Sunday, July 31, 2011

August - Pose of the Month - Garudasana

In Light on Yoga, Mr. Iyengar writes that Garuda means an eagle, the king of birds.
I have included a few warm up poses to do before the full pose.
This is general guidelines for the pose.  Please know yourself and your limits in the asanas.

From Mountain Pose, begin warming up the arms and shoulders by just letting the arms swing from the shoulder sockets.  Keep the legs firm, spine lengthening, but let the weight of the arm and momentum let them swing and be loose.
Come back to Tadasana, Mountain Pose.

Again, pressing evenly into both feet, lift the kneecaps up to engage the quadriceps muscles, press the thighbones back.  Lengthen the side body, and inhaling raise the arms up parallel to the floor.  Exhale and release the shoulders down the back and extend from the shoulder to the fingertips.
Inhale and then exhale and swing the arms to wrap them around the body.  Trying to hug around the body.  Notice how far the elbows might be able to cross over one another.  Come back to Tadasana and repeat swinging the opposite arm over top.
Ukatasana - chair pose, helps to strengthen the legs, ankles and knees.  Builds balance and can be used as an alternative leg option when doing Garudasana.
From Tadasana, Mountain pose, inhale and then exhaling bend the knees, lengthen the tailbone down towards the ground.  Keep the outer thighs rolling in and bend at the hips. Raise the arms parallel to the floor, keeping the shoulders moving down the back and away from the ears.  Keep the head level.
You can also choose to raise the arms up overhead, either pressing the palms together, if you can keep the arms straight.
Or keeping the parallel to one another.

Inhale, press the floor with the feet and come back up to Tadasana.
Those poses can be done before if you wish as a bit of a warm up.


From Tadasana, inhale and raise the arms parallel to the floor. 

Exhale and bring the right arm over top of the left. Bending the elbows bring the backs of the hands to touch each other.
Bring the right hand forward and as you bring back, let the palms come to touch each other.  Press the palms together evenly and use the arms to help release the shoulder down the back, drawing the lower tips of the shoulder blades deep into the back.
Bending at the knees, bring the left leg over the right thigh.  Rest the back of the left thigh on the front of the right thigh.
Hook the left foot around the right calf.  Keep inner legs squeezing together, tailbone drawing towards floor and elbows lifting to shoulder height. Face, throat and abdomen should remain soft.

Release and repeat on the opposite side, staying for equal lengths on both sides.
If balancing with legs crossing is to unstable do the arm action of eagle pose with the leg action of chair pose.

Benefits: This pose is said to remove stiffness in the shoulders and ankles.  It can also help prevent cramps in the calf muscles and legs.

Enjoy the freedom of being like an eagle.
Pamela Nelson

Saturday, July 30, 2011

2011 Fall Yoga Schedule for Prince Albert and Christopher Lake

2011 Fall Yoga Schedule
This fall I will be teaching 10 classes a week between Christopher Lake and Prince Albert.
Join me at my home studio for classes on Mondays or in Prince Albert on Tuesdays, Wednesday or Saturdays at my NEW YOGA STUDIO located at #3 -3800 5th Ave. E.

Registration open now for classes below.  Call Pamela Nelson at 306.982.2737 or email

Location: Pam's Yoga Studio, Christopher Lake, Sk.
A.M. Class - 9:00-10:30 a.m. ($108)
Energize your mornings and add vitality to your day!
8 weeks
Sept. 12 - Nov. 7
Beginner Yoga - 5:15-6:15 p.m. ($132)
Feel freedom in your movements as you learn proper breathing, posture and alignment.
12 weeks
Sept. 12 - Dec. 5
Intermediate Yoga - 6:30-8:00 p.m. ($162)
Must have completed  Beginner level.
Learn more advanced poses, pranayama and meditation to help deepen your practice.
12 weeks
Sept. 12 - Dec. 5
No Classes October 10th

