Tuesday, July 21, 2009

147/201 - The Second Chance Business

Monday 10:30 am with Sherry

Mostly a good class, but my stamina was a bit off. I skipped a set of Triangle. Then had a very good floor series, especially in back strengthening. The room seemed hot, and after class some people were grumbling about it. The heat didn't bother me. Instead, if I was a bit off (and I think I was), it was more because my sleep hasn't been all that good recently.

The day 200 meditation is mostly about the beginning of Gates' own spiritual journey. The thing that I latched onto this time is largely an aside. He says that he sees himself as being in the second chance business. His teaching gives people the possibility of having a second chance with their lives. Also, he sees it as a way of giving thanks for the second chance that it gave to him.

I immediately thought about Luke, the teacher who owns a studio in New York. He was addicted to several different kinds of drugs. He got dragged to a Bikram class here in Houston by some friends when he was really strung out. He told the owner that he'd like to continue, but didn't have the money. The owner told him he could take classes there if he wiped down the mirrors after class. Then, one day when he was coming off of methadone addiction, he simply collapsed onto his mat for the whole class, and for the aftermath. When he finally picked himself up, he saw the owner cleaning the mirrors and knew that he had blown his one real chance. As he was dragging himself out of the studio, the owner turned to him and said: "See you tommorow, son."'

And then I thought of Mary Jarvis and Bikram himself. Mary Jarvis refused back surgery after a terrible car accident, and recovered by taking two classes a day in her own studio. Bikram was told he was unlikely to walk again after crushing his knee by dropping enormous weight on it. He went back to his guru instead, and fully cured himself through the yoga. Bikram yoga, to a very large extent, is a legacy of the second chance that Bikram got after that accident.