I had a great class tonight. Strong, precise, and relaxed. After class, I told my friend who had been teaching that tonight I finally got the yoga class that I had been NEEDING.
I have been obsessing listening to the Rolling Stones for MONTHS now. Just that one song: "you can't always get what you want... but if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need." I think this more or less sums up a great yoga practice. You CAN'T always get what you want. But if you just try and try and try, you eventually do get what you need.
Some examples: what I WANT sometimes is to have these great rock-star postures. What I NEED is to take a step back, get back to basics, accept my practice for whatever it is, and appreciate the benefits that it gives my body. What I WANT is to go running down to LA all the time to practice advanced series with Emmy and get crazy new skills. What I NEED is to focus on consistency and maintenance and be happy with the times that I DO get to go see Bikram or Raj or Emmy. What I WANT sometimes is to drop out of grad school, go to Bikram teacher training immediately, and move back to my friends and my home studio. What I NEED to do is practice PATIENCE and commit to the present moment, do the things that I've come here to do, and believe that I will always be in the right place at the right time.
This is actually very, very encouraging to me, because I feel like as soon as you realize that you CAN'T always get what you want, it becomes OKAY to not get what you want. Yeah, so I want this to happen, and it's probably NOT going to happen now. That's ok. I'm still going to get what I need.
It finally occurred to me - TONIGHT - that this is one of the things that Bikram talks about all. the. time! He says that one of the most important things in all of human life is knowing the difference between "want" and "need." This is the basis for what he refers to as Self-Control, one of the five elements of a strong mind. YES - I am that slow!!! I managed to obsess over this idea for months before consciously connecting it with what Bikram has been saying all along. (Side note: I have these revelations about his comments more and more. I hear or read his words, they seem really straight-forward or simple, I store them in my memory, and then months or YEARS later I hear a great idea, or have one myself, and realize, oh my GOD, that is EXACTLY what Bikram said. Uncanny. I think he's on to something. Or a lot of somethings.)
Here are some of Bikram's words on "want" and "need": "Life can be heaven or it can be hell; it all hangs on those two words. If you can judge and make a decision between what you want and what you need, then you can have the best life."
IN CONCLUSION... I WANT to stay up late gabbing on the internet, but I NEED to get a good night's sleep, and the Rolling Stones are an excellent band. The end.