by Anna Laurita
I am learning to surrender past conditioning. I am practicing acceptance and allowance. I am staying present. I am practicing the release of struggle while keeping the energy/effort toward long term goals. This is Surrender.
Where Do I Learn This?
On My Yoga Mat.
Maybe the word “surrender” sounds like you’re giving up something, but in the Davannayoga style of practice you have everything to gain by adding surrender. These are the steps in our yoga practice.
- Set your foundation (alignment and energetic engagement)
- Connect with your breath (too fast? slow? even? jagged?)
- Engage your drishti (what is your focus?)
- Surrender (let go of struggle, flow with the universe)
Surrender shows you where you need to focus. Where in your body are you holding tension? Can you surrender this tension and stay present in the pose for 5 more breaths or are you thinking about when to release the pose? When you lean into your boundaries on the mat, you learn new ways in which to deal with difficult situations.
What does surrender feel like? True inner strength. Effortless effort. Surrender feels open, graceful, and full of miracle and possibility. It feels like acceptance, forgiveness and allowing yourself to be fully in this moment with whatever comes up. Surrender feels like a blessed place to be.
Through the above four steps to aligning oneself in a yoga pose, the body is engaged energetically, and prana (life force energy) moves through you efficiently. The focus is set and clear, and you surrender to flow with the universe, which is a form of Samadhi – or connection to your higher self.
When the mind chatter stops in the pose, you are truly in alignment . Then you can focus on the other limbs of yoga outside of asana, like unattachment of ego (“how do I look in this pose?”). This kind of surrender is called “Isvara Pranidhana” from Sri Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Let go of the fruit of the action and be in the present moment. If you encounter challenge transcending the ego (which we all do), focus on something higher than the small self.
The long term benefit of surrender on the mat is allowing the universe to help you. With practice in surrender, you will start to notice the most gentle, quiet, flickering thoughts – glimmers of an idea, that awareness of a need or desire, or that small bit of inspiration or intuition. This is how the universe prepares you for what it wants you to do or receive.
Trust in the practice. Trust in your higher Self. Trust in the universe, and surrender.