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

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  2,667 ratings  ·  159 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
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Reanee Spratt
Nov 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Amanda Hupe
Jan 27, 2020 rated it did not like it
I got to meditation 136, and it started to become a chore. It is too preachy and religious for me. I was hoping for more spiritual guidance and focus on yoga rather than the author's religious beliefs and his own struggles. He often mentions the military and alcoholism--it is repetitive and I couldn't relate to it at all. When it comes to yoga, it is something I look forward to every day, and like I said, reading the daily meditations became a chore. I did enjoy the quotes but not the meditation ...more
Sep 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
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. ...more
Dan Secor
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
May 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
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
Great gift for yoga beginners- just nothing super deep or transformative, and nothing to re-read or revisit, really.
May 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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.
Shevon Quijano
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Stephanie Spence
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-yoga-library
Rolf Gates is an excellent example of approachable, knowledgeable and loving. I first met Rolf years ago when I was doing my first Yoga Road Trip, traveling up the west coast of the U S in an RV interviewing yoga teachers every day. I had bought his book on the recommendation of a friend, wondering what in the world I had in common with this guy. I couldn't put the book down, then on my second pass I opened it once per day for a year. This book was part of the inspiration for my forthcoming book ...more
John Leemhuis
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Meditations from the Mat is one of the most meaningful and powerful books that I have ever read. As stated in the title, the author provides a daily reflection (365 in total) that includes a relevant quote and a personal story that helps the reader gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of how the 8 fold path of yoga applies to everyday life.

I cannot tell you how many times I read these reflections and was stunned by how directly the author's words connected with a situation confronting me
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Rolf brings so much vulnerability into this book. I am so thankful for the daily gratitude he offers and peace he brings through this book. I recommend this to anyone, even those who do not practice the physical yoga asana.
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really love this book! I have incorporated this book into my daily spiritual practice because it is so full of wisdom. It is set up as daily reflections and takes you through the eight limb path of yoga. It has really deepened my yoga practice and helped me to understand the physical and spiritual connections, and it has also made me look at my own christian faith in new deeper ways. Overall, it is an enlightening and inspiring book that I will continue to read over and over.
Jan 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
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! ...more
Jul 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fic, yoga
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. ...more
Super religious, nauseatingly shtick-y, and every meditation was just another story about how Rolf Gates Learns From His Mistakes Did He Mention He Was In The Military And Also An Alcoholic Here's More Stories About Him Being Great At Everything Because He Embraced God. ...more
Feb 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: living-yoga
This book is one I love to revisit for spiritual reminders and motivation. It is simple, personal, and beautiful.
Apr 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Not what I was wanting to read. Neither meditations, nor yoga instructions.
John Rogers
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mindfulness
Excellent book!

Definitely a book that I will listen to several (if not many) times.
Allie Jo Dreadfulwater
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Former Airborne US Army Ranger, social worker and present day yogi, speaker and writer, Rolf Gates includes 365 of his meditations, essays, thoughts, and passages of the evolution of thought through his own practice on and off the yoga mat.

Rolf Gates is a tremendous Thinker, and writes from the best of human experiences; his own. Recommended to me by my friend and outdoor yoga teacher, Daniel, this book is a nice companion to daily life and thought and can be read one passage at a time, or two
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Today I sat down, knowing that this would be my last reading from this marvellous book. I have been blessed by so many phrases and quotes that Rolf Gates has shared through this last year. When my husband was airlifted due to a sudden illness and I was packing a bag, I knew this had to go with me. Through days of challenges, his words have helped me to find my breath and focus. I also found his explanation of the eight limbs of yoga and how to live them very enlightening. A book to be read and s ...more
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This has been a daily read for me since early in the year when I rediscovered it on my bookshelf. I thoroughly enjoyed the daily journey with Rolf Gates. He breaks down the structure of yoga and applies it to everyday life. As someone who wants to ... but hasn't yet committed to ... daily yoga practice, I found it encouraging, inspiring, and forgiving. Each day's entry begins with a quotation and the author then reflects on the quotation and on some aspect of yoga. I would often read several ent ...more
Monica C.
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I give this book a 10! It was a beautiful and truly inspirational read. A joy! I plan on flipping it back to the first page and starting over again, one day / vignette at a time. Highly recommend to those interested in philosophy of yoga, it's well structured and beautifully presented. The metaphors that he's using paint a mesmerizing and hopeful pictures, loved every word of it! Amazing book. ...more
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: yoga-themed
It is a book that I return to again and again: both for my own studies and in preparations to yoga classes. The book follows and reflects upon the 8th limbs of yoga and gives a reader a choice to either take it one day at a time or read it from the start to the end. Wonderfully accessible but certainly not dumbed down. No matter how many times I leaf through it, I find something new to concentrate on or simply muse on.
This book is structured with short chapters made to be read on a daily basis as inspiration. It comes off as preachy, arrogant and not even all that inspirational. The author seems to be trying very hard to make points and link concepts but never quite makes the connection. If you want something meditative to read each morning I would instead recommend Meloday Beattie's Journey to the Heart or The Daily Stoic (which I really love) from Ryan Holiday. ...more
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Life changing book. Really nice book to read a passage with in the morning, drink some coffee or tea, and really help to focus your energy. It really gives a good explanation of the 8 limbs of yoga. I love the quotes he chooses to explain the yoga principles and I love reading his personal stories.
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
This is designed to be a daybook-style morning or evening read, lasting an entire year, but I’ve finished it early, albeit skimming, as I haven’t felt a connection to it. I appreciate the author’s openness with his own story and spiritual practice of yoga, but there are several reasons, too personal and (to be honest) largely inconsequential to a fair review, for me to continue using it daily.
Yasmine Hardcastle
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: yoga teachers, everyone
I have sticky-tabs all over this book because the quotes and insights within are exactly what I need to read when I open it. I pick this book up a lot throughout a year. It's a great companion for teaching yoga and an overall lovely book for someone getting into meditation or who just wants to have a positive day. ...more
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