Saturday, January 16, 2010

Ishvara prandihana

"Ishvara pranidhana could be called "heartfulness" practice; it awakens our constant devotion to the Source of life and keeps our hearts open to the Divine in every moment, no matter what arises."- Shiva Rea

I'm grateful to someone I consider a mentor, Stephanie at Flow, who's life, I feel is living yoga. Every month at her studio, she choses a topic from yoga philosophy to focus on. Committed to growing her students spiritually, not just physically. Her next topic: Ishvara Prandihana.

When I can take away the "me" from the mat, replace it with a form of surrender, then I am cultivating a sense of ishvara pradihana. That surrender to me is to God. Allowing my practice to be one of emptying myself of will and desire and going beyond how I have defined myself- good or bad. I'm often tempted to beat my self up mentally for not "getting a pose" that I have been working on time and again. As soon as I let go of the striving, generally it comes with ease. Generally. If I'm completely real, yoga does not come naturally for me at all. Even as a kid, wanting to be a dancer, I always had to dedicate myself and work twice as hard as my peers just to get my body to do certain moves or sequences of steps. Even now, I may not be the smartest chicken in the coop, but I certainly am creative and can work hard... that pitta nature pouring out. But, unless I'm truly empty of myself, very little comes easy. At all. I have to practice and practice and practice to get some poses that seem to come so effortless for others. And, then I remind myself, as I do my classes every time, that it's not about anyone else but you on the mat. When I turn my eyes inward, I see the weaknesses and the strengths that my body and soul bring to yoga, and I simply try to make peace with it. Where I am today, how I feel today, without dwelling on those failures and certainly not dwelling on the successes because tomorrow will be an entirely different practice. It always is.


Making peace with practice,

Mel

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