So often the western world equates yoga with physical activity and exercise. But anyone who has a consistent yoga practice knows the benefits lie deeper, underneath the surface of sun salutations and savasana. The transformative quality of yoga brings you closer to yourself, gives you the opportunity to connect your mind, body, breath, and spirit, and gives you reprieve from the stress of life. Here are some quotes from inspirational yoga teachers and leaders that will help you remember why you practice, when you're unmotivated or in a rut.

1. "Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured." - B.K.S. Iyengar

Where in our lives do we need to accept what we cannot change? Or maybe we have resigned ourselves for too long and have given up our power and ability to change our circumstances. Yoga gives the chance to go inward and go on the path of self-inquiry and self-discovery.

2. "Yoga does not just change the way we see things, it transforms the person who sees." - B.K.S. Iyengar

Yoga is all about perspective and change. It is about inner-transformation just as much as it might be about physical change or goals.

3. "Our breath, like our heartbeat, is the most reliable rhythm in our lives." - Donna Farhi

Yoga connects us to our breath - that vital life force that sustains us and has the power to shift our mood and state. We often go about our days without any attention to our breath, so practice tuning in.

4. "Yoga begins right where I am - not where I was yesterday or where I long to be." - Linda Sparrowe

Meet yourself where you are at - not where you think you should be. No need to compare yourself to anyone else. Start where you are.

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

Bring an attitude of curiosity, acceptance, and willingness to your yoga practice. You will undoubtedly learn something new about yourself every time you leave your mat.

6. "To perform every action artfully is yoga." - Swami Kripalu

Mindfulness is at the heart of yoga practice. How artfully, and with care, can you perform not only the postures, but all other actions in your life?

7. "To know that we are not our thoughts is the first step toward freedom." - Stephen Cope

Thoughts and feelings come and go, and nothing will show you this more than thinking you can't perform a posture, yet steadily making your way towards it each time you practice.

8. "The success of yoga does not lie in the ability to perform postures but in how it positively changes the way we live our life and our relationships." - T.K.V. Desikachar

Yoga is an off-the-mat practice just as much as it is about getting into your body, strengthening, and stretching. Yoga is about how you treat yourself, set boundaries, and communicate with others.