A joyful heart and a happy state of mind is not something that just happens; it requires effort, intention, and practice. Yoga teaches us how to cultivate happiness in our lives by focusing on the present moment, living in harmony with nature, cultivating inner peace, practicing detachment, and showing compassion and kindness towards others. Inspirational quotes are a great tool to motivate you to practice yoga and approach life with a positive mindset and an open heart. To help you find more joy inside and out, we’ve compiled these 52 inspiring yoga quotes on happiness.

Our Favorite Inspirational Quotes on Yoga and Happiness

Inspirational quotes are perfect reminders to bring your body, mind, and spirit into harmony. Use the following quotes to remind yourself to be kinder to yourself and to inspire you to keep going when times get tough. We hope the following yoga quotes will inspire, uplift, and empower you to take action towards cultivating and creating more joy in your life.

  1. Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. — Mahatma Gandhi
  2. Healthy plants and trees yield abundant flowers and fruits. Similarly, from a healthy person, smiles and happiness shine forth like the rays of the sun. — B. K. S. Iyengar
  3. The path to wholeness starts by loving yourself. It always starts there. If you love yourself, you will do whatever it takes to restore your health and happiness. — Dashama Konah Gordon
  4. Happiness depends to some extent upon external conditions, but chiefly upon mental attitudes. In order to be happy one should have good health, a well-balanced mind, a prosperous life, the right work, a thankful heart, and above all, wisdom or knowledge of God. — Paramahansa Yogananda
  5. Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. — Buddha
  6. Yoga is the golden key that unlocks the door to peace, tranquility, and joy. — B. K. S. Iyengar
  7. A much more interesting, kind, adventurous, and joyful approach to life is to begin to develop curiosity, not caring whether the object of our inquisitiveness is bitter or sweet. ― Pema Chodron
  8. Authentic joy is not a euphoric state or a feeling of being high. Rather, it is a state of appreciation that allows us to participate fully in our lives. We train in rejoicing in the good fortune of self and others. ― Pema Chodron
  9. Be happy for those who are happy, have compassion towards the unhappy, and maintain equanimity towards the wicked. — Patanjali
  10. Be sincere in your thoughts, Be pure in your feelings. You will not have to run after happiness. Happiness will run after you. ― Sri Chinmoy
  11. To preserve openness of heart and calmness of mind, nurture these attitudes: Kindness to those who are happy. Compassion for those who are less fortunate. Honor for those who embody noble qualities. Equanimity to those whose actions oppose your values. ― Nischala Joy Devi
  12. Happiness lies in making others happy, in forsaking self-interest to bring joy to others. — Paramahansa Yogananda
  13. Happy is the man who knows how to distinguish the real from the unreal, the eternal from the transient and the good from the pleasant by his discrimination and wisdom. ― B.K.S. Iyengar
  14. I learned a few years ago that balance is the key to a happy and successful life, and a huge part of achieving that balance is to instill rituals into your everyday life – a nutritious balanced diet, daily exercise, time for yourself through meditation, reading, journaling, yoga, daily reflection, and setting goals. — Gretchen Bleiler
  15. If failure has the strength to turn your life into bitterness itself, then patience has the strength to turn your life into the sweetest joy. Do not surrender to fate after a single failure. Failure, at most, precedes success. ― Sri Chinmoy
  16. If there are always forces around which are concerned to depress and discourage, there are always forces above and around us which we can draw upon, – draw into ourselves to restore, to fill up again with strength and faith and joy and the power that perseveres and conquers. It is really a habit that one has to get of opening to these helpful forces and either passively receiving them or actively drawing upon them – for one can do either. ― Sri Aurobindo
  17. If you have done something meritorious, you experience pleasure and happiness; if wrong things, suffering. A happy or unhappy life is your own creation. Nobody else is responsible. If you remember this, you won’t find fault with anybody. You are your own best friend as well as your worst enemy. — Sri Swami Satchidananda
  18. If you want to be sad, no one in the world can make you happy. But if you make up your mind to be happy, no one and nothing on earth can take that happiness from you. — Paramahansa Yogananda
  19. In deep, conscious involvement with everything around you, there is no entanglement—there is just joy. — Sadhguru
  20. Judge nothing, you will be happy. Forgive everything, you will be happier. Love everything, you will be happiest. ― Sri Chinmoy
  21. Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free. ― Thich Nhat Hanh
  22. Make others truly happy as you strive to make yourself happy. Speak a helpful word. Give a cheering smile. Do a kind act. Serve a little. Wipe the tears of one who is in distress. Render smooth a rough place in another’s path. You will feel great joy. — Sivananda
  23. Many people think excitement is happiness…. But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace. — Thich Nhat Hanh
  24. Mindfulness helps you go home to the present. And every time you go there and recognize a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes. — Thich Nhat Hanh
  25. Pain or pleasure, joy or misery, agony or ecstasy, happens only inside you. Human folly is that people are always trying to extract joy from the outside. You may use the outside as a stimulus or trigger, but the real thing always comes from within. ― Sadhguru
  26. Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. Every breath we take, every step we take, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment. ― Thich Nhat Hanh
  27. Real joy means immediate expansion. If we experience pure joy, immediately our heart expands. ― Sri Chinmoy
  28. Remain fixed in the sunlight of the true consciousness — for only there is happiness and peace. They do not depend upon outside happenings, but on this alone. ― Sri Aurobindo
  29. Submit to a daily practice. Your loyalty to that is a ring at the door. Keep knocking, and the joy inside will eventually open a window and look out to see who’s there. — Rumi
