This is yoga sutra 1.23 and one of the niyamas. This is one path towards samadhi (enlightenment)
Ishvara: God, divine, higher being, pure awareness, pure consciousness
Pranidhana: Dedication, surrender, devotion
Essentially surrending ourselves and the fruits of our practice to a higher consciousness. Ishvara doesn’t have a religious affiliation, it just acknowledges that there is something bigger than ourselves.
From devotion and surrendering to the universe from which we came, we come closer to enlightenment.
A big part of this is recognising our irrelevance. It’s a relief, the idea of letting go and finding comfort in actually being small. It takes a lot of pressure off when you realise you don’t have to do everything, you don’t have to be the best, you don’t have to be strong, you can rest in the fact that the universe will take care of you. It’s a way to free yourself of stress, anxiety, jealousy, comparison etc.
In class, this is why we move slow and controlled. There is ample time to practice surrendering to the asana. This is why we listen to the teacher. To practice listening to something other than the ego. It’s all connected.
When we allow ourselves to surrender to our higher self, we become One. There is no separateness within us or with those around.