Board of Directors


Lorraine Burton completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training in June 2020. She's been interested in yoga since she took her first yoga class through the Croton-on-Hudson Rec Department in the early 1990s and began practicing regularly in 2012. She was very happy to find the Yoga Teachers Association as a way to enhance her yoga practice, knowledge, and connections. She served as communications and marketing chair from 2015–2021 and is honored to continue to support the YTA's goals and mission in this new role.


Susan Edwards Colson began practicing yoga during law school in the 1970s. She learned-as beginners do-that yoga is about the relationship between body, mind and spirit. But it took a dedicated practice to teach her about its deep rewards, about how it creates comfort, space and release. Several years ago she carved time out from her Wills, Trusts and Estates practice for teacher training with Yogaworks. This intense period of yoga focus grounded her in practice once again and reminded her of the joy of group practice and teaching. She leads a (very dedicated) yoga group on Monday nights and facilitates a daily telesangha (a virtual meditation practice) based in Washington, DC. Susan is currently in the 500-hour training at Kripalu.


Communications and Marketing Chair

Cassie Cartaginese; more to come soon!

Programming Chair

Gina Callender, E-RYT 200, RYT 500, and YACEP, has been practicing yoga over 20 years and completed the YogaWorks 200-hour teacher training in Westchester in March 2013.  Gina completed her 500-hour OM yoga teacher training (YTT) with Cyndi Lee in June 2015. This training included OM Meditation YTT levels 1 & 2, Pranayama YTT and Restorative YTT modules, as well as an additional 18 hours in anatomy with Jason Ray Brown. From 2015–2016, Gina completed over 55 hours of Yin Yoga Teacher Training with Corina Benner.  In 2019, Gina completed OM Meditation TT level 3 with Cyndi Lee.  Most recently, she completed 14 hours of Nyasa Yoga Nidra TT with Nya Patrinos. Gina is always looking to learn and is constantly taking workshops to better understand the practice and share what she learns with her students.

To Gina, yoga is a transformative philosophy that goes beyond asanas, or poses, that the Western world associates with “yoga.” Yoga teaches us to slow down and be more conscious of our bodies and the world around us and can have huge physical and mental benefits when practiced regularly. Some of these benefits include lower blood pressure, being more relaxed, and greater flexibility and balance. Gina puts a heavy emphasis on the importance and benefits of Savasana, Yin and Restorative Yoga as a way to relax the parasympathetic nervous system.

Membership Chair

Jenny Schuck is a yoga teacher in western Connecticut. Her involvement in the YTA of Hudson Valley signifies the organization's reach and opportunities. Jenny's goal is connection. All animals, humans included, are deserving of joy and release from suffering. She was drawn to yoga, which highlights this principle. Certified as an E-RYT 500 (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher) and YACEP (Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider) through Yoga Alliance, she studies regularly with renowned yoga teacher Rodney Yee. Wanting to offer a hybrid style of vinyasa and aligned asana to her community, she founded Yoga Culture in Danbury, Connecticut, and ran this fun-loving, easy-going studio for 10 years, closing in the pandemic of 2020. She trained over 100 yoga teachers over these years. She aims to be as welcoming as possible in yoga, and her backgrounds in animal science, gymnastics, dance, and acting give her instruction a rounded and down-to-earth style. She enjoys sharing and discussing yoga philosophy and Buddhist philosophy, as they have brought much happiness to her life.


Lisa Sloane, MA, ERYT, began her yoga teaching journey in 2004 when she taught a few yoga classes when the teacher was unavailable. She fell in love with teaching and went on to train with Tao Porchon Lynch at the Westchester Yoga Institute in Hartsdale, New York. Lisa received her 200-hour certification in 2005 and has been teaching ever since. Her training draws from several styles of yoga, including Iyengar, Vinyasa, Viniyoga, and Yoga Tune Up Rolling with yoga therapy balls. Ever a student, she continues to amplify her yoga teacher training with workshops and ongoing study. Lisa recently completed the Yoga Flow Sequencing with Resistance Bands training with Trina Altman. Lisa is an artist and graphic designer by profession, and she contributes her graphic skills to the design and layout of the monthly YTA newsletter and website.


Terry Fiore Lavery, RYT, is a certified yoga teacher through the New Age Center in Nyack with Paula Heitzner. In addition, she has a 200-hour certification in Kundalini yoga from Kundalini Yoga East in Manhattan. She is interested in many styles of yoga and enjoys exposing her students to all that she has learned. Terry has been teaching yoga in various locations throughout Rockland County since 2003. Other certifications she has obtained are in Integrated Energy Therapy and Pilates, as well as in senior fitness from the SilverSneakers Fitness Program and in water aerobics from the Aquatic Exercise Association. She also teaches English as a Second Language at Rockland BOCES and is a medical editor. Terry is grateful for all that she has learned from her many teachers, including the Yoga Teachers Association and her students.

Board Member-At-Large

Paula Heitzner, R.Y.T. has, during the past 35 years, trained others to teach the time-honored principles, practices and philosophy of yoga. She is part of the  200 and 300 hour Yoga Training and Certification Program  team for Wainwright House in Rye, NY. Her studio, the Nyack Yoga Center, in existence since 1974, has a new home in the American Legion Hall, within sight of the Hudson River and next to Memorial Park.

Paula is a certified advanced Kripalu Yoga teacher and is skilled in Iyengar, Siddha, Integral, Kundalini, Sivananda, Bikram and Ashtanga Yoga. She has studied, in-depth, western mind/body modalities including Reichian work, Alexander Technique, Ido-Kenesis, Polarity, Bio-Energetics, and Continuum. Her classes are a synergy of East and West. In addition to teaching yoga, Paula has taught dance for more than 50 years and developed a fitness dance program based on jazz that is as unique and original as her yoga classes and presentations. Paula still dances and choreographs, and she is the author of Yoga and You for a Year: From the Beginning to the End.

Founding Member

Tao Porchon-Lynch, (1918–2020) E-RYT, IAYT was one of the original organizers of the YTA and former President Emeritus.  She founded the Westchester Institute of Yoga in 1982 and has trained and certified more than 200 teachers. Tao's remarkable teaching style reflects the many great masters such as BKS Iyengar, Mataji Indra Devi and many others with whom she has studied. In 1968, Tao studied with BKS Iyengar in Bombay as well as in Poona, Mysore and Pondicherry. She has been a member of the Ramakrishna Vivekenanda Center in India since 1939 and was a disciple of Swami Prabhavanda from 1952 until his death in 1999. Remarkably, Tao marched for peace with Mahatma Gandhi and has taught yoga in France, India, California and the East for the past 37 years.

Past Board Members

Audrey Brooks, President, 2007–2021
Robin Laufer, Programming Chair, 200X–2021
Steven Cownie, Treasurer, 2015–2021
Michael Sassano, Treasurer, 200X–2015

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software