Monday, December 31, 2012

What's Your New Year's Resolution? - Yoga Sadhana

As a New Year approaches, and New Year's Resolutions are on the horizon, one might consider starting or deepening a yoga practice or Sadhana as a goal for 2013. Not only is yoga a wonderful way to improve body structure and mobility, it also improves organ function, improves and boosts the nervous system, balances hormones, and calms the mind, to name a few things.

Mr. Iyengar writes that, "Sadhana is commonly translated as penance or austere practice. Sadhana is an effortful and effectual endeavour to reach a goal, no matter what impediments or obstacles come in the way.  It is a gradual transformation from effortful effort to effortless effort by minimising the physical effort and enhancing the quality of intelligence in observation and attention for its penetration in the sadhana for the sadhaka."

Patanjali writes in the Yoga Sutras that tapas (burning desire), svadhayaya (self-study), and Isvara pranidhana (devotion to God) are the three aspects of sadhana and the foundation of a yoga practice.

So although the yogic journey many be challenging, it is a worthwhile journey..helping to penetrate to the core and back to truly know ourselves.

What better resolution can there be then to learn more about ourselves, and as was mentioned at the AGM this past May, to become friends with ourselves before the body turns on us.

Happy New Year.
Pamela Nelson

I have blogged more about Sadhana in November 2011 if you wish to read that too.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Please..No Scents...

With the Winter Yoga Session at PLN Yoga Studio beginning very soon...January 5th..please..

No Sense Makes Good Sense!

Dear Yoga Members,

Some members and myself are very sensitive to products containing scents. 
Some get migraines and need to leave early or leave with a headache or other allergic reactions.
Please help by refraining from using all perfumed products including soaps, powders, creams, shampoos and detergents prior to class.

Please also do not smoke just prior to class.

Thank you!

Pamela Nelson

Saturday, December 29, 2012


As the new year approaches, here are a few quotes regarding time from B.K.S. Iyengar.
"Your bodies are in the past; your mind in the future.
When you do yoga, they come together in the present."
"Do not live  in the future; only the present is real."
"Sit in this asana and accept chronological authority.
Chronological authority is no authority,
as time is just a movement in space."
"Chronological time and psychological time are quite different."
and last..I love this one.
"Did you come here to to watch the clock or do yoga?"

Pamela Nelson

Friday, December 21, 2012

Lighting a Candle

Happy Solstice to all! 

During this darkest day, you may be lighting a candle for light and warmth.

A Gatha is a mindfulness verse, that help us dwell in the present moment and to be deeply aware of the action we are doing so that we can perform it with understanding and love.

Here is a Gatha for Lighting a Candle..on this special Solstice and all days.

Lighting this candle,
offering the light to countless Buddhas,
the peace and joy I feel,
Brighten the face of the Earth.
May all sentient beings be happy and safe.
Pamela Nelson

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Early Bird Registration Draw!

Hello all and thanks to those that registered early with payment for the Winter Session at PLN Yoga studio.

I had my kids each pick out a name from the draw bin..

Congratulations to the three people that won and thank you to all for registering for the upcoming session.

If you missed the early bird registration deadline...there is still time to register..
Many classes to choose from, for all levels and all ages!
Check out my website or give me a call.

Pamela Nelson

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Silent Prayer

"The more clearly we can focus our attention
on the wonders and realities of the universe about us,
the less taste we shall have for destruction"

-Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring
Pamela Nelson

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Changes and New Classes to 2013 schedule

I have made a few changes to the 2013 Yoga schedule at PLN Yoga Studio in Prince Albert and Christopher Lake.

In Christopher Lake:
Monday 7:00-8:00pm Restorative Class will now be 7:00-8:15pm Intermediate Class

In Prince Albert I have added another Noon Class:
Tuesday and Thursday Noon Classes - 12:05-12:55pm
See poster for details.  Special price if come twice a week!

Please see website or the pages section of this blog for full class schedule.  Many times and days to choose from.

Thank you.

Poster below is just for the noon classes in PA. See website for full class schedule.

Call for details or to register!
Pamela Nelson

Friday, December 14, 2012

Happy 94th Birthday Guruji!

A heartfelt birthday wish for Mr. Iyengar today. 
Happy Birthday.
Your inspiration continues to inspire many.
Pamela Nelson

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Words of Wisdom - 22

"If you want to be miserable, think of yourself.
If you want to be happy, think of others."
-Sakyong Mipham
Pamela Nelson

Monday, December 10, 2012

Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva

In Indian philosophy the three main gods are Brahma, the Creator; Vishnu, the Protector and Shiva, the Destroyer.

