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Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga
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Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga

4.33 of 5 stars 4.33  ·  rating details  ·  1,107 ratings  ·  89 reviews

As more and more people in the West pursue yoga in its various forms, whether at traditional centers, in the high-powered atmosphere of sports clubs, or on their own, they begin to realize that far from being just another exercise routine, yoga is a discipline of the body and the mind.

The 365 meditations incluided in this book offer a way to integr
Paperback, 417 pages
Published December 3rd 2002 by Anchor (first published December 2002)
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Community Reviews

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Reanee Spratt
This book is a masterpiece. Rolf Gates shares with us his personal yoga journey and gives us great inspirations for our yoga journey.

Rolf uses quotes and gives fine examples from his own life how yoga has worked for him and improved his life. He spirit shines and inspires. He is candid and engaging.

I teach yoga and sometimes you just want a bit of yoga to read...and that is what he has given us here. Small important daily readings which are easily digested. Some could be incorporated in Savasa
This book is such a fabulous support to me in my yoga practice. Reading an excerpt or two a day keeps me feeling energized and inspired! Sometimes when I don't feel like practicing yoga one day, I pick up the book and after reading a few entries I have found the motivation I need.

The wisdom that Rolf Gates imparts is definitely NOT just for people who practice yoga, but for anyone who is interested in living a life of balance and compassion towards others.
Rat de bibliothèque
If you do your daily yoga and then read this book afterwords you feel even more of a sense of calm than you would have before. Even if you don't daily practice yoga you can see and feel differences in your attitude and mental health.

Everyone can benefit from "Meditations from the Mat".Each chapter takes you through a section of the eight limbed path of yoga. Over the course of a year the author (Rolf Gates) walks you through his personal meditations as well as educates you using the eight limbe
Aug 10, 2012 Brandi rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: yoga
LOVE, LOVE, LOVED this book. I really enjoyed reading it every day. It is designed to be read one entry at a time (once a day for a year), but often I found myself reading ten or fifteen entries. Every entry comes with an epigraph (I am a huge fan of epigraphs).
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 (
Dan Secor
First a disclaimer - I am not an active yoga practitioner. I recently participated in a weekend beginner's yoga retreat at Kripalu that emphasized gentle techniques but even that was rough on my bad knees. However, this book is so much more than a yoga treatise - it is meant to supplement a yoga practice but is a daily meditation aid in it's own right. And a profound one at that. I own many volumes that help to supplement my meditation practice but this one quickly became my favorite. It even ma ...more
I'm somewhat cheating on this book simply for the fact that it is a year commitment and has a daily meditation for 365 days. My goal is to continue with this daily. I've been at it about a week and have reviewed the whole book, though not read every daily meditation and am thoroughly enjoying it!
Great gift for yoga beginners- just nothing super deep or transformative, and nothing to re-read or revisit, really.
Marion Pilger
May 15, 2014 Marion Pilger rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Marion by: My daughter
On the 20th of March 2012 I received this book for my birthday. Read the introduction on the evening of my birthday and set a goal to read a meditation from Meditations from the Mat: Daily. I found the reflections informative, interesting and helpful for me. The format is nicely set out and divided into eight sections found there to be a good flow to the daily meditation.

With years of teaching yoga, studio management,.addiction recovery and years in the US Military under his belt, Rolf Gates shares the wisdom of yoga in this amazing book. Each day starts off with a thought-provoking quote that Gates then explores in the following short paragraphs. Insightful, wise and immediately applicable, even non-yoga students will be the richer for reading a page or two of this book.

Why I Picked It Up:
I went to an evening yoga seminar last year that was led by Rolf Gates. H
Carrie Horak
I was not good about reading this every day and had it from the library so I definitely could not keep it all year as the book intends. In the end, I think I made it through about 30-45 days of meditations. I usually read it at night whereas I think it is probably better to read in the morning so as to keep the message in the back of your mind throughout your day. I had to return it to the library but I think I would like to purchase this one and attempt to commit to reading it regularly over th ...more
J. Muro
This book made me very happy. Inspired. Very realistic and full of life lessons and so much more. Read it thoroughly in a few days and wish to purchase one soon to accompany the day, be it yoga, etc,...a very blessed discovery, this book.
I've been looking for books that talk about the philosophy of the meditation component of yoga (whether from a Buddhist, Hindu or ecumenical perspective), but this book is not one of those books and so was not quite what I was looking for. But it does offer a methodical and somewhat contemplative overview of the practice of yoga in its more general sense (i.e., the eight limbed path, not just the asanas) in a sort of word-of-the-day approach. And it's not too preachy. I might pick this up again ...more
This book is one I love to revisit for spiritual reminders and motivation. It is simple, personal, and beautiful.
Jacqueline Hayes
I am reading it again and again.
Artemisia Hunt
I've had a daily yoga practice for over 40 years and this book is my all time favorite book about yoga. It's written in a page-a-day format and now that I've read it cover to cover, I will continue to use by opening to a random essay to read each day before my practice. Reading this book has added a deeper understanding and dimension to my practice since the author presents yogic philosophy in a way that is practical as well as personally relevant.
A must read for any student or teacher of yoga.
Apr 04, 2009 Jill rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: yoga
This is fairly useful, especially for those who are either just beginning to practice yoga, or those who have been doing yoga as exercise but did not know much about its spiritual benefits. It offers very basic knowledge and background about the historical background of yoga and an introduction to the sacred texts of India.

