"Many go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not
fish they are after." - Henry David Thoreau
"Live A Story." -- Stephen Cioffoletti
"To be beautiful means to be who you are." -- Thich Nhat Hanh
"Let the beauty you love be what you do." -- Rumi
"If you're falling, dive." -- Buddhist quote
"The world is so you have something to stand on." -- Ruth Krauss
"Who am I who speaks, walks, stands and functions on this elaborate stage known as the world? I should find this out."
-- Yoga Vasishta
"Yoga is about Anarchism because this means Self-Rule." -- Sharon Gannon
"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there. -- Rumi
"I am the experience of this moment." -- Anjaneya
"When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities will open up before you." -- Eckhart Tolle
"Empty-handed I entered the world
Barefoot I leave it.
My coming, my going —
Two simple happenings
That got entangled" -- Kozan Ichikyo
"We don't see things as they are. We see them as we are." -- Anais Nin
"If you bring up what is within you, that will set you free. If you don't bring up what is within you, you'll never be free."
-- Dave Stringer
"Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are." -- Joseph Crandell
"...the breath, Prana, is like water when allowed to flow. It is like a lover, when you grant your lover the freedom to go wherever he or she wishes to go. It is like the earth saying to a river, "Ride over me and go where you must." -- Shiva Rea
"If you want your life to be a magnificent story, then begin by realizing that you are the author." -- Mark Houlahan
"Enough. These few words are enough. If not these words, this breath. If not this breath, this sitting here. This opening to the life we have refused again and again until now. Unitl now." -- David Whyte
"Practice is a prayer and prayer is a practice." -- Derek Rinaldo
"No desire can pull you away from this present peace, not even the desire to become a Buddha or the desire to save all beings. Know that to become a Buddha and to save all beings can only be realized on the foundation of the pure peace of the present moment."
-- Thich Nhat Hanh
"Enlightenment is not about becoming divine. Instead it's about becoming more fully human."
-- Lama Surya Das
"The body is just like a musical instrument. It has to be rightly tuned; only then will the higher music arise out of it. If the very instrument is somehow not in right shapre and order, then how can you imagine, hope that the great harmony will arise out of it? Body is a veena, a musical instrument..." -- Osho
"Yoga has many moods. One is not better than another." -- Erich Schiffman
"And you, when will you begin that big journey into yourself?" -- Rumi
"Your daily life is your temple and your religion. Whenever you enter it, take with your your all." -- Khalil Gibran
"Follow your bliss." -- Joseph Campbell
"As a bee seeks nectar from all kinds of flowers, seek teachings everywhere; like a deer that finds a quiet place to graze, seek seclusion to digest all that you've gathered; like a madman beyond all limits go wherever you please and live like a lion, completely free of all fear."
"The Body is the sacred field of Kashi. All pervading wisdom is the Ganges, Mother of the Three Worlds. Devotion and faith--these are Gaya. Devout meditation on the feet of one's own guru--this is Prayaga. And the highest state of conciousness, the inner-soul, this witness of the hearts of all the people--this is Vishvesha, the Lord of All. If all this dwells within my body, what other place of pilgrimage can there be?" -- Sri Shankaracharya
"Trust your body's wisdom, as it will guide you further towards your heart; trust your heart's widsom, as it will guide you further towards the Truth; trust your inner wisdom, beacuse you already know all the answers inside yourself. You are divine."
-- Stephanie Keach
"...any gesture taken up the body is called an asana. It corresponds to the rhythm and vibration of body and mine at any particular moment." -- Sri Anandmayi Ma
"Life is for living and living is for free." -- My dear friend Gaby Aschwanden of The Yoga Page
"Everything is here in this forest." -- Uma, The Yoga Barn, Bali
"You can't fully drink in the richness of life, be drunk on it, if you're in competition with everyone else." -- Hafiz
"It doesn't matter what you do, it's the way you do it." -- Katy Appleton
"We take our first, faltering gasp of air the moment we leave the womb. We draw life into us in the early years of childhood, youth, and early adulthood as we learn, discover our nature, find our place in the world: our dharma. In its fulfillment, we begin to give back all that we are capable of, all that we can offer to others. As a long expiration, we gradually give back the breath of life and consciousness, returning it to the source, to God." -- T.K.V. Desikachar
"We're not humans trying to live a spiritual existence. We're spiritual beings trying to live a human existence."
-- Teilard de Chardin (quoted by my friend, Paul at Surf Maroc)
"Life is not about how to survive the storm but how to dance in the rain." -- Rumi
"When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky!" -- Gautama Siddhartha
"We think we suffer because things change. But we suffer because we don't accept the laws of change. If you want to change the world, change your mind." -- Glenn, Tushita Meditation Center, India
"You yourself are your own obstacle. Rise above yourself." -- Hafiz
"When you start "doing" yoga, you miss it all together. It becomes another pastime, rather than a way of being. Try living yoga, being yoga, and notice the difference between doing and being." -- Julie Rappaport
"Unfortunately, to most people, enlightenment is like an old MGM production. They think it has to have all kinds of drama, stage settings, and a million other things. This is ridiculous. In reality, it is a great, great simplicity. It has to do with sitting inside of yourself and sensing the peace, quiet and simplicity of a situation. It doesn't mean you don't see and experience life; it doesn't mean that you can't be alive, but you don't act out of your need for anything--you are free. And as you remain in this state, quietly, without drama, it becomes a fine flow--a very rich and simple flow."
