12 Inspiring Yoga Quotes For International Yoga Day 2016

Grab your mats and celebrate, since June 21 is International Yoga Day, a holiday that became widely recognized only two years ago in 2014. Yoga is one of the most amazing exercises you can partake in, since you're exercising your mind and spirit along with your body, and it's extremely rewarding for those seeking a few moments of mental clarity. Even if you've never taken a yoga class before, there are many inspirational yoga quotes to celebrate International Yoga Day, most from people around the world who actively take part in incorporating yoga in their daily life. If you've been feeling stressed from the daily pressures of life, and simultaneously want to improve your flexibility and muscle tone, it's a good day to search for some beginner yoga videos on YouTube and get started.

International Yoga Day, which is officially known as "International Day of Yoga" and sometimes also just called "Yoga Day," was established since yoga is seen as being a pretty worthwhile practice. Back in 2014, Honorable Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, gave a speech that helped symbolize why such a day was so important. "Yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition," he said. "It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature." There's a reason it's celebrated on the 21st — it's often seen as the first day of summer, and as the longest day of the year, so it's already cherished. Might as well make it even more special.

If you found Modi's words to be incredibly inspiring, here are a few more quotes about yoga that are pretty Pinterest-worthy.

1. "You cannot do yoga. Yoga is your natural state. What you can do are yoga exercises, which may reveal to you where you are resisting your natural state." — Sharon Gannon

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Gannon is famous for co-creating the Jivamukti Yoga Method along with David Life back in 1984, and is a spiritual activist, author, and teacher.

2. "A photographer gets people to pose for him. A yoga instructor gets people to pose for themselves." — Terri Guillemets

This quote is especially intriguing, as it compares two completely different forms of art and expression. This is a brilliant observation from Guillemets, a quotation anthologist who founded the site The Quote Garden.

3. "Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter the flame." — B.K.S. Iyengar

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Iyengar is a shining star in the yoga community. Not only is he the founder of Iyengar Yoga, but he was known for being both wise and a little quirky — for example, he once did an entire interview while standing on his head, which he admitted was a natural position for him. Passing away in 2014, he lived until the ripe old age of 95, crediting yoga for helping him excel in multiple activities.

4. "Anyone who practices can obtain success in yoga but not one who is lazy. Constant practice alone is the secret of success." — Svatmarama

Svatmarama, a yogic sage, gives this quote about yoga that can be applied to almost anything. Practice makes perfect, and in order to succeed, you can't give up. The more you do, the better you'll get.

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

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Crandell's quote appeared in Yoga Journal back in November of 2005. Crandell, taught by the legendary Rodney Yee (you may have owned a few Yee VHS tapes back in the day), practices vinyasa yoga, and has also written a few books.

6. "Before you've practiced, the theory is useless. After you've practiced, the theory is obvious." — David Williams

Williams, an Ashtanga teacher from Maui, used this quote in an issue of Yoga Journal from 1995 — looks like Yoga Journal churns out some pretty inspiring quotes, am I right? Williams started practicing yoga back in 1971, and currently has workshops booked worldwide.

7. "Exercises are like prose, whereas yoga is the poetry of movements. Once you understand the grammar of yoga; you can write your poetry of movements." — Amit Ray

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How beautifully stated. Ray practiced meditation and yoga since childhood, and thinks that yoga is more of a "science of the well-being" than a religion.

8. "Yoga is not a work-out, it is a work-in. And this is the point of spiritual practice; to make us teachable; to open up our hearts and focus our awareness so that we can know what we already know and be who we already are." — Rolf Gates

Gates, a teacher and author, summarizes yoga quite well in this quote. Yoga should definitely make us feel more open and aware, which will make us stronger individuals. Gates is one of the few yoga teachers that actually offers classes online, and his workshops are geared towards training other teachers, and giving teachers worldwide a refresher course.

9. "Yoga is really trying to liberate us from... shame about our bodies. To love your body is a very important thing — I think the health of your mind depends on your being able to love your body." — Rodney Yee

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Way to go, Rodney Yee, with your body positive wisdom. Yoga is a great way to feel more in tune with who you are both on the inside and out, and understand how magical your body is as a system. If you practice yoga, you'll be amazed by the many wonderful things your body can do. Yee believes that the most powerful pieces of equipment you need for this exercise are your mind and your body, and he's absolutely right.

10. "Yoga is almost like music in a way; there's no end to it." — Sting

Sting's not just a legendary musician — he's also a huge fan of yoga. His routine typically includes a whopping 60 to 90 minutes of yoga before breakfast, although this changes up a bit when he's on tour. He says that yoga for him is more about control and discipline than exercise.

11. "The gift of learning to meditate is the greatest gift you can give yourself in this lifetime." — Sogyal Rinpoche

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Meditation is a big part of yoga, so I figured I'd throw in a pretty amazing quote about that as well. Pairing the two is excellent for stress relief, and can definitely help clear out your cluttered mind. Since yoga helps enhance your ability to concentrate, it's excellent to get into such a mindset for meditation, which focuses on quiet inner reflection.

12. "To perform every action artfully is yoga." — Swami Kripalu

Swami Kripalu was known for being both passionate and spiritual, and his teachings inspired a few different schools to open that ensure that the art of yoga will always flourish. He was also a big supporter of having a healthy lifestyle, and made sure that his practices taught "self-observation without judgment."

Images: Giphy (6); Pixabay