Wednesday, August 5, 2009

154/213 - Just Practice

Saturday Off

I thought I might catch up this vacation week, but instead it seems on falling further and further behind. On Saturday, we flew from Houston to Rochester and then drove down to Keuka Lake. It was a beautiful day and would have been perfect except for doing it all on one hour of sleep.

I've talked before about changes from yoga. Here's another to add to the list: swimming is easier and more graceful. I've known for a long time that the correct form in crawl is to extend the arm as far forward as possible so that the forearm basically presses against the ear. But it never happened before, and now it seems completely natural, and effortless. Score another one for yoga. I'm going to have to tell this to my friend who swims competitively. I've been trying to get him to try Bikram for about a year now, and this might tip the balances.

The day 212 meditation is another of the very short ones, and like most of the short ones, it rings entirely true, so I think I will just quote it: "In the beginning we desire the fruits of a good practice. Early on, we are afraid of falling over in balancing postures and looking foolish in class. Desire and aversion stimulate us to work hard. Eventually we experience neither desire nor aversion, we just practice."

Here, it seems clear that Gates acknowledges that there is at least partially a good side to desire and aversion in the short run. They can prime the pump. They lead us to work hard in the first place. The problem with them is all the other baggage they bring along with them. Once the pump has been primed, once the practice can sustain itself, then it may be both possible and worthwhile to shed the desire and aversion, while still letting the waters flow.


bikramyogachick said...

ah, I was a competitive swimmer in high school. This post makes me want to jump in a pool and see what happens. :)

Duffy Pratt said...

Who knows. The main reason my friend has been interested in Bikram is because he lacks ankle flexibility and he thinks that might get better with yoga practice (and it probably would, but my guess from Fixed Firm is that progress there would be slow). Even so, the difference for me was totally amazing. I went for a couple of years with a rotator cuff that the doctors wanted to operate on. Now, it seems like my shoulders are probably healthier than they have been for decades.