Ishvara Parnidhana is the surrendering to a higher power. Surrendering implies giving ones self over to God as you perceive him. Bhakti yogis see this as a practice of complete adoration of the divine. Every thought and action is done with awareness of the divine and in service of the divine. Iyengar writes that “Actions mirror a man’s personality better than his words. The yogi has learnt the art of dedicating all his actions to the Lord and so they reflect the divinity within him.“ Although yoga evolved in the Hindu tradition, it is not a religion and espouses no worship of any particular deity. I like to say “Insert your “Higher Power” here.” Yoga is not a religion, but it is very spiritual in nature, and enhances any religious beliefs that you may have. This is no accident that yoga did not align itself with any specific religion. Patanjali wrote the Yoga Sutras at a time when Buddhism was a rising movement in India. To make yoga Hindu or Buddhist or Jain would have excluded large numbers of potential practitioners. The awareness and meditative aspects of yoga can enhance your connection to your own religious belief whether you be Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Jain, Bahai, Confucian, Zoroastrian, or Hindu. In this manner, yoga is very inclusive. Everyone practices yoga side by side each doing the same practice, but surrendering to their own vision of God.
Michael Stone writes that “Yoga does not offer consolation or security through blind faith or elaborate theories of god, fantasies of a better afterlife or safety in the face of death. Rather, yoga teaches us to value our existential disorientation and to look into it deeply and without distraction.” … “Yoga is the union underneath good and bad, heaven and hell, self and no self; a set of practices aimed at the resolution of opposites.”… “Yoga is the natural state of being with what is, and practice supports us in waking up to this natural state.” …If the true teacher is the present moment, then everything is practice.”
Of all the niyamas, this is probably the most controversial. Many religious groups denounce yoga as evil because it is foreign, chants in Sanskrit, or developed in the backdrop of Hindu culture. I believe that this is ignorance of what yoga truly is. I like to take a global spiritual view.
Everyone is an expression of the divine and has as much right to life, happiness, and liberation as anyone else. The problem I personally have with most world religions is that they deny this divinity and are exclusionary. Even though most dogma touts loving thy neighbor, that only applies if they are the same religion as you. Even within the major world religions there is strife. Sunni Muslims kill Shiite Muslims, Protestants Christians and Catholics Christians kill one another. Enough of this. I could soapbox on religion forever, but it would not be productive.
Unfortunately, in the yoga world, many individuals have seen it necessary to bring religion into yoga. There is now “Yoga for Christians”, “Yoga for Jews”, etc. I’m a live and let live kind of yogi, non harming and all. I just don’t see why it is necessary to exclude others from yoga by adding religion to it. If this were Patanjali’s intent and the intent of yogis through the centuries, then only Hindus would be practicing yoga. Everyone else would have been excluded.
Ayurvedic Spring Cleaning with Lisa Schrempp:
Saturday, April 23rd 1-3 PM,
Sumit Yoga McDowell Studio
WHERE McDowell Ranch Studio
14676 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd.
Suite 127 Scottsdale, AZ 85260
WHEN Saturday, April 23rd , 1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
CONTACT Patty Callahan at 480.767.YOGA (9642)
Ayurveda, the holistic healing modality of ancient India and sister science to Yoga, commands that we shake off the excess heaviness accummulated throughout the winter, recommending that we maintain internal cleansing rituals in addition to the those of our living environments, such as our homes & yards.
The heralding of spring requires us to adapt and remove the debris of the stagnant heaviness imposed on us by kapha dosha which, in excess, creates phlegm and tends to be abundant in the body by the end of the winter season. This dosha is the energy responsible for structure and strength as well as weight and mucous and, when out of balance can lead to congestion, allergies, cough and an overflow of emotions.
This workshop aims to provide you with all of the necessary ayurvedic tools to assist you in maintaining a healthy diet, exercise and meditation routine through the changing seasons.
Floo-id Yoga is a new yoga studio that has opened up here in the valley. I believe that it is a hot yoga studio in the style of Bikrim, but I am going to take a class there and check it out later in the week. I will give you my review then.
Monday night classes at my yoga room are off to a slow start. This is an excellent opportunity for those of you who want to practice with me on a Monday evening. It is particularly beneficial for those of you that need that deep stretching yin style practice to help open hips and lower back. It is always by donation……