I took Friday off and felt much better for it.
Gates talks about how, when he started Yoga, his teacher told him he wasn't ready for it, and would not be until he cured his flat feet. It took him almost six months to get to the point where he could start to feel some muscles moving in his arches, but eventually, he overcame being flatfooted.
Every time I get cramps in my feet during Yoga, I think of this lesson, and take some hope from it. It says that with time, perseverance and patience, yoga can accomplish the seemingly impossible. With my feet, the problem isn't fallen arches (at least not so much) but with bunions. And of course, bone is probably even a tougher nut to crack. When I started, both of my big toes pointed strongly inward. By the end of about three months, my right foot had already started to correct itself, and it now looks basically normal, though there is still a fair sized lump on the outside. The left foot was, and is, much worse. To begin with, I basically could not move my big toe at all. I can now get it to separate from the others, and its almost wanting to point in the right direction again. For a few years I'd been putting off surgery on it, basically because I didn't want to go through the pain, and because bunion surgery doesn't solve any structural problems: it just makes the pain go away until you build the excess bone up again. Now, I'm not thinking so much about surgery, because I think in several years I may actually solve the problem itself.
And of course, the underlying message here is that if yoga can accomplish what seems impossible on your soles, then why not on your soul as well?