rolf gates yoga

  • Fresh Vids + Vibes: Bedtime Yoga, Footsie Fun, and More!

    What’s the latest on YogaVibes?

    Running fanatic?

    yoga for runners

    • Yoga for Runners: Before, During and After with Sage Rountree // In this online yoga class for athletes and everyone, look at some simple yoga exercises to do before, during, and after a run or other workout. Enjoy a dynamic warm-up to get your glutes firing and lower legs ready to move; practice alignment and focus exercises to help you stay sharp during a workout; and explore longer holds of poses to stretch your quads, hip flexors, outer hips, inner thighs, and hamstrings after a run. (23 mins.)


    Footsie fun.

    foot exercses

    • Yoga for Ankles and Feet with Ashley Turner // This is a great online yoga class for opening up the feet and ankles, especially if you've had any injuries to these areas or have worn constricting shoes. Help to actively heal your feet and ankles by bringing more oxygen-rich blood to these areas and breaking up scar tissue. Work areas including the arch, achilles tendon, and inner and outer ankles in both seated and standing balancing poses. Warning: This is a restorative practice, although it may feel pretty intense at times! (24 mins.)
    • Playing with Balance: Vinyasa Flow with Rolf Gates // In this online yoga class, you will experience a well-rounded Vinyasa flow class. Rolf will guide you to explore the relationship between your feet and your heart as you practice a standing flow sequence that includes several standing balances, including eagle pose, dancer pose, half moon, and tree pose, just to name a few. Build core strength with a plank and side plank core series, which is followed by backbends, hip openers, and then a well-deserved savasana. (95 mins.)


    Time for lights out?

    bedtime yoga

    • Nighty Night with Sean Gray // Before you hit the sac, enjoy this series of basic poses designed to release stored energy in the body after a long day and calm the mind for some shut-eye. This mellow online yoga practice is good even if you've already practiced today, particularly if you are sore. It's the yogi "night cap." (20 mins.)


    Hammies hurtin?

    hamstring stretches

    • All About the Hammies! Exhale Spa Vinyasa Flow with Goldie Oren // Open up your hamstrings in this vinyasa flow! Begin your practice with a slow flow sequence that will gently open the backs of the legs, and then move through the same sequence one breath per movement. Hold several high lunges to strengthen the legs, while continuing to open up the hamstrings in between lunges. You'll practice 4 Sun Salutation As, emphasizing the length in the backs of the knees in downward facing dog each time, and then flow through 2 rounds of Sun Salutation Bs. Throughout the practice you will practice holding poses such as triangle pose (trikonasana), pyramid pose (parsvottanasana), and revolved triangle pose (parivrtta trikonasana) to deepen the stretch in the hamstrings. Close with lizard pose, pigeon pose, pachimottanasana and a long savasana. (61 mins.)

    Hit your mat to ring in the new vibes.

  • Class Review: Rise & Shine A.M. Practice with Rolf Gates

    The deets.

    Filming Location: Santa Cruz, California Style: Vinyasa Flow Length: 30 minutes Intensity: Level 1 = All Levels Practice Focus: Beginners Props: Block + Strap Recommended Average Rating: 4/5

    On the teacher.

    Rolf Gates is considered one of the leading voices of modern yoga. His diverse, eclectic background brings something special to his practice and teachings. With strong emphasis on proper form and mindful pose preparation, Gates creates a calm, carefully guided yoga experience.

    full wheel pose

    On the class.

    • A complete yoga cocktail. Really tune into your breath while moving through this well-rounded online Vinyasa flow. Build heat, extend the side body, stimulate the spine, twist it out, and activate the core.
    • Awaken. This practice is perfect first thing in the morning or anytime you need a little pick-me-up! Wake up and invigorate all parts of the body – the spine, legs, side bodies, hips, and core!
    • Beginner appropriate. Slow moving and straightforward, this online Vinyasa practice is accessible for yoga newbies.
    • Raise the bottom. On the days that you don’t have a lot of time or the circumstances aren’t right for a long practice, you can still do a little bit. This practice facilitates physical and mental elevation, helping to raise the bottom of your equanimity. On the days where you don’t have a lot of time for self-care, this is the practice you want to do to raise your self-care bottom and inner peace bottom.

    vinyasa yoga online

    What people are saying.