-- Swami Rudrananda
"The mind is like the wind and the body is like the sand; if you want to know how the wind is blowing, you can look at the sand."
-- Bonnie Bainbridge-Cohen
"This body Arjuna, is called the field. He who knows this is called the knower of the field." -- Bhagavad Gita 13:1
"The demons aren't the noise. They are our aversion to the noise...when you can accept discomfort, doing so allows a balance of mind. That surrender, that letting go of wanting anything to be other than it is right in the moment, is what frees us from hell."
-- Stephen Levine
"As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live." -- Goethe
"There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." -- Edith Wharton
"The Los Angelization of yoga is not unlike an organic fruit wrapped in twenty thousand layers of nonrecyclable, nonbiodegradable packages, not unlike a sports utility vehicle. We are mobile, we have tasted the pure thing, we have ways to preserve and to run from it. To own it and contain it. To overdo it. The Americanization of yoga includes strain. A higher rate of injury than from yoga practised in Asian countries. Emphasis on postures only. Competition. Merchandise: mats, pillows, eye bags, blankets, blocks, ropes, tanks, shorts, t-shirts, J. Crew yoga clothes. Overkill. The terms 'power yoga', 'yoga workout'. Water bottles. Office yoga...Yoga becomes something we must own. In our decade, yoga is something to market. To market, to market, the latest way to forget." -- Reetika Vazirani
"The beauty of life is to experience yourself." -- Yogi Tea quote
"You are already That." -- Coral Brown
"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye." -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
"Yoga is Self-Love." -- Swami Dayananda Saraswati
"Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it." -- Gandhi
"For the wonderful thing is that the body is not and never will be a machine, no matter how much we treat it as such, and, therefore, body movement is not and never will be mechanical--it is always and forever expressive, simply because it is human."
-- Mary Starks Whitehouse
"It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived." -- Rumi
"I don't know why it is we are in such a hurry to get up when we fall down. You might think we would lie there and rest a while."
-- Max Eastman
"Meditation isn't to disappear into the light. Meditation is to see all of what we are." -- Stephen Levine
"Those who know don't talk. Those who talk don't know." -- On the wall of a room I lived in at The Mystical Yoga Farm, Lago Atitlan, Guatemala
"Life is too short to be taken seriously." -- Oscar Wilde
"Here is a guide to finding a suitable teacher: he or she will have three simple but rare qualifications. One, they practice yoga themselves. Two, they have a good teacher themselves. Three, they care about you and are not arbitrarily imposing a standardized practice, philosophy or culture on you. Such a person can show you the yoga that is right for you...the teacher is a friend. Someone you can trust, simply a friend, not the capital T teacher that spirituality would have us believe. This notion is fraught with the imbalance of power of someone knowing some "truth" that someone else does not know but is trying to get. With no roles being played it becomes apparent that student and teachers are obviously equal and share the same condition. In other words, "the guru's condition is my condition." Most spiritual teachers create a dynamic that prevents this, while playing lip service to this idea. Be cautious of anyone who cannot be this ordinary."
-- Mark Whitwell
"In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."-- Albert Camus
"Sadhana is like falling in love with your authentic self." -- Shiva Rea
"The world is a reflection of how you feel." -- my amazing co-worker, David McNeely
"For it is by self-forgetting that one finds." -- Prayer of Saint Francis
"Three tenants to invite into your life: Learn to love yourself. Find the humor in your life. Have compassion for your imperfections."
-- Read in a book while on yoga retreat with Shiva Rea in Costa Rica
Shanti Path--Prayer for Peace
Om, May there be peace in heaven and peace in the sky.
May there for peace on earth and peace in the water.
May there be peace in the plants and peace in the trees.
May there be peace in the gods and peace in nature.
May there be peace in all.
May that peace, real peace, be mine.
Om Shantih, Shantih, Shantih.
'Yoga Yak' was born when I was living in Morocco, teaching for Surf Maroc. I had two lovely co-workers, Laura and Mel. Bless their hearts, without the dedicated hours they spent in the office, Surf Maroc wouldn't run as smoothly as it did (Ben, many props to those long hours you spent staring at the screen, too). There was a dry-erase board that lived in the office and I thought it would be fun to write a yoga quote, some kind of inspirational saying, on it everyday. Laura and Mel got really into it and we had good fun scratching our heads and pondering the deeper meaning of the words which would inspire our day. The quote I have at the top of this page was the first one I wrote on the board so I just had to have it here.
Anyone who has been to my class knows that I often like to include poetry, stories or quotes. I've always been a writer and now I feel that teaching is my platform for sharing this art, whether it's the writing of my own or others. When I plan a class, I like to orchestrate with words, the beauty of language. Most days I start my own practice with reading something inspirational, something to get me thinking and feeling; it's like setting an intention. I believe in serendipity and that often what I read that day is exactly what I'm supposed to hear. It's similar to how I once had a friend tell me, "I find that if I'm open, I get exactly what I need when I go to a yoga class."
Here is some 'Yoga Yak' that has inspired me over the years, and my hope is that we can all learn (or try!)
to 'walk the talk'.