YTA's April Newsletter


The Yoga Teachers Association Proudly Presents …

Celebrating Life 
with Tao Porchon-Lynch 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Yoga Studio at Club Fit
Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510

1:30–4:30 pm

Join this inspiring 98-years-young grand master to explore the eternal energy of yoga. Using the four pillars of yoga—pranayama, mudras, bandhas, and chakras—Tao will share the rich potential of the body to renew, heal, and revitalize and show that nothing is impossible. 

Tao will be joined by Susan Douglass, who will share her Aspirational Yoga Dances, choreographed to music by John Guth. Aspirational Yoga is a fusion of yoga and dance that delights body and spirit. Students will experience both the joy of dance and the bliss of yoga. 

Copies of Tao’s autobiography, Dancing Light, will be available for purchase and signing.

Tao Porchon-Lynch was named “Oldest Yoga Teacher” by Guinness World Records in 2012. Tao exemplifies her mantra, “There is Nothing You Cannot Do.” Tao started yoga at age 8, and her teachers were a Who’s Who of the spiritual world—from the Maharishi to BKS Iyengar and K Pattabhi Jois. Founder of the Westchester Institute of Yoga in 1982, she has certified over 1600 teachers. She has shared her wisdom through many methods and at multitudinous venues, which include speaking at the Newark Peace Education Summit with his Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, teaching yoga at the Pentagon, and giving a TEDx talk at Columbia University. 

To register for Tao’s workshop, go to


Breathing Into Life

by Tao Porchon-Lynch

A few heartbeats move through our bodies, opening the door to a new flow of energy. As the sap of a tree moves up the trunk into branches, so our breath moves up the chakras of the ladder of life.

As we get older, it is not strength that declines if we tune into nature.  Some trees are hundreds of years old and during winter they recycle, so that when spring arrives, they fill the branches with blossoms and the beauty and colors of youth penetrate the atmosphere. 

As the sunrise clears the heavens, it rejuvenates the whole world. When we don't breathe properly through the channels of the upper chakras, our spine starts to lose its power to renew every pore in our body. Don't look downwards, but visualize energy that opens the body, and like nature and the life force that penetrates our being, a new day spreads throughout.

As you look within, see yourself in touch with the seeds of creation that make everything grow and your whole being will bring renewed energy throughout the entire body. 

Know that age is when the mind is flooded with fear, and prevents us from opening the doors to pure oneness with the world.

Don't let the mind frighten the body, but let every pore shine with the brightness of the life force. Peace and harmony then moves throughout our whole being making it shine, radiating peace and harmony to others. 

Know it is important to realize that breath is right inside of us and opens up the path to flow in peace, throughout our whole being. Take a note from nature, don't let fear govern your being.

Every living creature, every living atom, is within us and around us, so take a lesson from it and live in direct contact with the lord of creation and you open your door and experience the true wonder of oneness. 

To watch the dawn of a new day, the beauty of nature flashes across the horizon. The dance of life comes alive with a  statuesque yoga posture that seems to blend itself across the screen and the dance of yoga becomes part of mankind.

Yoga is the symbol, revealing itself, murmuring the joy of yug that belongs to us all.  If we follow it throughout the postures that radiate the same essence of nature and that we have found through our teacher, the path of yoga materializes. 

Yoga, or Yug, is the doorway to the energy of the essence of the life force. It is not a physical use of the body, but a gateway that opens up the precious dawn of life. Renewal, like the recycling of the seasons, develops the purity and beauty of spring.  In nature, we have to dive deeply into the eternal breath that is the unity of oneness. Not by jumping around in asanas, but experiencing the chakras or sutras that link us together in the sound of OM. The oneness without a second, the inner reality that the eternal as in nature inspires within us. It makes the youthful fragrance and essence of oneness burst away from the sad fears of yesterday and opens the wonder and joy of eternal bliss within us.  Yoga is the uniting of body, mind, and spirit. Not a religion, but an inner search of the power of the universe deep in our soul.

Physical activity, no matter how great, doesn't bring about the answers that often lie buried in our existence. Then what is the answer?

Yoga is the answer, reaching this action of consciousness when we turn inward. This level under the guidance of a teacher who activates in each asana the wonder of yoga and radiates each posture with the true poetry of the meaning of life on this planet. 

Man becomes more aware of the eternal oneness of nature, and the inner reality of the breath of life radiates throughout the universe. 

Learn more about Tao at 


Dear All, 

April is the month in which we see the rebirth of the world around us. Increased light, warmth, and the proverbial April showers help the growing and the greening of the planet and we, as its inhabitants, also respond to the wonder and energy of Mother Nature.

Increased light and oxygen, life force and Prana, unite to help the spirit bloom and blossom. Like the physical world around us, it's a time for us to stretch and open to full capacity after the long, winter's hibernation. This is the time to use our refreshed strength and enthusiasm to embellish all aspects of our being as we seek light, outside and within.

