Monday, April 12, 2021

Spring Sounds of Silence - Days 1-7

 


Sounds of Silence started during the pandemic.  For me it was, and still is a way to connect to others near and far by sitting, reflecting and generating peace.
Here are the videos from this past spring session. I was recording to Facebook at the same time as on Zoom so the quality here isn't great but the audio is fine.  Since most of it is seated quietly I think you can still follow quite easily.  The videos with better quality though are on my Facebook page under videos: @plnyoga

Peace to you,
Pam


Day 1: https://youtu.be/XdNBFkq-Etw



Day 2: https://youtu.be/-7nL63WxEqI




Day 3: https://youtu.be/XUuclpV2twg



Day 4: https://youtu.be/lNHgEwFpnSM



Day 5: https://youtu.be/bXF4Izg6IO8




Day 6: https://youtu.be/6SLt_ddo8kM




Day 7: https://youtu.be/RY7QFd47Ih8















Monday, April 5, 2021

Spring Sounds of Silence - Sit with me in Silence - April 5th - 11th

 



Over this past year I have done a few online sessions called Sounds of Silence.  I felt it could be a great way to build a consistent meditation practice and feel connected to others at the same time. 

Spring Sounds of Silence will be held over 7 evenings on my Facebook page, @plnyoga and I will also be recording over zoom and uploading to my YouTube channel. If you can’t join live you can do at a time that is best for you.

Spring is a time of renewed energy and often an endless to do list. It can become very challenging to maintain a steady mind when we are thinking of so many things and during a pandemic even harder.

Let’s join together and bring our normal awareness, which can be quite cluttered with day to day thoughts to a more meditative awareness. 

If you would prefer to join me via Zoom instead of on my Facebook page please email me: info@plnyogastudio.com


Pam 🌞

Awesome April Playful Challenge




I have read this quote before, “One of the hardest things to do in yoga is unroll your mat.”

April, in North America anyways, shows more signs of spring, light and growth, I thought it would be a great opportunity to incorporate some Sun 🌞 Salutations into your daily or weekly practice.
This is just a playful challenge. Please don’t over do:) as it is more a time to give thanks to the sun for the energy it provides.
 In the videos I have tried to show a few options. If you join it may be helpful to keep a journal of not only the number of sun salutations done but also how your body felt, how the breath felt and what the mind was saying to you:). 

Video 1 - use of wall: https://youtu.be/UPPCXGcIiPQ

Video 2 - use of chair or counter: https://youtu.be/eJljLNLBr-Q

Video 3 - surya namaskar variations: https://youtu.be/fdD5RcQ3ZZA

Thanks for joining me..
If you would like, please let me know how you’re doing, any questions, variations you’ve come up with.
You can also let me know daily, weekly or monthly how many you’ve done and we can have a grand total at the end of April.

🙏🌞Pam 


I also put together this daily journal pages from others I had seen as a way to be more aware of other things I am doing in my day.  Am I getting enough water? How am I feeling? Did I laugh today? 
   





 

Sunday, March 14, 2021

These are a few of my Favorite Things - 1 year after lockdown

 



This post is not in any way meant to make light of this situation or to the people who have lost their lives or those who are ill from the virus.  I have great respect for the healthcare workers for working so hard to keep everyone as safe as possible.  The list of people I have much appreciation for who have been out working in the public since the pandemic began is long and to the people who have stayed home as much as possible to help stop the spread of the virus.  

I really debated if I should even make a post but I have been reflecting back and thought I would highlight some of the positive things for me from this past year.

-------------------------

It has been a year since the Covid-19 virus was declared a pandemic and the world as we knew it changed. We are told that change is inevitable. I know I heard growing up that the only things we can be sure of in life is death and taxes..so the fact change came should not be a surprise, but it was.  I think at this time a year ago the most shocking thing for me for a few days was that my son would be home from school, not for a few weeks, but the rest of the school year.  WHAT? 😆Now, a year later we have adjusted to this new normal.  That is the amazing thing about not only humans, but really through history, all living things, animals and plants, is that they are adaptable.  As a kid I remember thinking how amazing a tiny seed could grow in the most inhospitable conditions sometimes.  In school learning about adaptation in plants and animals so that they could become fitted to their environment was also amazing.  So the fact that we overall have adapted the best we could to the circumstances is telling us that we are amazing.  

My last in-person yoga class was on March 16th.  I really can't believe it has been almost a year.  At that time, call it mother's intuition..or fear, I headed to Edmonton to pick up my daughter from the dorm. Two days later the dorms closed.  What an eerie trip that was.  