Youth Yoga - ages 10 and up- 4:00-5:00p.m. ($54)
Shake away tiredness, improve posture, concentration, strength and flexibility!
-all with yoga!
6 weeks
Sept. 13 - Oct.25
Beginner/All Levels Yoga - 6:00-7:30 p.m. ($162)
Feel freedom in your movements as you learn proper breathing, posture and alignment.
12 weeks
Sept. 13 - Dec. 6
No Classes October 11th
Intermediate Yoga- 5:15-6:45 p.m. ($162)
Must have completed  Beginner level.
Learn more advanced poses, pranayama and meditation to help deepen your practice
12 weeks
Sept. 14 - Dec.7
Beginner- 7:00-8:00 p.m. ($132)
This class good even if you have never done yoga before.
Feel freedom in your movements as you learn proper breathing, posture and alignment.
12 weeks
Sept. 14 - Dec.7
No Classes October 12th
Location: #3-3800 5th Ave. E., Prince Albert, Sk.
A.M. Class - 10:00-11:00a.m. ($110)
Good for all levels. Energize your mornings and add vitality to your day!
10 weeks
Sept. 17 - Dec.2
All Levels Gentle/Restorative Yoga - 11:15-12:15 p.m. ($110)
Learn to cultivate deep relaxation and mindfulness.  This class can help anyone reduce stress, recharge batteries and restore balance.
10 weeks
Sept. 17 - Dec. 2
Mother and Daughter Yoga - 12:30-1:30p.m. ($108/mom and daughter)
Looking to get out together.  This class is a great way to spend time together, learn more about yourself and each other and just have a bit of relaxed fun.  Good for ages 10 and up.
6 weeks
Sept. 17 - Oct.29
No Classes October 15th
No Classes November 4th - Jo-Ann Sutherland Yoga Workshop!

What to Watch For!
November 4,5,6 - All Levels Yoga Workshop with Jo-Ann Sutherland.
Jo-Ann Sutherland is a nationally certified Iyengar yoga teacher and is the owner and director of the jns Yoga Studio that she opened in 1990. Jo-Ann has been practicing yoga since 1971. In1984 she began studying under the teachings of BKS Iyengar and  since that time has been a committed student of this method. She made her first pilgrimage to India in 1997 and since then she has traveled to India many times. jns Yoga studio offers classes for all levels of yoga as well as classes for problem backs and gentle yoga for the chronically fatigued and physically challenged. Her understanding of yoga asana, her quest foreknowledge, and her zest for life make her classes precise, enlightening and fun. Jo-Ann is a firm believer in the age old adage,“When the body is fit the mind will naturally follow”.

Grand Opening of NEW Prince Albert Yoga Studio! Date still to be set.

December 10th - Amnesty International - write for rights! Program to come!

Also in the future - monthly Sunday morning class.  Dana for different charity each month.

I'll let you know as they develop.

Pamela Nelson

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

On the Move!

Exciting News

I’m on the Move…

To my own yoga studio in Prince Albert!

Join me for Fall Classes located at

#3-3800 5th Ave. East
I will also still be teaching classes in Christopher Lake.

Class and Workshop information will be sent out and available on my website soon!

Hope to see you this Fall!
Pamela Nelson
Certified Iyengar Yoga Instructor

T: 306.982.2737

On Fear

Fear and fatigue block the mind.
Confront both squarely, and then
courage and confidence will flow into you.

-B.K.S. Iyengar

Pam Nelson

Monday, July 25, 2011

Yoga and Dance

Many months ago a student told me about how she had gone to a dance yoga class.  In this class you do different poses to music.  I had never heard of this, so thought I would check it out...on UTUBE.  There is video footage of students doing yoga poses to songs from MC Hammer!  You know "Hammer time!"

Although strange to me I began to think about the relationship of yoga and dance.
Patanjali, who is credited with codifying the yoga sutras is also said to be the incarnation of Adisesa, Lord Visnu's bearer who was taken by the grace, beauty, majesty and grandeur of Lord Siva's dance and professed that he wanted to learn to dance.
In Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Mr. Iyengar writes, "All classical dancers in India pay their homage to Patanjali as a great dancer."