Our yoga practice is always there, like the forces of nature, to aid and abet us on this journey to light. We are given any number of ways through asana to enhance our physicality through our stretches to reach and open to the light, but we also understand the subtle balance we have to establish to delve deep into our dark places with breath. This is the grounding process that supports our overt ventures. Going within opens us to an alternative reality that our breath helps us to integrate and unifies us with our true nature—who we are now and who we may become. "Purposeful practice to perfect" is my new take on the old adage, "practice makes perfect," because after many years of teaching I've found that thoughtless practice creates bad habits. Yoga also teaches us that nothing is perfect.

The mantra I am further encourages these thoughts by being so open-ended. When we focus on being (I am), we open to all and any possibility and we don't fixate on a particular outcome presented by the mischief of the mind. 

We will encounter what is beneficial for our own mind and body when we attune to our breath and our inner voice of truth, insight, and intuition. The embodiment of our essence helps us to become "the warrior," the witness," and "the wise one."

Try a new mantra—I will—and let it lead you to the monthly workshop sponsored by YTA on the second Saturday of each month.

Yours In Yoga,

Paula Renuka Heitzner



Would you like to try a new way of teaching a class? Perhaps add an element of pranayama or meditation? Refresh an established class? Teach yoga in a whole different area? Have a place to experiment and try out new ideas before rolling them out in public? 

Yoga Triad

The YTA is sure that you want to be the best teacher you can be. You might be afraid to add a new element or change a sequence that doesn’t seem to be working. Maybe a few people have left your class and you’re not sure why. You want to improve but don’t want to lose students with experimental elements gone wrong. So the YTA has developed a safe coaching/evaluation process to allow you to try new things. We have established a teacher-to-teacher improvement opportunity. This program allows new or established yoga teachers to try out new teaching styles, class elements, or changes in a safe, supportive environment. While students (and studio owners) evaluate you regularly, their evaluation may come too late. The triad allows you to try it out early. 

It isn't always easy to get candid, honest feedback. It isn't easy and even harder to evaluate ourselves, change, and grow. But if we want to improve as teachers, we need to try. 

For more information, contact Gina at


Your Thoughts: 

Does Chest Breathing Cause Disease?

Without breath there is no life. If you don't breathe, you die. These are simple, irrefutable facts. 

Breath brings oxygen, life force, and Prana to every cell in the body for each and every cell to repair, revitalize, and regenerate, keeping the body's physiological functioning at peak effectiveness and efficiency. Poor and insufficient breathing habits result in accumulations of mucus and loss of lung elasticity.

Several studies have shown that heart disease, depression, anxiety, pulmonary disorders, and chronic pain have an intimate relationship with these bad habits. Persistent shallow breathing patterns do not support health and the individual's weak spot will suffer greatly in time.

If one has any signs of the above symptoms, it would be to their advantage to pay attention to their breathing habits and get the necessary help to strengthen their air intake for healing.

Breathe and be well.

This section is dedicated to answering your questions about yoga—as a student or as a teacher. Questions? Comments? Send them to or go to our Facebook page. We would love to hear from you.

Paula Heitzner, ERYT– 500, is a Master Yoga Teacher. She has taught yoga for over 50 years and has trained others to teach the time-honored principles, practices, and philosophy of yoga. The “teacher of teachers,” as she is called by her students, teaches at the New Age Center in Nyack. 

Learn more about Paula at




April 8—Tao Porchon-Lynch 
Celebrating Life! 

Details and registration info in this newsletter and at

May 13Julia Hough 
Teaching Chair Yoga

June 10Luke Ketterhagen
Sweat to Bliss: From Effort to Ease and From Power to Freedom

September 9Todd Norian 
Tantra Yoga Workshop

October 14Sandra Anderson 
Mastering the Basics 

November 11Ken Nelson & Lesli Lang 
Training the Transformational Teacher

December 9Rudy Peirce 
Gentle Dynamic Yoga

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From the March YTA workshop with Daniel Orlansky


Member Events

YTA members (individuals & studios) are invited to add to this list of events. Send details to by the 15th of the month to be included in the following month’s newsletter. 

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SkyBaby Studio
Kathy-Toris-Rowe, Manager
75 Main Street 
Cold Spring, NY 10516

Apr 2 (1st Sun of every month, 12:30-2 pm)

DHARMA SUNDAY SCHOOL w/Maeve Eng Wong. Unique Buddhist-oriented class for children 5+ and their families. Explore concepts such as kindness, compassion, gratitude, and generosity through readings, creative activities, community building, movement, and meditation. Donation based.

