Simple Man: Rolf Gates at Altamonte Springs Yoga
Monday night we ran up Orlando-way to visit Altamonte Springs Yoga, which, incidentally, is the place where Beerasana met. We hadn’t been back since a workshop with power-pioneer Bryan Kest in October of ’10. I have to say, that studio has got it going on. Owner MyLinda Morales has created a great workable space, brings in loads of talent, sells workshops, teacher-trainings and fancy pants: the works. I love it. This time Katelyn and I met up with our Yoga Etc. friends for a 2-hour vinyasa class with Rolf Gates.
As evidenced by a packed room of tittering females, Mr. Gates has plenty of fans. He is most famous for his book of ruminations, Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga, co-written by a Katrina Kenison, and available in nearly its entirety at Google Books. I know he is ex-military and a Twelve-Stepper, which gives him an interesting POV and explains some of his appeal.
In person, he seemed loose and nice. He did not appear to be afflicted with an enormous ego. Class itself began with chanting and Gates playing his little harmonium. Om Om Om. Then we got into a nice flow, mostly smooth, not too hard. I think people dig his spiel. We took from it a few nice postures and some sequencing, which is why we go to these things. To be inspired, to learn, and to steal. I know both Katelyn’s classes and mine have been enjoying the new squeezed-knees bridge pose (which he attibuted to Tias Little), and by enjoying I mean hating.
The excerpt below is pretty representative of the book as a whole. You’ll notice it’s simple, and it’s about being simple. It’s a message Beerasana can get behind. We spend years being complicated, thinking, arguing, creating drama, being overextended, being a pain in the ass, struggling. We work now on getting simpler and simpler. In sports-speak, the game slows down. My old East Coast friends are like, no shit, you’re getting sunbaked stupid and woo-woo down there. That’s true-ish, and I’m good with it.