Class was peaceful and enjoyable. It was perfect Bikram weather. My energy was back. I did really well in a few poses: Triangle, Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee, and even the first forward bend. For the first time in a while, if ever, I felt like it might one day be possible to touch my head to my knees. I wasn't there, but the idea didn't seem ridiculous.
Lately, I've been coming close to wiping myself out by the middle of Awkward (only the second pose in the series, if there are any non-Bikramites who read this). I'm not sure exactly how I'm doing this, because it doesn't feel like I'm killing myself in Half Moon, but I must be. Anyway, at least for this day I managed to pull myself back together and the class felt just fine.
The day 181 meditation is about moderation on the mat. Gates says that exercising moderation is one of the things that makes a practice sustainable. It's definitely one of the things that drew me to Bikram yoga. When I started thinking about my health again, I didn't know what I was going to do, but I knew that I was not going to start any crash diet. And I wasn't going to do any training that I couldn't continue indefinitely. I've done many, many short term swings in my eating and exercising habits. If something wasn't sustainable, then it was out. (This is one of the reasons I've shied away from things like the Master Cleanse.) Anyway, from the start I was fascinated by the idea that you could do this unbelievably strenuous exercise every day (and even twice a day if you want).
The problem I was trying to solve is exactly the one that Abe Lincoln addresses in the quote before the meditation: Force is all conquering but its victories are short lived. That's what I always found to be true about the exercise of will power. It just gets to be so tiring constantly fighting for whatever improvements came with diet or exercise. So far, thankfully, yoga hasn't been anything like that. It's not easy, but it rarely, if ever, takes any will power. I'm still only early in my second year of practice, but I can really see continuing this indefinitely. And that's something I've never been confident of with Atkins, or with running, or cycling, or going to a gym, etc...