Many people on the path of yoga, or any kind of spiritual practice, have a favorite author, teacher, or go-to spiritual guide. I know that personally, I have a handful I like to take life guidance from. One of my favorite parts of a yoga class is when an instructor shares a reading or quote from one of their favorite teachers. In my classes at Sanctuary Yoga I have heard teachers share wisdom from a wide variety of spiritual leaders including Rumi, Marianne Williamson and even Buddha, among others. I love that this wisdom is shared in class, because it always inspires introspection on the mat, and off the mat into the rest of the day. I always seek out books and texts from the quotes I hear, for further insight.
Recently, in a class I was inspired by a quote from the wonderful Rolf Gates:
“A spiritual practice is one that brings us full circle– not to a new self but, rather, back to the essence of our true selves” –Meditations from the Mat
After years of eyeing Meditations from the Mat I finally purchased it after a class one day. Adding to my already full collection of spiritual books, I can tell Meditations from the Mat is going to be a book I’m going to reference over and over again. Meditations from the Mat is a guide with 365 essays, one for each day of the year, meant to be read alone, leaving time for digestion. I like to read an essay every morning before or after a short yoga practice, though it’s also nice to read at the end of a day.
Meditations from the Mat is a great read for anyone who practices yoga, or has a spiritual practice of any kind. My favorite aspect of the book is that it follows Patajali’s yoga sutras and applies them to everyday life. Having the book is like having your own private yoga teacher and mentor guiding you through the meanings of the eight limb path of yoga. Understanding these eight limbs, and how we cycle through each of them throughout our lives, both on and off the mat, brings a deeper meaning to any yoga practice. If you’re looking for a new spiritual or yogic guide, I highly recommend Meditations from the Mat.