Apr 3-5 (Mon-Wed ongoing, 8:45-9:15 am)

MORNING MEDITATION w/Brandis Busiovich. Singing bowls included on Wednesdays. Free

Apr 4-May 9 (6-week series, 3-5 pm)
YOGA FUN & CREATIVE PLAY. 1st–5th grade. Children will balance, believe, and create through yoga, mindfulness, art, and theater. Healthy snack provided. See website for more info. $120

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Rob Farella
78 Stony Hill Road
Bethel, CT 06801

Apr 1 (Sat, 3-5 pm) 

RESTORATIVE YOGA: Unwind from the Grind w/Liz Wendel. Props (pillows, blankets, straps, etc) to support your body so you can rest and stretch your muscles; lower your heart rate and blood pressure; calm your nervous system, and experience a peaceful state of deep relaxation. $30 in advance; $38 at door if space available

Apr 22 (Sat, 3-4:30 pm) 

YOGA NIDRA: The Art of Deep Relaxation w/Karen Gillotti. 8-stage guided relaxation that has the power to transform and rejuvenate you at core levels and activates the body’s natural healing response. $22 in advance; $28 at door

Apr 28 (Fri, 8-9:30 pm) 

KIRTAN CONCERT w/Brenda McMorrow & John de Kadt. Listen to these world-class musicians for sublime adventure into the world of sacred sound. $25 before 4/25; $30 thereafter

Apr 29 (Sat, 3-5 pm) 

YOGA TECHINQUES FOR WELLNESS w/Jill Lord. Practice trauma-informed yoga where the student decides what movement feels authentic and empowering for his or her body. Movements are not form (asana)-based but rather used as a tool for connecting to the present moment to bring connection back to the body. $30 in advance; $38 at door.

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Alexandra Oudheusden
Burke Fitness Center Gym
785 Mamaroneck Ave
White Plains, New York 10605

Apr 22 (Sat; 11-5 pm)

TEACHING CHAIR YOGA FOR ACUTE AND CHRONIC CONDITIONS w/Alexandra Oudheusden & Julia Hough. Seated yoga poses, standing poses using the chair for support, movements to mobilize joints for those with chronic illness, and gentle movements and restorative yoga that clients with acute conditions can do in bed. Learn breathing practices, mudras, and guided visualizations. To register, contact $100

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Yoga Haven
Betsy Kase
62 Main Street
Tuckahoe, NY 10707


Yoga Haven 2
91 Montgomery Avenue
Scarsdale, NY 10583

Apr 2 (Sun, 1:30-4 pm, Scarsdale)

EXPLORING THE HIPS & CORE: A Journey of Transformation w/Freddie Wyndham. Explore the sometimes elusive mobility and stability of the hips and core and unlock the transformational energy that resides there. Feel revitalized and take away tools that will cultivate excellent alignment, strength, fluidity, and poise in your practice. $45

Apr 23 (Sun, 4-5:30 pm, Scarsdale)

YOGA NIDRA w/Melissa Jhunja. Deeply relax and release tension held in the subconscious and unconscious. Restore balance to the mind, body, and spirit. Through pranayama (breath work), gentle asana, and guided visualization ease forward into Spring with clarity, ease, and joy. $35 

Apr 28-30 (Fri-Sun, Scarsdale)

MINDFULNESS MATTERS IN SCHOOLS TEACHER TRAINING. Learn the tools needed to bring mindfulness to your students, grades pre-K through 12. This 12-hour weekend program includes study of the neuroscience of mindfulness, coupled with exploration and experience of the practice in its many forms. $295

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Check Out the YTA Directory!

The YTA Online Directory is the source for information about yoga teachers, studios, and yoga teacher trainings throughout the Hudson Valley. Individual and studio members may send their information to to be included. Check it out at 


Final Thoughts


April 2017

Newsletter design and layout: Lisa Sloane 

Editorial team: Terry Fiore Lavery, Paula Heitzner, Audrey Brooks

Yoga Teachers Association was created by a small group of pioneering yoga teachers in 1979 who saw the need for affordable and continuing education. Today, YTA continues as a 5013c nonprofit dedicated to expanding learning opportunities for teachers and committed students.


$50.00 Annual dues for YTA Membership

Workshop Fees 

$45 members / $65 nonmembers in advance
($55 and $75 at the door)

Pre-registration is highly recommended in order to guarantee a space in the workshop.

Any cancellation within 48 hours of a workshop will result in forfeiture of the registration fee.

Find out about and regsiter for upcoming workshops at

Find YTA on Facebook!


Audrey Brooks

Vice President 
Lorraine Burton

Steven Cownie

Susan Edwards Colson

Board Member-At-Large
Paula Heitzner, ERYT

Program Coordinator
Robin Laufer, MS Ed, RYT 500

Special Events
Gina Callender

Terry Fiore Lavery, RYT

Newsletter Design & Layout
Lisa Sloane, MA, RYT

President Emeritus
Tao Porchon-Lynch, ERYT, IAYT