Over a decade ago I co-owned a yoga studio in Dumbo where a novice teacher named David Regelin taught classes. One day, the athletically adroit David walked in with a cast on his arm. It seems he had fended off a subway knife attack. Someone was attacking someone else in the subway. David interceded and his arm was cut up pretty bad.
He didn’t talk a lot about the experience (those of you who know David know he is not a talker.) But when I asked him why he had gotten involved in the skirmish he said that it was just the right thing to do.
His action that day was heroic and his courage made a lasting impression on me.
Yesterday I read about a young Brooklyn-born woman being verbally attacked because of wearing a hajib. No one in the subway station came to her aid and for the first time in a long time I thought about David’s bravery. It’s really so much easier to ignore injustice than fight against it.
The Bhagavad Gita teaches us that we all have the capabilities to take correct action. It also suggests that fear of consequences…including our own anticipated pain and demise…frequently prevents us from making the right choice.
It is said that yoga occurs in the space between the inhale and the exhale. The field of time in which the lessons of the Bhagavad Gita play out and a decision to act is made is infinitesimal.
No doubt we’ll need an army of modern day Arjunas riding the rails in the near future.
True yogis, like David, understand this.