Mr.Iyengar writes about the Trinity gods in relation to Pranayama.

He says that "Pranayama actually has three movements. Inhalation, retention and exhalation.  It is very interesting to know its similarity with the creator, protector and the destroyer.  Inhalation is the generator of the energy known as Brahma.  Protector is Vishnu.  You hold the breath so that you make that energy to protect the entire empire of the soul.  Kumbhaka's job is only to protect so that is known as Vishnu.  The destroyer is known as Maheshwara-Shiva.  If you hold the vicious breath then you will die.  Similarly, we exhale, so that air which is not good for the health is thrown out."

At the Annual General Meeting in Toronto this past May, one of the wonderful teachers that came from India related Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva to Guruji B.K.S. Iyengar.
Raya said that Guruji embodies these three gods by creating positivity where we are lacking energy (Brahma), he teaches how to retain energy(Vishnu) and also how to destroy impurities and fears(Shiva).  This process of learning is his blessing to us.

In light of his 94th birthday this Friday..December 14th here is the chant to the show my respect.

The Guru is Brahma (The God of Creation)
The Guru is Vishnu (The God of Sustenance)
The Guru is Shiva (The God of Annihilation)
My Salutation to such a Guru, who is verily the Supreme God.
Pamela Nelson

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sensology and Mind

"Like you know what your knees should do in Tadasana,
you should also know what your eyes should do,
what your ears should do."
-Prashant S. Iyengar
I have really started to enjoy reading the work of Prashant Iyengar, Mr. Iyengar's son.
The depth of thought he has, like his father..well, really helps to get me thinking.
Prashant writes, "As yoga is total action, we must know techniques of working on the joints, muscles, tendons, cartilages and we must also bother about the techniques of the senses.  You know what the knees should do but do, but what should the eyes do? You do not bother about them.  Are they not part of your physical body?"
So remember in your practice to know what your sense organs are also doing, so that something is not missing from your practice.
Pamela Nelson

Monday, December 3, 2012

Can yoga prolong life?

"A yogi does not count his life in terms of years,
He counts it in terms of breath."
-B.K.S. Iyengar
Mr. Iyengar writes that of all certainties and uncertainties, what is certain is death.
But, when each breath is long, deep and that the energy is stored abundantly, we still have a chance to build our destiny for the future.
That does not mean we will not die, but "if we lead and practice yogic discipline throughout our life, we are sure to prolong our life, as worries and anxieties do not corrode us."
Pamela Nelson

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Just Arriving - bolsters and yoga toes!

If you are looking for something to give the yoga lover in your life, I have beautiful yoga bolsters in stock and more coming!  I also have just ordered in the new Cylindrical Pro Yoga bolster that is water-resistant, easy-to-clean and isn’t afraid of a little sweat.
I also have yoga-toes, great for helping to spread your toes, yoga straps and blocks...oh and mats!

Pamela Nelson


Monday, November 26, 2012

SURE t-shirts now in stock

If you are looking for some unique gift ideas PLN Yoga Studio has much to offer.

We carry unique items from Nepal, Tibet and India as well as Glyder Yoga Wear and yoga props.

Check out my website to view more...

Also in stock for those that really like the SURE t-shirts and "dress"shirts I now have more in stock.
$35 each or 2 for $60.

Pamela Nelson

Friday, November 23, 2012

Meditation on the Breath

Here is a simple exercise you can do to help reduce stress just by focusing on the breath.

Sitting in a chair, sit up straight with feet hip width apart and ankles below the knees. Keep the sitting bones firm and spine lifting vertically up.

Gently close the eyes and begin to bring awareness to the breath, not changing the breath but just following the breath.

Bring attention to the sound of the breath flowing in and out.

Notice the places where the breath touches the inside of the nostrils as you inhale and the places it touches as you exhale.

Pay attention to the entire inhalation right up until it ends and the exhalation starts.  
Tune into the exact moment of transition.
Focus on the fine details of how the breath feels in your nostrils and listen to the sound it makes.
Notice if the in breath and the out breath are equally smooth and of similar length.

If you notice your attention has wavered, simply return your focus to the breath once again.

Stay with this practice for two to five minutes.

Begin to gently rub your palms together and place over the eyelids and gently wash the eyes and face.

Return the breath to normal and open the eyes.

