So sorry I missed yesterday, things got so busy at work. Here is our last Niyama.
Ishvara Pranidhana is devotion, dedication and surrender to the Highest Love. Everyone has their own personal interpretation of this niyama. For some people, it is a spiritual deity, for others it is the universe or a universal energy. Whatever your personal interpretation of this niyama is should be acknowledged.
This is a two-fold concept. It involves karma yoga and surrender. Patanjali teaches us that in order to experience the true goal of yoga, we must let go of the ego and let go of the constant intertwining of self with ego. To do this, we have to take the benefits we receive from our practice and give them as an offering. This is known as karma yoga. As we offer our karma yoga, we experience a connection with a power greater than ourselves. This is the oneness, the surrender, that is Ishvara Pranidhana.
As a yoga teacher, you may offer community classes from time to time. You may do charity benefits or some other form of giving or donation. This is karma yoga. As you participate in this form of karma yoga, you will likely feel the divine connection that leads you to the experience of Ishvara Pranidhana. When you end your practice and “Namaste,” you may experience Ishvara Pranidhana.
I myself, think of universal energy. I thank the universe for whatever energy I am receiving. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes my ego gets in the way of receiving the message. I know I plan on offering community classes and volunteering my time for service. I feel that as teachers we should be of service to our communities.