Monday, September 28, 2015

Preparing for Assessment...

Image result for assessment

At the end of October I will be heading to Toronto to participant, and hopefully pass my Intermediate Junior II Iyengar Assessemnt.  Although I already am a Certified Iyengar Yoga Instructor in good standing the levels of training are steps towards improving our teaching and training and really our own self-study.

I spent most of August working on an exam and have been preparing this past year for this next assessment.  Each assessment for me has been just as nerve wracking, and I waver between thinking I am ready and thinking I will not pass.  But, whether I pass or not I need to proceed on this path as part of it is overcoming fear. 

Some may feel this is excessive and too rigorous, but for me yoga is a discipline and I must be just as disciplined with my teaching as with my own personal practice.  The way Mr. Iyengar has outlined this assessment process is to give the teachers time to be a student of yoga first and assimilate the work into themselves so they can really see each student and learn from each student.

This weekend I am heading back to Edmonton for a mock assessment.  I will be under scrutiny...something to think about for the 7 hour drive :), but I must give so much thanks to the teachers and students who are giving up part of their weekend to help me on my path.  There is so much support in the feedback I get that I am always grateful for the path I have landed.  And of course a huge thank you to my friends and family who help me daily on this path - making sure my practice becomes just as strong off the mat as on it.

Assessments include a 2 hour practice on the first day where we are assessed for our own personal practice.  The teaching section is 40 minutes in length.  40 minutes to teach 6 poses to students of many levels.  To not just spew out everything we might know about a pose, but to teach to the students in the room.  To sequence the 6 poses in the best possible way so that the students feel a connection of the first pose to the last.  There is at least three assessors marking various aspects of your teaching, and a timer.  We are asked questions about why we taught poses and certain way, how we would teach pranayama from how to set a student up to how to prepare them for the breath work.  It is intense and rewarding when the ego is dropped and you remember the point is not the paper at the end but it is the value of how you get there.

So, if over the next month you notice me trying to work 6 poses into 40 minutes, you will know why. :)

The links below are what some  others have written about the assessment process. 
They have said it  much better then I could anyway.

Below is links to a few Blogs written about the Iyengar assessment.

Wish me luck.
Pamela Nelson


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Chants of a Lifetime - Krishna Das

Chants of a Lifetime - Searching for a Heart of Gold

Not only do I love listening to Krishna Das chant kirtan, but I really love this book, which comes with a CD!

The stories and honesty he shares makes this book so very real and very relatable.  In many ways I found this book heart breaking, but only because the heart must first be broken open to experience that true and pure love that has no beginning and no end.

The book is divided into two parts. The Journey to India in Part I and Bringing it All Back Home in Part II. Like most personal journeys it is often the time after a journey that the most change occurs.

The story of how Krishna Das found his guru is fascinating and how it transformed the path of his life is so very interesting, inspirational and heart opening. 

KD (Krishna Das) shares many stories of his years in India with Neem Karoli Baba and the life lessons from that time, but to me it is the hard time after the journey where he experienced the most personal blessings from this time.

In one chapter called Door of Faith, Krishna Das describes how Maharah-ji would often look at them and hold up one finger. So, someone at one point asked, "what does it mean?"
Krishna Das writes. " He looked as us intensely and held up his "pointer" finger in front of us.  Then he held up all five fingers, one by one, shook them around and held up that one finger again. 
He said, "Many names, many forms...sab ek, all One."

This was Maharah-ji's  bottom line...All One, one being one world, one family. Something I read and re-read again and again in so many of the great texts and something BKS Iyengar also would propound.

I have just finished this book and could easily pick up and reread.
If you have a chance to read it let me know your experience. :)

As I finishing writing this book review listening to Krishna Das on the CD that came with the book my heart feels very open.  I will sit now and listen and breath.

Check out more about Krishna Das at:
This book was published by Hay House Inc.  Check out more of their wonderful titles at

Pamela Nelson
Certified Iyengar Yoga Instructor

Friday, September 11, 2015

Lois Steinberg, Ph.D - Advanced Junior 2 Certified Iyengar Yoga Instructor


For those that often attend my Saturday morning yoga classes you might be wondering why they aren't beginning until later in October.  This past spring, summer and now fall I have and will be attending many workshops and training assessments for my own personal practice and also to prepare for my next level of assessment in the Iyengar system.  My desire is to continue to learn and integrate the teachings into my own body and intelligence so I can teach with skillful authenticity to each and every student.

Next weekend I am heading to Edmonton to attend a workshop with Lois Steinberg.  As I have and refer to many of her books I am excited to attend this workshop and experience her teachings first hand.  I look forward to sharing what I can on my return. :)
Below is the bio taken from the website of her yoga studio - Iyengar Yoga Champaign-Urbana in Illinois.  Please also visit the website as it gives more details of her journey with yoga.
Lois1September 18, 19 & 20, 2015

Lois Steinberg, Ph.D.

Lois Steinberg is an Advanced Junior 2 Certified Iyengar Yoga instructor with over 35 years of study, practice, and teaching experience. This Advanced level certificate has been awarded directly by BKS Iyengar to only three practitioners in North America. Her extensive studentship with the Iyengars includes annual participation in the general and medical classes at RIMYI, having coordinated the International Women’s Intensive with Geeta Iyengar, and producing the notes from that course (1997). Lois’ teaching is infused with enthusiasm to share the knowledge and acumen that have come through her sustained practice and study of the tremendous work of BKS Iyengar and his family. She strives to emphasize and exemplify whole-body transformation through the joy of regular immersion in practice. As a teacher, she is direct, dynamic, clear, focused, engaging, gently humorous, and an invaluable resource for understanding the healing potential of yoga. As a teacher of teachers, a hands-on approach to mentoring apprentices is the focus of her IYCU teacher education program. She serves as an assessor for the Iyengar Yoga National Association of the US (IYNAUS), and has chaired the Certification/Service Mark, Yoga Research, and Nominating Committees as an IYNAUS elected board member (1998-2002), part of her longtime service to the association and its continuing work. She produced Sadhana magazine for Iyengar Yoga Odyssey 2001, Yatra for IYNAUS’ 2007 convention, and served as Curriculum Chair for IYNAUS’ 2010 convention for certified teachers.
Lois is the author of numerous books and articles, including Geeta S. Iyengar’s Guide to a Women’s Yoga Practice and a 2010 edition of Iyengar Yoga Asana Alternatives: the Neck and Shoulders. She is widely respected for and, consulted regarding, her considerable knowledge of Iyengar Yoga therapeutics, and is co-investigator on several research projects to determine the efficacy of Iyengar Yoga in treating chronic low back pain and high blood pressure. Her understanding of the relationships between asana and health (Lois also has a Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences!) is among her many gifts as an instructor, as is her desire and capacity to attend to the needs of individual students. She fosters commitment to deep and intelligent practices, which might include physical healing and should evolve to a broad exploration of the bounty of yoga itself.
Pamela Nelson

Monday, September 7, 2015

Fall Yoga Session begins tomorrow! September 8th

I hope you have enjoyed your long weekend and are ready to come back to yoga classes!

Tomorrow is the first day of the Fall Yoga Session.
I will be teaching at Yoga Sublime beginning at 9:20a.m.  - let's hope no hold ups over the bridge :)

Christopher Lake and Noon class at the Arts Centre begins the week of September 14th.

There is still room in all the classes and due to low registrations the Thursday noon class will be cancelled.

The Thursday AM classes will have a 4 week trial run.  If you are interested in joining please let me know.

Thank you once again.  Kind regards.
Pamela Nelson