-adapted from "Yoga  As  Medicine" , by Timothy McCall

Pamela Nelson

Friday, November 16, 2012

2013 Winter Yoga Schedule

Here is the 2013 Winter Yoga Schedule for PLN Yoga Studio in Prince Albert and Christopher Lake. I have attached three posters.  One for PA classes, one for Christopher Lake classes and one with information for both.
Please visit my website - for more information or to view the information better.  This information is also found in the PAGES section of this blog..

Registration Special - Register WITH PAYMENT by December 19th, 2012 and be entered to win one of three prizes.
Prizes are:
1. Studio yoga mat (value $30)
2. Chip foam block (value $15)
3. Yoga strap (value $15)
Draw date will be December 20th, 2012.

I also have Gift Certificates if you are looking for a great Christmas gift idea...

Pamela Nelson

Words of Wisdom - 21

Yoga aims for complete awareness in everything you do.
-B.K.S. Iyengar
A simple statement, yet not always so easy to do.  Try, even for 5 minutes at a time, to sit and keep your awareness on your breath today.  The breath that sustains and supports us...
Then try to stay really aware while accomplishing a task, even the very simple tasks can bring new experiences when we are open to them.
Pamela Nelson

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

B.K.S. on Meditation

Meditation does not make the mind dull. 
Rather, in meditation the mind is still but razor sharp,
 silent but vibrant with energy. 
But this state cannot be achieved without a firm, stable sitting posture, where the spine ascends and the mind descends and dissolves in the consciousness of the heart,
where the true Self reveals itself.
-B.K.S. Iyengar

Pamela Nelson

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

November Pose of the Month - Ardha Halasana

Ardha Halasana - Half Plough Pose

This month I thought I would add an inversion.
Ardha Halasana, meaning half plough for the shape it resembles, is a great pose to start with if you are just beginning inversions.  This variation is for beginners.  The next pose I will add steps to the final stages and then work up into Salamba Sarvangasana (supported shoulder stand).  It is important to learn how to get the lift in the spine and trunk so that the chest can expand correctly.  Don't miss steps to get to the final pose as every step is important.

 Begin by placing the short end of the mat into the wall.  Stack 3-5 blankets neatly near the wall as shown above with the folded edge out.  Come to the floor, bringing the sitting bones near the wall and roll onto the blankets so you are in the centre of the blankets.
Adjust your body so that the top edge of the shoulders are 2-3 inches from the top of the blankets and the back of your head is on the floor. Keep the buttock bones near the wall and bring the soles of the feet into the wall with the knees bent.
This is a beginner variation.  Press into the feet and upper arms and draw the tailbone up.  Lift the spine and tailbone vertically up.  Bring the hands to the back and keep walking hands down the back to keep the spine lifting.  Try to keep the elbows in line with the shoulders, this will help lift and open the chest more.  Stay for 2-3 minutes, working up to 5 minutes.
To come out of the pose, slowly release the arms and lower the hips back to the floor.

Stay with the previous variation until you feel comfortable.
The next stage will be to bring the legs down one at a time and place the toes onto a chair or bench.  Take the chest and hips slightly back to maintain the extension of the body.
Keep the hands moving down the back towards the shoulder blades and press the thoracic spine in, moving the breastbone towards the chin.
Lengthen the side body.  Keep the legs straight by pulling the kneecaps to the thighs and the thigh muscles up to the hips to engage thigh muscles.  Press the thighbones up and away from the face and keep stretching the back of the legs.
Progressing from the previous pose after you feel comfortable and have gained the strength and flexibility in the neck, shoulders, back, legs and arms, one can bring the toes to the floor.  If any discomfort or pain is felt in the neck, bring the feet back to the bench or chair.  If pain still persists try adding more height under the shoulders and separating the feet slightly.

To come out of the pose, bend the knees and slowly roll down the back -vertebra by vertebra and lower hips to the floor.
Rest for a few breaths by sliding the head and body forward, off the height, so only the lower back and hips are on the blankets.
Roll to the right and press the floor to come up.

Helps reduce fatigue, insomnia and anxiety, calms the nerves and relieves breathlessness and helps regulate blood pressure. 
Circulation is increased to the neck and face and reduces aging effects of wrinkles, tension and dehydration and improves the functioning of the thyroid and parathyroid glands.
Restores health to pelvic organs, and can help relieve backache.

Avoid inversions during menstruation.
Avoid if have a neck or shoulder injury or have a headache.

