April 2018 Newsletter

The Yoga Teachers Association Proudly Presents

Transform, Relax, and Rejuvenate

A Brief Retreat with Lasting Results

with Vandita Kate Marchesiello 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

1:15-4:15 pm (Note Time)

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

Be held and soothed in the arms of a safe and sacred space to untangle your body and mind and come to rest in spirit, light, and love.

Experience asana, pranayama, and yoga nidra from your deepest place of intuition and knowing, where you are empowered and listen intimately to your innate wisdom. Enhance your passion and joy of doing yoga and touch upon the magical and mystical side of a gentle yet profound practice with a yoga flow that is meditative, healing, and individualized for your needs in the moment. This retreat is suitable for all students and teachers.

Time for discussion and Q&A will be included.

Vandita Kate Marchesiello is a yoga teacher and trainer with 40 years experience. Past executive director of the Albany Kripalu Yoga Center, a Kripalu board of trustees member, and director of the Kripalu Yoga Teachers Association, Vandita is currently on the faculty of the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. Her love of yoga and teaching is evidenced by her longevity in the changing world of yoga today.

To register for Vandita’s workshop, click here!

Workshops are $45 members/$65 nonmembers in advance ($55/$75 at the door).
Preregistration is highly recommended in order to guarantee a space in the workshop. 
Cancellation within 24 hours of a workshop may result in forfeiture of the registration fee.



My Yoga Story

By Vandita Kate Marchesiello

Long before there were yoga mats, my mother knitted me a white woolen blanket to use for my yoga practice. As described in the Indian tradition, this or a tiger skin rug, was what one used to sit upon for meditation. It was 1974 and I had just discovered the ancient traditions of yoga. Now, the way this discovery came about and the years that followed still put a smile on my face…

Marty, who owned a bar and had a great interest in sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll, turned me on to a book by Jess Stern titled Yoga, Youth, and Reincarnation (after all it was the 70s…). I read the book, attended a free yoga class at a Catholic church in Schenectady, New York, and the rest is history.

Signing up for a series of 10 classes after the freebie was a no brainer. I loved how I felt (without drugs) during a slow yoga flow, deep yogic breathing, and the icing on the cake…yoga nidra. I faithfully attended all 10 classes and signed up again for another series with my teacher, Rupa, a devotee of Amrit Desai. Each week I entered the little house that also served as a yoga center and mini ashram and was soothed by the nag champa incense that burned on the alter next to photos of Paramahansa Yogananda, Gurudev (Amrit), and a variety of saints and sages from many traditions. Fresh flowers brightened the clean room as lovely music played and invited me in to sit quietly before class began. Dressed in all white, Rupa was the epitome of a yoga teacher: knowledgeable, kind, and open-hearted. After a year of study with her, she suggested I do a yoga teacher training with her and help her at the little studio and teach in the community. I was so flattered and humbled by her invitation that I accepted immediately. The training lasted about nine months and was an amazing experience. With such an emphasis on character development and the health benefits of yoga, I gained more than imaginable that impacted my daily life.

During this time Rupa took me to Sumneytown, Pennsylvania, to meet Yogi Desai. We attended an Inner Quest Intensive and spent 10 hours a day for three days sitting with the question, “tell me who you are.” Like peeling the layers of skin from an onion, this experience revealed some deep-seated resentments, feelings of abandonment, and ecstatic bliss. Over the years I participated in approximately seven of these intensives. Meeting Amrit at the end of this long weekend experience was joyful. He entered the room as if floating on air and had such a compassionate perspective for all the suffering we had experienced that weekend (imagine 20+ people crying, weeping, screaming, and punching pillows). He spoke eloquently about karma, dharma, and human nature and the power of love and left us all feeling good about our exhausting yet exhilarating weekend.

Returning home I started teaching at the yoga center and a variety of community centers. I also began contemplating a yoga teacher training with Amrit in Pennsylvania. In 1977 I took a leave of absence from my clerical job at General Electric to attend the month-long training. The property at the Summit Station location where the training would be held was nestled among cornfields and farmlands of the Pennsylvania Dutch. Long walks on country roads and hills revealed a patchwork of colors from the various crops that were planted on this ideal land. This city girl was in her glory as I had longed for a place like this to call home.

