Photo by Monica Felix @

Relate sanely with difficult times

Photo by Monica Felix @

Photo by Monica Felix @

Directly above our yoga studio is a fitness boot camp.

People flip tractor tires and drag chains across the floor and hurl medicine balls against the wall, while a former military officer shouts slogans at them until they eventually crumble to the floor in into a puddle of sweat and tears. It’s one hell of a workout. If you’re into that kind of thing.

The challenge is, the rest of us are trying to meditate and relax and stay focused in our yoga postures, while upstairs it sounds like a zoo is is training dinosaurs. And if you’re not used to it, the thuds and vibrations can be highly distracting to your postures.

But it’s a powerful lesson for the students in the room. A reminder that frustration comes from our refusal to accept life’s moments as they come to us. And that at the heart of every disturbance is the collision of a wish with an unyielding reality.

Our job, then, whether we’re practicing yoga or not, is to love and even laugh at those distractions, instead of waging a campaign against them.

Be bigger than the moment. Don’t march out of the room in a huff every time the vibrations of the world throw your posture off balance.

Have you learned how to relate sanely with difficult times?

Scott Ginsberg is a writer, daily practitioner and work study volunteer at Bikram Yoga Park Slope.