Ishvara Pranidhana

Last Updated: July 28, 2018

Definition - What does Ishvara Pranidhana mean?

Ishvara pranidhana is the practice of fully surrendering the self to God, chosen personal god, or Life Force. In surrendering the ego to the Supreme Being in humility, it is thought that the character of the divine can be attained. In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, it means committing one’s life and one’s yoga practice to the Lord (or spiritual focus of choice).

From Sanskrit, Ishvara means “Lord” or “Supreme God,” and pranidhana means “surrender” or “devote.”

Yogapedia explains Ishvara Pranidhana

Ishvara pranidhana is the spiritual act of surrendering the self fully to the Divine, and trusting the wisdom of the Divine to guide the life and actions of the self in order to work in the world.

In yoga, this can be exercised through practicing the asanas along with a mantra and mudra, through meditation and prayer, and/or through one's actions of daily living. In yoga philosophy, one does not have to choose a personal deity of focus in order to practice surrender in this way, but an idea or spiritual wisdom that gives one inspiration.

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