My dear Yogis and Yoginis,
The last Niyama is called Ishvara Pranidhana
(Surrender to God):
“Do the best that you can (abhyasa) without concern for the result (vairagya). Understand that you do not control everything, but that there is an underlying Universal Force that directs you.
Remember your link to that Big Self;
you are not limited, you are unbound and free.
~ Alan Finger
(How to expand the little self to merge into the big self)
~ ~ ~
Yoga in no way forces the idea of God or religion upon anyone, but as you might have noticed by listening to the things your yoga teacher may say; there is an underlying idea that something bigger, more
profound and pure exists other than ourselves. …
…we’ve all heard many times before – we are in fact all one.
In the Upanishads, the word Isvara means ‘a state of collective
consciousness’, which tells us – in this sense – that there isn’t a Godlike figure we are supposed to worship or devote our actions to at all, rather ‘God’ represents this collective consciousness, and therefore represents all of us too.
Isvara Pranidhana in your asana practice
Surrender and rest: … Knowing when we need to rest shows a huge amount of understanding of ourselves, respect for our bodies, and
allows our practice to support us for a lifetime.
Surrender to the posture: Sometimes asana practice is about finding comfort within discomfort, leaning into our boundaries and learning ways in which to deal with difficult situations…
The idea of ‘surrendering’ can also be applied to the intention we set at the beginning of practice; Isvara Pranidhana can be thought of as
‘offering up the results of one’s actions to the divine’, or perhaps to
humanity. In this way, our asana practice becomes less about what it can do for us, but how we can help ourselves stay healthy enough to help the world around us.
Isvara Pranidhaha in your day-to-day life
In our daily life off the mat, Isvara Pranishana can be seen as less of a devotional dedication or a surrendering, and more of an ‘opening up to what is’, and instead of fighting against life’s twists and turns,
remaining open to experiencing life as it unfolds…
~ Emma Newlyn
Like applying the yamas, when trying to put the niyamas into practice, remember to do what is possible for you at this time. Since the yamas and niyamas may uncover some well-practiced patterns in your being, it is important to learn to recognize if these practices are generating pain or if they are making you more aware of discomfort that you have learned to live with or ignore. Confusing these two outcomes can keep you from applying the yamas and niyamas in beneficial ways.
Like with any other practice, you are in charge of monitoring that you are doing what you think you are doing and that what you are doing is moving you towards greater clarity and integrated harmony.
One more way of practicing ishvara pranidhana is by using the mantra, I SURRENDER MY ILLUSION OF CONTROL.
~ Simple Yoga
Boundaries & Comfort
Clarity & Harmony
By creating coherence in our energy body and awareness of our
attitude, we influence the outcomes in our life 🙂