The Real Work of Yoga

I was listening to KUOW (our local NPR station) after teaching a class last Thursday night when they aired a talk by Rajni Bakshi, a Mumbai–based journalist and activist. She made a stop at Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle to talk about her book “Bazaars, Conversations and Freedom: For a Market Culture Beyond Greed and Fear”, which won India’s biggest literary prize in 2009.

At the end she closed with a quote from Wendell Berry. I didn’t know who he was, but I loved the quote, so I looked him up. Turns out he’s an environmentalist and author, and the quote was from his 27 propositions on global thinking and the sustainability of cities in The Atlantic Monthly.

XXIII. The real work of planet-saving will be small, humble, and humbling, and (insofar as it involves love) pleasing and rewarding. Its jobs will be too many to count, too many to report, too many to be publicly noticed or rewarded, too small to make anyone rich or famous.

As I heard it, I thought, yeah, that’s how it feels studying, teaching, and bringing yoga to “the real world” too: small, humble and humbling.