Both my girls moved home..our house was full once more. We haven't all lived together for about 5 years.  It was different, wasn't always smooth, but I wouldn't trade it.  To have that time together, if only for a few months was special.  

Then they both moved to B.C. 😊 - My oldest daughter moved for a job as she graduated from the University of Saskatchewan during the pandemic. A home graduation was a bit underwhelming for her I think but I'm glad we could still have a few people in the house at that time.  My other daughter moved for University.  I feel fortunate I was able to do the road trip out with her stopping in a few beautiful places along the way.

I got to hang out with my son more then I probably would have under normal circumstances which again is something I am really thankful for.

Some of my other favorite things:

- being able to continue online classes.  I am so appreciative to have people who wanted to continue yoga online.  I really know it helped to keep me grounded and connected.

- Netflix of course 😃 - I won't list all the shows watched...

- Great podcasts - It actually is really overwhelming how many great podcasts there are. Here are a few I've been listening to - Under the Influence, We Regret to Inform You, Cal Newport, Lex Fridman, Andrew Huberman, The Miami Chronicles, The David Suzuki Podcast, The Vinyl Cafe, Our Fake History, Alone Together...

 - Online classes from many Iyengar teachers around the world that I would not have had the opportunity to travel and learn from.  

- Other great online educators 

- Walking and skiing around our property 

- coffee with the few people in my bubble

- how amazing and creative some people were over the past pandemic year 

- Reading and Yogi book club meetings

- Outside yoga classes in the summer for charitable organizations

- Although in my head I thought I would accomplish so much more than I did, I do feel I was able to be creative still in my online classes and some of the offerings.  I am really happy I could offer many free classes and classes by donation to support others.

Some of my favorites: Sit with me in Silence, Heart Happy Class, Sunday Peace Practice, Solstice classes (summer and winter), Yogi book club, Weekly Wake-up...just a few on top of the regular schedule.


Anyway, I'm sure I could think of more and expand on some of the things I did mention, but I will leave it as is for now.  

I would love to hear about some of the things that helped you through this past year.

Peace and good health to you and your families,

Pam








Friday, March 12, 2021

New Class !! Based on B.K.S. Iyengar's book - Yoga for Sports: A Journey Towards Health and Healing

 



New Class !! 
Based on B.K.S. Iyengar's book - Yoga for Sports: A Journey Towards Health and Healing




I grew up participating in a variety of dance and sports activities.  I love moving, and found through yoga that mindfulness in movement has brought me more health and healing, physically, mentally, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.  I started practicing yoga when I was around 21 as a way to "become more flexible", but found it helped me in more ways then I can count. My gratitude to this practice, to the teachers who have passed down the teachings, to B.K.S. Iyengar and his family, and to the many wonderful and supportive teachers, mentors and friends I have made through this journey is endless. 

I have always thought yoga complemented so many other conditioning programs as a way to find inner balance and contentment that when this book came out I was very excited to read it. 

From the book:
All around or 'holistic fitness' means acquiring a judicious combination of physical qualities such as flexibility, speed, agility, stamina, endurance, strength, power; mental characteristics of motivation, focus, concentration and alertness. The emotional quality to withstand and be unaffected by adversities and an ability to adapt to all situations and finally, the temperament to be disciplined to work as a team.

This series of classes is based on this book and I hope will be a great start to incorporating yoga into your conditioning program and your life.

We will start as a 6 week session online via Zoom. You are not required to have the book, but it can be a great addition to your reference library.  
Some sessions will focus more on the speed, agility and endurance aspect, while others will be more on relaxation, recuperation, treatment for common injuries, and ways to lift the emotional centre. 

If you are interested in joining this class please email me at: info@plnyogastudio.com
Please pass along to others who may also be interested.  As things start to open up again I hope this program can be added to other clubs and groups as a way to connect inward and with teammates.

Saturday's - April 10th - May 15th 
Time: 10:30-11:45 a.m. CST
Only $76 (includes gst)

Here are a few Weekly Wake-up session I have posted on my YouTube channel:  

https://youtu.be/z9O95E0bedc



https://youtu.be/X_XZTUB75sI




Thank you!
Pamela Nelson

CIYT, Level 3





Friday, February 26, 2021

Bringing Yoga to Life - Chapter 11 - Effort and Surrender

 


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

Chapter 11: Effort and Surrender 

In this chapter Donna gives many great examples of the balance of effort and surrender. Life in itself is a balance...A fine balance..our bodies, our families, our ecosystems, etc.
A life lived in balance is not an easy endeavor and starting a yoga practice, or anything new will at first throw off whatever sort of balance we thought was there as it will take an effort. 

