Rolf Gates

rolf gates

Rolf Gates On Becoming A Yoga Teacher

Rolf Gates, author of the acclaimed book on yogic philosophy “Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga” (Random House) conducts 200 Hour and 500 Hour  Vinyasa Intensives and Teacher Trainings throughout the US and abroad. His workshops are a synergy of the freedom of a powerful vinyasa flow and the structural integrity of therapeutic alignment principles.

Rolf and his work have been featured in numerous magazines to include Yoga Journal, Natural Health and People Magazine. Rolf is honored to be a co-founder of the Yoga + Recovery Conference (3rd annual conference–Nov 2012).

A former social worker and US Airborne Ranger who has practiced meditation for over twenty years, Rolf brings his eclectic background to his practice and his teachings. Rolf is honored to be a Superstar Contributor to Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Life Blog and you can also check out his essay and story in the book + film: The Good Men Project: Real Stories from the Frontlines of Modern Manhood. 

What is yoga to you?

An opportunity to realize the promise of a human life.

What inspired you to become a yoga teacher and with whom have you done your trainings?

There is a phrase ‘getting the view.’  My first yoga class ‘gave me the view’ into an entirely more beautiful life than I had anticipated was available to me.  Yoga teaching is my way of saying thank you—by offering in some small measure that view to others.

I have been inspired by many teachers.  Some of the highlights were Stephen Cope, Todd Norian, Patty Townsend, Sarah Powers, Tias Little, Judith Lasater, Jack Kornfield, Noah Levine, Nikki Myers, Phillip Moffitt, Johnny Gillespie, to name a few.

What have been some of the biggest challenges in developing your teaching career and how did you overcome them?

There haven’t been any really.  Yoga practice and yoga teaching is simply a matter of showing up and doing your best one day at a time.  The things that are supposed to fall into place—will.

As the director of your schools teacher training programs, what is your overall goal and objective?

There is a moment in someone’s life when they feel the depth of the purpose they are living to realize, and they know they have found the means to get there.  I would like to contribute to that moment in someone’s life.

What do you feel is unique about your yoga teacher training programs versus other schools?

I do not have the experience in other schools to comment appropriately on them.  My trainings benefit from two commitments that I have made as a teacher.  The first, early in my career, was to dedicate myself to the drop-in Vinyasa class format and I spent 12 years dedicated to learning what is possible in that transformative space.   Now for the last five years I have dedicated myself in a similar fashion to the 200 Hour and the 500 Hour teaching and learning space.  Accordingly, my trainings reflect the benefit of singleness of purpose; which is to say I have had plenty of time to make mistakes and to learn from them.

What type of students would best fit your programs?

Ones that are ready to learn.

What qualities do you feel make a good yoga teacher?

Her humanity.

Is there any advice you would offer to aspiring yoga teachers?

Have faith and work hard.  Let go of the results.

To learn more about his upcoming trainings please visit Rolf Gates

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