Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year 2015

“Yoga does not remove us from the reality or responsibilities of everyday life but rather places our feet firmly and resolutely in the practical ground of experience.
We don’t transcend our lives; we return to the life we left behind in the hopes of something better.”

~ Donna Farhi
Happy New Year!
I felt this was a great quote to start the New Year. We often are trying to make such grand changes in ourselves instead of coming back to the best version of ourselves.
Wishing you all joy and happiness on and off the mat!
Pamela Nelson

Classes start January 6th 2015

The blankets and bolsters are washed and repaired
The blocks, mats and straps put back neat on their shelves
Of course with the help of those weird little elves

The walls have been scrubbed and the floors sparkle like glass
So that with a...
Happy New Year and wish for a joyous new year
PLN yoga studio welcomes you back to class!

Classes start January 6th.
Still time to register. 

 Morning, noon, afternoon, evening and weekend classes
Check out for details

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Light and Joy

"It's not just about doing,
moving this muscle and that bone,
nor about doing with mind,
but about doing with the soul
and filling it with light and joy."
-B.K.S. Iyengar
From Iyengar Yoga Centre of Victoria November 2014 Newsletter p.30

There is so much to learn from the quotes and stories of the many students who have been able to learn from Mr. Iyengar and the Iyengar family.  In the recent newsletter from Victoria there were many personal stories of tribute to B.K.S. Iyengar. It is amazing how many lives he has touched and changed.  His biggest teaching was that we need to practice and we need the discipline to practice. This is one of Patanjali's main teachings. Mr. Iyengar did not want us to just follow him aimlessly, but to get to know ourselves from the outer body inward. As the quote above says, yoga asana is not just about doing. It is not how many poses one can or can't do. It is about being present during the movements that matter. 

Pamela Nelson

Monday, November 24, 2014

Serenity of the Soul

"Where there is peace and meditation,
 there is neither anxiety nor doubt."
- ST. Francis of Assisi
(c.1181 - 1226)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

2015 Winter Schedule for PLN Yoga Studio in Prince Albert and Christopher Lake


Just a thank you for a wonderful and busy fall session. Still a few weeks to go but wanted to post the winter classes that will start in the new year.

This upcoming winter I will continue to attend workshops and teacher training courses as well as start some great online anatomy courses for yoga! So, looks like will be another busy and exciting year for PLN Yoga Studio.

If you are interested in any of the classes or would like more information please contact me.

306-982-2737 or 306-981-4703
or by email

Please note that I forgot to change dates for the Wednesday classes.
Wednesday classes run from January 7th to April 1st, 2015.

Pamela Nelson

Monday, November 17, 2014

Virabradrasana II - Warrior II

Virabradrasana II or Warrior II is a strong standing pose  that helps build stamina and will power while aligning the spine.
Mr. Iyengar wrote that this pose can help relieves stiffness in the shoulders and back, tones up the ankles and knees and cures stiffness of the neck.

I started with some photos of the pose showing the variations first.
Below that is a video of a pose.

Start in Tadasana (mountain pose).
Then place the back (left) foot at the wall to give support to the back leg. 
Step the front leg out about 4 feet from the back foot.
Raise the arms parallel to the floor, left hand at the wall for support and to gently push into to release the shoulders down the back.
Cut the right leg out 90 degrees, aligning the front heel with the instep of the back foot.

As you press into the back foot, keeping it straight, bend the front knee to 90 degrees.  Keep the shin, knee and thigh in alignment by moving the knee towards the little toe side.  Gaze over the front hand keeping the breath smooth and steady.
Variation II - have a chair and foam pad
In this variation you can stay in the pose a bit longer.  The chair allows the legs to stretch more, creates width in the pelvis and lift and open the chest.
With the seat of the chair facing in place the chair at the right side of the mat.
Then step the right leg through the chair.
Turn the right leg out 90 degrees as did in pose above.
Bend the right knee to 90 degrees. Use the back rest of the chair to keep the upper body lifting up.
The chair seat supports the right buttock.
Press firmly into the back foot, keep the leg straight by tightening the knee.
Raise the arms parallel to the floor. Turn the head to look over the front hand.

