Ishvara Pranidhana can be defined as surrender to the Divine. A good starting point is simply to consider surrender without adding the element of the Divine in just yet. When I first began studying the Yoga Sutras I can remember being averse to this teaching of surrender. This did not sound like a good idea. Maybe it's associated with losing. Or it felt a little like giving up. But as I continued to contemplate, it became freeing. I began to relate to surrender more like going with the flow.
A prayer I often reflect on, sums surrender up well - practice having the serenity to accept the things I can't change - the courage to change the things I can - and the wisdom to know the difference. Surrender is definitely needed to accept the things I can't change. And I believe surrender is also there when we access our courage to change things - letting go of an attachment to the results of our efforts can give us the courage to make change. Then there is the wisdom to know the difference, this is where the magic is. Cultivating a relationship with surrender - practicing going with the flow, asking some questions about what surrender means to you - is one way to tap into this wisdom. Having a connection to surrender creates some space, so we're not always trying to control and achieve. Wisdom lives in space.