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Surrender: Ishvara Pranidhana

You'll often hear us say that the practice of Yoga is the practice of becoming intimate with reality. It's learning to accept things the way they are, not the way you want them to be. It's perhaps the greatest unlearning you need to do in Yoga. In a culture conditioned to strive towards control, the notion of surrender is often mistaken for giving up. Surrender, or Ishvara Pranidhana, is the opposite of giving up. It is the transition from a state of despair to a state of trust. A potent method for dissolving the relentless agitation of the mind. On the mat we surrender to the heat of Utkatasana, the challenge of Chaturanga, the fear of bending backwards. Off the mat we surrender to our plans mutating, the weather, the way society looks with a virus. Ishvara Pranidhana is the shift from the ego, the "I", the narrowness of our own concerns, to the sacred ground of 'being'. When we surrender to reality as it is, and relinquish what we think it should be, we reunite with our limitless potential. The grace we find there has an easeful inevitability, a freedom, and such clarity that makes us wonder why we didn't just let go earlier. To Surrender is our ultimate act of power. It's our ability to yield, to bend, to adapt, it's our malleability. Ultimately it's our reunion with the power inside of us.


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