Yoga and Faith Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 5


30 min - Practice


In order to surrender, we have to feel supported and loved by something greater than ourselves. Through presence, steady attention, and non-attachment, we move into the heart and hips, practice mudra, and experience a bit of dynamic movement as a way of connecting to a felt sense of surrender in the body. You will feel soft, easeful, and held by love.
What You'll Need: Mat, Square Bolster, Blanket, Block (2)

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Hi everyone, welcome to surrender. Surrender takes practice. Letting go is one of the hardest things we ever do as humans. Even though life is faithful to provide us with endless opportunities to surrender, let's face it, surrender is hard work for us as humans. Surrender really invites us to relax into the unknown, to let go into the mystery of life rather than clinging to what we know and what feels comfortable. Christ said it this way, those who cling to the life, their life will lose it, but those who lose their life or surrender for my sake will find it. And what that means to me is that in order to surrender we have to yield into something greater than ourselves. Because from this separate self, I'm terrified of surrender, right? Like we all are. But as I know that I'm supported and held in love, then surrender becomes much easier. So today as we move into the space of the heart and hips, I want you to just experience the felt sense of surrender in your body. There's a felt sense, there's a moment in the body where we just, right, where we land and we feel that that really we are held. And even going through hard times, we can let go and we can find respite when we surrender. We're gonna begin in a beautiful shape that I love to do, especially when I'm feeling stressed, and it's called constructive rest. And so what you're gonna need for today are two blocks, a bolster, and a blanket. So let's take our blocks and we're gonna build stone hinge here. I'm gonna take your blanket and place it so that you can rest your head on it, and then your bolster is just gonna sit right up on top of those two blocks. All right? And we'll come into our first preparation for surrender. Just allow the bend of your knees to come over the top of the bolster. Now if you don't have two blocks and a bolster, you could always grab a kitchen chair and place your legs over the chair for this part of class. We're gonna land here for just a few moments. And you should feel a nice neutral pelvis. Notice that your shoulders are supported, your head is supported. Let's find a connection with our breath here. And feel that sense of really falling into the breath. And part of surrender is saying yes to the moment. And often that can be a daily practice. Every exhale is an opportunity to let go. Feel your relationship between where your body is and where the earth is. Can you get a sense of surrendering to earth? It's in these final few seconds here.

And very slowly, just kick your knees in a bit and then drop your feet to the edge of the bolster. We're gonna catch our knees and then pull the thighs toward the belly. Just feel that hugging in and then maybe back out of that a little. Try not to kick over Stonehenge. Just hug the knees in. Let's do that a few more times. Just a little squeeze. Sometimes we don't know how good it feels to actually surrender until we stop gripping right so much. And then gently release your knees. Now if you want you can try this little trick where you just take your bolster and use both your feet to remove the bolster. We're gonna take our blocks off to the side. And then we'll take a moment. Just turn the feet and knees together. And just feel into your hips. Feel into your whole spine here. And gently scooping over to one side. You're gonna push all the way up and grab your blanket so that we can come to a seated position. We're gonna come into a beautiful mudra called pranidhana mudra. So just make sure that you feel super comfortable. And we're just gonna rub our hands together a little bit. Kind of get the energy moving. Maybe let a sigh out. We're gonna take our two middle fingers. So the middle finger and the ring finger together and touch the thumb. Then the index finger and little fingers connect and we'll hold that here at the lower belly. This is the mudra of surrender. The last limb of Patanjali's yoga sutra says that to gain samadhi or absorption in the divine, timeless insight, surrender to Ishvara is required. And so through practice, through non-attachment and surrender to God, we find our freedom, our liberation, our samadhi. And so as you hold this, you might let your eyes softly close and consider your your willingness to surrender. And for you it may not be necessarily that you want to surrender to God. Maybe it's just surrender to the moment. But notice how this mudra will inform your out-breath. It puts us in touch with a panavayu, that current, that downward current of energy. Let's see if you notice that here. Just a few more seconds here. Good. Now gently let your fingers open. Interlace your hands. Press your palms downward. Inhale, raise your arms up. Lengthening up out of the hips a bit. And then as we exhale, let's round a bit, bringing the hands forward and through. I always think about this as surrendering from my heart. So maybe pouring the palms forward and then back in we go as we inhale here. And then we exhale, rounding. Just feeling that sense of like coming up and through, letting go. Let's do that a few more times. This is our inhale, and exhale. One more time here. Nice. And then just free your hands. Shake them out real good. Maybe sigh. And then we'll let the hands land for just a breath or two. You can probably already feel that energy moving through your heart. And we're going to transition now to our hands and knees. So we'll sit the blanket off to the side and spread those fingers wide. Bring the knees underneath the hips. We're going to place that right hand under the gaze. Let that right knee line up with the right wrist and then we're going to extend through that left leg. And just try to find a good footing with that left foot. You can also angle your right lower leg back to help support you. And then we're just going to begin to lift up into this side plank.

