Indiana & Yoga Magazine Summer 2016 Issue 1 | Page 44

FEATURE: YOGA AND ADDICTION RECOVERY become an Army Ranger, soldiers have to perform advanced physical feats of speed and strength, survive twenty days in the mountains on near-starvation diets and sleep deprivation, pass water combat tests, and learn jungle survival skills. It’s no small feat, but Gates doesn’t take credit for his success. “I was able to successfully complete Ranger School not because of my personal ability but because of my ability to find enjoyment working as part of a team.” it through the felt experience of their bodies. For example, balance is achieved moment to moment, both in life and in a balancing pose, and what balance feels like changes from pose to pose and day to day.” Although he was “not a good student in a traditional classroom,” Gates excelled at physical activities as a young man. He channeled the education he received on the wrestling mat and in the gym and turned it into a lifelong love of learning that inspired him to become a teacher. “I was taught to put first things first and I have. I think of my life in terms of honoring the relationships in my life… to myself, my family, my community, my students, my profession--to name a few. To honor these relationships requires me to have a practice that amounts to a way of life, which in turn is what I teach my students and write my books about. It’s actually quite workable as long as we are willing to put first things first.” “I loved the learning involved in sports passionately in a way I never did sitting in a classroom and this made me sensitive to the many ways people learn. I believe yoga and meditation are extremely advanced learning settings that offer students the opportunity to take what is being taught and understand 42 Balance is important to Gates. It would have to be, because he juggles being an author and teacher with a busy, world-traveling schedule and the daily life of being a husband and father. INDIANA & YOGA MAGAZINE ISSUE I