Yoga Quotes

Frog in a yoga position surrounded by purple and yellow flowers

If you’ve been following the blog during our first few months, you’ll have realised that at Bolton Hot Yoga, we’re passionate about all aspects of yoga. We believe it can change your body, mind and spirit for the better.

We’re glad to be part of a worldwide family of yoga lovers that includes expert practitioners, novices and people who just like the idea (our picture of the stone frog in violas was taken at Petals from the Past, in Alabama). The yoga community is chock-full of characterful, inspirational people. Today we’re sharing a few of our favourite quotes from other lovers of yoga about the power it has to transform lives.

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Yoga is a powerful vehicle for change. As you build strength you start to believe in your own potential.

– Tiffany Cruikshank

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True yoga is not about the shape of your body, but the shape of your life. Yoga is not to be performed; yoga is to be lived. Yoga doesn’t care about what you have been; yoga cares about the person you are becoming.

– Aadil Palkhivala

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The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness.

– Sakyong Mipham

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Yoga allows you to rediscover a sense of wholeness in your life, where you do not feel like you are constantly trying to fit broken pieces together.

Yoga is a light which once lit, will never dim. The better your practice the brighter your flame.

– B.K.S. Iyengar

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When you listen to yourself, everything comes naturally. It comes from inside, like a kind of will to do something. Try to be sensitive. That is yoga.

–Petri Räisänen

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Yoga is not a religion. It is a science: science of well-being, science of youthfulness, science of integrating body, mind and soul.

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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Yoga, as a way of life and a philosophy, can be practiced by anyone with inclination to undertake it, for yoga belongs to humanity as a whole. It is not the property of any one group or any one individual, but can be followed by any and all, in any corner of the globe, regardless of class, creed or religion.

– Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois

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If you’re curious to explore whether yoga can help you achieve your goals, check out some of our most popular posts or dip your toe in the water by booking an introductory session, either with us in Bolton, Lancashire or at your local studio.

Crescent Lunge – What a Bind!

This fantastic stretch is technically a bound revolved crescent lunge. As you can see from the picture, the bottom hand reaches underneath to link with your other hand to really take the challenge of this pose to the next level. Your drishti or gaze can be down to the earth, facing forward or over your top shoulder.

It’s an amazingly satisfying posture to get into. Though it might not appear so at first glance, this pose opens your heart, stretches and elongates the spine and expands your chest to allow you to fill your lungs.

Part of the challenge in this pose is the strength and balance you need in your legs to be able to create a really stable base. Can’t quite reach? Not a problem at Bolton Hot Yoga Studio! we will find a modification that is right for you, for example, by using yoga props or lowering to one knee.

Before you know it, you will find yourself in Parivrtta Baddha Anjaneyasana which is the Sanskrit name for this lovely posture – hope you enjoy it as much as we do! (Anjaneya means praise or salutation)

Practising Yoga Safely

This pose can help develop your fitness, but we always recommend that you work with a great yoga teacher if you want to attempt postures like this and many others we’ll mention on the blog. Your teacher should have the expertise to support and guide you and recommend safe postures for your body and experience level, and – just as importantly – to check your alignment once you are in pose. 

 

 

 

Yoga and Weight Management

Losing weight (and keeping it off) takes time and patience. In order to lose weight you need to take in slightly fewer calories that you burn. If you want to be able to sustain your weight loss, aim to lose between one and two pounds a week – any more than that and you might be losing precious lean muscle mass.

If you make some sensible swaps in your diet you might not even notice the 250 to 500 calories per day deficit. If you don’t want to restrict calories, aim to increase your activity levels so that you burn more calories. Even better still, combine the two. Include a hot yoga session to burn an extra 250 to 300 calories and reduce your intake by 250 calories. Over a week this would a saving of 3,500 calories which is roughly equivalent to one pound weight loss.

Keep that up for seven weeks and that’s half a stone lost in a sustainable way that doesn’t make you feel like you are going without and denying yourself all the things you like to eat and drink. Diet any other way and you may find that as soon as you stop and go back to your old habits, the weight will come back, often with a few more pounds added!