The authors have 12-step program backgrounds, which might make it especially attractive to those that share that background.
Jul 19, 2014 Sarah rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: yogis, inspiration, newly interested in incorporating more than asana into daily life
This is my absolute favorite yoga book. I buy a used copy whenever I see it to give away. It has daily yogic insight from Rolf Gates on everyday life lessons and challenges. I don't know how many times I've read this but just keep it close to help me reflect and to set my intentions and to focus.
I have read this day by day over the course of a year and I have randomly flipped open a page for daily inspiration.
This book looked very promising and I was truly hoping to read something about yoga that didn't end up taking me down that religion path that lately all these books seem to do. There are some good entries here and there; but mostly it's too holy for my taste. Some of us like our yoga religion free and each passing day it's harder and harder to find someone who has this vision as well. All in all it's a meh read.
Another one for the dedicated yoga practitioner and/or teacher to keep on the nighstand AND use in class, Gates presents 365 useful and timeless essays based on the eight-limbed path of yoga. A wonderful way to glean a better and more practical understanding of the sometimes elusive social ethics and personal practices essential to the eight-fold path (the Yamas and Niyamas).
Some passages were 4s, some were 2s. I think the best thing about reading this were finding a bunch more good quotes to add to my collections of thought-provoking quotes (the author used quotes from a variety of sources as the opener for each days passage). I'm very happy to be done with this and don't foresee holding onto it in my home library or re-reading it.
while this book is very good for quote-collecting, most of the quotes I found to be appealing were not even Rolf Gates originals. his writing & discourse about his own tribulations was completely underwhelming. I wanted something I could read aloud at the end of my classes & got someone's personal journal instead.
Donna Wynn
Sep 05, 2011 Donna Wynn rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who loves yoga
Recommended to Donna by: my Hot House Yoga studio
I had the pleasure of studying Vinyasa yoga with Rolf at Kripalu last year, what an awesome encourager he is. This book is truly on my book table, for a message every day. My yoga studio, Hot House Yoga, also reads from his book during class. He is an encourager. A must for every person actively practicing yoga!
I like how it's broken down into a short couple pages to read per day - obviously some days were more meaningful to me personally than others, but Rolf has a really interesting life story and a lot of good things to share.
Mary Beth
I am liking this book enough--reading it not one day at a time but in little bunches.

My one complaint is the physical format of the book. It's really awkward and floppy, and if I want to read it anywhere but flat on a table, it flops all over the place!

But the messages are clear and helpful.
Excellent book... talk about gaining a sense of simplicity, of grasping the ideal of understanding and finding inner peace... this is the text you're looking for. The profundity and contextual relevance alone place this book in a unique and practical category. It is not just to be read, but to be lived.
new favorite quote: “To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right.” -- Confucius
I absolutely LOVED this book. Awesome for anyone exploring yoga -- new and old practitioners alike. I savored this book (unlike many others I zoom through) and read a little bit each morning. It always left me feeling grounded, optimistic and supported.
Day 103 of my 365 day journey with this inspirational text. A must for any Yogi.
Today I finished my first read; day 265. I know I will go back and reflect on what I have marked over and over. It was one person's journey but so relatable. Highly recommend!
I love this book.
Much better than the average daily meditation book.
Quotes have been thoughtfully pick out and the author/yoga teacher connects it to yoga, recovery and life in general.
Highly recommended for people who enjoy this sort of thing.
Apr 09, 2014 Marian added it
This book is the essence of the yoga way of life. Rolf Gates lays out in daily meditations how to live the best life you can by imploring the basic tenets of the Yoga Sutras. Great resource of all who want to live a happier life.
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