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 Develop the Habit of Surrender to overcome stress.

By Cathie McGill. Spirit of Yoga

The state of peace is the foundation of spiritual experience.  Where inner  peace does not exist

there can be no spiritual growth, development or improvement. Modern life presents

very litle peace, human beings are effected by stress everyday, this leads to anxiety, depression,

illness, competition, disassociation, addictions, relationship breakdowns and suicide.

It is becoming a desperate situation, there is no time but the present to find peace in your life daily.

Surrender is the ulitmate state required to develop peace and the purpose of Restorative Yoga

Practices is to create peaceful states which involve rest, meditation, inner listening

& reflection which lead to peace.

 The awakening of peace has to happen at various levels of our nature, personality and mind.

Therefore including mindful rituals that involve the body (restful postures),emotions (breath techniques) Mind (progressive relaxation and meditation)are essential to developing peace.


How can I surrender?

As the quote above says.."to give in, give Up". Now that doesn't suggest you just allow others

to swallow you up or that you stop making an effort.  Quite the opposite. Surrender takes effort,

conviction and practice.  We have developed a habit of doing, we keep going and we can't swithch off.

 When you stop and sit still you will notice how tense you feel, how much you are thinking, this tension

& thinking increases the more you push yourself. The state of Distraction is a real experience, it is this

constant distraction that has replaced the natural tendency to surrender humans are "wired" more

to what is outside than inside.


Why is this? Your body is a wired system and that wiring starts in your brain and branches out. Every time you are stimulated in some way your brain receives this and sends it out and down into your body.

 It is your brain that is controling your body & your body controlling your brain, as this is a 2 way circuit.  All of the information is being perceived through the 5 senses most of the time.  The sixth sense your intuitive guidance system is very rarely heard.

I remember a few years ago , a couple of days before we flew out to Hawaii my vacum broke,

it needed to be replaced for our house guests.  I quickly got into town with

the directive that I will go straight in buy the vacum and come home. Within moments of entering

the store I was distrated by the pretty dresses hanging up, the perfumes etc. that I began to forget

the purpose of my visit. In the middle of looking at all the "nice things" I woke up to

the fact why I was there. I finally made it to the top floor where my destination was by saying

this mantra to myself over & over "don't be distracted" . It was from this experience I realised

how easily it is to set  yourself up for stress, time limits can be our greatest stressors, we can eliminate some of that by not being distracted . This distraction leads eventually to more stress.


To begin to develop peace and move towards the habit of surrender you need to find an anchor, a point of reference. Below are the steps followed by some practices.  Don't hessitate, the time is Now, you are reading this in the here & now. The sooner you take your body, your mind your emotions your life back, learn to surrender, peace will become the driving force.


1.  Recognise that you have a problem:

Stress like any habit becomes familiar, start recognising how tired you are, anxious you are,

are you sleeping really well?  Is your digestion good? Honestly are you Happy?

2. Make a comittment

Be true to yourself you are worth the effort, more effort than everything else outside of you. Each day

choose one of the simple practices below, this is the starting point then build on it by saying no to

the things that create stress in your life once you recognise what they are, attend a group or


3. Find an anchor:

An anchor is something you can bring into the moment as a reminder to slow down and surrender.

If you are a physical person try using a body part such as the feet or abdomen, drop your attention

down into your feet, focus on surrender.  If you are more logical anlytical try a symbol like a geometric

shape or object to focus on to remind you of surrender. If you are more emotional try your breath

or focus on an uplifting feeling or think of a beautiful memory.  Use the same anchor everytime

make it your new habit.

4. Learn the Feeling of Surrender:

Practice relaxation and grounding yourself this will direct you more to your body.  When we get

stressed it feels like our body stands out more, however this is not the case it is the stress that

stands out, the nervousness, the tension, this is not the natural state of the body. The body is dense

our physical layer is like the earth, rocks, trees. It is meant to be steady, fixed and in control of its enviroment, being able to withstand anything that nature throws at it and if it is effected can rejuvenate

very efficiently within the right enviroment.  When you relax or ground yourself you are creating that

dense enviroment where you "know"what is effecting you at given moment.

Until you know, you will struggle trying to change anything.


3 x Simple Surrender practices


Invert to convert:

I liken either of these positions to switching off your car engine, at first the car still makes some noises or

creaks then it eventually goes  quiet. Either of the above interted positions will instantly drop your blood pressure

so your body perceives no threats, your circulation begins to increase in a healthy way and your digestion relaxes,

your brain receives the message to relax the body and the body responds.  You can modify by removing the

supports under the body. The important aspect is to have your neck and head supported so your forehead is

higher than your chin this will ease the brain and your legs higher than your heart.


Breath & Hand Yoga;

Finding a few moments to sit with no distractions with an upright comfortable position with your hands in your lap with the thumb and first finger together is another reliable and efficient easy surrender practice. The Yoga Mudra's or guestures are linked to the science of the breath and brain. When you hold Gyan Mudra (above) the lungs will receive the breath more in the lower portion thus encoraging tension in the diaphragm to release and the abdomingal region to relax and move more. Combined with concentration of your natural inhalation and exhalation will leave you feeling peaceful, refreshed. You can also add a word or Mantra like Peace, calm, or the breath Mantra So Hum.

Body Scan & Visualisaion:

There are many relaxation scripts out there that you can purchase online or make your own. I have attached

a simple basic script that is used in our Restorative Training Course for you to record if needed.  You cn add pleasant scenery at the end and visualise yourself peaceful. You can either make a special daily practice of this or use it at

night before you fall off to sleep, guide your awareness down through your body and consiously relax,

"learn the feeling", it leads to surrender. Eventually leaving you to gaze into your inner space which is

expansive spacious.  This is where your sixth sense beomes more apparent. Basic Relaxation script


Ultimately it is up to you, if you would like to learn more about Restoring your body and learning to relax ,

Cathie runs two weekend courses on Restorative Yoga Wisdom practices anyone can learn this, it is

preferable that you are familiar with Yoga and meditation.  See More Here


(if you sign up on our newsletter you will receive free guided practices from time to time or join our group Restorative page on FB