The day 201 meditation talks about how asana practice teaches us to relearn and appreciate the interconnectedness of all things. As Gates puts it, we learn how dramatically a subtle shift in the feet or in the hands can change an entire pose. We learn how changes in our breath, or just in our attitude, can change all the rest of our practice. Or, we can learn how important a slight shift in eye focus can be.
The opening pranayama is a pretty good example of this. I remember Lenette having us play with how far our mouth opens on the exhale. A simple thing like opening the mouth wider in that pose makes an enormous difference in how far back the head can go. Another difference comes from pushing the webs of your fingers together. The tighter you can keep these webs, the higher your elbows will go on the inhale. Rohit emphasized actually pressing your feet into the floor in this exercise, and the sense of grounding that comes from this pressing into the floor, has a fairly big impact on everything else. Each small detail has a real impact on all the rest of the pose.
The lesson Gates wants us to take away is that the sense of interconnectedness applies everywhere, not just on the mat. Sometimes, I think I have a sense of what he's saying. And this is probably a very important lesson. But I also think its another of the lessons that comes more through time, repetition and experience. Simply saying it doesn't carry one very far, I don't think. And its partially because of this, I think, that asana practice is so important, because it serves as a consistent reminder of this deep interconnectedness.