2.5. Niyama: Isvara Pranidhana - Surrender

Continuing our exploration of the 8 limbs of Yoga (8 limbs of Yoga blog post), according to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

We have so far covered the 5 Yamas (Yamas blog post) - the restraints, relating to creating balance in our external world.

The 5 Yamas are:

1. Ahimsa - non-harming, non violence - (Ahimsa, the 1st of the Yamas blog post)

2. Satya - truthfulness - (Satya, the 2nd of the Yamas blog post)

3. Asteya - non-stealing - (Asteya, the 3rd of the Yamas blog post)

4. Brahmacharya - moderation, right use of energy - (Brahmacharya, the 4th of the Yamas blog post)

5. Aparigraha - non-attachment, non-hoarding, non-greediness - (Aparigraha, the 5th of the Yamas blog post)

Moving on to the 5 Niyamas - the 5 observations or self training recommended to create balance in our internal world.

The 5 Niyamas are:

1. Saucha - cleanliness - (Saucha, the 1st of the Niyamas blog post)

2. Santosha - contentment - (Santosha, the 2nd of the Niyamas blog post)

3. Tapas - commitment, daily practice, discipline - (Tapas, the 3rd of the Niyamas blog post)

4. Svadhyaya - self-study, self-inquiry, self-investigation - (Svadhyaya, the 4th of the Niyamas blog post)

5. Isvara Pranidhana - surrender

Last up from the Niyamas is Isvara Pranidhana - surrender. The Yoga Sutras Chapter 1.23 relating to Svadhyaya states 'Offering regular prayers to God with a feeling of submission to his power, surely enables the state of Yoga to be achieved.' or 'Union can also be attained through devotion to Ishvara, the all permeating universal intelligence.'

This Niyama is a though one to interpret in this day and age. This is where people reject Yoga as a religious practice. In fact this Sutra means to surrender to something higher than us. It can be God, the Universe, a Higher Power, the Creator. The problem is when we do not believe that there is something higher than us, is that we feel all alone.

Here is a lovely article on Ivsara Pranidhana from Ekhart Yoga:


Positive affirmations for commitment from the Kripalu Center:

'I release the need for being the doer.'

'I surrender my ego, false pride to God. I trust that God is in charge.'

'No matter whether I fail or succeed in what I do I offer the fruits of my actions to God.'


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