I believe some people call this a parigraha. And so just kind of reaching through that left arm. And then maybe can you bend through that left knee and catch the knee and then reaching up and out. And keeping with this attitude of surrender is just dropping in and then reaching up out. Surrender isn't something that we have to do. It's something that we get to do. And so feel that here as you come in and out of this shape. Let's do one more. Got to maybe linger there for just a moment. And let breath enliven that left side. And then we'll come all the way around and make our way to the other side. Left hand under the gaze. Right leg extends. And then just reaching up first. Just establishing that balance. And then we'll come down and then moving up and reaching and just finding a little bit of surrender here. And it doesn't matter what it looks like. Yoga is about this inner experience. And so really take your time finding what works for you. Let's do a couple more. Certainly not about perfection. And then circling around. Just take your time coming to hands and knees. Maybe do some barrel rolls here. Just a few in one direction. And then the other. And then we'll pause. And now we're going to make our way into an extended child's pose. You're welcome to use a blanket if you would like if you need it. Or just stretch yourself out here. So just kind of finding again that that surrender. So for me surrender palms feel good up. And if that works for you great go ahead and take the palms up. We'll be here for just a few moments. Final seconds here. Allow your inhale to bring you up slowly. And let your knees come in. Let's take a brief downward facing dog.

Maybe a couple more breaths here. And then let the inhale bring you forward. Gently drop your knees down and we'll make our way into sphinx. Allowing your elbows to come in. Feeling that sense of ground through the forearms. And I'm going to offer a second step for this shape in just a few seconds. So in order to get there we really want to make sure that we're really surrendered through the glutes. And so just maybe give a little rock to your hips. Encourage some letting go there. Bringing breath fully into the shape. If being up on your elbows is too much please feel free to walk your elbows forward. You could even rest on your hands. Sometimes that's enough of a back bend. All right now if it's available you can angle your fingers to the corners of your mat and really stay connected here. Stay in that surrendered state and then just pull up through. And then it's okay this is yin so you don't have to be engaged with your muscles. You can let your shoulders rise up and then just maybe drop down into the hips. I'm just finding a little bit more breathing room. All right last little bit here. Nice and slow. Let the tummy yield toward the earth if you're up and seal. Bring your head down to rest on your hands. Rock those hips side to side. Middling through the knees. Let's find some circles. And reverse.

