The Yoga Formula is Simplicity. We walk into yoga class tied into various knots: emotional knots, physical knots, mental knots. We leave class refreshed because we've managed—through breathing, asana and meditation—to untie at least 1 of these knots.
That's it. Simple, but not always easy to apply. I recently returned from a retreat center where we live a very simple life: organic food 3 times per day, yoga 2 times per day, alone time, group time, journaling, exploration inward and outward, and meaningful conversation. Repeat this for 7 days.
It's no wonder why I love leading retreats so much! There is an implied simplicity. When I return to regular life, it feels more complex. I have bills to pay, emails to write, laundry to wash, groceries to buy, and so on. Just because my outward life is less simple does not mean I cannot sustain the internal simplicity internally.
Cultivating Internal And External Simplicity
E. F. Schumacker says, "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage—to move in the opposite direction." I know we can all be geniuses. It's a matter of rewiring our mind and thorough practice that will help us all cultivate the healing simplicity offers us.
I remember watching Little House on the Prairie as a child and thinking how easy that show was. Laura Ingalls Wilder, herself suggests, "It is the simple things in life that make living worthwhile, the sweet fundamental things such as love and duty, work and rest, and living close to nature." Yoga promises true, internal joy if we stay connected to our hearts.
Here are my picks of 15 quotes to help inspire you to cultivate simplicity in your life.
- “Simple pleasures are the last healthy refuge in a complex world.“ — Oscar Wilde
- “Simple truths are a relief from grand speculations.” – Vauvenargues
- “Simplicity and naturalness are the truest marks of distinction.” — W. Somerset Maugham
- “Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art.” — Frank Lloyd Wright
- "Simplicity, clarity, singleness: these are the attributes that give our lives power and vividness and joy."— Richard Halloway
- "Simplicity does not mean want or poverty. It does not mean the absence of any decor, or absolute nudity. It only means that the decor should belong intimately to the design proper, and that anything foreign to it should be taken away." — Paul Jacques Grillo
- “Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.“ — Alan Perlis
- “Simplicity in character, in manners, in style; in all things the supreme excellence is simplicity. “ — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- "Simplicity involves unburdening your life, and living more lightly with fewer distractions that interfere with a high quality life, as defined uniquely by each individual. You will find people living simply in large cities, rural areas and everything in between." — Linda Breen Pierce
- “Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability. “ – Edsger Dijkstra
- “Simplicity is a state of mind.” — Charles Wagner
- “Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.” — Charles Dudley Warner
- “Simplicity is not an objective in art, but one achieves simplicity despite one’s self by entering into the real sense of things.” — Constantin Brancusi
- “Simplicity is not the goal. It is the by-product of a good idea and modest expectations. “ — Paul Rand
- “Simplicity is the glory of expression.“ — Walt Whitman
You see, our hearts always crave simplicity even as our minds lean towards the complex. So come to the mat today to regain a comfort in simplicity and then take that feeling home with you and apply this refreshed prism to your life. Love yourself, love your day, love your life!