Then, this morning I came across an article from 1982 by Mr. Iyengar in Astadala Yogamala, Volume 3, called "Yoga and Dance" where he says,
"Yoga, being the root of all art, it is complementary and supplementary to dance.  Practice of yoga develops a keen mind, alert eye, proportionate division of limbs, good features, and good voice.  It bring agility, swiftness and elegance in movement, repose, and refection."

In my understanding of what Mr. Iyengar is saying is that while yoga and dance are not the same, yoga can benefit a dancer and be an outer expression of our inner experiences.

He also writes, "Yoga is action.  Outwardly it is static, but dynamic within, whereas dance is motion and dynamic throughout."

"Yoga is a path of involution and renunciation - nivrtti marga - whereas dance is the path of evolution and acceptance of all creation - pravrtti marga.  However, the paths of karma, bhakti, and jnana are blended beautifully in both the arts."

The asana (posture) Natarajasana (King of the Dance Pose), is the pose Mr. Iyengar is performing on the cover of Light on Yoga.
In Light on Yoga, Mr. Iyengar writes, "This vigorous and beautiful pose is dedicated to Siva, Lord of the Dance, who is also the fountain and source of Yoga."

To end, also from the article in Astadala Yogamala, Mr. Iyengar says,
"Thus, both yoga and dance glow from the immortal forms of the soul expressing themselves through the mortal frame - the body - the temple of the soul and the abode of God-consciousness."
Pamela Nelson

Friday, July 22, 2011

Meaning of Hatha

Yoga, here in the West at least, is often thought of as a way to become more flexible. 
But, the word yoga means union, a union of the body, the mind and the breath.
With union comes flexibility must be balanced with stability...physically, mentally and spiritually.

Thus the meaning of Hatha yoga is where Ha represents the sun, the Self and tha represents the moon, the consciousness. Hatha is a balance of the Self and consciousness..a balance or union of the flow of solar and lunar energy in the human system.  Hatha is also pronounced more like HOT-hah, not HATH-ah.

In Astadala Yogamala, in the article "Yoga - A Universal Culture", by B.K.S. Iyengar, he says that "As the moon borrows energy from the sun, the consciousnes draws evergy from the Self.  If one realises this and works with that in the heart, then illumination shines forth."
Mr. Iyengar also defines Hatha yoga as "sighting the soul through the restraint of energy."

In the body there is said to be energy channels or nadis that run through it.  Along the spine is the axial channel called sushumna.  This channel is entwined by the ida and pingala nadis, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves. The ida nadi carries the lunar, cooling force on the left of the body axis and the pingala carries the solar, heating force on the right.  In Basic Guidelines for Teachers of Yoga, by B.K.S. Iyengar and Geeta Iyengar, they say that and the conquest of these is hatha yoga, standing for prana and apana, the energies in the human being.

Mr. Iyengar says in Astadala Yogamala, Vol. 7, Hatha yoga starts from physical (annamaya-kosa) and leads towards spiritual state (atmanandamaya kosa), cleansing the intermediate sheaths namely, pranamaya kosa, manomaya kosa, vijnamaya kosa and anandamaya kosa.

Pamela Nelson

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

B.K.S. Iyengar on Asana

"The feeling in the spiritual heart must be, 'I am not separate from asana, asana is not separate from me, I am asana and asana is me.'"

-B.K.S. Iyengar, from Yoga Wisdom and Practice

Pamela Nelson

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Dear

From, The Dhammapada, Teachings of the Buddha, new translation by Gil Fronsdal.

Excerpt from Chapter 16, "The Dear",

Practicing what one shouldn't
Not practicing what one should,
Having abandoned the goal,
Clinging to what is dear,
One comes to envy those who practice.

Don't get entangled
With what you long for or dislike.
Not seeing what you long for is suffering:
So also is seeing what you dislike.

Therefore, do not turn anything
Into something longed for,
For then it's dreadful to lose.
Without longing or dislike,
No bonds exist.

Longing gives rise to grief;
Longing gives rise to fear.
For someone released from longing
There is no grief;
And from where would come fear?

