Isvara-pranidhana is the practice of humility. Faith. Surrender. Dedication.
Before I was a yogi, I was an engineer. I was trained to ‘use your brain’, question everything and always find an answer. On top of that, I had little faith in anything – not God, not people around me, not really even myself or the purpose of existing. But when I started yoga teacher training, my whole life changed. I finally understood why my grandfather went to church every weekend for the past 80 years. Yoga was my becoming my church. It’s what lead me to feel apart of something greater than myself. I had finally found a practice of isvara-pranidhana – I had finally found faith.
For an engineering-trained brain like mine, having faith means accepting that it is OK to not always find the answer. You don’t have to understand why everything happens the way it does, and you probably never will. Trusting that there is a higher power/Universe/God/Spirit allows you to surrender to the flow of life and accept the situations you are presented that are out of your control. This is essentially the serenity prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” Having faith in the unknown and ‘unanswered’ deepens your ability to trust and love yourself, others around you, and the world we live in.
Comment below and share your experiences with Isvara-Pranidhana, or your faith. Do you believe in something greater than yourself? Can you think of a time where your mind got in the way of your faith?
“Faith is an oasis in the heart which will never be reached by the caravan of thinking.”Kahlil Gibran
Isvara-pranidhana Book: The Surrender Experiment
Isvara-pranidhana Exercise: Dance and sing like nobody is watching!
Isvara-pranidhana Mantra: Everything that exists is already within me.
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Niyamas: Observances of Yoga | Chapter 5: Isvara-PranidhanaTweet