Enzymatic Fruit SaladApril 2, 2016
AbhinivesaApril 2, 2016
Surrender has a negative connotation here in the west, but it is an integral part of yoga practice.
Ishvara Pranidhana traditionally refers to the surrender of ones will to the will of the divine. This is not an excuse to absolve yourself of responsibility, but a way to allow something greater than your self, something that has a broader perspective of life than your ego, to guide you.
Not everyone believes in an esoteric higher power, and in the wonderfully malleable tradition I have had the pleasure of practicing, this practice can still be utilized by all. The essence is the realization that our finite view can't possibly encompass the whole of all situations. There is a part of ourselves which isn't so myopic. Surrendering to that view can help us live in the flow of life, instead of trying to smash through obstacles.
There is a dance we all do between what has happened to us and what will happen. The extent to which you feel controlling or embrace chaos has to do with your relationship to what is behind you. Our memories of our experiences and the level to which we are attached to them determines our behavior. Unless we practice being mindful. Yoga has many techniques to assist here. Typically at the start of a regular practice it is the physical part of our beings that we can access most readily. In practicing asana allows us to notice our reactions in a controlled setting, which generalizes nicely to the rest of our lives. How you choose to practice is reflective of how you choose to live. As you practice regularly you'll begin to notice the ability to have space between what happens and how you behave. In other words, to choose behavior, as opposed to reacting.
We use our logic moving forward in our lives, thinking our way through decisions. Being goal oriented is not a problem, but when we are muddled about our motivation it won't lead us where we think we want to go. Or, you'll get what you want, but won't like it. One of the ways we can surrender is by observing in ourselves what is waiting around to be happy and let it go. If you have within you a certain set of circumstances that must be met before you can rest, feel better, happy, or fulfilled than it is likely that you will never meet the conditions you think you need to feel complete. Contentment is another of the tenents of yoga practice. Letting go is essential to growing contentment.