I'm mopping, sweeping, greeting, wiping down, hustling and bustling for 5+ hours at a studio. At some points, I think is this worth it for one day a week of "free" classes? And that thought there reminded me of classes with Swamiji just a few months ago at the ashram. Karma = Action in the Gita. Krsna states do action without attachment to success or failure, that is yoga. Karma yoga in the Sutras is called Kriya yoga / Practical yoga = Tapas (undergoing austerities/penance) + Svadhyaya (study of self/God) + Ishvara Pranidhana (surrender to God).
Last night, I practiced Karma Yoga at a yoga studio, or did I? I definitely was hard at work but I knew what I was getting in return. The way I planned it, I work the shift, and in return a fun a#$ sleepover with my best friend, a nice quiet morning in "the country" aka Astoria, and two "free" classes (Iyengar and Inversion based flow). I don't factor in the two hours on the train roundtrip to get to A-town or the possible discomfort of not sleeping/showering/eating in your own place. Because that's how I tally the events up, that's just me.
Yet, according to definition, I didn't practice Karma Yoga. I am attached to those results of "free" classes. But...during the shift I was thinking about my reactions of like or dislike at the cleaning tasks, a practice of Svadhyaya. I was constantly conditioning myself to just do and not react. I hope that mental practice sticks! It's something I definitely want to learn and master because like Krsna states, That is yoga.