Ishvara pranidhana (Niyama #5)

Ishvara Pranidhana – ईश्वर प्रणिधान – Surrender to the Divine Consciousness

Ishvara = Divine Consciousness, Pranidhana = to surrender. In this final niyama, ego sheds from you like a snake that’s outgrown its skin. Only the prudent arrive here in their spiritual journey. Please click links below to recap the 4 previous niyamas. 

  1. To obtain peace, you must have order and seek purification inside and out  
  2. Hone an active contentment and gratitude for being alive
  3. Demonstrate your will-power, concentration, and maturity
  4. Expose and overcome the barriers that routinely deny your own exhalation

What in the hell is a Divine Consciousness? It’s the energy that binds us. We are made of star stuff and the body, we think we own, will decay and become star stuff once again.

Ishvara Pranidhana is the practice of acknowledgement that you are not in control. You never were. Your parents, yes they made you enter this world as a baby, but you were always created from the the Universe and the Universe is connected to everything, therefore you are immense, limitless, and infinite.

  • But how can you see yourself as God-like?

  • How can you let go of who you think you are?  Or who you think you aren’t?

  • Can you just make a change, when you feel you’ve been a certain way for so long? Can you get rid of your judgments?

With Ishvara, the human experience is a continuous flow of exchanges between you and your world.

A Practical Approach : Surrendering with the body to (inevitably) let go of the body.

In a yoga class where the instructor or you have guided your movement with intention, you are practicing ishvara pranidhana. For example, we can back-bend to expose our hearts and throats, in an effort to synchronize our hearts with our communication and free our energetic pathways (chakras) from blockages. We create a posture and move our breath with this intention so that our body can receive Ishvara, the divine intelligence in how to be connected and unified. Yoga= to yoke = to pull up and unite, to be one with the Universe. 

Telltale signs you are far from Ishvara Pranidhana: 

  • You feel alone and disconnected and take actions that maintain this, or perhaps the separation you feel is one of superiority and you dominate fellow humans with intimidation and manipulation for sport or personal gain.
  • You think surrendering is weak and synonymous with giving up, and this is incongruent with your perception of strength and will to fight for respect.  

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