Surrender in Yoga

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.

  1. Set your foundation (alignment and energetic engagement)
  2. Connect with your breath (too fast? slow? even? jagged?)
  3. Engage your drishti  (what is your focus?)
  4. 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.

4 thoughts on “Surrender in Yoga”

  1. Your wisdom gives me the strength to search for those “surrender” momenst! Thank you, Anna! Miss you mucho!! xxoo

  2. Anna, thank you for the steps of alignment in order to surrender?For me, this helps release the abundance of stored tension that creates obstacles to flowing with positive energy. Your guidance is greatly appreciated❤️
    Namaste,
    Fred

  3. What a gift you are, Anna! Decades ago you told me not to fret about self sabotage and lack of self care. You told me it was OK and that WHEN I WAS READY I would develop a beautiful yoga practice that I love. I have held onto those positive words for all of these years. Now that I AM quickly evolving and caring for my self I want you to feel my deepest gratitude. Recently I had a spiritual experience. My ego met my true self and apologized for so many acts of cruelty. Here is the gist:

    You know how people say things like, “Take care of yourself!” or ask, “Why are you so hard on yourself?” Well… days ago I let go of massive amounts of trauma while using plant medicine. In addition to releasing the past I came face to face (energetically speaking) with my own EGO. Here is an analogy that I think will help people understand the relationship between the SOUL or TRUE SELF and the EGO:

    The premise is that the soul is the TRUE SELF. It is the straight link to SOURCE, higher ideals, a knowledge of the lessons it’s to learn during this stint on Earth. But the TRUE SELF would never make it on its own in this realm. It is too trusting, too naïve, too vulnerable. So in order to protect the TRUE SELF, God invented the EGO. The TRUE SELF can tell the EGO what it needs and wants to thrive and complete its mission. It is the EGO’s job to grant or deny the needs and wants based on whether or not they are SAFE. For example, the TRUE SELF might want to meditate peacefully/ reconnect with SOURCE for hours. But the EGO says, “Hey, no way. We have to get to work and make the ALMIGHTY DOLLAR so that we’re SAFE and SECURE. We have bills to pay, we have STATUS to secure. You also told me that LOVE is your top priority and my belief system tells me I must drive a BMW in order to attract a GOOD LOVE.” Or maybe the TRUE SOURCE wants to roll on the floor and do yoga at 6PM and the EGO says, “We are going out for drinks because my mind is so busy that I need to disengage for a while… and maybe we’ll meet that LOVE you keep begging for.”

    Depending on what has happened in a lifetime and how much of a threat the EGO perceives this realm to be, the TRUE SELF will get what it wants and needs a percentage of the time. The EGO might listen but usually it has its own agenda. It has something to prove like that it measures up to what all of the other EGOS are doing. It has final say/ veto power. If you think of a continuum of EGOS you can put a loving parent at one end and a lion tamer at the other. Some EGOS listen and care for the SOUL with loving intent. Some EGOS whip and torture their SOULS until they are shriveling yellow and gray forms of hopelessness, depression and anxiety. For one motive or another those are the EGOS who sacrifice all for fame, fortune, notoriety, and excellence. Some EGOS reach GOALS and some don’t. If a GOAL is in alignment with the SOUL’S PURPOSE then all is well. If a GOAL doesn’t align (like the GOAL to earn two million dollars in order to be secure) then it will feel empty when reached. Some EGOS do not reach their goals and feel empty… or turn to addictive substances or distractions for the SHAME of it all. This is what inner child work is all about. It is the UNION of EGO and TRUE SELF, a PROMISE from the EGO that it will do a much better job of listening to the TRUE SELF and giving it what it needs. The EGO can be a loving and nurturing parent or a wicked, abusive, cruel brute. When you hear somebody say, “Let go of the EGO,” for the hundredth time and you don’t understand the phrase… maybe you will share this explanation.

    Written down by,

    Kendra Delano

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