Please know that this does not mean to not have warm and caring relationships.  It is our clinging and attachment to them that causes suffering.

Similar is the teaching of Patanjali who writes of the twin pillars of yoga, abhyasa (practice) and vairagya (detachment).  See blog from Tuesday, January 18th, 2011.

Pamela Nelson

Friday, July 15, 2011

Tadasana - Mountain Pose


Tadasana means Mountain Pose in Sanskrit.  When I do Tadasana I think, Ta magic, because I am transformed to a state of equipoise in body, mind and breath.  If I am feeling low in energy, just standing in tadasana can bring me back to a state of vitality and stability. 

There are many subtle instructions for this seemingly easy pose.  Here are a few.

-Stand with feet together.  Aligning the toes, heels and ankles.  If you feel off balance, have ankle, knee, hip or back issues bring the feet hip width apart but keep them parallel. The outer edge of the foot in line with the outer hip.
-Bring weight evenly into the big toe mound, little toe mound and the heel mound on each foot.  Balance front to back and side to side.
-Think of drawing the shin bone up to the knee, the knees up to the thighs and the thighs up to the hips to engage the thigh muscles firmly. Really suck the knees up.
-Compact the outer hips, hook the tailbone under slightly to lengthen the lower back and lift the inner groin and abdomen up.
-Lengthen and extend the spine up and let the shoulders move down the back.  Keep the sternum bone lifting up as the shoulder blades move down and into the back.
-Keep the arms at the sides with palms facing inwards.  Feel the fingers extending towards the floor.
-The crown of the head stays parallel to the floor, neck lengthening without hardening the throat.
-As the crown lengthens up, press the feet to the floor.  Look forward with soft eyes.

"If I have to do often happens that one leg appears strong, attentive, steady, and straight, whereas the other leg remains inattentive.  One can feel that one leg is in a passive, non-violent state and the other is in a violent or aggressive state.  Hence, it becomes necessary to balance the two legs evenly so that one will not be able to differentiate between activity and passivity, or violence and non-violence.  Secondly, if you keep the legs unevenly, the mind remains unstable.  Establish alignment in the body; align the muscles, joints, and intelligence, energy and attention."

- B.K.S. Iyengar

From B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga Wisdom & Practice, for health, happiness, and a better world

Try it and see if it works its magic on you!
Pamela Nelson

Monday, July 11, 2011


I  just finished re-reading The Five People You Meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albom.

In the book, the character is to learn some lessons and so these are the lessons I got from the book.

 All the people that you meet have at least one thing to teach you.

We are all connected. 
That you can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind.

Strangers, are just family you have yet to come to know.

Sacrifice is part of life.  It's not something to regret.

Be loyal to one another.

Love doesn't have to end.

Sometimes, we really are where we are supposed to be.

Pamela Nelson

Friday, July 8, 2011

Words of Wisdom - 6

Yoga makes us live in the present. 
The present is the only state that give us real happiness and joy.

-B.K.S. Iyengar in conversation with His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wheel of Time

The translation for the word kalachakra is kala - time and chakra - cycles or wheel.

In Light on Pranayama, B.K.S. Iyengar says:

Human nature has three characteristics or qualitites (gunas).  They are illumination (sattva), action (rajas) and inertia (tamas).  Set on the wheel of time (kalachakra), like a pot on the potter's wheel, man is moulded and remoulded in accordance with the predominating order of theses three fundamental intermingling characteristics.

Man is endowed with mind (manas), intellect (buddhi) and ego (ahamkara), collectively known as consciousness (chitta), which is a source of thinking, understanding and acting.  As the wheel of life turns, consciousness experiences the five miseries of ignorance (avidya), selfishness (asmita), attachment (raga), aversion (dvesa) and love of life (abhinivesa). These in turn leave the chitta in five different states which may be dull (mudha), wavering (ksipta), partially stable (viksipta), one-pointed attention (ekagra) and controlled (niruddha).  Chitta is like fire, fuelled by desires (vasanas), without which the fire dies out. Chitta in that pures state becomes a source of enlightenment.

