- Upcoming Classes, Workshops, Retreats and Rates - 2022
- About Me and Contact Information
- About Iyengar Yoga and FAQ's
- Featured Pose - Virabradrasana II - Warrior II
- Yoga for Backache - General Practice
- Yoga to Boost the Immune System - General Practice
- Evening Yoga Routine - General Practice
- Morning Yoga Routine 2
- Book Review - Open Heart, Open Mind - by Tsoknyi Rinpoche with Eric Swanson
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Many celebrate winter solstice, the longest night of the year as a turning point that the daylight hours will soon be getting longer once more.
Some celebrate the long dark night as a chance to settle in and be still. To withdraw from the outer world and have a chance to connect within.
I like the idea of both. I love things about all seasons so knowing spring is coming is a wonderful thing but I also like the quiet and still moments, settling in and connecting within as well as with those close around you. I think of solstice as a chance to soul search!
I thought I would share this little article from Prashant called Your Teacher in You.
He writes practice must be divided into two parts: consolidation and learning.
When you learn you are required to go forward and observe and reflect in each pose.
You become a witness as you observe how you are doing the pose.
That is how you start learning to learn.
In yoga as you move to a more intermediate stage you become your own teacher and your own student!
Because you understand yourself you can have a better teacher inside yourself, who is with you all the time. Prashant says you should be learning yoga to teach...to teach yourself.
Then you will consolidate what you have learned within.
I found this fitting to share today because as we celebrate this opportunity to be still, quiet and reflective we can enhance our practice by observing ourselves and give ourselves the chance to understand our own state of mind and what our difficulties may be.
You have to learn to learn, learn to teach, teach to teach and teach to learn.
Certified Iyengar Yoga Instructor
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Today would have been B.K.S. Iyengar's 98th Birthday. Although he passed away a little over two years ago he is still deeply rooted in my heart and always will be.
Many have posted wonderful tributes to Guruiji. I never had the opportunity to learn from him directly and only spent one month in India at the institute when he was alive watching him in his daily practice in the corner of the room, but I still feel daily the value of his teaching either though his books, recording and videos. I am lucky also to have the opportunity to study with many wonderful Iyengar teachers who all work so hard to pass on the teachings of yoga the best they can and in the Light of Guruji.
Today my practice was in honour of Guruji. His lifelong practice and willingness to keep exploring and delving deeper into the body, mind and breath has made it easier for the rest of us to learn this ancient art of yoga.
Pamela Nelson is a Certified Iyengar Yoga Instructor.
Monday, December 12, 2016
Saturday, December 10, 2016
Feeling a bit hunched up with the cold and stress. This pose is good for stretching the back, neck and shoulders. The leg action - either for chair pose or eagle pose is great also to strengthen the legs and back and work on balance.
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.
Come back to Tadasana, Mountain Pose.
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.
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.
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 - Certified Iyengar Yoga Instructor
Friday, December 9, 2016
This morning when reading Patanjali's Yoga Sutra's I opened the book to sutra II.2. It is interesting how a book written over 2500 years ago can still be relevant even today.
This sutra reads:
Y.S. II.2 - samadhi bhavanarthah klesa tanukaranrthasca
The practice of yoga reduces afflictions and leads to Samadhi.
This is B.K.S. Iyengar's translation, taken from Light on the Yoga Sutra's of Patanjali.
Mr.Iyenar writes, "By reducing afflictions to a minimum or even eradicating them, kriyayoga promotes profound meditation, which is a precursor to Samadhi. The purpose of this yoga is to minimize all impediments to meditation and thus bring the intelligence to full, vibrant life."
To know what is meant by kriyayoga, sutra II.1 tells us. Kriyayoga is the "yoga of action", composed of tapas-self discipline, svadhyaya- self study and isvara pranidhana -surrender to God.
Tapas helps to burn away impurities of the body, senses and mind. Svadhyaya is the study of sacred texts and mantras to understand the self. Isvara pranidhana one surrenders the fruits of actions.
Mr. Iyengar writes in Y.S. II.1 that, "both beginner and evolved soul learn how to stabilize the mind."
