Photo by Monica Felix @

This is just practice, the real yoga is out in the world

Photo by Monica Felix @

Photo by Monica Felix @

Anybody can meditate in the mountains.

Reaching enlightenment while the world around you is serene and inspiring and clean isn’t much of a challenge. The real test of inner peace is whether you can transform yourself into a force of calm in a time of turmoil. Whether you can attain mental stillness and physical relaxation in the face of impending chaos or, worse yet, overwhelming monotony.

It’s like my yoga instructor always says during class. This is just practice. The real work is taking this yoga out into the world. It’s one thing to relax in a studio, it’s another thing to relax in the middle of rush hour traffic.

Whether you’re trying to meditate, or whether you’re just trying to create, don’t expect the environment to do the work for you.

How quickly can you tap into your reserves when meaningless comes crashing in?

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