The Yoga Teachers Association Proudly Presents . . .

Teaching Chair Yoga

with Julia Hough 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Yoga Studio at Club Fit
Briarcliff Manor, NY 

1:30–4:30 pm

Chair Yoga brings yoga to those who cannot stand or who lack the mobility to move from standing to seated postures. Warming up in a chair can also help those with flexibility issues, and chairs can provide feedback for beginners doing standing poses. 

In Teaching Chair Yoga, you will learn adaptations of traditional asanas using a chair, including a standing and a seated sun salutation. You will learn the joint-freeing series and other movements for increasing range of motion, as well as techniques for sharpening students’ focus. Julia will share mudras that she often uses and lead you through a fully satisfying seated savasana. 

Julia Hough began taking yoga classes in the 1970s. In 2000 she left a career in academic publishing to become a yoga therapist, and she has been teaching classes, workshops, and private sessions ever since. Julia trained in Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy and Integrative Yoga Therapy, and she has studied with Judith Lasater, Amy Matthews, and Ellen Saltonstall. She has taught 200-hour yoga teacher training as an affiliate of Integrative Yoga Therapy. For the past six years she has been teaching chair yoga to yoga teachers. 

To register for Julia's workshop, visit


My Yoga Story

by Julia Hough 

When I was a teenager, I painted the word shanti on a smooth stone and made a necklace from it. I don’t recall how I learned the Sanskrit word for peace. I was an awkward and shy girl, spending my time reading or walking on the beach.

Feeling unmoored in my first year of college, I signed up for an 8-week evening yoga class being taught on campus. It was a lifesaver for me. I loved the feeling of the poses and the breath work, and I felt an affinity for the teacher, who was kind and clear in her teaching. That was in the early 1970s—when yoga was very obscure and there weren’t the many different kinds we have today. The yoga I learned is what we would now call gentle yoga, although it did include shoulder stand.

My teacher recommended Yoga for Americans by Indra Devi. At the same time I began reading Krishnamurti, and I took a college course called “Mysticism, East and West.”

I practiced yoga on my own for many years, taking classes here and there. Then, after my marriage fell apart about 20 years ago, I began to study yoga consistently with an Iyengar-inspired teacher. She was also a Phoenix Rising practitioner, and my sessions with her eased me out of self-disparagement brought on by my divorce. At that time I took several inspiring weekend workshops with Judith Lasater—one on restorative yoga, and the other based on her beautiful book, Living Your Yoga. It was during that latter workshop that I blurted out, “I want to be a yoga teacher.” That was news to me!

By 2001, I had left my publishing career and trained in Phoenix Rising Yoga therapy and Integrative Yoga Therapy. Through Phoenix Rising, I learned to listen and to help clients trust themselves. Joseph LePage, founder of Integrative Yoga Therapy, taught me the power of mudras and of somatics (small movements to release constriction).

Soon after I began teaching yoga, a friend asked me to take over a chair yoga class for elders. I drew from several trainings (including Integral Yoga’s very gentle yoga training) and I used Lakshmi Voelker’s Sitting Mountain CD for ideas. Now I teach two weekly classes for elders and have taught chair yoga in various other settings—libraries, a hospital, offices, and in peoples’ homes. I’ve also used chair yoga in classes where people have trouble sitting cross-legged or need support in certain poses.

In 2005, a nurse sent a query to East West Yoga asking whether they could offer a chair training. They brought the idea up to me, and I was intrigued by it. I wanted to share with yoga teachers what I had learned from years of teaching chair yoga to various audiences. I have taught that training at East West and the Breathing Project, as well as in my studio in Weehawken, New Jersey.

I love the peace and self-acceptance that yoga brings me, and the patience it instills as my body changes over time. I love sharing yoga with people who don’t feel they could possibly do it. I am inspired by how they listen to their bodies and intuit not just what is possible for them, but what most nurtures them.

Visit Julia's website at


Words of Wisdom

from Paula Renuka Heitzner

Dear All, 

We've endured, to date, drastic snow storms in March along with frigid temperatures and vicious winds. April bestowed her waterings upon us promising and promoting the blooming and blossoming of May.

However, for many, the darkness of external winter lingers and the internal landscape is still trapped in icy darkness and dampness from tears shed in private. Depression knows no season. Depression feels deadly. There are multiple causes contributing to the condition, but the biggest factors are fear and anxiety. 

Our yoga practice deals with fear and anxiety, along with other disturbances that unbalance us and steal our health and well-being. The practice of yoga strengthens our ability to ground ourselves with a solid footing (Tadasana, the mountain pose), and to develop the courage to confront these challenges as a warrior (Virabhadrasana I, II, and III) instead of being a worrier--a great big zero, going nowhere. 

Every asana and pranayama exercise offers the body and spirit ways to transform to our highest potential. The hard part is to become a positive force to recognize, reclaim, and restore the blessings of wellness through our own efforts and to face our fears.

This simple anagram sums it up beautifully: FEAR: (F) false (E) emotions or experiences (A) appearing (R) real. 

The monthly workshops offered to teachers and serious students by YTA offer much to the participant in ways that are useful and practical to develop and transform; all that is needed is to show up!

