Friday, April 21, 2017

Yoga: A Gem for Women - Standing Asana - Virabhadrasana III

Yoga: A Gem for Women - by Geeta Iyengar
Standing Asana - Virabhadrasana III - Warrior III
This is Geeta's instructions for warrior 3.  It is a strong standing pose that require stability and balance.  I'll try and post photos soon. Sorry for delay in that. 
1. Stand in Tadasana 
2. While inhaling, jump with legs 4-4.5 feet apart and raise arms sideways in line with the shoulders. Take a breath.
3. Exhale, turn to the right and come to Virabhadrasana I to the right side. Take a breath.
4. Exhale and bend the trunk over the right leg, stretch it forward extending the arms forward and keeping the palms together. Keep the chest close to the right thigh.
5. Move the trunk towards the arms.  Raise the left heel up, keeping the left knee tight.  Take one or two breaths.
6. Exhale and slowly lift the left leg up until it comes parallel to the ground.  Keep the right leg tight and perpendicular to the ground.
7. Gaze at the thumbs.
8. Breathe normally, and remain in this final position for 10-15 seconds observing the following points.
i) keep the body parallel to the ground from the fingers to the heel;
ii) Keep the right leg firm and steady;
iii) Stretch the left leg backwards and the trunk forwards as though the trunk were challenging the left leg. This is called challenge and response.  The centre of gravity is in the right thigh, which should be firm like a rod.
iv) Extend the sides of the trunk towards the arms.
9. Exhale and slowly take the left foot to the ground by raising the trunk up, like a lever.
10. Come back to Virabhadrasana I
11. Inhale and come to back to centre, repeat the posture on the left side, balancing on the left leg, following previous techniques. Return to Tadasana.
Special Instructions:
1. Those who are weak and find it hard to straighten the arms may keep them apart.
2. Those who are overweight may do the posture directly without performing Virabhadrasana I, or take the support of a wall or table, stand 3-3.5 feet away from the wall, place the hands on the wall, and lift the legs up alternately.
3. The raising of the left leg up and the stretching of the right leg back should synchronize.
Effects: This asana develops poise and balance, makes the legs strong and tones the abdominal organs. It is recommended for runners as it brings agility and vigour.

Pamela Nelson

Monday, April 17, 2017

Yoga: A Gem for Women - Standing Asana - Parivrtta Trikonasana

Yoga: A Gem for Women
Standing Asana - Parivrtta Trikonasana - Revolved Triangle Pose
These are the techniques given by Geeta for the revolved triangle pose.  Parivrtta means revolved or turned around. The pose is a revolving or reverse triangle. I'll add photos soon ~ my photographer has been busy. :)  In the meantime give the pose a try too!
1. Stand in Tadasana
2. While inhaling, jump with the legs 3-3.5 feet apart and raise the arms sideways in line with the shoulders.
3. Turn the right foot sideways to 90 degrees and the left foot slightly inwards. Tighten the knees and the thighs. Take one or two breaths.
4. Exhale, rotate the trunk to the right so that the left arm faces the right leg.
5. Place the fingers of the left palm on the floor near the outer side of the right foot.
6. Raise the right arm up, bringing it in line with the left arm.
7. Turn the head and look at the right hand.
8. This is the final position. Breathing normally, stay for 20-30 seconds observing the following points:
i) tighten both legs
ii) tuck in the left shoulder-blade and keep the chest expanded
iii) keep both the edges of the trunk parallel and in line with the right leg.
iv) keep the trunk in line from the hips to the head
9. Inhale and raise the left hand off the floor and come back up.
10. Repeat on the left side and come to Tadasana.
Special Instructions:
1. While rotating the trunk, turn the left thigh and knee inwards and also the left hip joint so that the spine revolves more.
2. Keep both legs firm to turn the pelvic region.
3. Extend the trunk towards the head in such a way that the abdominal muscles not only revolve but also move towards the chest.
Effects: This asana increases the blood supply to the lower part of the trunk and invigorates the abdominal organs.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Earth Day - April 22nd, 2017

Earth Day - April 22nd, 2017
Image result for earth day

To celebrate the earth is to celebrate life. 
Being able to enjoy the beauty of nature each day is a marvelous thing. 
Earth Day, which has been celebrated on April 22nd since 1970 and now includes 193 countries was started to give support for environmental protection because unfortunately not all areas of the earth are being cared for in a compassionate manner.
As major consumers on this planet humans are responsible for taking care of the earth.  Respecting the earth means respecting ourselves and all beings on this planet.  When we take the time daily to do something that will be better for the earth and others we are showing great compassion for the future of this planet. 
This year on Earth Day I will be teaching a yoga workshop at Yoga Sublime studio in Prince Albert.  Part of the money from this workshop will go towards the David Suzuki Foundation. 
I choose this charity to donate to because the David Suzuki Foundation is a Canadian charity and David Suzuki has spent the majority of  his life speaking up for the health of this planet and the beings that inhabit it.  David Suzuki is an acclaimed scientist who took his knowledge and created many programs to educate the general population.  I grew up watching The Nature of Things and even today continue to listen to Quirks and Quarks on CBC radio.  He has been willing to stand up for what he believes in and show us ways we can work to improve life on this amazing planet.
You can find out more about David Suzuki and the Foundation by following this link:
           Let's make everyday Earth Day!    Image result for make everyday earth day
I am also a strong supporter of Amnesty International. April's Lifesaver is in support of Tomas Gomez from Honduras.  He has been threatened and shot for trying to save a sacred river from having a hydroelectric dam built on it.  Please check out this link and consider writing a letter to support him and his organization.  People should not die for being a defender of the environment.  Thank you.