 If a bit taller use the foam block on the seat of the chair.
This is Virabradrasana II in quicktime.  Fun to watch.
 Part I
This is my first attempt at uploading a video to my blog.
Even though only about a minute and a half I had to divide the pose into two short videos.
I will try and figure out how to upload all as one video for the next one.
 Part II
Pamela Nelson

Friday, November 14, 2014

Mindfulness Must Be Engaged

Thich Nhat Hanh wrote in his book, Peace is Every Step, that mindfulness must be engaged.

He wrote about how when living in Vietnam during the war that he and the other monks living at the monastery had to decide if they stayed practicing in the monasteries or leave to go help the people that were suffering. 

They decided to do both.  They went out to help people, and did so with mindfulness.

He called it engaged Buddhism.  Meaning that mindfulness must be engaged, one must be present in the moment to see and act compassionately.

Thich Nhat Hanh writes that "we must be aware of the real problems of the world. Then, with mindfulness, we will know what to do and what not to do to be of help."

Begin by "maintaining awareness in breathing and practice smiling, even in difficult situations."
Then people, animals and plants will benefit.

He ends with asking, "Are you massaging our Mother Earth every time your foot touches her?  Are you planting seeds of joy and peace? "

Peace is Every Step

"Shall we continue our journey?"
With love and gratitude for Thich Nhat Hanh,
Pamela Nelson

Monday, November 10, 2014

Bringing Yoga to Life - Donna Farhi

Bringing Yoga to Life - The Everyday Practice of Enlightened Living
By Donna Farhi

Donna Farhi has been practicing yoga for over 35 years, teaching all over the world and has not only written many books but has also been an asana columnist for Yoga Journal and Yoga International.

Bringing Yoga to Life is divided into three parts gently helping to explain the importance of yoga and a daily practice on and off the mat.  Donna writes that "the greater purpose of a formal yoga practice, however, is to apply the acute attentiveness we learn on the mat to all aspects of our everyday life so that this unitive awareness filters through our relationships, our work, and our play.

This book does not describe yoga poses and how to do them, but helps one explore their true motivation for practicing yoga.  Donna explains "in finding this true motivation, you open the way toward clarifying your intention so that you can use the life you have been given joyfully and for the benefit of others.  More important, you will be able to recognize if you are using your yoga practice to look at your life or escape from it." 
I found this statement very profound because I know I have used my yoga practice both ways and just getting on the mat has been a struggle at times. Finding clear intention is the key.

But as Donna is able to write so eloquently that "the point of practicing asanas is to become sensitive, attuned, and adaptable." and not to just practice advanced poses, but advanced practice which brings us closer to recognizing our true self.

A great book to inspire one to continue on the yogic path.  I hope you will find out for yourself too. :)

Here is a link to Donna's website and other books and information that might interest you.
Pamela Nelson

Friday, November 7, 2014

Schedule UPdate

Yoga Schedule UPdate:

New Saturday Session starts November 8th!
9:15-10:15am - Iyengar Flow
10:30-11:45 am - AM All Levels

Still a few spots left and time to register!

No scheduled classes week of November 10th to14th except for Wednesday November 12th noon class.

Noon Thursday class November 20th, 27th and December 4th - 12:05-12:55pm
Contact me to register.

Winter schedule will be out soon!  If you are a group looking for a yoga class in the upcoming year or for a special event please contact me for availability.

Pamela Nelson - Certified Iyengar Yoga Instructor

Certification Mark


Friday, October 24, 2014

Work, Word and Wisdom - karma, jnana and bhakti

In an interview with Mr. Shekhar Gupta, the ex-editor of India's national, Mr. Iyengar was asked how to deal with the fact that we all seem to want change and for it to happen immediately.

His reply was "through work, word and wisdom - karma, jnana and bhakti."

