We’ve been dancing around the practices of kriya yoga: Tapah, Svadyaya, Ishwara Pranidhanani. They are central to the practice of yoga, on and off the mat. They are embodied in trikonasana and they are a simple doorway into the deeper dimensions of the practice. These three building blocks of the yoga practice can be loosely translated into English as: effort, self-reflection, and surrender. Ishwara Pranidhanani, so-called “surrender”, may appear to be the antithesis of power. The translation of surrender, carrying as it does the connotation of defeat, may bear a coloring of sacrifice. A closer examination yields a different point of view. Surrender is required anytime we are invited to step up our game. Ishwara is the “one beyond form “ and “Pranidhanani” is to bow down to. The bowing down is not to make oneself less than, but rather to soften our rigidity that we might be transformed into something greater. . The formless quality of Ishwara allows us to utilize any variety of divine entity or quality in our practice Think: caterpillar, butterfly. It is that simple. What do we wish to transform into? Practice reveals that Ishwara Pranidhani is the most powerful of the three practices as softening our rigidities opens the door to great fullness of our being. This is great power, albeit of an inner sort. When we relinquish the struggles and conquests of our limited personalities, the spiritual power of our connection to source is moves through us, transformation occurs. We all know our best relationships occur when the two of us together are better than each of us alone. This requires a little softening. It requires a little alchemy. It invites us to get out of our own way so to speak. This moment is about relationships, healing occurs when the us and them dissolves.
Ustrasana, camel posture, embodies this. Our personalities and sense of conventional power are seated in the third chakra in the solar plexus, the heart resting right above this. Relinquishing the tight hold of our personal power in the solar plexus region invites the flowering at the heart center.