Isvara pranidhana is the yogic practice, with the second limb of The Eight Limbs of Yoga, of surrendering to divine will or offering up your efforts for greater humanity. In so doing, you become a conduit of pure love abundantly flowing, and you realize your efforts are not initially your own but you feel fulfilled and humbled by the honor of being able to participate in the dance of the Universe circulating positivity.
For over five years, I had a pretty predictable life as an elementary school teacher. While I loved concocting new ways to engage my second-graders in problem-solving, creative writing and even yoga, each day, a deeply growing yearning urged me to drop everything and transplant myself somewhere completely foreign, where I had to learn how to swim in new waters, without the safety net I had been carrying since childhood. Having lived a very sheltered life of routines and obligations, the fear of the unknown felt like the terror of jumping off a cliff into a dark abyss. Terrified, I jumped, listening to the persistent inner voice telling me to just trust. And so I offered up my comforts for something I felt was greater than myself at the time.
Over a year spent volunteer teaching abroad in a little country I had never known, called Costa Rica, proved to be one of my greatest life challenges and blissful awakenings. It was there that my yoga practice transformed into a daily refuge and what colored the lens of that year’s experiences with so much grace and many epiphanies.
Returning to California in 2010 began the struggles and rewards of becoming a full-time yoga teacher. Through much financial hardship in trying to follow my newly integrated passion, on several pivotal moments of distress, I questioned divine will: If this is not my path, then I accept that; But let me know if it is. A reply always manifested in a new opportunity to continue pursuing my vision of sharing yoga—that is, union with one’s inner light that enables one to thrive. And so I continued, surrendering my efforts to divine will, experimenting with new ways to be of service and integrate my variety of passions, like travel and cultural immersion, outdoor adventures, healthy plant-based eating, active lifestyle and spiritual connection through movement and the arts.
Now, 10 years into following that passion, here we are—practicing a new way to flow with the ever-changing river of life—live-streaming community yoga. “When there’s a will, there’s a way,” should be replaced with “When there’s divinewill, there is a way.” As Rumi said, “What you seek is seeking you.” Our passions, what we love, are our roadmap to our purpose, and when we can trust and use our gifts and talents to pursue them, we play an important role in uplifting humanity. A grace flows through us, with which we are supported by unlimited resources within life’s synchronicities, when we offer up our efforts to divine will.
Michelle facilitating a women's yoga retreat in Monrovia, CA in 2015
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REviews of Root 2 Rise Yoga with Michelle chua:
Michelle truly lives out what she teaches. She is so much more than a yoga teacher - I learned this when I went on her exquisitely curated trip that she organized to Costa Rica this past June 2018...Hopefully like me, you'll be delighted by her effervescent love of movement, nature, and all people!
Michelle clearly stands out with her beautiful and bright energy. I love how her practice and teaching encompass body, mind and spirit. She not only teaches yoga but lives and exudes it.
Michelle not only teaches 'yoga', she embodies it fully with her heart and soul...
Michelle is by far one of the best instructors I've ever had, period. Patient, clear in her explanations and demos, and so encouraging...
My first yoga class was with Michelle years ago. You can have the best (yoga pose) sequence and not teach from your heart. With Michelle, I also feel her passion when I'm in her class. I can see she loves what she does, and she inspired me to want to teach yoga, too.
Check out our upcoming retreats here!
I'm so grateful to have met Michelle! Her kind energy opened up my interest in pursuing yoga and meditation. She is such an incredibly light and soul. She starts with grounding ourselves through mindfulness and breathing exercise. She brings the most authentic energy to the class by sharing the history and understanding behind poses, names, and techniques. I truly appreciate her work and impact on my well-being!
I’ve had dozens of instructors over the years, but Michelle is far and away the best yoga mentor I’ve ever practiced with. She epitomizes grace during these difficult times. Michelle has saved my sanity and my back while working from home, keeping me grounded with her sharing of yogic teachings and meditation techniques. Her repertoire of physical asanas is encyclopedic, and I’ve loved learning new poses and stretching my boundaries. Jump in, all. You’ve got this!
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