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Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga Paperback – December 3, 2002
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“More than just cultivating more vibrant health, yoga is an evolutionary journey. This book reflects the deepening and expansive effect of a dedicated yoga practice.” --Sifhar Jonathan Foust, President, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health
“Rolf Gates is an inspiring teacher who has written an inspiring book. A must for yoga teachers and students alike, Meditations from the Mat brings yoga theory into the 21st century and into our daily lives.” --Baron Baptiste, author of Journey Into Power
“In this free-spirited journey to the heart of yoga, Rolf guides us, through daily meditations, to finding the appropriate balance between standing firm and surrendering to flow -- the key to peace of mind.” --Beryl Bender Birch, author of Power Yoga and Beyond Power Yoga
Top Customer Reviews
If you practice yoga, you will appreciate this book. If you like thought-provoking quotes, you'll find them here. If you're on a path toward spiritual and emotional well being, this book is for you.
Grasping Patanjali's 8-limb path is a daunting task. Gates, along with gifted writer/editor Katrina Kenison, simplifies these lessons by presenting them through examples of his own life experiences and discoveries.
What I like best about this book is that it's simple and it's Real. Anybody can relate to these stories of suffering, joy, tragedy, and love, regardless of whether they practice yoga. So with each daily reading, we begin to realize that yoga is not some esoteric, mountain-top guru thing, but a means of meeting ourselves and learning our truth -- simply by showing up on our mats and in our lives.
Gates doesn't claim to have answers. He gives us what he has to give: the lessons he has learned through the erratic, grace-filled ride he's had so far. As the essays gradually build on one another, we begin to understand that amid our suffering, fear, and doubt, we can "experience a visceral sense of belonging in a universe held together by love."
If you take in one of these essays each day, you will nourish your soul. No doubt about it. I'm only on Day 31 and I feel the difference already!
However, once I took the book home and started reading, it didn't resonate with me. Just now I had to dig through the back of my closet, in the pile of books hidden behind the regular books, to find it.
As I was perusing the chapters again for this review I realized my main beef. There are no descriptive, impactful images/stories. The principles are basic yoga and yoga related ones. But there is not a lot that catches your heart. A few parts are nice, but mostly it feels dry.
In contrast, I thought of some of my old, favorite books that had even shorter entries, but left you inspired! As an example, even though it has been years since I read it, and I cannot think of the title or author at the moment, one of my old books gives the image of seeing a lone flower that had pushed up through a crack in the cement. The author related that vision to blossoming even in the most challenging situations. That image STILL stays with me, and I have used it repeatedly when speaking with clients, who also found it moving.
The authors of this book mention yamas, niyamas, and various important principles in yoga. But it is missing the emotional, descriptive side. I wish I could give it more stars. My exact rating is 3.5 but will bump it up to 4. I was pretty sad I bought it. Especially because I paid an inflated price to get it RIGHT THEN at the yoga studio (yoga principle of "aparigraha," AKA "don't be so grasping"), rather than hold out a few days and order it on Amazon.Read more ›
The reason I give it four stars instead of five is because Gates has a little bit of loggorhea when it comes to discussing God. It gets on my nerves. Everyone knows that yoga is accessible to everyone regardless of religious affiliation (or lack thereof). I don't have a problem with his stating his own belief and connection with God, but it starts to get repetitious and rather prescriptive. Furthermore, his AA background comes up a little too often. That twelve step mentality seems a little out of place on occasion. That said, this book is absolutely rife with flashes of brilliance. It's very informative in discussing the yamas and niyamas. In fact, it discusses, at length, all 8 limbs of the yogic path/discipline. It's not just about the asanas. I recognized more than a little familiarity with my own yoga experiences--both the high points and frustrations. Furthermore, it really drives home the point that while yoga is about developing a life-long practice and becoming introspective in our practice, we also come to recognize the importance of community. I was a little sad at coming to the last page. I wanted it to go on forever. I will definitely read it again.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This wasn't what I was expecting. Wanted to learn meditation but to me this is more of a book for a yoga teacherPublished 2 days ago by wooly
I took a yoga instructors advice and purchased this book to learn more about the other limbs of yoga besides just being focused on the asana aspect of the practice. Wow. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Jon Brulotte
You don't need to read this in order, opening the book to any page at any given time will give you a meditative moment upon reading the text. Read morePublished 18 days ago by PCF
So much wisdom, encouragement and helpful information on the very basics of yoga --- and how to transform those basics into a full and beautiful life. Never grows old. Read morePublished 1 month ago by jan shopping
I just started reading this book and absolutely love it! Every day I read one daily devotional and it gives me something to mediate on all day long. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer