The Yoga Teachers Association Proudly Presents . . .

Sweat to Bliss: From Effort to Ease, from Power to Freedom

with Luke Ketterhagen

Saturday, June 10, 2017
1:30–4:30 pm

The Yoga Studio at Club Fit
584 North State Road
Briarcliff Manor, NY 

Amp up your practice and your life! We look to asana to create steadiness and ease, which is a gateway to inner nourishment and quietude. This inner support radiates from the body to mind and from mind to psyche. Through a skillfully created sequence, we will build strength and stamina as well as relieve weariness and stress. We will awaken lasting change with this workshop that will be a balanced class of vigorous asana, awakening pranayama, deep relaxation, and guided meditation to draw the mind inward and experience the bliss of the heart.

Luke Ketterhagen is a senior teacher in the Himalayan Tradition. Under the guidance of his teacher, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Luke immersed himself in the studies and practices of the Himalayan Tradition through residential programs at the Himalayan Institute. More than seven years in residence fueled Luke’s passion to share this knowledge. He has opened yoga studios and launched programs at centers and retreats from Venice, CA, to the Hudson Valley; from Dallas, TX, to Fond du Lac, WI. He specializes in Hatha yoga, meditation, and the yogic lifestyle. In addition to teaching retreats and certification programs at the Himalayan Institute, Luke teaches locally in Westchester, nationally, and internationally and leads spiritual excursions. 

To register for Luke’s workshop, visit ytayoga.com.


Yoga by Accident: My Story

by Luke Ketterhagen

As a young man in 1993, I was trying to fit in and be part of the high school football scene. I went to an underage drinking party. It was against my football team rules, but I'm from a very small, conservative town in Wisconsin where everyone knows everyone, and local sports are everything. My ex-hippy parents, however, had no interest in fitting in and did not subscribe to this philosophy. The next morning when I came down for breakfast my Dad said, “Luke, you broke your team code and must turn yourself in to your coaches today.” I begged him not to do this, but he was not bending. Finally, I said, "I'll do anything to not have to turn myself in." His "punishment" changed my life forever. “Luke, meditate with me for 20 minutes each day before school. If you miss a day, you turn yourself in.” 

I didn’t miss a day. 

After graduation, I was off to Marquette University to realize my dream—to get into medical school and become a doctor. I loved people, I loved science, I loved the human body, and I loved the capacity for how we can heal—being a physician was a perfect fit. 

It took me nearly a whole semester to settle in, and, not surprisingly, the moment I started to figure it out was when I was stressing out about midterm exams and l had a flashback to how peaceful I had felt when I was meditating. It was time to resurrect my practice, this time on my terms with the memories of how this deceivingly simple practice brought me so much peace and balance. My pre-med classes from then on were a breeze—everything was working as I had planned. 

Then came the MCAT. After 2 attempts and an expensive Kaplan prep course, my verbal reasoning score didn't make the cut. I never got the numbers to get an interview. I was devastated. Then my dad changed the direction of my life again. He invited me to attend a workshop at the Himalayan Institute. I couldn’t wait—I needed an escape from my surroundings and painful realizations. 

When I arrived on the HI campus, I felt I had come home. Every person I talked to was like a long-lost friend, and every bite of food was like nectar that nourished every cell in my body. I took my first yoga classes there and was shocked at how great and challenging this “stretching and breathing” class was. Then Panditji asked me to move to the ashram. It was the perfect, healthy escape from my situation, and there couldn't have been a better place to study for my next round with the MCAT—I was sure to ace it this time. 

When my results came in, however, it was as if they had taken a photocopy of my last test scores—exactly the same in every category. I was crushed. I told Panditji the news, and he said, “Do you want to be a doctor who could help 100 people or do you want to be someone who could help 100 doctors?” 

With one simple question Panditji completely reshaped my perspective. He helped me realize the reason I wanted to be a doctor and that possibly there was another way for me to help people. I said, “Panditji, I want to help as many people as possible. How do I do that?” 

“I will tell you,” he said, and then swiftly walked away. 

My heart was at ease, but I wasn’t sure what it all meant until four months later when I saw my name on the list to take the yoga teacher training program. I was confused because first, you needed to live at the Himalayan Institute for a minimum of two years before you could take the training, and second of all, I hadn’t applied. I went to the coordinator, Sandy Anderson, and said, “Sandy, I saw my name on the list for the teacher training program this summer, and there must be some mistake.” 

“No. Panditji put your name on the list. There is no mistake.” 

I knew at that moment my training in my new life had begun.


Words of Wisdom

from Paula Renuka Heitzner

Dear All, 

Advances in life as we know it were made possible with certain inventive developments: the wheel, the steam engine, and the industrial revolution, to name a few. Air and space travel and the Internet and electronics are currently impacting our daily lives. These developments were intended to bring more ease and enjoyment to all lives and to expand the borders of all phases of meaningful living. However, they seem to have missed their mark, and as a society we are busier than ever, enjoying ourselves less, assaulted by visual and audio stimulation and always running the race against time. 

These so-called advances are being rivaled by the influences of the ancient practice of yoga. Every part of society, globally, is being captured by the study of yoga, especially the least likely of sectors, with increasing interest and influence. 

It is being introduced into inner city, at-risk schools, resulting in great improvements in deportment, concentration, and scholarship. Shelters, jails, and correctional facilities are visited by teachers trained to bring the benefits of yoga to this population. The senior sector, who have had little interest in physical activity, are happily doing chair and restorative yoga to strengthen their bodies and their breathing capacities and improve their balance. 

This fulfills one of the precepts of yoga being a conduit for increased physical, mental, and emotional health. Medical science has sanctioned yoga as a resource for wellness.

Yoga is also permeating the market place with references in mainstream commercials on TV screens and on garbage cans on street corners. Yoga clothing and props are a huge business and promises to keep on growing—a worldly way to maintain a consciousness using materialism for a higher purpose.

The spiritual path inherent in a yoga practice opens a new doorway that appears when the benefits of the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of the participant are sorted out and strengthened. This portal leads one to greater clarity, compassion, and caring, provoking peace, joy, and health and makes life an exciting adventure.

We have an adventurous group of teachers and serious students who benefit in all ways yogic from instructors of all the varied schools of yoga the second Saturday of each month. This month is the last of the fabulous '16-'17 line-up, but we begin again in September. The fall schedule will be announced on the website soon, and you'll want to check it out and mark your calendar to join us for another exciting series of presenters and topics.

Yours in Yoga,

Paula Renuka Heitzner


YTA's Teacher Triad Program

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 ytatriad@gmail.com


Your Thoughts:

Which poses help strengthen the spine?

Yoga is renown for strengthening and stabilizing the physical body. The spine is an intrinsic part of the body and cannot be addressed separately. It is the "back bone" and offers structural support for the torso. Stretching, breathing, and relaxation techniques, in every system of yoga, will give the spine what it needs to get and stay healthy. Forward bends, backward bends, and spiraling and twisting postures soften and lengthen the muscles connected to the spine, allowing the vertebrae of the spine freedom from compression and nerve involvement, insuring less compromised functionality. Head stands are also beneficial, as are shoulder stands. Diet, nutrition, and low-impact exercise allows the body increased absorption of calcium, allowing bone-cell vitality for repair and regeneration.

This section is dedicated to answering your questions about yoga—as a student or as a teacher. Questions? Comments? Send them to ytaeditor@gmail.com 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 nyackyogacenter.com.


Upcoming YTA Workshops 

June 10Himalayan Institute's Luke Ketterhagen
Sweat to Bliss: From Effort to Ease and From Power to Freedom
Details and registration info in this newsletter and at ytayoga.com

September 9Todd Norian
Tantra Yoga Workshop

October 14Tzashi Moscovitz
Topic TBA

November 11Ken Nelson & Lesli Lang 
Training the Transformational Teacher

December 9Rudy Peirce 
Gentle Dynamic Yoga

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From the May YTA workshop with Julia Hough






Member Events 

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

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SkyBaby Yoga & Pilates Studio

Kathy-Toris-Rowe, Manager

75 Main Street 
Cold Spring, NY 10516

June 4 (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 like kindness, compassion, gratitude, and generosity through readings, creative activities, community building, movement, and meditation. Donation based.

June 5-7 (Mon-Wed ongoing, 8:45-9:15 am)
MORNING MEDITATION w/Brandis Buslovich. Singing bowls included on Wednesdays. Free

June 16 (every 3rd Fri, 7:30-8:30 pm)
SOUND HEALING & TIBETAN SINGING BOWLS w/Michelle Clifton. Listen to the singing bowls and awaken our bodies’ own innate healing abilities and retune our bodies. Register at cliftonmichelle1@gmail.com Donation: $25


Rob Farella
78 Stony Hill Road
Bethel, CT 06801

June 4 (Sun, 1-3 pm) 

YOGA ON THE BALL: Yogic Fun with a Stability Ball w/Karen Pierce. Join professional yoga therapist Karen Pierce as we explore yoga-based poses done using a stability ball to help you improve balance and flexibility. Feel the balance challenge to some poses, including serious abs work. Deeper poses can be practiced with ease to help you experience greater benefits. $32 in advance; $40 at door if space available

June 17 (Sat, 2-5 pm) 

GROWING TOGETHER: FREE Summer Solstice Community Celebration w/Susan Shaner. Community yoga celebration where we will literally (and figuratively) plant our own seeds. We will dance, drum, eat, and celebrate. Come with journal, an intention, and something to contribute to the potluck. Donation accepted for http://theWaterBearers.org 

June 23 (Fri, 8-9:30 pm) 

SACRED SOUND HEALING w/Maitreya Shanti. Experience the healing power of sound & mantra to restore & balance the body, mind, & spirit, while you relax and receive with two exceptional musicians and energy healers: Maitreya and Sada from Australia. Bring a mat, blanket and pillow (we also have plenty of bolsters and props for your comfort while laying on the floor).  $25 by 6/22; $30 thereafter 

