A few weeks ago week the theme of my yoga classes was Isvara Pranidhana. As I learned it, the Sanskrit word Isvara means “that which sustains you.” For some that is God, for others, family, or Earth, the great planet we honored in April with Earth Day.
The idea of Isvara is in itself an acknowledgement that we are beings that thrive with support, with connection to a source – of food, of love, of acceptance. Taking the time to consider what that is for us as individuals can be valuable. Our bodies were not designed to be independent. We don’t exist on air and we don’t thrive without affection.
Pranidhana means “to surrender” or “to be supported by.” Together, Isvara and Pranidhana can be translated as “to be supported by that which sustains you.” Sutra I.23 lists Isvara Pranaidhanada as one of the ways to the state of yoga itself. Surrender is a practice unto itself. It is an allowance of a powerful flow of awareness, a deeply relaxing and nourishing concept. It has helped me to know that I don’t have to do everything, or figure out every problem. I can trust that there is a plan greater than my own desire to control or quantify. If I can let go, I can open to the mystery and joys of a life lived from ease rather than fear.
At 8 Limbs Capitol Hill we have had our own powerful experience of letting go. A few weeks ago we let go of the yoga space we’ve occupied for almost seventeen years. It was sad to say goodbye, but what’s come in its place is an equally beautiful and peaceful studio. Many have noted how comforting it feels and how great it sounds (esp with no loud heater!). What we’ve leaned into is the truth that yoga and community are what supports us here, not just a physical space.
I want to send a big thanks to the 8 Limbs community and staff for their patience through this change. We’ll be hosting a FREE DAY OF CLASSES on Tuesday, June 4 at 8 Limbs Capitol Hill to show our appreciation. You’ve been AMAZING!
Posted by: Anne Phyfe Palmer