According to Patanjali (translation from Edwin  Bryant's -The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali)
Sutra 1.2: Yoga is the stilling of the changing states of mind
Sutra 1.3: When that is accomplished, the seer abides in its own true nature.
Seems easy:)
but sometimes
Sutra 1.4: the seer is absorbed in the changing states of the mind.
Sutra 1.5: There are 5 kinds of changing states of mind, and they are either detrimental or non detrimental (to the practice of yoga).
Sutra 1.12: The vrtti states of mind are stilled by practice and dispassion.  
To me this means Effort and Surrender
Sutra 1.13: Practice is the effort to be fixed in concentrating the mind.
and 
Sutra: 1.14: Practice becomes firmly established when it has been cultivated uninterruptedly and with devotion over a prolonged period of time.
Sutra 1.15: Dispassion is the controlled consciousness of one who is without craving for sense objects, whether these are actually perceived, or described.

So right off we know that the path of yoga will take not only Effortful effort, also a large amount and willingness to let go. Donna writes,"No matter how clever we are, we cannot leapfrog over this initial period in which we may be all fingers and toes. In the long term view of life practice we must still use effort, but our effort will be of a different kind." After that initial period of effort, "we can accomplish nothing more through effort. Through effort we come to step into a stream that can carry us.When we begin to let this current carry us, gradually the person who is making the effort needs to take a backseat. At this juncture we spontaneously shift from an 'effort to be' to effortless being."


In Anthony DeMello's book, The Way To Love, he writes on effort.  He writes,"Effort can change behavior, it can not change you.  Think of this: Effort can put food in your mouth, it cannot produce an appetite;it can keep you in bed, it cannot produce sleep; effort can perform acts of service, it is powerless to produce love or holiness." Change is only brought about by awareness and understanding.

I don't like to just re write what the author has written much better then I can. I highly recommend reading this book.  I'll end with one last bit..that I think sums up effort and surrender for those that know the asana Savasana. "Now look back at the times when your practice of Savasana was deep and refreshing. If you have ever carefully made note of this, you may have seen a connection to the effort during the practice that preceded Savasana."  "If the mind has been exercised through one-pointed concentration throughout the practice, the mind then readily welcomes the opportunity to take a backseat." "Here we can see that effort and surrender are mutually dependent states."

Wishing you that effortless effort that yoga can bring to our lives.
Peace,
Pam 

www.plnyogastudio.com
CIYT, Level 3 



Weekly Wake-up's

 



I think I have missed posting the last few Weekly Wake-ups so thought I would put the links for all the Weekly Wake-ups so far in this post.

If you have tried any let me know if you felt any different after. 

W.W. 1: https://youtu.be/8gkXw9w5leg




W.W. 2: https://youtu.be/1I3oF4IsWrw





W.W. 3: https://youtu.be/aXzDlDnAXOY



W.W. 4: https://youtu.be/1lWjqGgdX6Y



W.W. 5: https://youtu.be/AVDOmJjVRxY



W.W. 6: https://youtu.be/CMBl-mIgbRU



W.W. 7: https://youtu.be/KSuSySanYzA



W.W. 8: https://youtu.be/LQk3y6s2eOo




Thank you!
Pam 

CIYT, Level 3

www.plnyogastudio.com

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Bringing Yoga to Life - Ch.10 - The Inner Teacher

 


"Become a student of the subject. Do not look only for what you "get" from the practice. 
Be motivated to learn the subject so that the practice transforms you." 
Prashant Iyengar


Chapter 10 of Bringing Yoga to Life, by Donna Farhi, delves into the importance of finding our inner teacher through our own self-study and practice. 

At the AGM and Conference in Ottawa in 2018 Birjoo Mehta talked about a state of flow. That feeling when things just seem to happen and there is no sense of time or effort. In yogic terms, Birjoo said this is Isvara pranidhana. When you lose the sense of "I-ness", ego is restrained and you are transformed into universality.  There are no dualities and these are states we have to feel to understand. To get into these states of flow, you first need the skill, a challenge to get to skillful action which takes self-study (svadhyaya) and tapas(practice).  In the yoga sutras, Patanjali says this is kriya yoga - tapas, svashayaya and isvara pranidhana.  Birjoo said, "That is why you have often heard Guruji saying you should practice. It is not just coming to class, because in coming to class you are only in svadhyaya. In your home practice you will be able to transform yourself.  Transformation comes through practice."

