The Yogi’s Book of Quotables

Adjustments: "This is how we (yogis) do it"

When I wake up tomorrow (at 6am if I’m lucky, at 5am if my now ridiculously “clean” body awakens before sunrise again) and drag my aching muscles out of bed, I’ll be exactly 10 days away from becoming a certified yoga teacher.

The heat is on in the final weeks of training. It’s getting hot in here: quite literally, as we practice for 3 hours a day in a 37C room; and figuratively as well, since we all fall asleep every night with “yoga dialogue” running through our heads in rehearsal for the “test” each morning.

I’ve learned a lot, about Indian sages, the scapula and deltoids, healthy eating, and how to tell your left from your right when looking at a room full of confused students who copy your every move in mirror image.

For most people, yoga is just a form of exercise. And it’s fantastic exercise that works every muscle in your body without using any equipment or tools. In a hot room, the exercise is intensified and becomes quite an aerobic work out.

For some, yoga is a path to wisdom, to a peaceful state of mind, to a calm hour after a hectic day. Here at boot camp, we’re learning the mechanics and philosophy of yoga, but who will teach us to be inspiring? Where do yoga teachers get those pithy little statements – like “Smile inside your heart and that smile will shine out to everyone you touch today”?

For the enlightened few, yoga is a journey to transcendence. I’m not sure exactly what that means yet, but everyday, I’m getting closer to understanding.

Regardless of how yoga works (or doesn’t work) in your life, I think we can all appreciate this, a quote from a fellow instructor-in-training during evening practice tonight:

“If you can’t blind them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.”

I need to run out and buy myself a copy of “The Yogi’s Book of Quotables” as soon as I graduate from boot camp!


37 thoughts on “The Yogi’s Book of Quotables

  1. This article wasn’t about what I thought it would be (quotes from Yogi Berra–he didn’t really say everything he said).

    That said, whoa, I really need someone to do that to my back!

  2. LOL … It’s nice to hear that yoga teachers (and almost yoga teachers) are human too. My yoga teachers have always seemed so incredible zen that I felt I must be doing something wrong not to have reached their level of calm.

  3. Hahaha… I practiced yoga before and enjoyed it immensely until I got too busy with work I haven’t been able to make it to any of the classes anymore. I wondered too, then, where all my yoga teachers get all those inspiring and funny quotes. Each and every class I attend, there were always some words of wisdom I would have loved to have memorized were I not fiercely concentrating on figuring out which among my extremities to extend and which to flex. I am guessing you are also doing Bikram? It’s a challenge just being a student and I can just imagine how extremely more demanding it is to be a teacher! Good luck. By the time you wake up tomorrow, it’ll only be 9 days! =)

  4. I have been practicing yoga in a heated room, too, dutifully, for the past two months. 😉

    I have yet to raise my leg in standing head-to-knee pose. Haha!

    I’m looking forward to quotes from the yogis and yoginis! 🙂

  5. Congratulations on being on Freshly Pressed! All the best as you complete your training and find your way to a peaceful state of mind.

  6. I was logging into my wordpress account and saw your blog on my front page. I had just come from posting on my Facebook that I needed a drop in yoga class to night, so your blog caught my attention.
    Great Post, and blog. I enjoyed reading backwards and seeing how you got to today.
    Good Luck in your classes!

  7. Good luck in your last week of Yoga training. I aspire to one day be certified to teach as well… not that I would use it. I am more interested in the history and spiritual side that you are exposed to when going through the process. Great writing! I look forward to hearing more from you in the future!

  8. As a fellow yoga instructor, I really enjoyed this post. Often I find that overwhelmingly “flowery” language just feels forced and unnatural. Once I came up with my own unique expressions my teaching became much better. Oh, and a healthy dose of humor works magic in practice as well!


  9. That’s awesome! I love yoga and practice at home in a heated studio. It’s helping me find my zenitude 🙂 I’m thinking of becoming an instructor too but haven’t made up my mind yet!

    Good luck!

  10. Pingback: Bending Over Backwards to Defend Yoga « That Strangest of Wars

  11. Yoga is an excellent way to keep yourself fit and healthy. Congratulations on your upcoming completion of this step of your journey!

    Tyler F. Long
    Dunwoody Norcross GA

  12. I think developing your arsenal of “quotables” comes from branching out in the yogic world. A yoga certification gives you just enough to be able to comfortably teach yoga to students, your training will be lifelong. I think it is essential for yoga instructors to become familiar with and comfortable in the many yogic paths, unless it is just an exercise thing for you. For me the exercise is usually secondary. I did my teacher training over 5 years ago, and I remember like yesterday. We did more like 12 hrs. a day and waking up before 4pm was a part of our training, as well as eating a raw food diet. You might find that some of your best “quotables” comes from those early, “before-the-sun-comes-up”, times and as you doze off with yogic dialogues easing you into a deep meditative sleep.

  13. Is it a caption competition?

    Teacher: Is that feeling any better?
    Student: Yes, my knees are much more comfy on your back, and my hands are warmer already. What’s that slight breeze?

  14. Haha, I love your little quote at the end! As a postgrad student, that’s practically my life motto.

    The girl I share an office with summed it up best with a cake metaphor: Everyone thinks cakes revolve around floor, but the best cake is actually mostly egg. The flour is hard work. The egg is bullshit. More eggs needed!

  15. Thank you for sharing!!!

    Yoga has changed my life, yet sadly with a busy life I have unable to continue it. Usually it helps me cope with my business…but the only time I have to attend is a 6am session and sometimes it is just too much to ask for.

  16. Beautifully expressed and triggers recall of my 4-week Yoga TT. Regarding inspiration…I don’t focus on being inspiring – I focus on being inspired by other teachers, then passing on what works for me. Enjoy the rest of your TT! OM Shanti.

  17. I love yoga, fell out of practice, but just was thinking this very day that I must get back into HOT yoga. Good luck to you on your teaching practice and your journey! You are right, I always wondered where my teachers came up with their words of wisdom.

  18. Very intersting post! Good luck on finishing your courses. I’d love to take Yoga to a professional level. I’ve been practicing for a few years now, but just need to take that next step. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Anything that has to do with Yoga and China has my attention!
    Enviable position you are at! How I wish i hadn’t stopped working out and doing my Yoga 30 years ago! Is it too late to begin again?
    Tell me where you’ll teach, and maybe, just maybe, I can join your class!

  20. Thank you, yogis and readers for sharing your experiences and comments. To answer some of your questions:

    – The yoga: I’m being trained at Absolute Sanctuary in Thailand to teach the Absolute Yoga hot series. The series was developed by experienced Bikram instructors. It’s a 50-posture sequence that combines elements of traditional Bikram postures and the Ashtanga primary series. Basically, it’s Bikram with more flow and challenging postures.

    – My teaching: In November, I start teaching at Om Yoga 42 in Lido, Beijing ( As a part-time food/entertainment writer, I have reviewed yoga studios all around Beijing and hands down, this is the best in terms of facilities and teaching. They are light on English and truly bilingual teachers — that’s the gap I’ll be filling. I’ll teach the Absolute series as a start and start to do more Moksha, vinyasa style classes in the future. In December, I’ll be auditioning to teach at Yoga Yard (in Sanlitun near Gongti).

    – Private classes: Yes, there will be private classes 🙂 I’m setting up a home studio with mirrors and all that, so let me know if you are interested in giving yoga a try 1×1 or with friends.

    9 days to go!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s