February 2018 Newsletter

The Yoga Teachers Association Proudly Presents

Ayurveda & Yoga 

Integrating the Twins Sciences on the Mat and in Our Lives

with Deirdre Breen 

Saturday, February 10, 2018
1:30–4:30 pm

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

As yogis, it is our responsibility to value and express balance (sattva) as a way of life and to have that balance radiate out into our lives, families, communities, and environment. To do so, it is essential that we are able to quickly assess when we go out of balance and have the tools both on and off the mat to reestablish sattva.

In this workshop, Deirdre will demonstrate how pranayama, asana, and meditative practices affect the doshas—kapha (earth and water), pitta (water and fire), and vata (air and ether)— and the gunas, or qualities of sattva (balance), rajas (action), and tamas (inertia). Individuals will gain an understanding of their prakriti (constitutional) and vrikriti (lifestyle) doshas and how yoga’s multi-limbed approach can reestablish balance whenever one is out of sorts.

Deirdre Breen, E-500 RYT, is an ISHTA-certified master yoga teacher. Her training at Duke Integrative Medicine emphasized the mandate of health behavior change as the root of health and healing and led her to develop Dosha Coaching, a dynamic blend of health coaching, yoga, ayurveda, meditation, and addiction recovery.

Register for Deirdre’s workshop here.

Workshops are $45 members / $65 nonmembers in advance ($55 / $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.



Apply Yoga 

by Dierdre Breen

It is an honor to share my journey in yoga with the Yoga Teachers Association of the Hudson Valley. The eight limbs of Yoga and their inseparable twin, Ayurveda, are the ever present teachers in my life that continuously inform my sensory organs and actions. They guide my daily practice, reveal samskaras, inspire my teaching, and allow me glimpses at the unbound potential of life. Of course, life hasn’t always been like this. Before devoting to yoga, I would regularly find myself caught in a whirlpool of emotion linked to a traumatic past, anxiously wandering into the undefined space of the future, and living in illusions. Certainly, without the guiding philosophy, tools, and practices of the ancient Indian twins, as well as my training as a health coach, I could never have chosen Apply Yoga as a personal mantra. 

I credit my yoga journey to my children. The experiences of motherhood have shaken me alive through joy and sorrow. In 1990, I lost my second baby through a miscarriage that occurred on Mother’s Day. The loss was an assault to my spirit, and I searched for understanding through meditation and a Course in Miracles. Then, two years later, while carrying my infant son, I strained my back. After seeing a chiropractor, I landed on a yoga mat for the first time. It wasn’t until 15 years later that I enrolled in yoga teacher training. Instead, I trained in Shamanism, Ministry, and Reiki and began to officiate marriages, house blessings, funeral services, and baby blessings; teach meditation; facilitate Reiki; and offer clairvoyant readings. 

As I approached my 50th year, I also approached divorce. I knew I needed strong legs both physically and metaphorically to walk into a new identity, and yet Lyme Disease gripped me nearly to the point of immobility. My yoga teacher had encouraged me over the years to pursue teacher training. One day while meditating I perceived I had an important decision to make—fight for my health or become an invalid. I remember literally rolling out of bed, crashing on the floor, and squirming like a worm moving whatever I could, applying prana, and praying for strength. As absurd as it seemed, I opened my mind and turned to the possibility of yoga teacher training. Three months later, after miraculously completing an intensive 200-hour teacher training program at ISHTA Yoga in New York City, I was teaching scientists at the prestigious Feinstein Institute for Medical Research on Long Island. Providence is the only explanation. 

“… the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.”


For the last 9 years I’ve continued to learn and study. With certifications in Yoga Nidra, Trauma Yoga, a E-500 RYT certification, and a Master Teacher Certification in the ISHTA Lineage, I also studied at Duke Integrative Medicine and the Benson Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine and I am a Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach and a Resilient Youth facilitator. I am currently enrolled in an Ayurveda Health Counselor program. 

However, it was while assisting Yogiraj Mona Anand on a yoga retreat in India in 2014 that I discovered my Dharma. I call it Dosha coaching. I was inspired to blend my knowledge of the neuroscience of behavior change with the ancient twin sciences of Ayurveda and Yoga to guide individuals in understanding how to cultivate optimal health. Through Dosha Coaching I can ensure individuals understand the key factors about their health so that they are better able to approach their experiences on their mat and in their lives. Four of the key factors in Dosha coaching are:

  1. Prakriti: one’s elemental make-up of earth, water, fire, air, and space 
  2. Vrikriti: the impact of one’s choices, lifestyle, and environmental factors  
  3. Recognizing symptoms and sources of Imbalance 
  4. Dosha self-care protocols 

I am enlivened by this process through which I help individuals restore balance when they are out of sorts. Clients are empowered by knowing how to identify and regulate which element, chakra, or pranic vayu is contributing to their physical, mental, or spiritual imbalance. I’m looking forward to sharing this knowledge with the members of the YTA at February’s workshop. 

You can learn more about Deirdre at deirdrebreen.info.


2018 Workshops

Mark your calendar!

Shari Friedrichsen
Yoga and the Heart
March 10
Our heart is like a flower whose petals hide its true fragrance until its time to unfold. Our duty is to strengthen our practice of asana, breath training, pranayama, and meditation to support the heart in revealing its secrets to us in a manner that is organic and rich, tasteful, and profound. Join us for this journey into the sublime regions of the heart.

Vandita Kate Marchesiello
Transform, Relax, & Rejuvenate: A Brief Retreat with Lasting Results
April 14
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. Enhance your passion and joy of doing yoga and touch upon the magical and mystical side of a gentle yet profound practice. For all students and teachers. Time for discussion and Q&A will be included.

