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Inspirational Yoga Themes and Quotes

Updated on November 30, 2013

The Heart Of Yoga

This page is designed for yoga instructors and yoga enthusiasts looking for inspirational quotes, themes or intentions to design a yoga class around or to set a yoga practice by.
These quotes and sayings are at the heart of yoga. One line or even just one word can awaken insights in oneself and deepen a yoga practice, transforming it into a living, flowing consciousness
Enjoy this page by savoring one phrase at a time, over a period of days, years or even a lifetime. Go deeply, making each thought or idea your very own and over time you will see a transformation of your yoga practice and the yoga classes you teach.


Don't forget to breathe

Prana or breath, is truly one of yogas greatest gifts, as focus on the breath brings a focus to the present moment and leads to a state of inner peace. Ancient yogis, with a deep understanding of the essence of prana, studied it and devised many methods and practices to master it. According to Patanjali's Yoga Sutra, pranayama enables the mind to acquire the capacity to concentrate on any given object of attention.

Yoga teachers know that the practices of pranayama helps to manipulate our energies and re-educate the mind and body in the breathing process. When done correctly, pranayama can help release tensions and develop a relaxed state of mind. It also increases the amount of oxygen to the brain improving mental clarity, alertness and physical well being. In addition, it brings balance to the nervous system and encourages creative thinking.

There are numerous specific pranayama techniques and methods that can be used in a yoga class. In addition, there are many simple quotes, sutras, thoughts and inspirations that focus on the breath that can be used either in conjunction with a specific pranayama technique or simply as a stand alone intention or inspriation for a yoga class or personal practice. Here are a few of my personal favorites:

In any quiet moment when you are breathing,

The breath may flow out and pause of itself,

Or flow in and pause of itself.

Here experience opens into exquisite vastness

With no beginning and no end.

Embrace this infinity without reservation.

Dive into it,drink deeply, and emerge renewed.

Pour one breath into the other,

Out-breath into the in-breath

Into the out-breath

Be there, in the harmony of that fusion

Where one rhythm turns into the other,

Awaken into equilibrium.

Tending to breath in this way,

Become capable

Of experiencing oneness with the Self.

Breath flows in filling, filling,

Then surrenders to flow out again.

Breath flows out, emptying, emptying

Offering itself to infinity.

Mind dissolves into heart

Heart dissolves into space

Body becomes a shimmering field

Pulsating between fullness and emptiness.

The above inspirations are sutras from The Radiance Sutras, Tantra Yoga Teachings For Opening To The Divine In Everyday Life.

Let the breath be a bridge between body and spirit, a doorway to the present.

As you inhale, visualize receiving the elements of your life - experiences, people who have touched you, things you are capable of - with gratitude.

Pause after each reflection and take a moment to integrate and fully appreciate feeling fulfilled by these gifts.

As you exhale, imagine sharing that sense of fulfillment with others.

Pause again and imagine those others receiving your offering with a similar sense of gratitude.

Turn down the volume of the chatter in your mind

Turn up the voice of your own song


In yoga it's not about getting somewhere or something or stacking up. It's more about releasing and emptying. As you practice, make space and sit with whatever is. Advancing in yoga is understanding the various layers of yourself and each pose. It's not about pushing through.

Yoga embodies the dual qualities of effort and awareness (ease) no matter how difficult a pose may be. if there isn't even a little bit of a cultivation of ease, back off and become aware, don't let ego get in the way. Trace a sense of emotional relaxation into each pose, no matter how hard, practice releasing tension rather than pushing and treat each class, each pose, with constant curiosity.


Svasana, or corpse pose, is often the final pose in a typical yoga class, no matter what style of yoga you practice. Often it is called the most difficult asana or pose as it involves finding a stillness and quiet to the mind and body.

In Svasana, the interconnectedness of all the body systems can be felt as a deepening stillness arises within. The thoughts, emotions and body sensations megre into the experience of oneness with all that supports and surrounds.

As I complete a yoga class and bring my students in to Svasana, I will often say a few words to guide my students prior to allowing for complete silence and stillness. Here are three of my favorite inspirations, all from spiritual master Eckhart Tolle:

Be quietly alert,very present right now

Step back with your awareness and feel yourself in your body

Now feel the space in your joints

in your knees, in your hips, your low back, your shoulder joints, elbows, hands

Open yourself up to everything you sense and feel within and around you.

Feel yourself as energy and consciousness, feel the energy that is your true nature.

Listen now to the silence around you

That means just notice it

Pay attention to it

Listening to silence awakens the dinension of stillness within yourself, because it is only through stillness that you can be aware of silence.

See that in the moment of noticing the silence around you, you are not thinking.

You are aware, but not thinking.

Feel the energy of your inner body.

Immediately mental noise slows down or ceases.

Feel it in your hands,your feet, your abdomen, your chest.

