Of course, after yesterdays astonishing class, today was a bit of a letdown. Instead of having amazing breakthroughs one after the other, it was simply a strong, satisfying practice. The only pose that compared to yesterday's was Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee. I nailed it on the second set only, but that shows that at least some of the progress is sticking. What's interesting is that I was much better today in the poses that were a bit off yesterday: Awkward, Fixed Firm, Balancing Stick, Half Tortoise.
The room gave us a roller coaster ride today. We started out at 114, and Rohit turned the heat off. So we cooked for a while and gradually cooled off through standing series. Then, somewhere on the floor, he must have turned the heat on again, because by Camel I was really feeling it again, and it was taking lots of concentration simply not to fall apart. When the temperature changes like that, I find it hard to get into a real groove. I tend to get used to an effort level that suits the heat, but when the heat jumps up and down, its almost impossible for me to do that.
The day 190 meditation has further reflection on contentment. Gates says that our culture fosters discontent. I think he may not even go far enough. In many ways, we make a virtue of it. We have great admiration for ambition. We tend to look askance at people who lack ambition. But for the most part, ambition finds its roots in discontentment. A fundamental law of economics is that a person will always want more. This one has always struck me as being stupid, but then its probably exactly for that reason that I'm not likely to become rich.
People go around thinking if only X, then everything would be OK. Sometimes its making money. Sometimes its a promotion or some increase in prestige. Sometimes its having a kid. Sometimes its succeeding in a crash diet. And it can be a thousand other things.
Yoga can be the antidote to this way of thinking. Sometimes, on the mat, it becomes clear that at least for the moment, everything already is allright just the way it is. That's part of what I was trying to get at the other day when I talked about the studio as being a sanctuary. This doesn't happen all the time, but for me, it happens enough to give me some perspective. And that's a start.