So through the 8 limbs of yoga we are trying to purify the chitta (consciousness) and bring stability to the mind.  The energy becomes focused and restrained to reach the state of samadhi or enlightenment.

Pamela Nelson

Happy 76th Birthday to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

July 6th, 2011 is the HHDL 76th birthday! 
It is also the start of the Kalachakra for World Peace 2011 in Washington, DC. 
This wonderful event and his teachings will be running from July 6th - 16th. 
The website is full of information regarding this event and more about what the Kalachakra is.
If you have a chance check out the following link,
You can also find out more about the Dalai Lama by visiting

My husband is fortunate enough to be in Washington to take in this event and wrote a bit about what the Dalai Lama said in his speech today.

He wrote:

The Dalai Lama's message was to not only speak about compassion, but to activly live and act with compassion. Non violence is not merely the absence of violence, but actively living with a loving kindness, towards all people, regardless of race, religion, beliefs. We are all the same in our desire for happiness.

Happiness to All.
Pamela Nelson

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

a Yogi's Brain

"A yogi's brain extends from the bottom of the foot to the top of his head."

-B.K.S. Iyengar

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July - Pose of the Month - Trianga Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana

This pose is a combination of Virasana (heros pose), Dandasana (staff pose) and Paschimottanasana (forward bend).  In YOGA: The Path to Holistic Healing, by B.K.S. Iyengar, he says that the literal meaning of trianga is "three parts of the body".  So, in this pose, the three parts of the body are the buttocks, knees and feet.  Please remember that the instructions given are only a general guideline.

Above are possible props you may need to attain correct alignment in this pose.  I also forgot to include a bolster in the it should be there too!

Begin in Dandasana (staff pose).  Make sure both sitting bones are pressing evenly into the floor.  The legs extend out and press out through heels.  Keep the knees pointing up to the ceiling and engage the thigh muscles.  The thigh bones press down to the floor.  From the base of the spine, lengthen up the spine, keeping the crown of the head parallel to the ceiling and the shoulders moving back and down away from the ears.  The throat, eyes and abdomen should be soft.  If you are not able to sit on the floor with the legs straight or the back straight place some height under the buttocks.

Bend the right knee and bring the right foot back beside the right outer hip.  Use your hand to cut the calf muscle in half and roll the outer side out, giving more space behind the knee.  While the left leg remains straight, kneecap pointing up to the ceiling, the thighs should remain parallel.  Ground both sitting bones.

If the sitting bones are both grounding evenly the hips should look even and be parallel.
If both sitting bones are not pressing evenly to the floor and the hip on the bent knee side
lifts up place height under the sitting bone of the straight leg.

The height, whether foam blocks, a bolster or blanket should only go under the buttock of the straight leg.

Keep a strap handy by..and then inhale and raise the arms up overhead.  Lengthen from the hips to the fingertips so both sides of the torso lengthens evenly.  The shoulders move down and back.

On the exhalation, reaching for the extended foot, keep the spine concave.  If you cannot reach the foot without rounding the back take hold of the strap around the foot.

Coming into the forward bend, the bend should come from the hip crease, not the abdomen.  Press into the bent leg shin and the back of the straight leg and as you exhale again, allow the abdomen to soften inward toward the spine and release forward as if you were trying to hook the ribs over the knee.  Keep the shoulder blades moving down and into the body.  If the hand can reach the foot release the forehead towards the knee or shin.  Draw the elbows out to the side in line with the shoulders and keep the breastbone lifting up.  Gently roll the right ribs towards the left.  If it feels like you are rolling to one side use more height.

 If the hamstring muscles at the back of the leg are very tight and the shoulders are tight stay at the concave back stage for awhile.
If the forehead does not quite reach the shin without straining the back of the neck place a bolster horizontally across the shin and rest the forehead on the bolster.  The bolster also helps support the elbows, allowing the upper back muscles to relax and release down.

The next three pictures are even more variations if you find it difficult to reach the shin or bolster across the shin.
Place a chair on the mat in front of you and reach the arms up the back seat of the chair to the point where the shoulders can release back and down and the forehead can rest easily.
Rest a bolster against the chair.
Or rest the bolster on the chair.