Just a short time after I arrived for training I was busily preparing to welcome Swami Kripalu from India. This was a major and long-anticipated event. Swami Kripalu was Amrit’s guru, and Amrit had been pleading with him for a few years to come to America and witness the interest in hatha yoga and the love and hunger hundreds of us had for these particular practices. The day of Bapuji’s (Swami Kripalu) arrival was unforgettable. A couple hundred of us all dressed in white with little marigolds in our hands and hair welcomed Swami with song and music that we chanted in Indian tradition. Bapuji, who spoke briefly after his long journey, said he felt so welcomed and loved and looked forward to spending time in satsanga with us soon. He spoke in Gujarati and Amrit translated. After being at the ashram for the month of training, I decided I wanted to stay longer and so quit my job and moved into the community that became my yoga family.

Well, here we are now and I’m still serving at Kripalu Center. The years from 1979 to 2018 have been full of teaching, training, presenting, coaching, directing, mothering, and now grand-mothering!

I hope you will join me on April 14th for more stories and heartfelt experiences. See you soon.

Learn more about Vandita at yoganowandthen.com.


2018 Workshops

Vandita Kate Marchesiello
Transform, Relax, & Rejuvenate: A Brief Retreat with Lasting Results
April 14
Details and registration info in this newsletter and at ytayoga.com

Priti Robyn Ross
Magical Mystery Tour of Yoga Through the Koshas
May 12
Join a seasoned guide on this experiential journey into your yoga asana practice through the lens of the ancient koshas, the five layers or bodies that map our whole being. With practical yet profound tools, learn to utilize the map of the koshas to navigate the odyssey of yoga—entering through asana and the physical body and journeying to the realm of ananda (bliss).

Tao Porchon-Lynch
Celebrating Life at Nearly 100
June 30

Tao Porchon-Lynch exemplifies her mantra, “There is Nothing You Cannot Do.” Join us to experience Tao’s unique and accessible teachings firsthand. After some yoga practice and Tao’s signature “yoga talk,” we will move to the lounge for an early celebration of Tao’s 100th birthday in August. Refreshments will be served, and Tao will be available for pictures and book signings.


Words of Wisdom

from Paula Renuka Heitzner

Dear All, 

As we evolve through our yoga practice, we heighten awareness of and appreciation for all aspects of life, within and without. Our seasons, by their very nature, help us to understand what this means, and how we become more attuned, not only to the self, but to all things universal.

The summer season radiates the full power of regeneration that is engendered by increased daylight and hospitable weather conditions, both of which encourage expansion within the body as well as in the garden, where we can clearly see the outer effects of this expansion and light. We can safely assume our yoga practice gives us these internal benefits with our breathing, stretching, and meditating, diffusing us with expansive light.  

Fall follows and recognizes the zeal and energy expended by summer and realizes the need to create a universal balance. Fall slows down this frenetic flow of luxurious growth, and as the climate cools everything and everyone, the Earth prepares to rest, repair, and reclaim its expended energy, much as we do in savasana, the asana of rest and closure in our yoga practice.

Winter brings in the “big sleep," a time to go within, much like our vegetation and certain species of wildlife that hibernate. This time is used to deepen the rest and repair process.

Although these 3 seasons mirror their diverse attributes and can be astutely understood within the yogic concept, I think spring epitomizes yoga's greatest gifts. Sensory awareness is promoted by the coming-to-life activities, both in the body and the garden. The gift of surrender is so obvious as the winter energy weakens and the senses begin to strengthen, encouraging the gift of unfoldment. Slowly, but surely and strongly, the sap of life, in our trees and in our beings begins to flow, returning us to full sensory awareness of the cycles of all life on the planet.

Our yoga practice offers us a way to better identify, understand, and appreciate our moods, seasons, and cycles. The awareness awakened by our practice goes a long way to make our lives more fruitful, abundant, and purposeful. This month of April, the beginning of spring, reminds us of the importance of the senses and their impact on our well-being. We too unfold, strengthen, and develop as we respond to the increasing light. The gift of surrender slows us down, resulting in greater appreciation of the hum of our inner voice of consciousness, the flow of the sap of life, and to take the time "to smell the roses."

Our YTA workshop, held monthly on the second Saturday, offers presentations by awesome presenters to add energy and light to our work, be it teaching or seriously practicing. Spring into action and join us. 

Yours In Yoga,
Paula Renuka Heitzner


Your Thoughts

What Is Your Response to the Controversy 
Over Proper Yoga Attire and Appropriate
 Age Guidelines for Yoga Pants?

These are 2 questions, relating to the same issue: 

1. Do yoga pants and tops create an immodest or a sexually suggestive climate, or are they comfortable for the practitioner and helpful to the teacher?

