Sunday, June 10, 2012

Ishvara Pranidhana, Sanskrit Niyama which means surrender to God; sounds easy?  Sometimes. 

What is God's ultimate plan, one so much better than you ever dreamed of?  Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

Surrender to God is a daily happening, much like sun salutes are a traditional type practice to warm up in yoga.  My challenge to you today is to combine your yoga each morning on your mat with your surrender.  Try this....Sun Salute C; Surya Namaskar

*Tadasana - Mountain Pose with hands at your heart center in Anjali Mudra say, "Our Father"  Establish your breath through your nose.  One breath per posture and five breaths in downward facing dog.

*Inhale as you bring your arms up overhead in upward salute or Urdhva Hastasana say, "Who art in heaven,"

*Exhale as you forward fold or Uttanasana, soften your knees and allow your body to drape over your torso as you lengthen your spine, say, "Hallowed be your Name."  Think of all the Names of God, "Jehovah," "Elohim," "El Roi," "El Shaddai" for example.  My favorite is "Jehovah" because it means faithful, promise-keeping God.

*Inhale half-way up as you look slightly forward lengthening between the top of your head and your tailbone with a flat back (hands on floor, shins, or legs).

*Fold once again in Uttanasana or forward fold, surrendering your heart to God just for today.   Exhale.

*Stepping back with your right leg as you continue your exhale into a kneeling lunge or Anjaneyasana.  Say, "Thy Kingdom Come."  In other words, ask God for his perfect will in your life today.  Keep your left toes curled under to protect your left knee and bring your arms over your head.  Inhale.

*Exhaling long slow breath step your left leg back as you move to downward facing dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana.  Palms flattened as your fingers spread widely with special attention placed on your index and thumb knuckles pressing down into the mat.  Sit-bones are high towards the sky as you lengthen down your back into your shoulders with triceps rolled towards the sides of your head and into your hands.  Lengthen one way, and down the backs of legs in your feet two fist distance apart (at the heels) the other way.  Say, "Thy Will be done."  This means that you care more about God's future and hope for you than your own ideas of what is supposed to happen.  Another moment of surrender.  This is another exhale.

*Inhaling pull forward into a plank or Phalakasana.  Yes, this is a hard pose if you do it correctly.  Think this little mantra, head looking forward, strong shoulders slightly forward of wrist creases, soften the back of heart while lifting thighs, pushing back with heels, and pulling navel in and up towards spine.  (Tailbone down - think "bad dog tail")  Say, "On earth."  In other words you are inhaling and saying that you know very little about what should happen in your daily future, but God knows everything.  Surrender to Divine Knowledge over your earthly perspective.

*Exhale with elbows close to your ribs.  Caturanga Dandasana looks like the beginning of the downward flow of a push-up and can be done with straight legs or bent knees.  By looking forward, softening your heart, your shoulders stay in the sockets, and you imagine that you are seeing ahead of you with God's Divine Perspective instead of your own.

*Inhale cobra or Bhujangasana and say, "As it is in Heaven."  Look slightly upwards without cranking your neck back (pretend that you have a large orange right behind your neck to protect your cervical spine).  Elbows bent close to your sides and thighs on the floor.  Widen your feet and press all ten toes into the mat.

*Exhale as you move into child's pose or Balasana to stretch and check in with your breath.  Move back to all fours (quadruped) and towards Downward Facing Dog for 5 long, deep and even breaths as you gaze between your feet down the tip of your nose.  "Give us this day our daily bread."  This may mean take care of my finances or give me insight since God is the True Bread of Life.

*Inhale lift your right leg to hip height in one legged dog pose and step forward between your hands while dropping the back left leg to the mat.  It is one of the hardest ways to practice, but the benefits are amazing as you strengthen your hip flexors and pull in your core muscles.  Great analogy due to the fact that you say, "Forgive me for my sins."  Continue your inhale as your bring your right foot down and lower your left knee.  Anajaneyasana or low lunge bring your arms up in surrender as you forgive others.  Say, "As I forgive others for their sins against me."  Letting go of all the trash in your brain that keeps the old unforgiveness stirred up.  Let it go.  Let it go.  Let it go...

 *Tucking your left toe under to lengthen your left leg, step your left foot to meet your right.  Exhale as you bring your arms back down to the ground.  Say, "Lead me not into temptation."  When I am tempted to screw up, help me see the way of escape that You have provided.

*Inhale lengthening half-way up in Ardha Uttanasana, remember soft knees are better than a rounded back.  Say, "Deliver Me from evil." God, please see the evil or disasters ahead of me just for today and keep me from them with Your Protection.

*Exhale once again in Uttanasana hollowing out your abs before you reverse swan dive your arms all the way up to the sky with the saying, "For Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the Glory." (optional:  Catholics may skip this part of the prayer.)

*Hands together as you look upward towards your hands.  Big inhale as you lengthen your side body and say, "Forever."

*Back to Tadasana, mountain pose, hands in prayer position as you find equal standing or Sama Stiti Hi.  Bow your head with "Amen." This basically means the same as saying, "So Be It." Exhale.

Here is your Positive Mental Attitude for today.  If you would like to be on the daily devotional mailing list for these writings, please e-mail me back.  If not, no worries.

2 great classes today at 2:30 for Beginners and 4:00 for All Levels.
Great yogis practice 12 salutes every single day; good yogis do at least right side and left.  All yogis do one. 

*Ahhh...The Power of One.


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