Learn to conquer.
Conquer what?
Conquer the animal in you.
Learn to fight.
Against what?
Against the human in you.

Learn to surrender.
To what?
To the divine in you.

I surrender to joy
Joy is power.
I surrender to love
Love is a power sublime.

I surrender to oneness
Oneness is the measureless power.

I surrender to God
God is the absolute Power supreme.

by Sri Chinmoy

In Yoga we talk a lot about Surrender. But what does surrender mean? It means giving up the need to control each and everything little thing that happens, whether in a Yoga pose or at work or at home, in our relationships. Trusting that the universal source, the divine, will always be there and will always know the best way to just ‘be’. In the west we think of ‘surrender’ as giving up, throwing in the towel or walking away without a fight. It simply means dropping expectations, of changing the way we act and more importantly Re-act. When we let go of the expectations, we no longer have a need to react to circumstances beyond our control. If they are beyond our control why are we struggling? It is to that idea we surrender.

It’s knowing that I no longer need to struggle with concepts or ideas. Letting go of those old ideas, the old thought processes that create tension, the ones that we struggle with. And yes it means letting go of the expectation of someone else doing what I want, when I want.

As children we follow the example of our family and friends but as adults living in the adult world we need to be able to think for ourselves. If a concept learned at our mothers knee no longer resonates w/ us as true then we stop struggling with it, we surrender to the idea that there may be something else that we can hold in our hearts as the truth.

I often tell my students, especially those struggling in balance poses, to let go of any tension in the body (Clenched jaws and rigid shoulders), when we hold tension in the body then  balance is almost impossible, I tell them the best way to get rid of the tension is to stop struggling with the posture. Like a Chinese finger puzzle, the more you pull and twist and struggle to get your fingers out the tight it gets and the more you are caught up in the grip of the tension.

But once you relax the hand you then move close to the center and can escape the grip.

Letting go of the struggle, i.e. the expectation of what you think the pose should be, allows you to surrender to the moment. When your practiceing yoga, surrender to the moment and give up the need to control the pose and just be in the pose.

So to in life when faced with conflict, struggle or tough decisions we can surrender to those moments, relaxing, trusting the divine, and in that act of surrendering we make a shift from struggling  to an ease of being.

So stop trying to force a solution or suppressing the reaction, give up the reaction and just be in the situation. Problems are solved not through struggle but calm determination.

Om Shanti


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