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Meditations from the Mat: A Daily Guide for the Practice of Yoga Paperback – 6 Jan 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam USA (6 Jan. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385721544
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385721547
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 2.4 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 299,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book

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As we move into the twenty-first century, yoga seems to be the West's new remedy. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By HG on 17 April 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book so that I could start each day with good sense and compassion. Add that to a strengthening meditation and yoga practice and we have a much more chilled out individual. I am only a third of the way through but that is because I am being disciplined and only reading 1 thought per day - otherwise I would have finished the book by now.

If you want a relevant (modern) and simple to understand perspective on the philosophy of yoga then I highly recommend this book.

If you just want words to inspire then.... you can't go wrong with this book.

You don't have to be interested in yoga to understand the concepts of compassion (towards yourself and others) and right action.

Read it and enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alex Simmons on 8 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
I use this book everyday in the morning as a source of inspiration for my self-reflection practice. I found the readings in the book very inspiring and useful. Good starting point to go beyond the physical part of yoga.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ines on 29 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really loved reading this book - as a matter of fact I keep coming back to it, reading litlle pieces - it is really inspiring!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 198 reviews
71 of 75 people found the following review helpful
Meditations from the Mat: a daily dose of inspiration 23 Dec. 2002
By Pamela Gaither - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Mediations from the Mat is a one-a-day vitamin for the yogic soul. There are 365 essays here designed to nourish you on your journey off and on the mat.
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!
64 of 69 people found the following review helpful
Finally, a yoga book for everyone. 20 Dec. 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have a dozen yoga pose books gathering dust on my shelf. This book has been in my hands every day since I bought it. Having bought one for a yogi friend, I flipped through it, and had to get a copy for myself -- and also for my friend in recovery, a New Age friend, and several others who don't even do yoga, but who will love the tone and message of this inspiring collection. The authors bring yoga out of the yoga studio and into everyday life. In these 365 short personal essays, Rolf Gates, a young yoga teacher, talks about what it means to really live according the principles of yoga. It is really about living well, and thoughtfully, with compassion for yourself and others. Each day's reflection begins with a quote, and they are great. This must be the only book on the market that quotes from Leonard Skynard, the movie ALmost Famous, the Yoga Sutras, Henry Thoreau, Martin Luther King, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. . .Gates finds his isnpiration everywhere, and that's just the point he makes: We are all living our yoga all the time. Even on days when I don't get near my yoga mat, I am reading this book. Two minutes grounds me for the day. This book is for everyone on any kind of a spiritual path, and for anyone who needs a helping hand staying on track -- which certainly must be all of us.
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
A bit disappointed... 30 Sept. 2011
By The Imperfect Yogi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I expected to love this book. I even flipped through it in person before making the purchase. It is a great idea - handy, bite-sized dharma talks collected together in one book. In particular, I had intended to use the ideas as part of the inspirational themes I share when teaching yoga classes.

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. lol.

The authors have been kind enough to allow you to read entire entries online. My suggestion is to read AT LEAST the first 3 days entries before you buy it. You will know by then whether or not you connect with the style of this book.
57 of 67 people found the following review helpful
Teaches that yoga is much more than just a physical practice 17 Feb. 2004
By doctor_beth - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I am a fairly casual yoga practitioner; I've just begun to try to incorporate asana (posture) practice on an almost daily basis. This book goes beyond the practice of yoga postures and takes you deep into the philosophy behind yoga. It contains a series of essays and reflections, one for each day of the year; each entry begins with a quote derived from yoga texts, popular culture, or yoga students and teachers. The book is broken down into eight sections which correspond to the eight branches of yoga--the postures, or asanas, are just one of these branches, and the essays focus on incorporating yoga into your daily life both on AND off the mat. Although I found most of the essays to be interesting and enjoyed learning more about yogic traditions, I felt that the book had limited applicability to my own practice, which is more limited to asana. However, those who are interested in integrating yoga/yogic philosophy more pervasively into their lives are likely to enjoy this book.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Truly a Gift! 1 Jan. 2003
By RCK - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a gift I gave to myself. After reading Part One, I bought several more copies for my friends and family. The book is not just for yogis. It is for anyone on the path to wellness and spiritual discovery. I have learned so much about myself from reading the daily essays and applying them to my own life. As Gates says so eloquently, "the obstacles on the path ARE the path." Think about that for a moment and quite possibly you will begin to see that what happens in life happens for a reason and the first thing you have to do is simply "Show Up."
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