2. Are they only appropriate for the younger student? 

A yoga practice is a sensual experience, bringing the practitioner closer to full sensory (all 5) awareness, a gift of yoga. Hopefully, one knows the difference between sensual and sexual. Sorting that out, our yoga apparel design has been refined to provide comfort and freedom to move in every way the asanas command—reaching, bending, twisting, and lengthening in every direction as in splits on the floor and with inversions in the air. The materials used offer light, smooth, stretching textures that embrace the body, eliminating the need to fuss and fidget with extraneous fabric that clumps and bunches up during the practice. And yes, it makes viewing the kinetics and the dynamics of the body in motion more visible to the teacher, so muscular overuse and abuse can be more readily detected and corrected.

Pertaining to the propriety guidelines for the older and perhaps heavier practitioner, only our own aesthetics and comfort should be considered. People are well into their golden years and doing yoga, and if yoga pants are providing the necessary freedom of movement and comfort to practice, go for it! The secular population, regardless of age, rely on tights, stretch jeans, and stretch pants to complete their wardrobe, and I'm sure they don't wear them as well as a fit, toned, flexible yoga body, of any age.

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. Tell us your thoughts!

Paula Heitzner, ERYT– 500, is a Master Yoga Teacher. She has taught yoga for over 50 years and has trained many 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.


From the March YTA workshop with 

Shari Friedrichsen





Member Events 

YTA members (individuals & studios) are invited to include their events here. Send details to ytaeditor@gmail.com by the 15th of the month to be included in the following month’s newsletter. Member events are also posted in the YTA's online directorythe source for information about yoga teachers, studios, and yoga teacher trainings throughout the Hudson Valley. To be included, individual and studio members may send their information to ytadirectory@gmail.com.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Iyengar Yoga Scarsdale/Greenwich
Nancy Kardon
74 Brewster Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583
299 Greenwich Avenue, 3rd Fl
Greenwich, CT

Iyengar Yoga Fundamentals with Nancy Kardon 
Apr 7 (Sat, 11:30 am-12:30 pm)
Basic fundamentals. No yoga experience necessary. Fully equipped rope wall studio. Class limited to 8. Free

Scoliosis and Back Care with Nancy Kardon 
Apr 21 (Sat, 2-3:30 pm)
Learn to work with the twists and turns of your spine and create freedom. Send cash or check to preregister. $25

Riverstone Yoga
Contact: Stefanie
2 Hudson View Way
Tarrytown, NY 10591
914-332-YOGA (9642)

Self-Love and Mala Bead Yoga Workshop with Leslie
Apr 4 (Wed, 1-2:15 pm)
Children ages 5 to 11 will participate in yoga asana and breath work grounded in the formation of their own mantras. Great opportunity for children interested in taking some time and space to find their true selves. $30 

Spring into Balance and Bliss 
Apr 4 (Wed, 1-2:15 pm)
Embrace the spring energy while we wait for the weather to catch up! Awaken and harness the power of spring as you start or deepen your yoga practice, let go of the old and make room for the new. No prior yoga experience needed, just a commitment to have fun and shake off the winter.  

Sound Bath Meditation with Gina
Apr 14 (Sat, 3-5 pm)
Deeply relaxing, meditative, and therapeutic experience that can enhance well-being, reduce stress and tension, and balance the autonomic nervous system to promote deep healing. Participants lie down in savasana with a pillow and blanket and are guided in mindfulness meditation. $30 before April 1 and for members; $35 nonmembers

Thai Yoga Bodywork with Tina & Nancy
Apr 28 (Sun, 9:30-11 am)
Be guided through the art of movement and massage. This work is choreographed between 2 partners and is ideal for couples, yoga students, friends, and teachers. Enjoy a complete balancing of energy and the deep state of relaxation that follows. $60 members; $70 nonmembers

Yoga Garden
Patty Holmes
82 Prospect St
White Plains, NY 10606

200-Hour Teacher Training with Patty Holmes, Susan Wright, & the Yoga Garden Team
Apr 13-Nov 11 (Fri-Sun, 8 weekends & 12 Fri nights)
The emphasis is on guiding and nurturing each student. The training will connect you to the calmness and wisdom within you. Poses and anatomy, meditation and philosophy, and teaching methodology of breath-centered yoga. For more info or to register, visit www.yogagardenwp.com.


~ Final Thoughts ~


APRIL 2018

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 annual dues for individual YTA membership
$75 for studio 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.

Cancellation within 24 hours of a workshop may 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