Feel the life that you are, the life that animates the body.

Allow the body to become a doorway so to speak, into a deeper sense of aliveness underneath the fluctuating emotions and underneath your thinking.

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Oprah's Book Club, Selection 61)
A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Oprah's Book Club, Selection 61)

Eckhart Tolle is a modern spiritual master who has written many inspirational and thought provoking books. This book, A New Earth, (one of my favorite books of all time) points the way to a greater understanding of our lives, our time on Earth, and what we can do on a day by day basis to create peace, balance and understanding. His thoughts and inspirations can certainly be used as themes and intentions in a yoga class.


Embrace each of your senses in turn;

Seeing as being touched by light.

Hearing as immersion in an ocean of sound.

Tasting as enlightening.Smelling as knowing.

Touching as electrifying.

Then leave all these behind,

Enter the spaciousness of the heart,

Intimate with the unknowable.

The above inspiration is a sutra from The Radiance Sutras, Tantra Yoga Teachings For Opening To The Divine In Everyday Life.

Waves rise from water

Flames arise from fire

Rays emanate from the sun

So it is that you and I shine forth


Gaze out at space,

Aware of multicolored luminosity

Permeating everywhere....

The blue sky, filled with rays from the Sun.

The night sky, dark, and yet crisscrossed by

The light of a billion suns.

How can that be?

Al space is the same,

Inside you and far away.

Lose yourself in it,

And find your Self

The above inspiration is a sutra from The Radiance Sutras, Tantra Yoga Teachings For Opening To The Divine In Everyday Life.

Yoga practice is like life

Each circumstance in which we find ourselves is like a pose.

Some poses are hard to hold, others are pleasant.

It is how we hold the pose that determines whether or not we will suffer or grow

And whether or not we will listen to the drama of the ego or the wisdom of the spirit.

Birds of paradise
Birds of paradise

All action begins at the level of the mind.

It is the mind that tells the arms to strike or embrace, and it is the mind that tells the legs to run in fear or to dance with joy.

The good news is that we can change our minds at any point.

We can explore areas where we are stuck and then learn a new way of thinking that will free us to experience our divine nature more fully

The above inspiration is from Darren Main and the book Yoga and the Path of The Urban Mystic

Yoga and the Path of the Urban Mystic
Yoga and the Path of the Urban Mystic

Yoga and the Path of the Urban Mystic brings classical teachings alive and helps us move our rewarding experience of yoga beyond the mat and meditation cushion and into the whole of life.

For modern yogis feeling challenged in our efforts to remain deeply spiritual, contemplative, and centered amid the stresses and complications of urban life, this book serves as both inspiration and guide.

another must have for yoga practitioners and yoga instructors alike.

Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga
Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga

A book with a thought provoking daily reflection on yoga for each day of the year. The meditations are instructive and encouraging, candid and engaging and show how yoga works as a tool for transformation. This book is another must for yoga instructors and practitioners alike.


Be true to life by being true to this moment

Receive inspiration for your yoga classes from these other great texts:

Peaceful Warrior (Widescreen)
Peaceful Warrior (Widescreen)

Entertaining, thoughtful and inspirational, this film, based on Dan Millman's book `Way of the Peaceful Warrior' is a wonderful experience and will truly inspire you.


Thanks For Visiting Yoga Quotes and Themes - I would love to hear from you

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    • profile image

      AudreyE2 8 months ago

      Thank you so much for sharing! Personally, inspirational quotes help me in all facets of my life, but especially for my yoga routines because some days I just don't have the stamina or energy to do them. Repeating a mantra, or reading a motivational quote always gets me going. One of my favorites from is "Yoga is the practice of tolerating the consequences of being yourself." I will add some of your quotes to my collection to help me stay motivated on the mat! From the ones you've listed, my favorite by far is "turn down the volume of the chatter in your mind. Turn up the voice of your own song." Thanks again for sharing!! :)

    • pjsart profile image

      pjsart 4 years ago

      Love all the quotes.. so inspiring.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Dear Sadhaka,

      It was wonderful reading these quotes. The energy flow of these words also is an empowerment. They are so spontaneous that keeps you going. Thanks a lot for sharing these precious thoughts.

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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Just reading this makes me feel more relaxed.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you... Namaste!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Namaste, thank you so much for sharing!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you for the lovely lens!

    • elliefraser profile image

      elliefraser 5 years ago

      Thank you. I found this particularly inspiring after a very stressful day.

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 5 years ago from Arizona

      I love the "turn down the volume of the chatter in your head." My yoga teacher says this all the time. Wonderful lens-Blessed!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you so much for sharing this information. Very useful, and I love your quotes! Namaste!