As a yogi he said, "my job is to guide people." "I should not think about my growth. I should think more about the growth of others. That is what yoga has taught me."

So, there is no short cuts, which is good because really what would we do if there was :)

So, with these wise words it's back to work I go. Hi HO! 

Pamela Nelson

Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! I am truly grateful to all, as you all are a blessing on this journey. Namaste.

It's a Gift to be simple

Its a gift to be simple, Its a gift to be free, Its the gift to com...e down where you ought to be, And when we find ourselves in the place just right, Will be in the valley of love and delight. When true simplicity is gained, To bow and to bend, we will not be ashamed, To turn, turn, will be our delight, Till by turning, turning we come round right Its a gift to come down where you ought to be, And when we find ourselves in the place just right, Will be in the valley of love and delight.

This is just one version of the song I could find.
I always loved the version by John Denver and the Muppets too.

Pamela Nelson

New Saturday Morning Session - Flow, All Levels and Youth

For anyone who might be interested in a Saturday morning practice I have attached the poster for the next upcoming Saturday Morning Classes.

Please pre-register and pass along to anyone you know that might be interested.

Thank you.
Pamela Nelson

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Patanjali"s Yoga Sutra I.16

In the eight limbs of yoga (astanga yoga) Patanjali discusses many important steps one must go though to reach kaivalya, or eternal emancipation.

After discussing abhyasa (practice) and vairagya (detachment) where Mr. Iyengar writes in practice we activate and purify our energy and detachment we disentangle ourselves from involvement in even the subtlest of the phenomenal world, leads to sutra I.16.

Sutra I.16 tatparam purusakhyateh gunavaitrsnyam

The ultimate renunciation is when one transcends the qualities of nature and perceives the soul.

In Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Mr. Iyengar says the purest form of renunciation is when one is free from the qualities of nature. One realizes the soul at once. Clear intelligence of head and heart leads to this. 

There is five stages of vairagya (detachment) and the involution of prakrti (nature), moving from specific to unmarked.
The first begins with disengaging the senses from action, then keeping away desire, stilling the mind, mastery of desire and finally supreme detachment. 

We all want more energy, but as B.K.S. Iyengar writes, the creation of energy alone, without control or restraint, cannot lead to freedom.
To begin to relate this to today's world is challenging with so many distractions and desires to do, be and have more. Even being disciplined is seen as giving up your freedom to do whatever you want, when you want.
But, it is only through a long, uninterrupted sadhana of practice and detachment that the movements of consciousness can be stilled.

Pamela Nelson

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fall Morning Yoga Workshop - October 25th

Join me for a refreshing morning workshop on October 25th at the studio in Prince Albert.

Contact me to register or for details.

Pamela Nelson

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Fall UPdates and New Noon class added Wednesday's


Fall Updates

New Noon Class Wednesday added to schedule

I am sending out this note to everyone on my mailing list, not just those registered in the fall session because I have added a NEW Class on Wednesday's that may interest a few people.
This class will be six weeks long starting October 1st and ending November 5th.
Class time is 12:05-12:55.
Please contact me if interested as there is five or six interested already.

Also, I wanted to say thank you to everyone that has registered in the fall session.
I appreciate you joining the classes and learn so much myself during the sessions.
This fall I will be attending two workshops that I am sure will benefit my own practice and teaching.

As part of my early registration with payment I did give away 20 free gifts.  So thank you for registering early with payment. I hope you are enjoying your eye pillow, yoga strap or mini plush towel from Halfmoon yoga.

Lastly, it has been a month since B.K.S. Iyengar died.  I know I will continue to learn from him though his books and other teachers. I had a class to celebrate his life and with the donations from that class I have contributed that money to the Bellur Trust Fund.

Below is a bit of information on the Bellur Trust.

