As moving as the Yoga Sutras are, the text can be a bit esoteric at times. For this reason, I love to have annotated versions or comments on the principles of yoga that share my twenty-first century frame of reference. One such gem is Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga, by Rolf Gates & Katrina Kenison.
The book is organized into 365 passages, illuminating the principles of yoga within the framework of the eight limbs of Raja (royal) Yoga. In the front of the book, Gates & Kenison have included a schematic that illustrates the Eight-limb path of yoga in relation to the two aspects of spiritual practice, the four aims of life and the five afflictions. Moreover, the book embraces the freedom of Yoga from a particular religion; each passage is marked with a quote from a variety of sources: there are quotes from yoga students, the Prophet Muhammad, Gloria Steinam, Tom Petty and everyone in between.
“Imagine that your life is meant to be a dance in which you are held in the embrace of all living beings.”
I recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand yoga in plain English and to any student serious about committing to yoga in this life.