    Perfect way to get my day started! Thanks Rolf for offering a class that gives me just the right Attitude Adjustment. ~Mark Kaskey

    Loved this class! Had a short window this morning and it was just the ticket. Built enough heat and went deep enough to feel like a balanced and complete practice. Thank you Rolf! ~Cara Bradley

    Great, timely, opening class. Just enough, not too much or too little. I love Rolf's discussion of raising the bottom. Instead of doing nothing, raise the bottom and do something even if for only 30 min. even if you are busy, we all have 30 min. if we want to take it for ourselves. Everyone feels better after and can accomplish more when they have taken better care of their mind, body and spirit. ~Tiffany Cantrell

    I've been doing this class regularly since June/July and I love it. I have taken yoga classes in-person but I am not much of a yoga person (I'm a runner) and rarely stick to non-running routines, so I was skeptical when I first signed up for this website. I was looking for something more to deal with upper back/shoulder stiffness in the morning, and to help stretch me out for my runs. This class does both in just 30 minutes, and (as Rolf says in the video), I *do* feel like a million bucks when I'm done with this. The other one Rolf has on this site is good for offering diversity to the routine, but for some reason I still like this one slightly more. ~Amanda S

    I did this class 5 days in a row at different times of the day, and I found that it invigorated me in the morning and centered me in the evening. It includes some new ways of getting into poses and new sequences that I really enjoyed. The class awakens the spine, stretches the sides, strengthens the legs and calls the mind to stillness - all in just 30 minutes! It is a great everyday class. ~Cynthia Stewart

    From Rolf’s Website: Rolf Gates, author of the acclaimed book on yogic philosophy Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga is one of the leading voices of modern yoga. Rolf conducts Vinyasa Intensives and 200/500 Teacher Trainings throughout the US and abroad. A former social worker and US Airborne Ranger who has practiced meditation for the last twenty years, Rolf brings his eclectic background to his practice and his teachings. Born in Manhattan, Rolf Gates grew up in the Boston area as an avid marathon runner, long distance cyclist and champion wrestler. As the descendant of six generations of ministers, he gained an understanding of service and dedication at a very early age.

    Find more online yoga videos with Rolf Gates HERE.

    Get more on Rolf Gates at, find him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.


  • Revolved Triangle (Parivrtta Trikonasana) with Rolf Gates

    This week’s Strike a Pose yoga video is brought to you by Rolf Gates of the Pleasure Point Yoga studio in Santa Cruz, CA. In this free online yoga video, Rolf will run through a demo of Revolved or Twisting Triangle (parivrtta = to turn around or revolve;  trikona = three angle or triangle) and offer modifications to make this very difficult pose more accessible.

    Revolved Triangle Pose

    First, let’s mediate on the geometry of this pose. Let’s think about the posture. Let’s geek out on it for a moment. Then, we can move into it intelligently.

    The Triangle and Revolved Triangle poses are what I like to call the “holy trinity” poses. When you practice Triangle or Revolved Triangle you are making not one, but 3 triangles with your body. And when you revolve your triangle, something even sweeter happens. As you twist, you express the spiral line of the body - the connective tissue sash - that starts at the arch of the back foot and runs across the torso of the body up to the extended arm and fingertips.

    To maintain the integrity of this pose and avoid torquing your spine, Rolf will teach you three modifications. 3 angles. 3 modifications. Let’s do it!

    First, you’ll integrate a block into the equation to keep spinal integrity. This will allow you to better square the hips, lengthen the spine parallel to the earth, and stack the shoulders.

    Okay, but what if your hamstrings are too tight, causing the hips to be off or the spine to torque? That brings me to the second modification. To free up a stuck hip resulting from tight hammies, simply come on to the ball of the back foot. Yes, it’s a bit more tippy and unstable, but this will allow the hips to better square and the spine to be parallel to the earth. After you establish this correct alignment, feel free to take the twist.

    The last point Rolf makes has to do with the proper engagement of the core before attempting to revolve. Pre-twist, draw the belly button to the ribs and the ribs to the belly button, stack the shoulders, and then, go for it.

    Try out these 3 modifications for yourself:

    Revolved Triangle Pose with Rolf Gates Yoga

    Please don’t feel like a cheater if you rely on props in this pose. Props are your friends! If you learn Revolved Triangle with the assistance of prop modifications you will, with time, be able to go deeper and deeper into the pose in a safe and efficient way. Props allow you to build better body intelligence, to find ease in the pose, and to feel exactly where your body should be. Just because it is modified, doesn’t make it any less beautiful.