Bellur Krishnamachar & Seshamma Smaraka Niddhi Trust (BKSSNT)

Bellur is a village in southern India, and the birthplace of Sri B.K.S. Iyengar.
Sri B.K.S. Iyengar established the Bellur Trust with a vision - to provide the village with all of life's necessities. This will help not only the villagers but also people living in the surrounding region.
Sri B.K.S. Iyengar, who left Bellur at the age of 18, has a deep concern for his birthplace.
BKSSNT is a charitable trust. It has undertaken and completed several projects including a school, fresh water tower and medical clinic. To find out more about the BKSSNT, visit the BKS Iyengar web site at

Thank you.

Pamela Nelson

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Teach the Teacher Within


I have attended many classes, teacher training courses and workshops over the years. I am so grateful that I can learn from so many wonderful teachers and I often am amazed at how they were able to open up a pose for me. 

I will continue to attend classes, teacher training and workshops because I know I still have a lot to learn. 

But in this learning one thing is important.  It is not an ego thing but a recognition that to accept these teachings I have to let down my ego and totally absorb the teachings. I have had to teach myself that I can teach myself after the class is over. 

Prashant, Mr. Iyengars son teaches this. In his classes he will say that the class or teachings don't really begin until after the class. 
We go to class to learn and then we must go home and teach ourselves. Incorporate the work into ourselves.

I am grateful to have students who come to my classes. I am happy when they are happy after a class, when they feel better when they leave. I am happy when I have been able to pass on the teachings in a way they were able to "get" that day, but I always insist that they were the ones who showed up to class, they were the ones who did the work. They could have stood and put little effort in, or thought about fifteen other things, but they choose to do the work. Through their body, breath and mind. 

So we have to aknowledge as students we have a responsibility to teach ourselves the teachings. 
This I learned from my teachers and through the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar. :)

Like most things in life worth getting. We must do the work ourselves to gain the benefit through honest effort. 

Pamela Nelson

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

B.K.S. Iyengar - 1918-2014

I was away at a week long yoga teacher training when I heard the news that B.K.S. Iyengar had been admitted to the hospital. It was nice to be in a group putting our energizes into generating positive energy for him, his family and even ourselves. 
It is with saddness that I have now learned that he has died. 
He was a great teacher to many and those teachings will continue as we aspire to reach our own highest potential on this journey. 

I hope I can glean even a little of his wisdom in this lifetime and use it towards a useful life. 

One of my favourite books is Light on Life. It encompasses so much of his teachings and wisdom and is full of true gems to read over and over and try to put into practice. 

The last page seemed so fitting for this post. 

On page 266 of Light on Life, Mr. Iyengar writes so eloquently, "I am old, and death inevitably approaches. But both birth and death are beyond the will of a human being.  They are not my domain. I do not think about it. Yoga has taught me to think of only working to live a useful life."

On the same page he advises,
"Live before you die, so that death is also a celebration."

And the last sentences of the book,
"I do pray that my ending will be your beginning. The great rewards and the countless blessings of a life spent following the Inward Journey await you"

With love, respect and gratitude. 

Pamela Nelson 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lessons from Day 3

Lunch break on day 3, standing outside the Empress hotel. Much more energy today:)
It actually has been a tough week to focus as have heard of much sadness and tragedy happening to a few close friends and around the world. 
Wanting to be present in the moment and not have the mind become distracted and overwhelmed is a yogic lesson in itself. 

I did have some wonderful lessons in inversions and pranayama. 
Much exploring of how to see a bit more into why some adjustments are made. 
The work within is infinite but so exciting to explore.
There is still room in my upcoming fall classes if you would like to join me in this exploration.:)

Pamela Nelson

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Connect and Integrate

Today is day 2 at the Iyengar Yoga Centre in Victoria. 

A beautiful studio on the second floor of an old building just minutes from the downtown harbour. 
We did a 3 hour timed practice today. Hard, intense but great to be totally engrossed and out of my own head in a way. 
Key lessons:
Was the energy flowing or "leaking" out?
The importance of connecting and integrating in each pose for proper energy flow. 
All great things to keep in mind even off the mat. What things do we do that contains our energy correctly and what things just opens the gate for all our energy to leak away. 
Yoga helps so profoundly with that self awareness and self acceptance so that we can become more aware of these things and move towards healthy containment. 