Certified Iyengar Yoga Instructor
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
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."
Monday, December 5, 2016
Below is my upcoming schedule for classes at Yoga Sublime in Prince Albert, Sk. check out Yoga Sublime's website as there are many other classes during the week with other instructors.
On Saturday, December 11th there will be an Open House where you can pre-register for the upcoming sessions. Doors open at noon and close at 5p.m.
There will be quite a few vendor tables there too so please come have a look at the many talented people's work.
My schedule is subject to change due to inclement weather, illness or low enrolment in classes.
Pre-registration is preferred so I know if have enough students to run classes.
Thank you for your consideration. I hope to see you in the New Year!
I am also available to teach for schools, offices, workshops, inservices, splurge parties, etc. Yoga is meant to be accessible for all!
Classes in Prince Albert begin January 3rd
I will be teaching a FREE Intro. to Iyengar Yoga on January 3rd from 7:15-8:15p.m.
TUESDAY: Yoga Sublime No class Feb.21st and April 18th
10:30-11:45am - AM Yoga- Iyengar Level 1/2
12:00-1:00pm – NOON Yoga- Iyengar Level 1/2
5:30-7:00am – Iyengar Yoga - Level 2/3
7:15-8:15 pm-Iyengar Basic/Level 1
THURSDAY: Yoga Sublime No class Feb.23rd and April 20th
5:30-6:45pm – Gentle/Restorative Yoga7:15-8:30pm – Asana/Pranayama – 4 weeks – January 5th – 26th – must pre-register
SATURDAY: - Yoga Sublime - Begins January 14thNo classes Jan. 28th, Feb. 18th, 25th, April 15th & 22nd
9:00-10:15am – A.M. Eye Opener – Level 1/2
Certified Iyengar Yoga Instructor
With the dark days of December upon us and many of us busier then most other months of the year. I've reposted this calming pose so you can take a break from the cold and frenzy in your outer world.
Great pose to stay in for 5-10 minutes. Place an eye pillow over your eyes too. This helps sooth the eyes and bring the senses inward.
Supta Baddha Konasana - Reclining Bound Angle Pose
If you are feeling a little stressed this holiday season or coming down with a cold or flu this is a great pose as it is very restful when energy is low. This pose gently massages the heart, improves circulation in the abdomen, massaging and toning them.
Then release the hands to the sides, palms facing up. Stay for 1 minute, building up to 5-10 minutes.
Benefits: Regulates blood pressure, prevents hernia as the hips and groin become more supple, relieves lower backache, relieves varicose veins and sciatica, reduces pain caused by hemorrhoids, relieves indigestion and flatulence, tones the kidneys and improves bladder control, improves blood circulation in the ovarian region, and is particularly beneficial during puberty and menopause, alleviates menstrual pain, corrects prolapsed uterus
Cautions: If any strain is felt getting into the pose, use two bolsters. If there is strain in the groin region use more height to support the outer knees.
Monday, November 21, 2016
My Winter Schedule will be out soon but if you are looking for a few extra classes please join me at Yoga Sublime studio in Prince Albert.
November 25th - 5:30-6:30 - Peace Practice - Class by donation.
This month proceeds to Amnesty International Canada. Stay after for a potluck and sutra study.
We will be discussing the Yama's and Niyama's. Please pre- register.
December 8th - 7:15-8:30 p.m. - Free Yoga Class - Beginner Iyengar Yoga - a great way to try out new classes or add in an extra stretch during the holiday season. Please pre-register.
December 15th - 7:15-8:30 p.m. - Building a Home Practice - learn tips to build a successful home practice. A few handouts will be given too to help get you started. $17 drop in or Yoga Sublime 1.25 hour class passes can be used.
Yoga Sublime is located at 1998 Central Ave., Prince Albert, Sk.
December 21st - 6:00-8:00 p.m. - Celebrate Winter Solstice - The longest night of the year bring contemplation and chance to journey inwards and celebrate the coming of longer days ahead.