My love of nature led me to spend almost a year travelling. Along my travels I saw amazing beauty but also alarming waste and garbage.  From this I had a great desire to learn more about the earth and environmental activism.  This led me to attain a degree in Geography and Environmental Science which after many years led me to yoga and the desire to teach yoga.  Yoga philosophy is strongly linked to the elements and nature.  Yoga practice brings inner awareness and unveils our true nature.  I found a great article from Yoga Journal which nicely gives some explanations. 
As with many special days to celebrate an event, it is meant as a reminder and as a way to reinvigorate our efforts.  I hope you will join me on April 22nd with my yoga class to Celebrate Earth Day or find an event in your area.  Maybe it is planting trees, cleaning up a park or waterway. 
From this hopefully we can bring this into our daily practice.  Can you spend even 10-15 minutes generating peace and compassion for yourself, those around you and the earth we call home in silent mediation.  Can you find one thing you can change in your daily life that will help to improve the earth. 
Here is a link to a lovely meditation to celebrate earth.
It reminds me of a field trip I took many years ago with my school.  We were asked to hug a tree, like become a true tree hugger :).  I remember feeling a bit silly at first, but while hugging the tree I felt a shift, a feeling of love, strength and life.  It really is something you should try!
Here is the poster for the Earth Day Yoga Class.  Please pre-register. Thank you!
Happy Earth Day!
Pamela Nelson

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Yoga Classes For Week of April 10th -15th

Good Morning!
Facebook seems to be a little slow the last few days so I'm posting my classes for this week here.

Hope to see you!  A reminder that there is no classes Saturday April 15th - April 21st.

But, I hope you will join me for Saturday class April 22nd.
I am also teaching a Celebrate Earth Day class from 11a.m. to 1p.m. to Celebrate Earth Day!
Please pre-register! Poster with information is below.

Mother's Day is also approaching.  Join me the weekend before on May 7th to Celebrate all Mother's and our Mother Earth.  Please pre-register as minimum numbers needed.  Poster below!

April 10th - 3:30-4:10p.m. - Youth Yoga -Christopher Lake School

April 11th:
10:15-11:30a.m. - Iyengar Level 1/2 at Yoga Sublime

12:00-1:00p.m. - Noon Yoga at the Forest Centre

5:30-7:00p.m. - Iyengar All Levels at Yoga Sublime
7:15-8:15p.m. - Iyengar Beginner/Basic Level 1

April 12th:
7:00-8:15p.m. - Iyengar All Levels at Christopher Lake Sportsplex

April 13th:
5:30-6:45p.m. - Gentle/Restorative
7:15-8:15p.m. - Senior/Modified

Upcoming Classes, Retreats and Workshops:

Thank you!
Pamela Nelson
Certified Iyengar Yoga Instructor

Monday, April 3, 2017

Yoga: A Gem for Women - Standing Asana - Padangustasana

Yoga: A Gem for Women - Standing Asana - Padangustasana
Padangustasana - Hand to foot forward bend
Pada means foot. Angustha means big toe.  In this posture one catches the big toes with the fingers.
1. Stand in Tadasana

2. Stand with the feet one foot apart. The outer feet and the outer hips should be in line.  Take one or two breaths.
3. Exhale and bend forward. Do not bend the knees.
4. Now, hook the big toes with the thumbs, the index and the middle fingers.

5. Extend the spine from the hips towards the neck and raise the head up. Breathing normally, stay in this position for 5 seconds.
6. Now, while exhaling, bring the head towards the knees
7. This is the final posture. Breathing normally, stay for 15-20 seconds observing the following points:
i) pull the spine towards the floor by bending and widening the elbows
ii) tuck in the shoulder blades towards the chest
iii) stretch the back and press the abdominal organs towards the thighs; the abdomen and the thighs should be as if fused together.
8. Inhale, raise the head  and come to Tadasana.
Special Instructions:
- Those who cannot catch the toes with the fingers may hold the ankles and later, with practice, catch the toes.
- Do not try to touch the head to the knee by caving in the chest.  This not only causes cramp in the chest and abdomen but it makes the neck stiff and causes headaches.
Effects: This asana tones the abdominal organs and aids digestion.  Slipped disc can be adjusted by doing the posture with a concave back.

Pamela Nelson