Pamela Nelson

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Can't beet this!

Ok, can't beet this!
Waiting in Calgary airport on my way to yoga teacher training in Victoria. 
A little bit of reading. Sitting in a comfy chair in the sun. 

Enjoy the super moon tonight. 
Sit for awhile, watch your breath and bask in the light, that reflection of the sun still radiating. We can do the same. Reflect the light within to those around you. You are the light!
Pamela Nelson

Saturday, August 9, 2014

I am always a student!

"A good teacher helps you to explore the maximum"
-B.K.S. Iyengar
I am heading out to the Iyengar Yoga Centre in Victoria tomorrow for a week long teacher training intensive.
This is my third time attending an intensive there. With over 30 hours of class time I know the teachers will help us to explore to the maximum.
I will try to blog a bit with highlights from the day.
Pamela Nelson

Monday, August 4, 2014



Just taking a few days to plan my fall classes. This is always a work in progress so bear with me for any possible changes for corrections:)

I am also working on a new website so you will see that up and running soon too I hope.

I have attached the upcoming posters for classes in Christopher Lake and Prince Albert.
Please contact with to register or with questions.

If you know anyone else that might be interested please feel free to pass along.


First 15 people to register with FULL Payment will receive a FREE eye pillow, India yoga strap or mini plush towel.  One per full registration. Color and selection on what is in stock.


Please call 306-982-2737 to register
Email me at

Pamela Nelson

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Refreshing the 8 Limbs of Yoga

I have written a few blogs on the 8 limbs of Patanjali's Astanga Yoga, but I always find it helpful to review and refresh them in my mind, a reminder that yoga is more then the physical poses that most connect yoga to.

Yama and Niyama are the first limbs and B.K.S. Iyengar writes, "when the principles of yama and niyama are followed thoroughly and are well established in the heart of the practitioner, they transform the manas (mind) and citta (consciousness)."

The Yamas include non-violence, truthfulness, celibacy, non-stealing and the Niyamas cleanliness, contentment, penance, self-study and surrender to God.

In Basic Guidelines for Teachers of Yoga, asana is described as "a presentation of body positions for gaining perfect stability in the body, steadiness of intelligence and benevolence of spirit." With that perfection being realized when "the effort of perform it becomes effortless and the finite is brought in touch with the infinite seer within."

Pranayama is the "distribution of life force or energy in the human system. Prana is energy and ayama means expansion and extension.  It is the regulation of the incoming and outgoing flow of breath as well as the cessation of the movement of breath with retention.  It is a regulated, precise prolongation of the inflow, outflow and cessation of the breath.  It is said that pranayama must be practiced only after perfection is attained in asana."

Pranayama has three basic movements:
Exhalation - recaka
Inhalation - puraka
Retention of the breath - kumbhaka

In that there is three types of kumbhaka:
Exhalation with retention
Inhalation with retention
Total suspension of the breath, unrestricted by exhalation or inhalation.

As we move to the fifth limb, pratyahara or "withdrawal of the senses and mind from the objects that triggers excitement.  Here the moving inward helps the mind in its inner quest, making the mind ripe for its spiritual quest."

Dharana is concentration, "where attention is focused on a chosen point or area within or outside the body helping to quiet any fluctuating thought waves."

Dhyana is meditation.

Samadhi is absorption. "When the flow of attention gets absorbed in the object of mediation, the citta loses its identity and becomes one with the object."

Dharana helps lead to Dhyana and success of dhyana is Samadhi.

Information for this post is from Basic Guidelines for Teachers of Yoga, by B.K.S. Iyengar and Geeta Iyengar.

Pamela Nelson

Sunday, July 20, 2014

"Evolution is the process of trying to reach; involution is the process of consolidation and absorbing what has been learnt.  The involutionary process takes a longer time. After the culmination of the evolutionary process, the knowledge that has come must be used for the involutionary process.