Join me at my home studio in Christopher lake for a soothing and nourishing yoga practice for the body, breath and soul. Stay after for a visit with tea and appetizers. $25/person
Pre- register by emailing me at email@example.com or Yoga Sublime Studio at firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, November 18, 2016
Tribute to Guruji and Light on Yoga - Day 50
Wow! So now as I look back on the last 50 days it was actually a bit of a challenge to fit in writing this blog everyday. It has made me "practice" my yoga a little differently some days too which is what yoga is about. The practice on the mat to prepare you for life off the mat.
Even though I have owned this book for years I am amazed at what I learned or re-learned reading it again and I'm sure I will continue to for many years to come.
In an article written by Prashant Iyengar titled "Guruji's mind on Light on Yoga", he writes that Guruji never took pride in Light on Yoga. He says the whole world took pride on it and called it the Bible of Yoga. But, Guruji never even quoted from Light on Yoga or took pride in it.
Prashant also writes that, "Light on Yoga was not written for his students. It was written for outsiders who did not have teachers. That is why he said that a good book is better then a bad teacher."
For this I am grateful as I have not been fortunate enough to study with Mr. Iyengar over many years like the senior teachers have. I have gained insights from many wonderful teachers over the years and will continue to as this is invaluable, but living in Northern Saskatchewan away from my senior teachers this book has been a wonderful resource and reference.
Learning more about Mr. Iyengar's journey to write Light on Yoga also inspires me to be a better student of yoga, not just master the final pose in the picture.
Happy 50th Anniversary!
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Tribute to Guruji and Light on Yoga - Day 49
I am at the last section of Light on Yoga. Here descriptions are given for many other types of pranayama.
Bhastrika Pranayama - means bellows, so the air is forcibly drawn in and out.
Kapalabhati Pranayama - means skull shining
Mr. Iyengar writes that both above pranayamas help to activate and invigorate the liver, spleen, pancreas and abdominal organs. It can improve digestion and leave one with a sense of exhilaration.
Bhamari Pranayama - means bees breath. There is a soft humming during exhalation like the sound of bees.
Sitali Pranayama - where sitali means cool, this pranayama helps to cool the system. This is done by protrude the tongue our during the inhalation.
Other pranayama's given:
Sitakari, Sama Vrtti and Visama and Viloma, Anuloma and Pratiloma.
It is worth taking the time to read about the many pranayama's even if you are not attempting them at this time and understand that some may be better for a certain circumstance and that not all may be good for everyone depending on where they are on their yogic journey.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Tribute to Guruji and Light on Yoga - Day 48
The last sections of Light on Yoga before the appendix continues with the technique and effects of pranayama and then pranayama.
Ujjayi pranayama is explained first in this section. Mr. Iyengar writes ud is a prefix and means upward or expanding and conveys the sense of power. Jaya means conquest, victory, success and Mr. Iyengar writes that also when looked at in another way implies restraint or curbing. Ujjayi pranayama is the process where the lungs are fully expanded and the chest puffed out like a proud warrior.
A detailed outline of the basic technique is given and the effect of this pranayama is said to aerate the lungs, remove phlegm, give endurance and soothe the nerves.
Surya Bhedana Pranayama is explained in the technique and effect section too.
Surya means the sun and Bhedana is explained as meaning to pierce, break or pass through.
Going back to the information on the nadi's - in this pranayama the breath is inhaled through the right nostril, where the prana passes through the pingala or surya nadi. The breath is exhaled through the left nostril, the path of the Ida nadi.
This slow, steady breath also soothes and invigorates the nerves and cleans the sinuses.
Last in this section is Nadi Sodhana Pranayama.
Nadi as you recall means a tubular organ. Mr. Iyengar says that this nadi has three layers like an insulated electrical wire. The innermost layer is the sira, the middle is the damani.
Sodhana means to purify or cleanse. In this pranayama the nerves are purified.
The inhalation begins through the right nostril while the left nostril is closed, at the top of the inhalation the right nostril is gently closed, the left opened to exhale through the left nostril. Then inhale through the left and exhale from the right.
The nerves are refreshed, calmed and purified.
It is recommended at the end of a pranayama session to lie in Savasana.
This section gives many more tips, hints and cautions and is important to read and digest.