The Last Niyama
Posted by terrepruitt on April 11, 2016
Somewhat funny that I have one last niyama to write about. I started writing about the Eight Limbs of Yoga in January. First I talked about the fact that there is More To Yoga Than Just Asana (that is the name of the post). Most people are familiar with the fact that there are yoga poses, but not everyone knows there are eight parts, or what are called “limbs”. Then some of the limbs have even more “branches” you could say. Two of them have five branches or offshoots. I was making my way through each of them writing about them briefly. They are the yamas and the niyamas. As with many things in Nia – the cardio dance exercise I teach – the many aspects of yoga are deep and volumes can be written about each. I have barely scratch the surface. But the last one I have to write about is the fifth niyama, Ishvara Pranidhana. Some people refer to it as surrender to the Devine or surrender of ego.
Some debate the concept of the Devine, some saying it is God, some saying it is the universe. Then you have to decide what surrender means. So, if you are going to follow the path of yoga and practice all the limbs, I would say that the first thing you might need to do when practicing this niyama is decide on your “Devine”. I actually appreciate the texts that translate it as God because that is my Devine.
The Heart of Yoga by T.K.V. Desikachar says it means “to lay all your actions at the feet of God.” That to me sounds like surrendering to the Devine to me, but then “lay all your actions” is up for interpretation. Again, I will say that I am just barely touching the surface and with that “barely touching”, the idea of it can change. But it seems as if that could mean to trust in what is happening. Surrender and let things be.
One teaching I received described it as “bringing about serenity, letting go, opening to silence.” The teaching also suggested to use “devote” instead of surrender. But just like with the poses the translation of all of the ancient writings are mixed. Some say it says this and means that and some say it says that and means this. So it can be confusing with so many conflicting and contradicting translations.
But just because I have my “Devine” decided doesn’t necessarily make surrendering easy. It is still a challenge sometimes to accept what is. Although, as I mentioned first, having to write about this niyama at this time struck me as funny because the first thing I thought of is that I did surrender to the “Devine”. I did not write my last two self imposed scheduled post because I surrendered to the fact that I was taking a few days away from home and in order to get somethings done, I had to skip writing my blog. Ok, I did not HAVE to, but I had to let it go since I couldn’t come up with something to write about. At the time I hadn’t even thought about posting about this last niyama. Or I would have at least posted on Wednesday.
Also, we took a couple of days and stayed near the ocean and to me nature is just a reminder of the Devine. So . . . I felt as if I surrendered a bit.
Ahhh, surrender to what is and have faith that all is as it should be. Relax and let go a bit.
How are you with surrendering?