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  • Writer's pictureKristen Nice

Ishvara pranidhana: Surrender

I recently completed a Birth Doula workshop and am now proudly working toward my certification with D.O.N.A. I've been exploring the idea of becoming a doula for the past two years and looked at many workshops in surrounding areas. I found several, but with each one, the timing wasn't right, or the distance was too great. After several workshops came and went, I found myself becoming frustrated, feeling that my journey was being delayed, perhaps I was even missing out on potential clients. I started to question if this was a path I should take, was it a realistic goal? And then another yoga client or colleague would ask me how the doula study was going, express their support and belief that this is something that would suit me, that I would bring wonderful gifts and a calming presence to the labor room.

I began to allow myself to surrender to the thought that when it was time, the right workshop would present itself. I focused on the prenatal yoga clients I had in front of me, the fulfillment I felt from that teaching experience, and made plans for an upcoming Prenatal Partner Yoga Workshop. I gave over to the idea that the universe would provide and place opportunities in my path at the right time. I trusted.

Soon after I let go of my idea of when and where I thought an opportunity should be, and trust that it would present itself at the appropriate time, I became aware of a D.O.N.A. workshop here in Wilmington. The time was right, the location was right, because it was. Not because it fit into my plans, but because I had let go of those plans. I made room for abundance.

Ishvara pranidhana is an yogic concept in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras that encourages us to surrender, to take the focus off of ourselves, a focus that causes us to feel and be separate. But if we instead trust, and through that trust, we make room to be united with the Source, our true Self, however we define that for ourselves.

By focusing on finding a workshop, I was wrapped up in the mechanics of the certification, leading to questioning and self doubt, rather than hearing the seeing the support around me and letting the process happen. I couldn't have imagined a more perfect workshop - the facilitator, the participants, the location, the timing. I learned so much about being a doula but more importantly, why I want to be a doula.

"Through surrender the aspirant's ego is effaced, and...grace...pours down upon him like a torrential rain." ~ B.K.S. Iyengar ~

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