Surrender is a tricky word, when some people hear this word they think they must give up something, or give in, retreat. To surrender in yoga is to release thought and anxiety, to free oneself of limitations and restrictions, to be fully present and accepting of one’s life in this moment. It may mean letting go of past hurts, negativity, things that are draining or stagnating us in some way. We may still acknowledge the feelings (forgive but not forget) but not attach to them or try to numb them through drugs (alcohol, cigarettes, illegal substances) or over activity of mind and/or body (excessive running/exercising or reading).

When we actively seek to surrender we find clarity, peace, healing and replenished energy and let go of feelings of resentment, regret, doubt and judgement.  

The sanskrit words..."Ishvara pranidhana means surrendering (pranidhana) to a higher source (Ishvara). It is a "big picture" yoga practice: It initiates a sacred shift of perspective that helps us to remember, align with, and receive the grace of being alive. Ishvara pranidhana is not about what your yoga can do for you, but about approaching your practice in the spirit of offering.

To many modern Westerners the idea of surrender as a virtue may seem strange. Many of us have only experienced surrendering to a higher source as a last resort, when we've confronted seemingly insurmountable problems or in some other way hit the edge of our individual will and abilities. In Patanjali’s  Yoga Sutra’s , he refers to "surrender" as  an essential ongoing practice, not as a last resort.

For Patanjali, surrender ( Ishvara pranidhana)  is a powerful  method for dissolving the endless chatter of the mind, and a means to the ultimate state of yoga: samadhi." ~ Yoga Journal.

What are you holding onto? Maybe it’s an expectation (instead of acceptance), control, or resistance?


· “Resistance leads to suffering” ~ Buddha.

· “It may look as if the situation is creating the suffering, but ultimately this is not so - your resistance is… If you cannot accept what is outside, then accept what is inside… This means: Do not resist the pain allow it to be there. Surrender to the grief, despair, fear, loneliness or whatever form the suffering takes. Witness it without labelling it mentally. Embrace it. Then see how the miracle of surrender transmutes the deep suffering into deep peace.” ~ Eckharte Tolle – The Power of Now.

· “Give up all bad qualities in you, banish the ego, & develop the spirit of surrender. You will experience Bliss. ~ Sri Sathya Sai Baba

· “If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly those moments. “  ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

This was used as the Spirit Yoga Theme for the week, I hope it can to surrender to resistance and suffering! 

Article by Martine Ford