Yoga practice, fake buddha quotes & emotional accuracy

• ~400 words • 2 minute read

Today I was able to return to my regular Tuesday evening hot yoga practice that I adore so much. I enjoy it because the instructor does a great job of bringing physically challenging poses to the session that leave me feeling destroyed — not a difficult task when it comes to yoga — and accompanying them with words, sayings and insights that really resonate with me. Put the two together, add copious heat and sweat and it's a recipe for a happy yogi.

This evening the instructor decided to add more quotes to the session after some semi-jokey feedback suggesting the insightful, mantric bits could use more quotes. In an effort to contrarily respect the wish our instructor took a knowingly fake quote from Fake Buddha Quotes:

“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”

The idea of using an inauthentic Buddha quote made me laugh, but the words themselves were really quite nice. Perhaps authenticity in authorship is overrated. It's emotionally accurate.

I love those words together and there's a story about that: There is a man whom I consider an old family friend and he used to play music with my dad. Growing up he'd encourage my own musical pursuits, from garage bands and Pink Floyd covers to heady, oddly-metered jazz fusion projects playing jazz festivals. In high school I played back part of a song my friends and I had recorded. He immediately recognized the unique, sonorous qualities of my friends voice. There must have been a note he missed in the song and perhaps I cringed, but I remember the old family friend saying: "That voice... You know, the notes may not all be there, but it's emotionally accurate."  I don't get many opportunities to use that expression but it stuck with me.

For the remainder of the week, maybe I can lean on this fake quote and killer yoga session to guide me; call it a focus, an intention, a prayer, a mantra — doesn't matter.

Whatever word feels more emotionally accurate.