I wasn't planning on taking the day off, but I woke up with a headache. My back was still tender from yesterday's backbend. And it was another dreary, raining day. So I decided to eat instead, and see if that would get rid of the headache. It did, maybe. I had a headache last Sunday too, I remember. Thinking back, I didn't drink any tea on either Saturday. Could I possibly be drinking so much tea that I still have a caffeine addiction, and am getting headaches as an early withdrawal symptom?
Today's meditation hits the nail on the head for me. Gate's says that the reason we keep coming back to the mat, to the practice, is because of our secret longing to "step out of time." It wasn't like that to begin with. The health benefits and the general feeling of peacefulness I get after class were (and probably would continue to be) enough for me to be more than enthusiastic. But I've had a few classes that either flew by, and portions of class where time simply became irrelevant, where I somehow stepped out of time.
I've had the same experience hit me randomly doing other things, usually very pleasant things. The two areas where I could get close to it with some regularity were playing basketball as a kid, and playing guitar or singing in a group. For me, I had always had this feeling of timelessness when involved in a group activity, on those rare moments when the group seems to be acting completely together, as if with one mind. That may be one of the reasons I'm drawn to Bikram and its classes. But I doubt the presence of others is necessary. Yoga doesn't really seem to be a team sport. Anyway, the times when time itself seems to melt away are also the times when everything seems to be just right. I've already seen that yoga may be a way to slip into this sort of state more often, or maybe even with some reliability. So, yes, Gates has it exactly right in my case when he says that this is the WHY of yoga.