We'll tuck the toes under. Bring the hands under the shoulders. I love my teacher taught me this rocket cat sink back. Flexing through the wrists. Maybe let a breath out and then take a brief rest in just a good old-fashioned childhood child's pose. We'll come up when you're ready. And now we're going to make our way into deer pose. So in deer this is similar to pigeon. You're going to bring your right leg forward and so you've got about a 90 degree bend in the knee and then your left leg it's sort of like a pinwheel but they call it deer. And this is a beautiful shape to surrender into especially if you're like me and you have some tightness in your hips. So we're gonna just kind of see. You have to check in right and see where you can land and maybe coming down in front of that right foot. And let's just practice letting go into this shape. And I think it might feel nice to have a block under my head here. You're welcome to grab a block. The beautiful thing about surrender is once we do it it's done and we can relax. It's usually getting there that's difficult. Relax through the belly. Relax your eyes. Slowly begin to rise up. We're going to bring our hands to the top of the mat and just kind of peel out of that for a moment and give your legs a good stretch back downward facing dog here. So I like to move after that. You might see if that's good for you. Just pedaling out those feet. And then slowly we'll transition to the second side. Just bring that left knee forward and drop down on that left hip. I'm gonna set this up. It's a little different on each side. So make sure that you make adjustments as you need to.

Sometimes I have to draw the lower left leg in a little bit. So just see where you are. And then what is really true for your body? Is it right to fold forward or does it feel better to sort of lean to one side? You're welcome to do that. Really this is about practicing surrender. Practicing that dropping into the mystery of the body. And once again if you need any support under your head, feel free to take a block. And really allow this shape to be inspired by the breath. And nice and slow. Come out of the shape. Take your time and we'll move back into one more downward facing dog. You can sigh the breath out. You can bend and straighten the knees. You can pedal the feet. And let's just hold for just a couple of breaths. And release. Nice and gently let your knees come down. We're gonna prepare to build our final shape before Shavasana. So for this you just need your bolster and your block. So the block is gonna sit about a quarter of the way up. Maybe a little. Maybe more toward the center. And then you're just gonna turn and we're gonna bring our shoulder blades just to the edge of the bolster. And the kidney area is gonna be free. Okay so just position your head right on the block where it feels like there's a slight dip in the chin toward the chest. Feel your feet on the earth. And maybe take a Gyan Mudra here touching the thumb and index finger together. And then just see if you can soften that space behind the heart and relax the area of your kidneys.

And here just allow your hips to soften toward the earth, your shoulders. Even know that your head is supported by the block and you can just release. This final few seconds here. And gently release your Mudra. Let your palms press in and just rise on up and we will make our way to Shavasana. If you'd like to use a bolster under your knees that could feel nice here. Just let yourself settle. Consider a moment where you have truly felt that you have surrendered. There's this maybe a time in your life where it was evident that surrender was happening in your life. As you come into that that recollection can you can you see the the benefit or the joy that came with surrender. With being able to finally relax and let go. Even if it wasn't pleasant there was a peace that passes understanding that held you in that space. This is what it means when we say not my will but thy will be done. And we can rest in that assurance that we're held that we're loved infinitely. Slowly deepen your breath here. Let your belly rise and then maybe sigh. We'll transition over to one side and come to seated.

May surrender lead you to joy and freedom. Namaste everyone.


Jenny S
1 person likes this.
This is the perfect practice for these exciting but also hectic and even stressful days of the holiday season. Being guided to surrender feels amazing right about now ❤️🙏🏻
Angel B
1 person likes this.
Jenny S so glad you enjoyed it! xoxo 
Nancy T
2 people like this.
Really enjoyed the practice of surrender
Angel B
Nancy T Wonderful!! xoxo
Nancy K
1 person likes this.
Beautiful practice on surrender. Thank you, Angel.🙏
Angel B
You are most welcome, Nancy K. It's so nice to know you are joining me here for these classes. : )
Linda D
1 person likes this.
So nice to practice with you again.  ❤️
Angel B
Linda D same here, sweet friend!! Hugs!!
Katja S
1 person likes this.
I was reqlly confused.  I thought it was a yin practice.  I have never tried a yin practice with so short time in each pose
Angel B
1 person likes this.
Katja S thank you for being here! Since these are shorter than normal Yin classes, the hold times are abbreviated. Relaxing into the shapes even for a moment is still highly effective. Feel free to pause the video and stay in the shapes longer as you prefer. Your feedback is appreciated. 😊
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