Ishvara Pranidhana can be thought of in several different ways, depending on the circumstances of the yoga student.
Ishvara Pranidhana is the final act of surrender when you say to God: "From now on, I give You my body, my mind and my heart, to do with as you please. Let me not influence what they do."It is also every action that you do in order to prepare your mind for giving away your body, mind and heart to Him.
Ishvara Pranidhana is the final act of surrender, when other types of yoga practitioner say to God: "From now on every action that I do, I do it for you. Whatever you do not wish me to do, I will not do. Further, I will not omit to do whatever you wish me to do."By this form of Ishvara Pranidhana, one also means the things one does prior to the final act of surrender in order to make yourself ready to surrender.
Ishvara Pranidhana is also the final act of surrender of a yoga student who knows that he is not ready to surrender and he says: "Dearest, please help me if You so wish, or do not help me if that also is Your wish. I want to do whatever it is You wish. I do not want to do what You do not want to do. I do not want to omit to do whatever You want me to do."The student is in a state of ignorance. He does not know who God is or whether he really exists. He has natural fears and worries about committing to do what "another" wishes him to do.Ishvara Pranidhana is also every step he takes to help him become comfortable with his final act of surrender.In practice nowadays, no one has reached such a state of perfection in yoga practice that they can promise God not to influence in any way the activities of their body, mind and heart. Definitions 3 is the only practical route to follow.
During your practice of Ishvara Pranidhana, God tests you every step of the way. You need to read the Mahabharata/Bhagavad-Gita and the Ramayana to develop your affinity to Him, so that the process becomes more painless. Ishvara Pranidhana leads to marriage to God. A married woman cannot perform Ishvara Pranidhana bounced, but, for perfect love to develop between herself and her husband, she needs to practice Ishvara Pranidhana, using one or other of the definitions 1, 2 or 3, for the benefit of her husband rather than for God.For detailed guidance on how to listen to God, and the essence of the Ramayana and the Bhagavad-Gita, please visit my web site.