Finding Some Peace with Surrender

Updated: Mar 26, 2021

These days, any difficult blow can seem like a huge pile-on to an already built-up pile of pre-existing conditions. I don't have to list the pre-existing conditions of our society these days to bring you up to speed with what I'm talking about. We also have our own life situations that could also be categorized this way. Maybe you or a loved one has a physical or mental health challenge. Maybe it's financial pressure or job (or lack of a job) stress. With all this going on, any loss, disappointment, setback or obstacle can prompt a response of "Not one more thing! I can't take one more thing!"

In yoga, the concept of ishvara pranidhana, means surrender to the Divine. It is one of the five niyama, or ethical observances of yoga's eight limbs. The West has adopted a generally negative view of the word surrender, but the term ishvara pranidhana and its meaning can help us adopt a more useful, practical meaning of surrender that can support us when times are hard and can also give us a more balanced approach to our lives.