations of what I’m capable of are holding me back from accepting who I am.”―Jessamyn Stanley

37. No matter the number of years of experience, the hours of training, number of social media followers, or even memorization of Sanskrit verses: it is in staying humble, curious and maintaining student-like attitude that we are closer to the real Yoga. —Indu Arora