Isvara Pranidhana is the fifth Niyama and it refers to surrendering to some power greater than ourselves. Especially when things are difficult, it can be harder to find this surrender, we tend not to trust that life itself has our best interests at heart. It is during these times, however that surrender becomes most important. This week's restorative practice can help to surrender any holding in the body and breath so that spiritual surrender is a bit easier. Isvara Pranidhana enables you to move along with the flow of life without hesitation or struggle. Understanding that pain is just one small part of the process of your unfolding. There is also pleasure, beauty and support all around you.
Touch the tips of the index finger and thumb together while extending the other fingers. Turn the palms downward and rest the hands on the knees.
Benefits: Cultivates silence in the mind and honors the divine within all of creation.
Supported Heart Opener
Set up two bolsters perpendicular to mat with folded blanket on the one toward the back of the mat. Sit on folded blanket or on floor facing away from bolsters. Lie back so that shoulder blades and upper back are supported by shorted bolster and the head and neck are supported by the taller bolster. The upper line of the shoulders and arms should fall in between the bolsters. If the elbows to not readily reach the floor, support with more folded blankets. Either straighten legs out to floor or rest knees over bolster. Rest 5-10 minutes.
Supta Balasana (Supported Child's Pose)
Kneel straddling a long bolster. Place a second bolster over first with end of bolster in front of your low abdomen. A third bolster can go under the far end of the second bolster or use a folded blanket or block to support under it. Extend front of body over second bolster and rest forehead on backs of hands. Rest up to 5 minutes.
Legs in the Chair
Lie on back with legs in the seat of a chair, or in this case the ottoman. Place arms away from sides and palms up. Rest 15 minutes.
I attend Cheryl's class regularly and feel that my practice has improved immensely over the past few years due to her expert coaching. Her teaching style is clear and compassionate and her previous experience in teaching adults is evident in her organized approach and easy to understand instructions. I also appreciate that Cheryl not only teaches us about how to correctly position ourselves, but also touches on many aspects of yoga philosophy, which in turn has deepened my personal practice and heightened my awareness of the connection between mind and body, breath and relaxation.