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Ishvara Pranidhana in yoga

There are many types of yoga asana practices. Some are very energetic and powerful, and many of us may feel that is what we need.

We feel that we need to get exercise and burn calories, and we do, but we also need to rest and to restore. It’s important to be able to surrender what our brain wants in order to give our body what it needs. Slowing down does not mean we are weak.

Sometimes we need to burn off the excess with more strenuous asana. Other times, slow gentle asana is just what we need to calm things down and get good rest. There may be times we need to adapt our asanas to fit how our body is feeling. I often use props if I'm feeling stiff form arthritis or just tired and I know the movement will help me feel better.

And, sometimes, all we can manage is to lie on our mat and breathe. Again, observe, witness, listen to your body and mind. They will tell you what they need and when it’s time to surrender.

It’s not giving up. It’s being kind to ourselves. It’s being honest with ourselves. Sometimes what we need is to surrender to the posture, or to the breath.

You may be starting to see the other Yamas and Niyamas coming into play here. They all work together and are all intertwined. Maybe the reason that Ishvara Pranidhana comes last is because it incorporates all the others. Once we’ve studied all the others, Ishvara Pranidhana becomes an easier concept.

Next time, Ishvara Pranidhana in life.

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