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

4.33  ·  Rating Details ·  1,856 Ratings  ·  125 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
ebook, 448 pages
Published October 27th 2010 by Anchor (first published December 2002)
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Reanee Spratt
Nov 04, 2010 Reanee Spratt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Sep 05, 2013 Eva rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 04, 2012 Brandi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 (
Mar 30, 2010 Abby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dan Secor
Jan 08, 2013 Dan Secor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Jan 05, 2011 Dawnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
May 20, 2015 Cydney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started reading this over a year ago, just as I was about to begin yoga teacher training. This is a book that I will refer to over and over again.
Great gift for yoga beginners- just nothing super deep or transformative, and nothing to re-read or revisit, really.
Shev Qui
Mar 23, 2017 Shev Qui rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meditations from the Mat is a compilation of essays by Rolf Gates exploring the principles of yoga, practical tips, and encouragement for continued practice. He explores the eight limbs of yoga in depth using personal experiences as a yoga convert, his history of alcoholism, and his current life as a yoga teacher and studio owner to shed light on the application of these principles. Although this book was meant to be read over the course of a year I read it all at once which has a particular ben ...more
Mar 08, 2017 Olivia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started this book exactly a year ago today. I've read an entry almost everyday of the past 365 days give or take some vacations where I didn't drag the book along with me and caught up once I got home.

My life and yoga practice has gone through a lot in the past year. This book provided a nice daily routine that helped deepen my practice and bring some wise words into my day. I found the structure of grouping the readings by the eight-limb path of yoga helpful, though at the end I noticed mysel
Sabrina Bodden
Feb 22, 2017 Sabrina Bodden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of God talk, which I find useful but it's hard to translate it into something palatable for all students.
Mar 09, 2016 London rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book includes 365 instructive and encouraging daily reflections centered around the path of yoga. Each day’s meditation begins with a quote and then continues by exploring one aspect of yoga’s philosophy. While flipping through this book at Barnes and Noble, I was fascinated by the journal-like setup, but also drawn back because of the number of pages. However, once I began to read it, I loved how every entry taught something new. Even though the entries were short, they were full of knowle ...more
Selena La'Chelle
Feb 16, 2013 Selena La'Chelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: journaling
I am grateful for this book, which I am certain is a project that has surely inspired many yogis, for it has certainly inspired me. When read one essay at a time over the course of a year (or two, in my case), and in the accompaniment of yoga practice, it is undeniable that something special happens in the meeting of Rolf's words (guided in part by Katrina Kenison) and your own experience. This book, a personal project that inspires personal projects, is not intended to be read, but rather to be ...more
Kathy Stone
This is a series of daily meditations told through the perspective of the spiritual side of Yoga. Some of the meditations seemed to be sacrireligious according to the beliefs that I was raised with. I know that Yoga is an ancient practice and belongs to a different world than that of the Judeo-Christian beliefs of the Western world, but I find it hard to believe that there is not a day of rest prescribed in the Eastern Religions to devote to the service of their God. The day of worship is not to ...more
Harriet M.
Nov 01, 2007 Harriet M. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yoga
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
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
Aug 17, 2015 Jobie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
I really wish I could give 4 stars - it doesn't deserve three. 3 1/2 would be good.

Each day there's acquired the quotes are often very good. And most of the injuries and cells are good. They're simple and insightful. Nothing earth shattering or mentally challenging. It probably doesn't need to be mentally challenging, but I like my spiritual reading to give me something that you wanted, some new concept or idea to wrap my brain around. That kind of mental work helps me to dig deep. But I don't t
Artemisia Hunt
Jan 12, 2013 Artemisia Hunt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Laura Klover
Jul 12, 2016 Laura Klover rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I have read this book daily at least three years, maybe four. I've only had the privilege of physically studying with Rolf Gates at one weekend workshop years ago, yet he lives on through me through this book. He does a nice job of addressing the eight limbs of Patanjali's yoga through daily entries that use present day examples for illustration. The entries are thought-worthy and well written. I have given this book as a gift a couple of times to people that I know want to deepen their yoga pra ...more
Feb 27, 2009 Jill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 07, 2010 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 30, 2016 Jenifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent resource for any yoga student or teacher. There is information here; Gates outlines the eight-limbed path of yoga. There is also inspiration; examples and anecdotes from the authors life. There is also a great deal of wisdom from someone who has made a life of practicing and sharing what he has learned.

Divided into 365 daily meditations, each one gives something to ponder, practice and observe. I loved it.
Artemisia Hunt
Oct 27, 2015 Artemisia Hunt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I found that one of my favorite books on yoga was released on audio after 13 years from its original release, I had to re-read it in this form. Audio versions of a favorite book are always interesting. Most enhance the reading of a book for me, and this one did just that. Every time I revisit this book, whether in snippets as part of my daily yoga practice, or in total as this time, I deepen my understanding of yoga, which only serves to enhance my experience on the mat.
Jul 07, 2010 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yoga-stuff
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).
Jul 02, 2011 Meg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yoga, non-fic
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.
Marion Pilger
May 15, 2014 Marion Pilger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Marion by: My daughter
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.

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.
May 10, 2013 Ali rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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“The real payoff of a yoga practice, I came to see, is not a perfect handstand or a deeper forward bend—it is the newly born self that each day steps off the yoga mat and back into life.” 2 likes
“We spend our days badgered by voices that tell us to judge others, fear others, harm others, or harm ourselves. But we are not obligated to listen to those voices, or even to take responsibility for them. They may be where we come from, but they are not where we are going. There is another voice, a voice that shines. Ahimsa is the practice of listening to that voice of lightness, cultivating that voice, trusting that voice, acting upon that voice.” 2 likes
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