Pamela Nelson

November Book Review - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - A Year of Food Life

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - A Year of Food Life, follows a year in the life of one of my favorite authors, Barbara Kingsolver and her family.  This book has been written with the help of her husband, Steven L. Hopp and oldest daughter Camille Kingsolver.

This book is a wealth of information on learning how to eat from sources close to home, become more mindful of where and how the food we eat is not only produced, but how far it must travel to reach our tables.
Barbara Kingsolver writes, "This is the story of a year in which we made every attempt to feed ourselves animals and vegetables whose provenance we really knew..and of how our family was changed by our first year of deliberately eating food produced from the same place where we worked, went to school, loved our neighbors, drank the water, and breathed the air."

Barbara writes most of the book using an easy to read style to read, filled with vivid, interesting and humerous facts on how they began and survived the year. 

Steven Hopp adds to each chapter with short essays that have more in depth information, numbers and facts.  Some examples include, "How to Find a Farmer", "The Price of Life", "Sustaining the Unsustainable" and "Legislating Local".  He gives much thought provoking information and is a call for all of us to listen and start to make some changes to how we eat.

Camille Kingsolver has a wonderful writing style, weaving interesting stories about her family at the end of each chapter and adds interesting information and recipes. 

I have been wanting to read this book for a long time and when I happened to spot it on the shelf at the library I knew the time was now.  My family has tried to tread lightly on the earth, but know we have a long way to go.  We have been trying to make changes to grow or raise more of our own food, and eat more locally and this book has helped to continue to spur that desire and not give up because it becomes a bit hard.  We owe it to ourselves and the future generations to know where our food comes from, and not use valuable resources to obtain items from across the globe at the cost of our environment.

If you are interested in checking out their website, please visit

(As a side note, I also suggest any of Barbara Kingsolver's novels)

Happy and healthy eating!

Pamela Nelson

Friday, October 26, 2012


"There are only two ways to live your life. 
One is as though nothing is a miracle. 
The other is as though everything is a miracle."
-Albert Einstein
This quote made its way into my reading path today, and thought was a good one to post as my family and I had just been discussing the miracle of our chickens laying an egg....everyday!
Pamela Nelson

Friday, October 19, 2012

Ultimate Result of All Ambition

"To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition."
-Samuel Johnson
I read this quote in a great book given to me 15 years ago for Mother's Day, and is still worth meditating on.  Why do we work so hard?  To be happy at home...yet if we are never home, because we are out working so hard, we will ask, why am I working so hard..oh be happy at home.
In that- being happy at home may not just be in our physical houses..but at home in our body, breath and mind, no matter where we are or what we are doing.
Pamela Nelson

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

From the Vedas

The following regarding the Vedas is from Prashant S. Iyengar, in his essay, "Glory of Yoga".

Prashant writes,

"The Vedas hold that the human body is the entire cosmos in micro or atomic form.  It houses the Universal Spirit with all the divinities.  The science of yoga thinks of the world in the same way.  It comprises of the different yogic paths:
-yog (union with reality)
-viyog (eradication of negative attitudes)
-prayog (experimentation)
-viniyog (employment of positive inherent qualities)
-upayog (utilization of supplementary virtues from outside)"

Yoga practice then is much about prayog - experimentation with the qualities of the yamas and niyamas...and also with the asanas, pranayama and all the limbs of yoga.  We should all experiment to find our own truth in yoga.

Prashant also gives a view maybe not always considered...that much of yoga is based on viyog or expulsion.  "We need to expel the tamasic nature, rajasic nature, viciousness and ignorance.  Strangely, yoga sadhana is primarily viyog sadhana." He writes.

From there through viniyog and upayog, one can realize yog, or union with reality.

Prashant Iyengar writes, "Thus, the various yog-sadhana of yog, viyog, prayog, viniyog and upayog are described in a logical and threadbare manner, in the science of yoga.

Pamela Nelson

Thursday, October 11, 2012

PLN Yoga Studio - New Logo and Studio Sign

Thanks to Mark-It Signs ( in Prince Albert for the help creating my new logo and studio sign.

The PLN does stand for my initials - but I also think reads kind of like a license plate - plan PLAN YOGA into your daily life!!


PLN Yoga into your life..

Pamela Nelson

Monday, October 8, 2012

Thanksgiving - Giving Thanks

In the spirit of Thanksgiving - I would like to give thanks for the gift of the breath.

