Sunday, January 29, 2012

Saptadhatus, Tridoshas and Trigunas

The last post described the Dashendriyas, which consist of the Karmendriyas and Jnanendriyas.  The Pancha Pranas were also listed.  According to Prashant Iyengar in, Alpha and Omega of Trikonasana, all poses begin to encompass all of these including also the Saptadhatus - the seven aspects of the body, the tridoshas and the trigunas.

The seven aspects of the body, or saptadhatus are:
- Skin (Tvak)
- Dermis (Charma)
- Flesh (Maunce)
- Blood (Rudhira)
- Bones (Asthi)
- Fat (Meda)
- Marrow (Majja)

Tridoshas (three chyles)
-Vata (gaseous aspects of the body)
- Pitta (the bile in the body)
-Kapha (the phlegm in the body)

Trigunas (three qualities of nature)
-Satva (substance of wisdom, virtuosity and luminosity)
-Rajas (substance of activity, kinetism and turbulence)
-Tamas (substance of inertia, torpidity and stupor)

This is integration in asana and as Prashant writes, it is "wholisation, wholistic and holistic".  At this point a pose is no longer DONE, but HAPPENS.

Patanjali writes this in the yoga sutras as:
II.47 prayatna saithilya ananta samapattibhyam

Translated by B.K.S. Iyengar in Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali as:
Perfection in asana is reached when the effort to perform it becomes effortless and the infinite being within is reached.

Pamela Nelson

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


The mind is the lord of the Indriyas (the organs of the senses);
the Prana (the Breath of Life) is the lord of the mind.

When the mind is absorbed it is called Moksa (final emancipation, liberation of the soul);
when Prana and Manas (the mind) have been absorbed, an undefinable joy ensues.

Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Chapter IV, Verses 29 and 30
From, "Light on Yoga", by B.K.S. Iyengar

The Indriyas or Dashendriyas are the ten senses comprising of the Karmendriyas and the Jnanendriyas.

Karmendriyas are:
-Hands (pani)
-Legs (pada)
-Mouth (vak)
-Generative organs (upastha)
-Excretory organs (payu)

Jnanendriyas are:
-Eyes (chakshu)
-Ears (shotra)
-Nose (ghrana)
-Tongue (jivvha)
-Skin (tvak)

Pranas - (as stated in January 15th blog) include:
-Prana (bio-energy of heart region)
-Apana (bio-energy of hip/pelvic region)
-Vyana (bio-energy that is all pervasive)
-Udana (bio-energy of nose region)
-Samana (bio-energy of abdominal region)

Pamela Nelson

Friday, January 20, 2012

Centre of Gravity in Asana

Mr. Iyengar writes that each pose has a centre of gravity, and that the physical centre of gravity for each pose is not the same.  Finding the centre of gravity in each pose will bring lightness.

In class I often use the example of Vrksasana (Tree Pose).  The pose begins in Tadasana, with the weight evenly balanced between two feet, front to back and side to side.  From two feet, the pose is altered to balancing on one leg and with this shift our centre of gravity also shifts.  The arms which begin at the heart centre begin to raise overhead, again changing the centre of gravity.  Throughout this whole pose and each pose Mr. Iyengar writes that,"one has to feel the sense of ascendance and upliftment in the body and intelligence.  This firm presentation brings lightness and one feels elevation in mind."

Mr. Iyengar is not just talking about the physical body.  He write, "The centre of gravity of the body and the mind as well as the emotional and the intellectual centre should remain aligned.","If the position of the body is wrong, then the practitioner suffers body pain, which in turn disturbs his mind."

Mr. Iyengar quotes from Patanjali's yoga sutras, IV.26, which says, "tada vivekanimnam kaivalyapragbharam cittam".  He translates this as meaning, "when the intelligence is at the exalted state, the consciousness becomes pure and gravitates towards the source - the Soul."

Pamela Nelson

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

This Just in Bloom

Although it might be one of the coldest days for us here in Saskatchewan, this beautiful flower just opened up.

Another great reminder that life is always in bloom all around us!