In an article in the 2014 Yoga Rahasya, Prashant Iyengar wrote Yoga is not a Consumer Product.  He is so brilliant in his analogies and used the idea of 'packages' and how we tend to get stuck in a consumer package and we should be going for a student's package.  We may feel good after a class and as a consumer keep going back, but if the state is temporary, we are stuck in that consumer state.  Prashant says, "Become a student of the subject. Do not look only for what you "get" from the practice. Be motivated to learn the subject so that the practice transforms you."

As a teacher of yoga in the Iyengar lineage it was always imparted on us to do our own practice and self-study for how can we teach what we don't know in our own bodies. This has really been told and by the quality of teachers I have learnt from shown that they have brought the knowledge into their own bodies before teaching it to others and I try to do the same myself. In our Basic Guidelines for Teachers of Yoga it says, "Teaching is an emotional, ethical and moral responsibility.", "The teacher needs to improve himself morally, emotionally, intellectually and socially." and that "It is very important for the teacher to do her/her own self-study.  He/she has to create his own questions in order to find the right answers, so that the understanding of yoga becomes clearer."  We are to do our own homework after classes to understand why a student may not be getting an asana. B.K.S. Iyengar said "To become a teacher, be a learner first.

Donna explores the importance of a self-practice in this chapter. I like how she wrote that she would "imagine each practice session was a time when she was meeting with someone special.  Dressing appropriately, cleaning the space, being on time, etc. and eventually that special someone we invite into our practice becomes us: we start to value ourselves so much that we want to treat ourselves in the best possible way."  I think often the demands of others can take over.  Until I realized how much my practice was not only benefiting myself, but also my family I didn't make myself as much of a priority as I should have.  I would feel selfish for taking the time for myself when others needed me. Now I know I am doing this not only for myself, but for the benefit of others as the effects do ripple out off of our mat.

I could give many, many more examples of the importance of getting to know your inner teacher..but don't listen to me..as Donna writes,"When we practice on our own, we create the conditions in which we are more likely to see that our happiness does not depend on something outside ourselves."


B.K.S. Iyengar said "To become a teacher, be a learner first." 


Pamela Nelson - CIYT, Level 3
www.plnyogastudio.com
info@plnyogastudio.com




Monday, February 15, 2021

Spring Session I

 This is a copied version of the upcoming session so links will not work. 

Please use this link to open this in your browser: 

https://mailchi.mp/130f1a724220/spring-i-yoga-session

PLN Yoga
PLN Yoga
Website - PLN Yoga
Email

Can we make it to March?

Spring Session I 

Spring is just around the corner..at least that is what the Groundhog predictions are saying.  A bit hard to believe after 2 weeks in the deep freeze, but with more daylight hours it is hard not to be hopeful.

The Winter session is almost over.  Just one week of session classes left.  I have taken some of this week off as it is Winter break.  Since we are staying home I thought it would be the best time to send out the schedule for the next session.  Spring I Session will run for 8 weeks over the months of March and April.  I hope you will join me as we continue to explore the many benefits of yoga to the body, breath and mind.

There are some remaining events in February that I would also like to invite you to join.
All the classes are online.
Please email me for more information or to join. 
February 18th - Freedom and Flexibility with Feeling - A Happy Heart Class 6-8 p.m.
February 20th - Fun & Fluid - 8:30-10:30a.m.
February 21st - Sunday Morning Peace Practice 8:30-9:30 a.m.
February 21st & 28th - Open Studio - 10-11 a.m.
February 25th - Thankful Thursday - donations to P.A. Mental Heath - 7-8:1 5p.m.
Email Pam
Overview of all classes in the Spring I Session.  More Open Studio classes may be added if interest.  Please pre-register for all classes so links can be sent. 
Find Out More - Website

If you have any questions regarding the upcoming classes, please contact me. 
If you would like to register please email me or you can visit my website and pay on the website under the Store section.

Weekly Wake-up  - videos on my YouTube channel.
Weekly Wake-up - February 10th, 2021

Some wise words to ponder from Prashant Iyengar on Practice (abhyasa)

  • Postures are not an end in yoga, they are a means in yoga.
  • In yoga your own body and mind are the instruments.  They are not like other instruments - they change every now and then.
  • Abhyasa is a study not in the sense of studying the texts of yoga, but studying one's own body as a text - there is much to observe, much to study, much to experiment with, much to try and much to understand.
  • If you don't study yourself then you become a study material for somebody else and their impressions matter to you.  If you have studied yourself then the imprints and impressions of others do not matter to you. 
Find Out More - Website
Open Studio :

March 7th & 21st - 10-11 a.m.
April 25th - 10-11 a.m.

*more dates may be added if there is interest
Open studio is a great opportunity for embracing and enhancing your own practice.
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