There is a popular set point theory about weigh management and that is that your body has its own prefered weight that it will try to maintain at all costs. Drop too much weight and your body will panic, go into starvation mode and try to retain as much weight as it can, then as soon as food become abundant again your body will try to quickly regain what it thinks is your optimum weight.

Whatever way you decide to embark on your weight loss journey, we wish you well and, as ever, recommend you get some expert advice to make it easier and more enjoyable.

Dancers

 

Restore your Composure with Pose of the Child

This restorative pose is perfect way to manage the hot conditions in our studio. It is our go-to resting position for those moments when we need to relax after some of the more demanding poses to help us regain our composure. It’s a great posture for relieving the stresses and strains that can build up in our bodies not just during the class, but from the day as a whole.

  • It gently releases the tension in your lower back
  • Extended child’s pose alleviates tension in the shoulders
  • It allows your parasympathetic nervous system to kick into gear
  • With wide knees, as in our picture above, it’s great for the hip flexors
  • It slows and calms the mind, especially with the forehead resting on the third eye

Many of us have busy everyday lives, juggling tasks and responsibilities and it can be tempting to try and push ourselves constantly throughout the day both physically and mentally. This pose is perfect for creating a balance, allowing the mind to clear while the body relaxes and recovers.

In order to get yourself into balasana (child’s pose), kneel down, sit back on your heels, and inhale as you lengthen your spine. As you breath out, fold from your hips and rest your head on the floor. Use a block for support if you find it more comfortable. You can then either place your arms by your sides with your palms facing upwards or extend your arms for a lovely shoulder stretch. Breathe evenly into the pose and enjoy the sense of release it brings as you finally have the time and space to calm and free your mind whilst relaxing your body.

Please consult your doctor before making changes to your lifestyle such as embarking on an exercise programme.

Mermaid Pose

Mermaids, with their amazing beauty, have long fascinated us, inspiring storytellers from ancient times through to Disney. The yoga pose that bears their name has similar grace and power.

If you’ve never experienced this pose, you can be forgiven for missing the similarities between it and a mermaid – unless these mythical sea creatures gained their mystical powers from underwater yoga (that might explain why they are so often pictured holding mirrors). Visitors to our studio may sometimes hear us singing, but perhaps not with the same quality as the mermaid’s song which is reputed to have the power to enchant anyone who heard it.

The mermaid pose is progression from the swan pose and has that same hip opening quality. Here you need a strong, stable base and, in order to avoid compressing the lower back, it’s essential to lift up from the pelvis and elongate the spine. After reaching back and hooking the foot into the crook of the elbow, lift your arm up and over to connect the fingertips.

Mermaid is an intense posture and stretches so many different areas as you breathe and relax into the pose. It’s a beautiful pose to perform. Like the mermaids, it can be elusive, especially at first, but it’s worth persisting if it appears to be out of your reach. At Bolton Hot Yoga, we have the expertise to find you an adaptation of this pose so you can feel a similar sense of poise and achievement.

One option is to start in a 90:90 position with your legs supported by blocks and your fingertips on the ground. Within weeks your ability to balance will improve, giving you the confidence to go on to achieve your own personal best.

Hot yoga helps you build up strong core muscles which are needed to support the fantastic arch of the spine in this pose and to help prevent any compression of the lower back, giving you the flexibility needed to sustain advanced postures like the Mermaid.

Practising Yoga Safely

This pose can help remedy back pain and promote a healthy spine, but we strongly recommend that you work with a great yoga teacher if you want to attempt postures like the Mermaid and many others we’ll mention on the blog. Your teacher should have the expertise to recommend safe postures for your body and experience level, and – just as importantly – to check your alignment once you are in pose. Without this level of expertise to support and guide you, there is a danger that you’ll do yourself harm rather than good.

Mermaid-tail

 

Please consult your doctor before making changes to your lifestyle such as embarking on an exercise programme.

 

Strengthen and Relax with the Sphinx Yoga Pose

The sphinx pose is designed to strengthen your glutes and the whole of your spine; increase the flexibility of your shoulders and open your chest. This lovely, gentle back extension is a perfect way to start your yoga journey.

