The last Niyama teaches us how to surrender to life, to recognize when we are fighting the changes that life wants us to make and to let go and let God guide us on our path.

I like to kayak and when I am in a river where it has rained recently and the current is moving more swiftly, I practice this art of surrender. It doesn’t mean that I don’t participate by navigating as skillfully as possible WITH the flow of the water. When I am able to do this, it becomes more easeful and enjoyable.

There are times in my life where I want to control or resist whatever changes are upon me. Life becomes a struggle. When I pause and reflect on what is really happening then I can let go and recognize that the only control I have is my own responses and behaviors.

When I first came to yoga, I remember that at the ending of class lying in savasana was really hard for me. My mind would start ticking off a list of everything I had to get done and my thoughts would wander to “when are we going to get done with this!” Now, I bask in the release of this relaxation pose. I connect with my heart and trust that my own internal guidance system will guide me onward in my life.

Engaging with life wholeheartedly with all the previous yamas and niyamas help you get to this final act of surrender. You show up and do your part (allowing others to do theirs) and then when you get stuck you pause and let go of attachments to any pre-conceived outcomes. You allow the divine to guide you and trust that life will work itself out.

Many of us have dealt with loss it seems now more than ever. The loss of life as we knew it before the pandemic. The loss of relationships, the loss of jobs, the loss of our loved ones. Surrender and allow yourself to grieve through the process. Trust that there is a bigger energy at work in your life and in the world. Align with your divine nature and keep moving forward with love.

Janie Gunn