You need a yoga class. You show up to said yoga class. The teacher is new to you and her class resembles more of a macho drill sergeant than the pulsing flow you were craving. So, what do you do? Well, obviously you breathe. You remind yourself that here, too, there is something you can learn. As mindful yogis we know this: walk into the class, have resistance toward it, continue and find the lesson, be grateful for what you have.
This is all well and good, but let’s take the lesson a little deeper. When you have resistance toward a teacher or type of a class you are most likely letting your ego get in the way. Maybe, the teacher is everything you were taught a teacher should not be, so you judge. Maybe the class is far too “easy” for the advanced postures your body wants to make. Whatever it is, you know you don’t like it but just as you’re driven by your ego to not like the class, you are driven by your ego not to stop the class, too.
How do we find balance and counter our ego?
Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrender
To surrender is to shift your perspective; to ultimately let go of superficial judgments pieced together by your interpretation of the outside world in turn for the recognition that all is sacred and one. It’s the recognition of your true self not defined by the material world and the true self of all those around you.
With that, you don’t leave the class that you hate because you don’t like what the teacher is teaching or his tone of voice, instead you surrender to what his truth is in that hour and the divine events that brought you to that room.
You don’t continue through the class listing what is wrong with it so you can tell all your friends later. Instead, you listen, breathe, opt out of a posture that doesn’t serve you. Most importantly, you bow to the sacred practice and honor it with your intention of surrendering to the moment.
The practice of surrender takes us a step closer toward finding our highest self and staying with her throughout our days. Just as we surrender to the ego and judgement of others we must also surrender to judgment of ourselves. In those moments when you cannot let go of ego, allow ishvara pranidhana to trickle in. Even by holding the intention you are closer toward the shift.