Our daily lives often create tension in our bodies. Our shoulders and spines are particularly vulnerable when we spend too long without taking a break, hunched over a computer, sitting behind the wheel of a car, or doing physical work such as lifting or gardening. Yoga is a great way to loosen up and reinvigorate our bodies and minds.

The sphinx pose will not only relax tense muscles, but will get you ready for some fantastic postures, for example, preparing you perfectly for deeper backbends, if that’s your goal.

In ancient Egypt, sphinxes were thought to have human heads, the hind legs of a lion, ferocious strength and benevolent temperaments. You’ll find these mythical creatures guarding the entrances to royal tombs and temples.

The Sanskrit name of this energising pose is Salmba Bhujangasna.

How to do The Sphinx

Lying in a nice prone position, line up your elbows with your shoulders, roll your shoulders back and down, then inhale and lift your upper body, taking the crown of your head up to the sky.

If you’re not sure you’re doing the pose correctly, want to learn more, or prefer to exercise with a supportive group, call in at your local hot yoga studio where a community of likeminded people will welcome you.

Please consult your doctor before making changes to your lifestyle such as embarking on an exercise programme.

Extend Your Warrior

This strong posture will help you feel grounded and powerful. Feel the stretch from the tips of the fingers to the edge of your foot and see why this is such a popular choice in our classes.

You’ll find your length and alignment in this pose is enhanced by the hot yoga studio heat and by using the mirrors to check and refine your posture. At Bolton Hot Yoga, our talented teacher will remind you to push your weight evenly through your feet as you actively stretch and reach.

Done correctly, this pose has so many benefits: stabilising your shoulders and pelvis; mobilising and opening your hips; helping build strength and flexibility in your legs; and engaging those precious core muscles that will protect your spine.

This posture reminds us to rise up with strength and steadiness to challenge our physical limitations and turn them into personal achievements.

Want to challenge yourself more? A good teacher can adapt this pose to challenge even the strongest yoga warrior. The teacher’s talent lies in assessing the level of challenge needed, taking their students further than they thought possible, but at the right pace.

Want less challenge? That’s easy – we can suggest lots of progressions to help you start your yoga journey, but before you know it, with regular practice and expert help you will be well on your way to being the strongest warrior you can be.

If you’d like to learn more about hot yoga, use the tag cloud to browse through our earlier posts, or better still, come and join us.

Please consult your doctor before making changes to your lifestyle such as going on a diet or embarking on an exercise programme.

Cabernet and Chakras

The fantastic picture above is of Sharon, a lady I met recently, whose sense of humour and enthusiasm was infectious. One of the most amazing things about the yoga community is that you get to meet some inspirational characters on the journey who invest so much time and energy into yoga for lots of different reasons. Most people I meet want to share their passion for yoga with others so that they too can gain the same mental, spiritual and physical benefits.

I’ve always struggled with the meditation side of our practice so it’s something I’ve tended to avoid where possible. That ability to switch off and empty my mind has eluded me – however much I try, thoughts interrupt my concentration and my mind goes into overdrive.

I was extremely lucky to experience a guided meditation based on the Chakras led by Sharon, who is also a Reiki Master, that just blew my mind. For the first time, I experienced true, deep relaxation. Afterwards, I felt energised and completely centred – it was the highlight of my day.

My experience inspired me to go home and read more about the Chakras, which are thought to be energy centres. Translated literally from Sanskrit, Chakras mean spinning wheels. Chakras cannot be seen or touched and are located where nerves, arteries and veins interlace. Perhaps because they are intangible they are the domain of mysticism and spirituality.

Sharon is based near Stoke and I’ll certainly be making the effort to go again soon. Quite apart from anything else, I need to know her technique for making sure that no wine was spilt during her celebrations!

Seriously, if you’ve never experienced a yoga class, you might find it not just life enhancing, but life changing. And if, like me, you love yoga but the benefits of a fully relaxed meditation have so far eluded you, keep exploring.

meditation