Pamela Nelson

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wednesday January 18th class cancelled due to extreme cold temp. expected

Due to extreme cold temperatures with wind chill expected classes will be CANCELLED on Wednesday, January 18th.

These classes will be rescheduled for Wednesday, March 21st.

Please contact me if you require more information.

Thank you,
Pamela Nelson

Monday, January 16, 2012

Stages of an Asana


Each asana (posture), has three stages.

Commencement (Upakrama)
Maintenance (Sthiti)
Conclusion (Upasamhar)

Each stages does not just have physical techniques, but physiological, psychological, sensory, respiratory and pranic techniques.

The balancing or synchronizing of all these make a yogasana.
To make a complete asana each stage will have a facet of activity, sensitivity, perceptivity, pensivity, reflectivity and meditativity.
The asana then is not just done but it is seen, heard, felt, sensed, thought and breathed.  The asana does not just remain an asana, but becomes a state, leading to the higher aspects of pensivity, reflectivity and meditativity.

The above information is from Prashant Iyengar's book, Alpha and Omega of Trikonasana.
 Prashant gives much to think about and adds imensely to making yogasanas more then just a pose.

Pamela Nelson

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pancha Pranas - Cosmic bio-energy in the body

Prana is said to be the life force, vital energy or the breath.  There are actually five cosmic bio-energies in the body.

Prana- is the cosmic bio energy residing in the heart region and carries out the functions of that region.

Apana - is the cosmic bio energy of the hip and pelvic region and carries out the functions of the lower parts of the body.

Vyana- is the cosmic bio energy which is all pervasive in the body.

Udana - is the cosmic bio energy of the region above the nose and carries out the functions in the parts above it.

Samana - is the cosmic bio energy of the navel region and carries out the functions of the abdominal region.

A pose (asana) can be done with context to each of the pranas.
When apana centered, the pose emerges from the hips.
Samana centered, the pose emerges from the spine.
Prana centered, the pose emerges from the thoracic region.
Udana centered, the pose emerges from the brain-nose and face.
Vyana is found throughout the body.

Pamela Nelson

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Be kind

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

From "Letting go of the Person you Used to Be", by Lama Surya Das

Pamela Nelson

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Daily Meditation

I received a wonderful calendar this year where each day you are given a thoughtful quote.
I wanted to share today's meditation.

Breath is central to Yoga
because it is central to life...
And yoga is about LIFE.

-T. Krishnamacharya

Pamela Nelson

Thursday, January 5, 2012


When the power of love
overcomes the love of power
the world will know peace.

- Jimi Hendrix

Pamela Nelson

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January Book Review - Letting Go of the Person You Used To Be - Lama Surya Das

I love getting new books at Christmas!

This year one book received was Letting Go of the Person You Used To Be - Lessons on change, loss, and spiritual transformation. 
The author is Lama Surya Das, who is also the bestselling author of the wonderful book Awakening the Buddha Within.

Everyone has suffered loss, pain and change at some point in their lives.  It is inevitable.  This book describes ways to deal with that pain in a healing way.  How we deal with impermanence is important to how we live our lives.  If constantly in denial or filling life with distractions then the pain will manifest in many unhealthy ways.  Also, dwelling on it will lead to depression.  The middle way is described in this book and the helpful mantra, "This to shall pass". 

Lama Surya Das writes in the introduction, "Face your difficulties realistically, rather than withdrawing from them, and riches can be yours.  When faced with pain and misfortune, simply stop and center yourself in the present moment, here and now; take a deep breath, sit down and concentrate, pray. Or try to laugh, one way or another. Laugh the cosmic laugh, lighten up, and be en-lightened."

I highly recommend this book.  Let me know your thoughts if you have a chance to read it.

Pamela Nelson

January Pose of the Month - Tadasana

I posted this pose on my blog on July 15, 2011.  I thought I would put Tadasana as the January Pose of the Month because it is such an important foundational pose.  A good way to start the new year, working from our foundation up.


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

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Day - New Beginning

The world is round
and the place which may seem like the end
may also be only the beginning.

-Ivy Baker Priest

Pamela Nelson