In the day 161 meditation Gates talks about working through the problem he had with curvature in his back. At first, and for a long time, he came to the mat determined to improve this problem He fought with it, and lost. That renewed his determination, boosted the level of his fighting, which led to bigger defeats.
I can really identify with this part of what Gates is talking about. For me, its more things like my utter inflexibility going forward in Standing Separate Leg Head to Floor. Or the rigidity in my shoulders. Or take any of the "impossibilities" I run into throughout the series. Partially because it seems the obvious way, and partially because of the exhortations in the dialogue to "push, PUSH", I tend to fight with my limitations, and lose.
The next part of what Gates says is fascinating. Over time, he began to respect his back. And gradually, he made friends with it. This happened by shifting his focus away from his limitations, and turning it toward what it could do. During this process, the need to change his back disappeared. Now, the curvature in his spine has disappeared, and he doesn't remember when it happened, because when it did, he no longer cared.
I'm somewhere in the beginnings of this process in asana practice. But this story pretty much mirrors what happened with my weight. After several yo-yo rounds of dieting, losing up to 60 pounds in a fairly short period and then putting it back on in a coupe of years, I came to yoga determined not to diet anymore. Yoga put me more in touch with my body, and my appetite, and I started naturally to some better foods, and less of it. In the last 15 months I've lost a bunch of weight, without dieting at all. I don't know how much any more, and I don't care either. I haven't weighed myself since August.
Now I just need to take the same approach to my hamstring flexibility....