  30. Surrendering to the demands of the senses does not satisfy them, but rather creates insatiable desires for further sense experiences. Sense pleasure is like a drink of hemlock, which, instead of quenching thirst, only increases it! Soul pleasure, though hard to attain, when once gained is never diminished; it knows no satiety, and yields ever new joys. — Paramahansa Yogananda
  31. The basic thing is that everyone wants happiness, no one wants suffering. And happiness mainly comes from our own attitude, rather than from external factors. If your own mental attitude is correct, even if you remain in a hostile atmosphere, you feel happy. — H.H. the Dalai Lama
  32. The forceful, activating impulse of wrong desire is the greatest enemy to the happiness of man. Roam in the world as a lion of self-control; don’t let the frogs of sense weakness kick you around! ― Paramahansa Yogananda
  33. The greatest obstacle to connecting with our joy is resentment. ― Pema Chodron
  34. The more we make friends with ourselves, the more we can see that our ways of shutting down and closing off are rooted in the mistaken thinking that the way to get happy is to blame somebody else. ― Pema Chodron
  35. The more your heart is open and filled with joy and gratitude, the more you will enjoy life and be able to shine your light out into the world. The more light you shine into the world, the more you can help others with your very presence. ― Max Strom
  36. The nature of all material things is impermanent, and that it is thus foolishness to expect permanent happiness by clinging to material forms and objects. — Paramahansa Yogananda
  37. The purpose of life is to watch and experience living. To enjoy living every moment of it. And to live in environments, which are calm, quiet, slow, sophisticated, elegant. Just to be. Whether you are naked or you have a golden robe on you, that doesn’t make any difference. The ideal purpose of your life is that you are grateful—great and full—that you are alive, and you enjoy it. — Yogi Bhajan
  38. The saints have found that happiness lies in a constant mental state of unruffled peace during all the experiences of earthly dualities. A changeable mind perceives a changeable creation, and is easily disturbed; the unchangeable soul and the unruffled mind, on the other hand, behold, behind the masks of change, the Eternal Spirit. — Paramahansa Yogananda
  39. Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place. — Rumi
  40. The yogi learns to find God in the cave of his heart. Wherever he goes, he carries with him the blissful consciousness of God’s presence. — Paramahansa Yogananda
  41. This is the path we take in cultivating joy: learning not to armor our basic goodness, learning to appreciate what we have. Most of the time we don’t do this. Rather than appreciate where we are, we continually struggle and nurture our dissatisfaction. It’s like trying to get the flowers to grow by pouring cement on the garden. ― Pema Chodron
  42. To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. When you are born a lotus flower, be a beautiful lotus flower, don’t try to be a magnolia flower. If you crave acceptance and recognition and try to change yourself to fit what other people want you to be, you will suffer all your life. True happiness and true power lie in understanding yourself, accepting yourself, having confidence in yourself. ― Thich Nhat Hanh
  43. True inner joy is self-created. It does not depend on outer circumstances. A river is flowing in and through you carrying the message of joy. This divine joy is the sole purpose of life. ― Sri Chinmoy
  44. We can learn to rejoice in even the smallest blessings our life holds. It is easy to miss our own good fortune; often happiness comes in ways we don’t even notice. ― Pema Chodron
  45. We must create a marriage between the awareness of the body and that of the mind. When two parties do not cooperate, there is unhappiness on both sides. ― B.K.S. Iyengar
  46. When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love. ― Thich Nhat Hanh
  47. When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace. — H.H. the Dalai Lama
  48. When you make someone happy, you see his or her happy face and feel happy yourself. If you have really experienced the joy of just giving something for the sake of giving, you will wait greedily for opportunities to get that joy again and again. Many people think that by renouncing everything, by becoming selfless and desireless, there is no enjoyment. No. That is not so. Instead, you become the happiest man or woman. The more you serve, the more happiness you enjoy. Such a person knows the secret of life. There is a joy in losing everything, in giving everything. You cannot be eternally happy by possessing things. The more you possess, the more sad you become. ― Sri Swami Satchidananda
  49. Yoga is a way to freedom. By its constant practice, we can free ourselves from fear, anguish and loneliness. — Indra Devi
  50. Yoga makes you harmonious with nature and teaches you to be joyfully curious about your inner world. — Debashish Mridha
  51. Yoga sequences are designed to uncover our birthright: love, joy, and freedom. The body can experience these essences as space, ease, and liberation. ― Colleen Saidman Yee
  52. You do not have to leave earth’s shores to put on wings; you must learn rather to be happy here and now, under all conditions; and consider others’ happiness as part of your own joy. — Paramahansa Yogananda

How to Use Inspirational Quotes in Your Yoga Practice

Quotes are powerful tools you can use to motivate yourself to action or infuse your practice with intention. Each quote is a bite-sized nugget of potent wisdom, often presented in a poetic or otherwise memorable way. Here are a few practical ways to incorporate these inspirational quotes on yoga for happiness into your practice:

  1. Print out the list of quotes and post them wherever you might need a reminder to practice mindfulness, yoga, and meditation with joy and lightheartedness.
  2. Create an intention card or small piece of artwork featuring a quote and place it on your personal altar or in your practice space.
  3. Share your favorite quotes on social media to build communal support for your expression and use of joy and happiness in your yoga practices.
  4. Read a few quotes before you practice yoga or meditation to set an intention or mood for your practice.
  5. Use a quote as the seed thought for deep contemplation or journaling.

Share your quotes with us

Are there any other quotes on yoga and joy that have encouraged and supported you to create and maintain happiness in your life? We’d love to hear them, so please post them in the comments below!