In all the variations, with or without support under the hip make sure that the legs remain active.  Keep the outer thigh of the straight leg rolling in, kneecap up, press out through heel.  Press into bent leg shin.  That action will help keep the spine lengthening up from the base of the spine.

 Side view: If you are sitting up on height and feel any strain at the back of the knee or hyper-extend the knee place a rolled blanket or towel under the knee.
Top view:  Place the blanket only under the straight leg. 

Benefits: Tones and simulates circulation in the pelvis and abdominal organs, helps with digestion and tones the liver helping with the effects of excess bile secretion, reduces flatulence and constipation, brings flexibility to knee joint and helps make the body supple and agile and helps to correct dropped arches and flat feet.  This pose is also calming to the nervous system.

Cautions: If have a lower back injury only practice the concave back stage.  Don't let torso twist or lean to the outer side of straight leg so spine and abdominal organs are not strained.  If have a knee issue do not do without help and support.  Also avoid during menstruation if have ovarian cysts, endometriosis, fibroids or migraine headache.

Enjoy the benefits of this pose!
Pamela Nelson

Monday, July 4, 2011

Summer Yoga Classes - Change in location!

Join me at the Christopher Lake Curling Rink for some energizing morning yoga classes to start your day or some rejuvenating evening classes.
I am a Certified Iyengar Yoga instructor and have been teaching in the Christopher Lake/Prince Albert area for over 8 years.

All classes can be tailored to suit all levels.

June -
Tuesday 28th -
Thursday 30th -

July -
Sundays - 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st -
Tuesdays - 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th -
Thursdays - 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th -

August -  
Tuesdays - 2nd, 16th, 23rd -
Thursdays - 18th, 25th -

Fees- $14/class or 5 class flex-card for $60

Location: Christopher Lake Curling Rink, Christopher Lake, Sk.

For more information please contact:
Pamela Nelson

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Quote by Vyasa

Yoga is to be known by yoga. 
Yoga is the teacher of yoga. 
The power of yoga manifests through yoga alone. 
He who does not become careless, negligent or inattentive, he alone rests in yoga and enjoys yoga.

Yogena yogojnatavya yogo yogatpravartate yo pramattastu yogena sa yogo ramate ciram.

Pamela Nelson

Friday, July 1, 2011

July Book Review - Eat Away Illness - By: Paulette Millis

This month's book review is Eat Away Illness,written by Paulette Millis.  Paulette is from Saskatchewan and currently lives in Saskatoon.

The information below is taken from her website:

Paulette is a Registered Nutritional Consultant Practitioner, Registered Orthomolecular Health Practitioner (ROHP), and a Registered Social Worker teacher, facilitator, counsellor, lecturing people through life issues and healing challenges believing that you can heal with nutrition.

She is an author of 3 books and numerous articles and columns. Plus, she has 15 - 3 minute cooking and information segments aired on SCN. Paulette is a member of the Saskatchewan Writer's Guild and the Saskatchewan Publishers Group.

Paulette's book "Eat Away Illness" gives the readers information on her natural approach to healing, brought about over the last 15 years as a result of her own healing journey.

Left disabled in 1989 by symptoms of Lupus, Sjogren's, Reynauds and Hypothyroidism, she was told any lung infection could be serious and she would need to take medication for life.

Refusing to use drugs to combat symptoms, she began her journey of experimentation with natural foods, environmental and lifestyle changes, detoxification and emotional healing to rebuild her immune system and her life.
Her website is


I myself bought this book a few years ago and have found the information and recipes interesting, educational and quite tasty!  I use her green drink recipes daily and have incorporated many of her suggestions into mine and my family's daily life.
In Eat Away Illness , Paulette provides information on one side of the page and a recipe on the other.  She gives many variations for those who may be gluten or daily intolerant.

If you have a chance..enjoy a path to better health!  Paulette says herself on the back of her book, " Good Health is not an accident."

Pamela Nelson