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      Birthday Wishes 5 years ago from Here

      I think that I will need to try it out... Nice lens! Thanks for sharing.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      thank you for sharing...x

    • Rowangaia profile image

      Rowangaia 5 years ago

      Thank you so much for the inspiration: very much needed. Namaste and Blessed Be!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you,great inspirations

    • Motivationaltools profile image

      Motivationaltools 5 years ago

      Beautiful lens layout. Good job. I need to figure out how to do this.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      As anew yoga instructor i found these quote helpful and. will use them in my classes

    • profile image

      JadaFuego 5 years ago

      I love it...this is one of my favorite lenses and I have a lens on yoga myself. The quotes and themes...awesome

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I enjoy this site, do you have a regular newsletter that you send out to email addresses?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you. Great quotes.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is a great page! Bookmarked for future ref.

    • profile image

      Debbieyoga 5 years ago

      Great site! Loved the quotes and will use some of them in class.

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      SoundsOfBliss 6 years ago

      I really like the way you put this lens together with the quotes, verses and tips. "Each circumstance in which we find ourselves is like a pose". That's very interesting.

    • awestricken1 profile image

      Ken Parker 6 years ago from Tacoma, Wa

      Very good yoga lens.

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      one step2heaven 6 years ago

      I am a yoga lover, loved your lenses very informative

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      SplashPro 6 years ago

      A thoroughly delightful post. Had a really serene and calming effect on me. thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love your quotes. I'm looking forward to incorporating some into my classes.

      Thank you

    • profile image

      NicolGold 6 years ago

      I am also a yoga teacher! Love your lens and your quotes :) waiting for more

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      GiselleToner 6 years ago

      Superb Post. Quite poetic some of the pieces. Just loved it.

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      Badgermedicinespirit 6 years ago

      Thank you for your blessings on my lenses and your likes, it means a lot to me, i wil add poems when they come to me, thank you!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Yoga is my passion, I am also a Yoga instructor! Great Article...

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I really love "be true to life by being true to this moment." I also compiled some yoga class themes - 40 to be exact - inspired by quotes and people I've come across in my practice.

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      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      Very inspiring. Thank you for a transformative lens that flows with great meaning. *Blessed*

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 6 years ago

      Your quotes are very inspirational. I'm not sure I could get into some of these yoga positions, though. Wow!

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      Runnn 6 years ago

      I'm thinking to go for yoga class. Probably will start next week.

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      Eliza Rayner 6 years ago from Boulder, Colorado

      @anonymous: HI GB..I wrote some of the green quotes, the third one comes from the Radiance sutras and I think the fouth one comes from meditations from the mat. go to my bio. page and you can contact me directly.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I would like to post the green quotes in my studio. Who is the author to site?

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Wow, what an Amazing Lens; I have always had a Fascination with Yoga and the effects on the body! This Lens had reignited my curiosity from childhood, very Nicely Done!! :)

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      maryctucker 6 years ago

      Very good explaining.I like this quotes.

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      sushilkin lm 6 years ago

      Like your lens! Thanks for sharing !! Contribute your like at PRAY FOR JAPAN for the sake of universal brotherhood !

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      aweresort 6 years ago

      the quotes bring great joy to a teacher!

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      very beautiful lens!

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      sabinamiller 7 years ago

      Excellent yoga quotes and good lens...

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      Teri Villars 7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      At the zoo once, I saw 2 bears doing Yogi Yoga. ha!

    • KarenHC profile image

      Karen 7 years ago from U.S.

      I love these quotes, especially the Eckhard Tolle quotes that you use in preparation for savasana!

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      DoctorBobbie 7 years ago

      I keep coming back to this article, such a great source of different quotes. Keep up the great work!

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      photofk3 7 years ago

      Nice lens with good quotes, thank you.

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      mannasugar 7 years ago

      Does the origination fo the Yoga philosophy come from Buddhism?

    • teemu profile image

      teemu 7 years ago

      "Turn down the volume of the chatter in your mind. Turn up the voice of your own song."

      That's Great! Thanks for the hard work!

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      For comfort when practicing yoga check out some Low Priced, High Quality Yoga Pants with most outfits (Top & Foldover yoga pants) UNDER $20

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      Fabulous lens and beautiful quotes. Thanks.

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      fromdezun 8 years ago

      you can find the brilliant yoga guru pendant on

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      Indigo Janson 8 years ago from UK

      Beautifully put together, like all your lenses.

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      betrends 8 years ago

      Great site, I have been reading a very interesting book called Awakening the Spine, and well, there are few poses but with this lens, I guess is enough poses to learn for a while...

      Very useful, thanks!

      You should visit my lens, is my first one, I m just starting with squidoo, but I hope you like it, is about the new way of vacationing, this is by having Yoga Holidays....let me know what you think!

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      Wonderful site! Heard about you on Yoga Journal site. Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Inspiring! Reading this is a good way to begin my day...

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      Patricia 8 years ago

      Wonderful lens! Blessed!