The breath supports and sustains us through all that life throws our way...good, bad, happy and sad...
Breathe well.


Happy Thanksgiving.

Pamela Nelson

Sunday, October 7, 2012

On Yoga

Yoga works from the inside out,
helping us to confront things
we might prefer to avoid.
Like a mirror, the practice offers
a clear reflection if you take
the time to look within.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Let go of Desires

From the Bhagavad-Gita..2.62

dhyayato visayan pumsah
sangas tesupajayate
sangat sanjayate kamah
kamat krodho 'bhijayate

From a person's contemplating objects is born attachment to them; from attachment is born desire, from desire is born anger, from anger comes delusion; from delusion, memory wandering; from memory wandering, loss of intuition; from loss of intuition one perishes.

Pamela Nelson

Monday, September 24, 2012

B.K.S. Iyengar on Fear

To get freedom from fear, you must face pain.
Freedom comes only when you are desire less.
The end of discipline is the beginning of freedom.
Discipline must become second nature.
You must do it but not worry about it.
You must reach that state of divine vision (mukta),
where to live in the Self is freedom.
-B.K.S. Iyengar
Pamela Nelson

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Poem for Life

Let us, then, be up and doing
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Thank you Henry for the boost to keep pursuing...and to wait!
Pamela Nelson

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Books for Sale - Ancient Teachings in Modern Times

I will have copies of Losang Samten's book - "Ancient Teachings in Modern Times" for sale at
PLN Yoga Studio in Prince Albert.

If you attended his talks this past week in Prince Albert, again we are sorry the books had not yet arrived for sale...But they are in now...a day late.

Please email or call if you are interested in copy.

Pamela Nelson

Friday, September 7, 2012

New Glyder Apparel is in at PLN Yoga Studio

This fall I will have Glyder Yoga Wear at the studio.

The clothes are great quality, good prices and very comfortable!
If you would like to come have a look at the boutique items when I am not there teaching please call or email and we can set up a time to meet.
I also have yoga props for sale - mats, bolsters, blocks, blankets and straps and other great bags and jewelry from India, Nepal and Tibet.

Pamela Nelson

Sunday, September 2, 2012

September Pose of the Month - Upavista Konasana

Upavistha Konasana - Seated Wide Legged Forward Bend
This pose is great for increasing the circulation to the lower abdomen, while not challenging the hamstrings and hip flexors as much as other forward bends.

 Begin in Dandasana on mat, folded blanket or blankets or a bolster. Use more height if tight in hips and back of legs.  The height helps lift the spine and allows the leg to straighten without strain to the legs. Feel the sit bones descending down and the spine lifting up.  Allow the shoulders to release down the back, away from the ears and lift the front body up.  Relax the abdomen and at the hip flexors. Lengthen through the backs of the legs, press out through the heels and descend the thighbones down.

 Separate your legs evenly from mid line and keep pressing out to the heels.  Bring your hand to the floor beside your hips, using the fingertips to lift up slightly and draw the tailbone under.  Sit back down on sitting bones.  Keep using the fingertips to lift and open chest and spine.  Gently move the front floating ribs in and be careful not to over arch the lower back.

Inhale and raise the arms overhead with palms facing each other. Lengthen the side body evenly from the hips up to the fingertips and draw the shoulderblades into the back away from the ears.  Exhale and release the arms back down.


Moving into a forward bend (Adho Mukha Upavistha Konasana) can be done with no props or if needed a bolster, blocks or chair.
Exhale and bend forward from the hips and place the hands either on the floor in front or grasp the big toes with the thumb and first two fingers. As release forward keep pressing the thighs and shins to the floor extending through feet.  Keep chest open and shoulders releasing from ears.  Continue to release towards the floor.

 If you can't quite get chest to floor release down onto a bolster or bolster with blanket.  The bolster can also be turned lengthwise and with an added blanket rest the forehead which is calming to the brain and nervous system.

If that is challenging face the wall and press feet into the wall.
 Inhale and raise arms up.

And as exhale, keeping spine concave release to the wall.  This can also be down releasing towards a chair.  Maintain the lengthen evenly to both sides, keeping the abdomen, face and throat relaxed.
To come up - inhale, draw legs back to Dandasana.
Increases circulation to the lower abdomen, widens and relaxes the pelvic floor and helps with menstrual disorders.
Be careful not to over arch the lower back.  As come forward be mindful of the ligaments behind the knees.  Draw legs closer together if feel any strain.
Pamela Nelson