Step into the fire of self-discovery. This fire will not burn you, it will only burn what you are not. – Mooji

“What does it mean to Surrender?”

As a Yoga Teacher, I ask my students to surrender all the time. Surrender to the breath, to the mat, the cushion, the earth, the body…but what am I really asking? We give detailed cues for how to get into and out of every pose, and then once you are all set up, perfectly aligned, we ask you to surrender. Huh? Where’s the detailed instruction that follows? Surely there must be a manual or how-to video for this somewhere on the internet.

So I went looking. I googled how to surrender. I found meditations and yoga practices from some very notable teachers. I found vague and confusing quotes. First result on my internet search was as follows:

1. Master your breath.
2. Let the Self be in bliss.
3. Contemplate on the Sublime within you.

Well, right then. Got it. No problem. Is that all?

I had to scale this search back, waaaaay back, and take it into my daily life. I began to realize that as a new Mom to my eight month old daughter, I am constantly being asked to surrender. Each day starts with a general idea of how it will go, and hour by hour, minute by minute, my best intentions for the day unravel with the ebb and flow of naps, fussy periods, no naps, spit up, diaper surprises, and so on. Even so, I would struggle against what was actually happening, trying to get back on schedule, with what should be happening. This kid should be napping. This kid must be hungry.

Funny enough, when I try to bring my child onto my agenda, that’s when the resistance happens, and the day, moods, and sanity just fall apart from there. When I remain totally present, responding to each moment’s experience instead of my prescribed ideas of how a day or week should go, that’s when my daughter and I fall into sync with one another, and everything would just flows.

We make choices all day long to either stick with a plan, a decision, a career, a person…or Surrender, and let go of the control. See how your day unfolds when you aren’t attached to a particular outcome. Trust comes in here, in a big way. Trust that your best intentions are being served, even when you’re not in charge of every decision. Step outside of being your own micro-manager of every minute and every hour. Surrender and see what presents itself. And if you have trouble doing that, I’ll lend you my daughter for a day. Because in actuality, she has turned out to be a far greater teacher than any amount of internet research on the subject, or time spent on the cushion.

April is Surrender Month at the CEC, and in case you are not up for looking after an 8 month old, then I invite you out to explore what it means to surrender – body, mind, and spirit.