Tight hips and shoulders remind us to let go. There are moments in life when we have to be proactive, but there are also times when we need to surrender to the flow. If we follow the tide, it carries away all the emotional debris and excess in our life. We naturally release everything that no longer serves our path. As we step into that path we embody our greatness and nurture a deeper connection of love.
Tight hips usually harbor unresolved emotions– fear, frustration, resentment, or guilt. Stiff shoulders measure our low self-worth and signal a need for regaining back our trust and faith in the divine order of things. Usually rusty joints hint that we need more sap in our life, more creativity and inspiration. But to get to that state of wholeness, we first need to weed our soil and make room for those things that we love and uplift us.
When we feel strangled by unnecessary desires that are assimilated and are not our own, we fall into the trap of being the victim and often sabotage our heart-felt needs. For me the path to fulfillment and uninhibited devotion came when I realized that I am a valuable being who can create meaningful experiences for others, helping them step firmly on their path to joy and personal integrity.
Yoga helped me release the tightness in the hips and shoulders that I had since I was a teenager. I was very uptight inside, a perpetual tension that concealed a worried and insecure being. Years of getting to know myself landed me on my path as a nurturer. I realized that I was here to inspire others to find their best version of themselves through Yoga and creative movement. I started to love my role as a nurturer and everytime my students would address me as “teacher”, I would smile and remind them: “I am only a nurturer for your inner voices”, you are your own teachers. And you will discover how to add your unique luster to illuminate this Planet.”
This realization came after having experienced the physical body as a temple of light. There is much more to us than our bodies. As we surrender to the divine we become instruments of divine wisdom and the universal consciousness works through us in miraculous ways.
Since that day I have always practiced yogic devotion and infected my students with it. Ishvara Pranidhana(surrender to the divine) is the last of the yogic observances that marks the eight-fold path to human development. It stands for the awareness of the divinity within and around us.
The Sanskrit word Ishvara means the Supreme Intelligence that permeates everything – that which brings harmony and order to the world, that which facilitates all movement of all life. Ishvara is the Supreme Soul, the divinity, the eternal seed in all beings. It’s the omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, the presence of being.
The Sanskrit word Pranidhana means surrender, letting go, devotion. As we hone the art of letting go we grow closer to our divine blueprint. We are able to live our most complete self.
To get to this state of devotion you need to relinquish control and the desire to fix things to your liking at all times. There are moments in life when you need to take charge, to make decisions and to forge relationships. But there are times when you need to sit and listen, to silence the mental chatter and longings and to wait for things to come to you. To silence the mind we first need Tapas (discipline) and Svadyaya (observation). When the mind is quiet and the consciousness open and receptive, we can surrender to the divinity, experiencing a communion with the core of our being.
This is a state of absorption when you feel fully centered and trustful of the flow of life. And that for me is the state of Samadhi, which to many yogis seems ineffable on the Earthly plane. I believe this communion of the individual soul with the universal soul is attainable here and now for everyone who is ready to access it. In the quiet space of now, the consciousness can open up to experience a deep connection with the source of life. We’ve all have had experiences of Samadhi for short glimpses at times. With a devoted and mindful yoga practice, the glimpses of Samadhi gradually increase and expand.
Yoga means union. It’s a union between the body, mind, and the eternal soul. When we chant Om in the beginning of some classes we are calling the omniscient. We are all here on earth together, needing each other and being guided and supported by that same Supreme Intelligence. Surrendering to it is not an act of blind faith, but of inner trust that no matter where we are right now, it is exactly where we are supposed to be. It’s a love and an acceptance. It’s the truest amount of trust you can put into yourself and the universe.
Ready to count your rudraksha beads with the mantra “Isvara Pranidhana” and infuse your mala with divine love?
Hips and Shoulders Opening Yoga: Let Go (open level)
This routine couples ingenious hip and shoulder stretches to give you myofascial, emotional and mental release from all that is blocking you. Comforting shoulder binds combined with spinal undulations open up the body and free up the arms. Kneeling lunges and deeper shoulder loops follow to rinse tension and stiffness from the two ball and socket joints. Modified kneeling warrior poses pair up with intense deltoid stretches. Seated and reclining hip and shoulder openers engage the remaining joints and muscle groups in a friendly “pull and squeeze”. An explosion of pelvic and upper arm binds pull out any emotional residue as they boost the production of synovial fluid across all joints. The sequence winds down with spinal twists to relieve the lower back and create more space in the joints, between the vertebrae and in the mind. A brief but empowering relaxation reminds you that in order to let go you need to relinquish control.