June 24 (Sat, 3-4:30 pm) 

ENJOY RADIANT HEALTH WITH YOGA NIDRA w/Barbara Templeton. Rest, balance, and restore, tapping into new sources of energy. Balance the autonomic nervous system and relieve pain resulting in a reduction or elimination of pain medication. Suitable for teens and adults, and beneficial for pregnancy. All levels welcome; come with a personal intention or resolution for the practice. No prior yoga experience is necessary. $25 before 6/22; $30 thereafter 

June 25 (Sun, 11 am-12:45 pm) 

LEAP INTO SUMMER: A Special Class w/Colette White. Don't miss this rare opportunity to come together in community to celebrate valued friendships and  teachings with one of our most popular teachers before she moved away in 2015. Join us for this fun, heart-opening and profound practice $25 before 6/22; $30 thereafter 

Yoga Haven

Betsy Kase
62 Main Street
Tuckahoe, NY 10707


Yoga Haven 2
91 Montgomery Avenue
Scarsdale, NY 10583

June 1-15 (Thurs, 7-8:30 pm, Tuckahoe)

YOGA 101 w/Basia Kinglake. Back to the basics—this 3-week workshop provides a solid foundation in basic and essential yoga poses. Each class will build on the previous session.  We will take a close look at each pose, focusing on alignment and modifications so you feel prepared for ongoing and drop in classes. $60 for all 3 sessions

June 11 (Sun, 6-8 pm, Scarsdale)

RESTORATIVE YOGA WITH REIKI: Relax, Receive, Restore w/Judy Raso. Rejuvenate the body and mind. As you relax into the support of the props, you will receive Reiki, life force energy. Restorative yoga and Reiki both promote relaxation, stress relief and create balance within the body. Experience the potent combination in this popular workshop. $45 

Iyengar Yoga Scarsdale 

Iyengar Yoga Scarsdale
Scarsdale, NY 10583
Iyengar Yoga Scarsdale

June 24 (Sat, 2-3:30 pm)

SCOLIOSIS BACK CARE SESSIONS w/Nancy Kardon. Learn to know how to modify, adapt yoga asanas for your body. Rope wall traction work is an essential part of creating space and freedom. Monthly. Class size limited to 8. Send check to preregister. $25/session

June 24 (Sat, 4-5:15 pm)

SUTRA STUDY w/Nancy Kardon. Look at the classical text The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. See how the sutras can align your life. Those new to study and ongoing study are welcome to join in this friendly discussion of this practice of "transformation" of consciousness. See this big Invitation; what happens when we pay attention and align muscles, bones, mind, and body senses and breath in our practice. Free

Riverstone Yoga

Riverstone Yoga
April S Dabroski, contact
2 Hudson View Way
Tarrytown, NY 10591
914-332-YOGA (9642)

June 26 (Mon, 7:30-8:45 pm) 

YOGA NIDRA w/Dee Yergo. Be gently guided through a visualization and awareness journey designed to bring the mind into a hypnagogic state in the practice of "yogic sleep." $30 members; $35 nonmembers

Saw Mill Club

Michelle Briks
77 Kensico Drive
Mount Kisco, NY

June 1 (thurs ongoing, 10:30-11:45 am) 

PRENATAL YOGA w/Makea. Bring strength and energy back into your pre- or postnatal body. Become part of a supportive community of new mothers while addressing issues and concerns that may arise in your new chapter of life. Members: $20/class; $90/6 classes; Nonmembers: $25/class, $120/6 classes

June 1, 8, 15 (Thurs, 9:15-10:45 am) or June  5, 12, 19 (Mon, 6:30-8 pm)

PEAK YOGA SERIES w/Michelle Briks. Elevate your practice as you progress toward next level peak poses. Poses are broken down to their key components so you can successfully reach your apex, in this workshop style small group training. 

June 3 (Sat, 12-2 pm) 

CORE CONNECTION MASTER CLASS w/Lara Heimann. Learn how to best connect with your core muscles in an integrated way to improve posture and athletic performance. Join Lara as she uses her creative sequencing and understanding of the body to advance your yoga practice! $35 members/$45 nonmembers 

June 27-29 (Tues-Thurs, 12-4 pm) 

TEEN YOGA w/Bea Jaesinowski. Yoga mini-camp. Focus on the values of yoga through practice, art, and other hands-on experiences. $350 (or $300 if registered by June 6th) 

July 6-Aug 10

200-HR TEACHER TRAINING w/Michelle Briks. Ohra Yoga TT is a one of a kind experience whether you do it to deepen your practice or to share it with others. Our proven teacher training method is mindful, soulful, atomically informed, and intelligently sequenced.

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Check Out the YTA Directory!

The 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 ytadirectory@gmail.com. Find it at ytayoga.com


~ Final Thoughts ~

“Hope… is the companion of power, and the mother of success;
for who so hopes has within him the gift of miracles.”

—Samuel Smiles


JUNE 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 register for upcoming workshops at ytayoga.com/Events.

Like 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, ERYT

President Emeritus
Tao Porchon-Lynch, ERYT, IAYT