    Don’t force it. Grow into it.


    Photo Credit: Revolved Triangle via Bocsányi Gábor

  • Yoga for Tension Relief

    corpse pose

    Stress. What a buzz kill, right? Life can be moving along just delightfully and, suddenly, stress rears its ugly head and rains on your hunky-dory parade. It’s unfair. It’s annoying. But guess what yogis? It’s life. Stress is a part of each human experience. Maybe that’s a buzz kill, but don’t you worry. We’ll conclude this post on a high, positive note. Just stay with me.

    So, maybe you’re thinking that there are clear ways to avoid and ward off stress. I agree.

    You could definitely sit down right now and devise a plan that minimizes your current stress and potential risk for stress. In fact, I think this is a good idea. I believe that most of the stress we experience is the stress we create or choose. For example, if you have a relationship that has you in a chronically stressed out state, maybe it’s time to cut the cord on that. If your job causes you an unhealthy level of stress, maybe it’s time to reflect and redirect. It’s super important and helpful to realize all the stress in your life that you are creating/choosing. Why? Because then you have the power to choose to a different, less stressful path!

    I can only imagine all the excuses and “buts” bubbling up in your head: “But I can’t because…”, “But you don’t understand...”, “But this is all I know…” I get it. Change and letting go is messy. Here’s another buzz kill moment…that’s life! What will you choose?

    Yet, even with a solid, stress-reducing plan in the works and even if you choose all healthy, self-supporting decisions (let’s face it…we all slip up on this), stress will still show up to your party uninvited and unwarranted. Unfair! Yes. But, again, that’s life.

    There’s good news here. Again, you have a choice. You have the ability to choose how you allow that stress to effect you. Do you catastrophize the situation? Do you let that stress own you? Do you blow up in rage? Do you let it gain a strong hold on you? Do you allow it to leak into other areas of your life? Do you place blame? Do you give up? Do you tense up? Or…do you choose something different?

    If you’re like me, you want a different, less dramatic reaction to stress. You don’t want to freak out in the face of it. You don’t want to carry it around in the form of chronic tension. Instead, you want to release its strong hold, let it go, blow it off, and move on. But how?


    If you so choose, you can hit the mat to release the tension you accumulate from stress. Instead of venting to your partner, putting a hole in a wall, or pouting like a baby…hit your mat.

    Here are some yoga videos with a special focus on tension relief:

    • Shoulders, Neck and Head: A Practice to Relieve Tension with Gigi Yogini - Headaches are one of the most common ailments among American adults today. They can be due to a variety of reasons, including tension in the neck and shoulders. Practice these simple exercises in this online yoga video to loosen and relax your shoulders, neck, and head, for stress relief. (18 mins.)
    • Time to Unwind with Rolf Gates - This online vinyasa yoga class is perfect for releasing stored tension from a long, intense day. (31 mins.)
    • Wring Out the Day with Shala Worsley - Move your spine in all directions, throw off stress, and wring out tension in this online vinyasa yoga class. Burn away the unwanted layers built throughout your day and emerge calm and vibrant. This online yoga class includes backbends, hip openers, shoulder openers, inversions, and pranayama, and blends the heat building properties of vinyasa with the deep tissue release found in yin yoga. (86 mins.)
    • Yoga Nidra: Psychic Sleep Relaxation Method with Sri Dharma Mittra - Guided Relaxation removes tension and fatigue in the physical body, relieves depression and anxiety, relieves headaches, reduces cravings and desires, rejuvenates and energizes the entire system, bolsters the body's natural healing capacities, and normalizes the circulatory system's functioning. No previous experience is needed to experience this amazing online yoga practice! (45 mins.)
    • Wrists, Shoulders and Neck with Gigi Yogini - In this free online yoga video, practice some simple, restorative exercises to release tension in your wrists, shoulders and neck. These are surprisingly fun and helpful and perfect for a mid-day yoga break.
    • Chair Yoga Break: Neck Opening with Margaux Permutt - In this free online yoga video, run through some simple chair yoga exercises to release tension in your neck.

    Choose something different. Choose yoga.


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