-B.K.S. Iyengar and Geeta Iyengar
Pamela Nelson

Saturday, July 19, 2014

"If going into the asana requires total attention then coming out of the asana to the original position requires greater attention, presence of mind, patience and control."

-From Basic Guidelines for Teachers of Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar and Geeta Iyengar
Pamela Nelson

Summer Day of Yoga - July 27th

I am hosting a day of yoga at my home studio in Christopher Lake on July 27th and would love for you to join me!

Please let me know by Thursday July 24th.

Pamela Nelson

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Updated Summer 2014 Schedule

I've made some changes to the Summer Schedule.
Please check it out, pass it along and come join me!
Pamela Nelson


Monday, June 23, 2014

Utmost Importance


It is not merely the stabilisation of the body in the asana
 but stabilisation of the intelligence in the body
that is the utmost importance.

-B.K.S. Iyengar

Monday, June 16, 2014

2014 Summer Session - PLN Yoga Studio - Prince Albert and Christopher Lake

Here is the poster for upcoming summer yoga classes!
I hope you might be able to join me for a few classes either at Christopher Lake or in Prince Albert.

Summer session is drop-in but there are a few options for 5 class punch card -only $50 and
Unlimited Yoga - any class on poster only $120.

*Classes are subject to change or cancellation due to low number, illness, etc.

Happy Summer!  Only a few days away!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Taking Ownership

Yogic teachings  are jewels of wisdom that facilitate taking ownership of your life and direct it towards the fulfillment that you seek. 

From The Yamas and Niyamas - exploring Yoga's ethical practice, by Deborah Adele

Pamela Nelson

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Today is the Day!

Enjoying the simple lesson of Today is the Day.
Set an intention to remain in the present and enjoy what is being presented to you.
Be still enough to witness this amazing awareness.
Pamela Nelson


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Guruji - B.K.S. Iyengar on yoga

Mr. Iyengar says, "Yoga is an art, a science and a philosophy.  It touches the life of man at every level, physical, mental, and spiritual. It is a practical method for making one's life purposeful, useful and noble.  

From Light on the Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali, by B.K.S. Iyengar

Pamela Nelson

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

If the Earth...

If the Earth

Were only a few feet in diameter,

floating a few feet about a field somewhere,

people would come from everywhere to marvel

at it.  People would walk around it marvelling at its

big pools of water, its little pools and the water flowing

between.  People would marvel at the bumps on it and the

holes in it.  They would marvel at the very thin layer of gas

surrounding it and the water suspended in the gas.  The people

would marvel at the creatures walking around the surface of the

ball and at the creatures in the water.  The people would declare

it as a sacred because it was the only one, and they would

protect it so that it would not be hurt.  The ball would be the

greatest wonder known, and people would come to pray to

It, to be healed, to gain knowledge, to know beauty and to

wonder how it could be.  People would love it and defend

It with their lives because they would somehow

know that their lives could be nothing

without it. If the Earth were only

a few feet in diameter.


-author unknown
I have posted this before, and I keep it posted on my fridge. A great reminder to not take this beautiful earth for granted.
Please do something everyday to protect the earth under your feet, the water you drink and the air you breath, for that will nourish your heart and soul as well as all life around you.
Pamela Nelson

Monday, June 2, 2014

Does Asana Evolve the Practitioner?

In Astadala Yogamala vol.7 Mr. Iyengar writes about asana.

Can asana evolve the practitioner?

He writes, "Bees go to drink the hidden nectar of the flower. The flower does not go to the bees asking them to suck its essence.  We, as bees, have to go to the asana to savour their essence. Asana do not come to us asking us to savour their flavor."

My interpretation of this is that we must go to yoga and do the work knowing that as we, "involve ourselves more in their practice, we evolve."

It is one thing to have all the yoga books and tapes sitting on a shelf beside us, but the knowledge they contain will not come to us.  Once we start to experiment and experience in our own bodies do we gain that subjective knowledge.

So, be like a bee and nourish yourself with the sweet nectar of yoga!

Pamela Nelson