What is it about quotes that we find so appealing? Do they actually inspire us? How do these quotes start from a page in a book, a movie or speech, and soon become every day vernacular? Have you ever heard someone make claim on a quote and you think the quote was stolen from you, that you were the one who spouted those words of wisdom? Or how about the quotes that are misquoted?
This inspiring quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world,’ is attributed to Mahatma Gandhi. However, according to the New York Times, he said something entirely different. He actually said,
‘We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”
Now, isn’t that much more powerful than the misquote? The three words, divine mystery supreme, sound like a scrumptious dessert that if eaten will invoke happiness!
There are books of famous quotes as well as coffee mugs, t-shirts, bumper stickers and posters that monopolise the wall real estate in office cubicles. It seems over the past decade that quotes have taken over interior design in our homes. Kitchens are covered with cheerful thoughts painted on wood in a folksy script such as, ‘A messy kitchen is a happy kitchen,’ or ‘This kitchen is for dancing.’ Living rooms are plastered with signage about going fishing, or living in harmony with peace and love. Contemporary culture loves these words of encouragement be them calming, goofy or inspiring.
We yogis love a good quote too. Here are some of my favourites, and if I’ve misquoted, feel free to leave a comment below to let me know, and feel free to share some of your favourite Yoga quotes.
Yoga is the fountain of youth. You’re only as young as your spine is flexible. – Bob Harper
Calming the mind is yoga. Not just standing on the head. – Swami Satchidananda
Yoga is like music. The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life. – B.K.S. Iyengar
Smiling is mouth yoga. – Thich Nhat Hanh
Yoga is the stilling of the changing states of the mind. – Patanjali