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


Your Thoughts:

Can breathing techniques foster healing? 

Specific health conditions can be addressed with focus on four breath components: IN–inhalation, AK–antar kumbhaka (internal retention), EX–exhalation, and BK–mula bandha (root lock) kriya. These particular pranayama practices increase the fires of digestion that stimulate overall health and immunity for the body, strengthen muscles in the pelvic diaphragm, promote elimination, and improve the health of the reproduction organs.

They are incorporated into a three-part sequence known as "The Circle of Fire." Daniel Orlansky recently taught this practice to the participants of YTA's March workshop. 

The first sequence was kapalabhati breath, IN & EX. The second was uddiyana bandha, retained EX. The third was mula bhanda kriya, retained IN. In the retained breaths (in or out), the three locks, or bandhas, are engaged. 

The breath is also known and scientifically heralded as a strong source of healing for anxiety and depression and the resulting conditions they instigate.

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



Upcoming YTA Workshops 

May 13Julia Hough 
Teaching Chair Yoga

Details and registration info in this newsletter and at

June 10Himalayan Institute's Luke Ketterhagen
Sweat to Bliss: From Effort to Ease and From Power to Freedom

September 9Todd Norian 
Tantra Yoga Workshop

October 14TBA

November 11Ken Nelson & Lesli Lang 
Training the Transformational Teacher

December 9Rudy Peirce 
Gentle Dynamic Yoga

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From the April YTA workshop with Tao Porchon-Lynch





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 Yoga & Pilates Studio
Kathy-Toris-Rowe, Manager

75 Main Street 
Cold Spring, NY 10516

May 1-3 (Mon-Wed ongoing, 8:45-9:15 am)
MORNING MEDITATION w/Brandis Buslovich. Singing bowls included on Wednesdays. Free

May 7 (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.

May 26-28 (Fri-Sun)
MAYFEST. A 2-day, 3-night festival centered around music, art, & yoga. In collaboration with Catskill Chill Music Festival and SkyBaby; at Surprise Lake Camp in Cold Spring, NY. With musical headliners Rusted Root, Ozomatli, Dr. Williams, DJ Drez, and over 140 yoga and art classes, and instructors such as Elena Brower, Sadie Nardini, DJ Drez, and Marti Nikko. For more info see 

Rob Farella
78 Stony Hill Road
Bethel, CT 06801

May 6 (Sat, 3-5 pm)
RESTORATIVE YIN YOGA w/Rob Farella.  Yin yoga’s long-held postures apply gentle tension to the connective tissues—the tendons, fascia, and ligaments—with the aim of increasing circulation in the joints and improving flexibility. The poses are also designed to improve the flow of prana (life force) through the body’s energy channels (nadis), improving organ health, immunity, and emotional well-being. $22 in advance; $28 at door if space available    

May 7–June 11 (6-week series, 6-7:15 pm)
THE ART OF MEDITATION w/Rob Farella. Intro to meditation and its many facets. Whether beginner or seasoned practitioner, this series will help you rediscover your inner stillness. $90 for 6-class series

May 20 (Sat, 3-4:30 pm)
INTRO TO CHAIR YOGA w/Beth Holland. Learn basic yogic breathing and variations--all with the support of a chair--and without any stress to the joints. You'll also be introduced to concentrated relaxation and meditation. In addition to sitting on the chair, we may possibly do some standing postures, depending on the stability of the participants. $22 in advance; $28 at door if space available    

June 4 (Sun, 1-3 pm) 
YOGA ON THE BALL: Yogic Fun With A Stability Ball w/Karen Pierce. Explore yoga-based poses done using a stability ball to help improve balance and flexibility.  $32 in advance; $40 at door

Yoga Haven
Betsy Kase
62 Main Street
Tuckahoe, NY 10707


Yoga Haven 2
91 Montgomery Avenue
Scarsdale, NY 10583

May 7 (Sun, 1-4 pm, Scarsdale)
PRINCIPLES OF BACK-BENDING AND THE ART OF YOGA TUNE UP THERAPY BALL MASSAGE w/Freddie Wyndham & Darcy Bowman. Explore the principles and fundamentals of back-bending and the 3 regions of the body that need to be strengthened and mobilized. Workshop will be divided into 3 segments culminating in self-massage, deep relaxation, and meditation. $50

May 8 & 15 (Mon, 6:30-8 pm, Scarsdale)
YOGA FOR OSTEOPOROSIS: A 2-part Workshop w/Sarah Knox. A pilot study designed by Loren Fishman, MD, showed that participants who practiced a 12-posture yoga sequence every day improved their bone density over 2 years. Learn the postures and how they are designed to help build bone. Also learn precautions and modifications for practicing yoga with osteopenia or osteoporosis. $45 for 2 sessions

May 13 (Sat, 3-4:30 pm, Scarsdale)
YogArt: Yoga & Art Workshop for Families w/Jacqui Stix. You and your child will learn to connect with each other's breath, explore movement, and tap into your inner creativity. $40, includes one child and one adult. Additional family members $15 each

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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 Find it at


~ Final Thoughts ~


MAY 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

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, RYT

President Emeritus
Tao Porchon-Lynch, ERYT, IAYT