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
Experience 99-years-young Tao Porchon-Lynch’s unique and accessible teachings firsthand. Use the four pillars of yoga—pranayama (breath work), mudras (gestures), bandhas (energetic locks), and chakras (energy centers)—to explore the rich potential of the body to renew, heal, and revitalize. Walk away inspired, strengthened, and renewed—ready to energize your practice and life.


Words of Wisdom

from Paula Renuka Heitzner

Dear All, 

The spirit of Winter is quietly unfolding, with darkness and its bone-reaching chill. February is also known as the "snow month" with its greater accumulation of precipitation adding to the desire to stay sequestered and warm.

Our yoga practice is the perfect venue to bring balance to our lives at this time. We can stay active, indoors, and offset the creeping sluggishness induced by the dark and the cold. Our asanas, particularly the "Salutation to the Sun" and the classical standing poses, create heating warmth and flexibility, which keeps us moving more easily despite the burdens of heavy clothing and precarious walking and driving conditions.

Pranayama breathing stokes our inner fires to keep us warm. The meditative technique of trataka, gazing at a candle, surrounds us with an aura of warmth. The flickering candle flame enhances the internal focus of relaxation and creativity instead of dwelling on the seasonal external discomfort. Brain waves are stimulated—beta waves lead us to alertness without tension (Sthira) and the alpha waves induce relaxation without dullness (Sukha). 

With the lessening of external stimulation that is part of this season, we are more easily led toward introspection and to spirituality engendered by our yoga practice. Spirituality is the path we choose when we seek happiness, love of self and others, understanding, and compassion. It diverges from religion because it is our own personal choice as to how we will embrace the life we were given and are now living.

This is the perfect time to use the quietude to look inward to see our habits, patterns, mind-sets, and negativities that limit us. We must eventually realize that we can't keep doing and thinking in the same old way and expect a different result. Our introspection, hopefully, will lead us to insight and intuition, and an opportunity to induce change and personal growth. This is the transformation possible with a purposeful yoga practice. 

On the second Saturday of each month, YTA offers us the opportunity to change, grow, and transform our yoga abilities and knowledge with skilled presentations of the varied styles of yoga by leading instructors. Join us and help spread this gift in our individual circles. 

Yours In yoga, 

Paula Renuka Heitzner


Your Thoughts

 I workout with a trainer, do weight training, and run. Why do I need yoga?”

At this point on your journey, the "need" for yoga is not obvious. You will definitely "want" yoga as you move forward chronologically. 

Hopefully, your trainer is balancing the heavy workout with stretching, before and after, as you do when running. This is yoga, the practice of which brings to us the important element of conscious awareness for continued well-being and safety. As we mature, the changes in energy and strength can be integrated with greater ease, because yoga teaches us that realistic expectations of self should be exercised with compassion and joy. 

When we consciously employ the breath work of yoga, we go a long way toward giving all our endeavors longevity, because breath is the fuel of the body and keeps it running in good repair.

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 January YTA workshop with Patty Holmes




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.

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

Iyengar Yoga Fundamentals with Nancy Kardon 
Feb 17 (Sat, 11 am-12 noon, 12:15-1:15 pm; 1:30-2:30 pm)
For students new to Iyengar yoga. Class size limit is 8. Email to preregister. Free

Scoliosis Back Care with Nancy Kardon 
Feb 24 (Sat, 2-3:30 pm)
Learn to work with imbalances that create pain. Learn to create space, strength, and balance using rope wall traction. Send check to preregister. $25

Julia Hough Yoga Studio
8 Lincoln Place
Weehawken, NJ 07086

TEACHING CHAIR YOGA: A Workshop for Yoga Teachers w/Julia Hough
June 24 (Fri, 11-5 pm)
The first half of this workshop will focus on teaching yoga to active seniors who may be limited due to arthritis and age-related creakiness. Learn asana adaptations using the chair to adapt to limited flexibility, including a standing sun salutation. You will also learn the joint-freeing series and stress reduction techniques to alleviate emotional and physical constraints of aging. In the second half of the workshop, you will learn seated movements and resistance exercises for strength, as well as standing poses for balance. Julia will provide guidance for enhancing range of motion and sharpening students’ focus. You will learn to provide a fully satisfying chair savasana, as well as guided visualizations for pain. Opportunity to teach short segment of chair yoga. Extensive handout.  $100

Sacred Spirit Yoga and Healing Arts Center 
Anne Day
343 Broadway
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522

Chair Yoga with Suzanne Cohen
Feb 1, 8, 15, 22 (Thurs, 9:30-10:45 am)
Flowing movement and stretching, done seated in a chair and standing; for participants 60 years/older, those in need of individual modifications due to limited mobility. Single class, $15

Sound Bath Healing with Celine Daly & Julie Harris
Feb 3 (Sat, 4-5:30 pm)
Celebrate Imbolc, the Celtic festival of returning light and new life. Soundweavers Celine and Julie will create a field of sacred sound, guiding the group into a deep meditative state of expanded awareness to access insights from our deepest intuition and highest wisdom. The session will start with a guided meditation that will lead into the therapeutic vibrations of bowls, gong, drums, shakers, flutes, and chimes to support your sound journey. You simply receive, allow, and let go. $20 preregistration online (thru Jan 29), $25 thereafter  

All Levels Yoga with Christine Tergis
Feb 4, 11, 18, 25 (Sun, 4:30-6 pm)
Kripalu-style yoga, focusing on alignment, sensations, mindfulness, and breath. Students may modify poses according to needs and ability. Beginners welcome. $20 drop-in (or purchase class pkg online)

Open to Love: Guided Sound Therapy with Celine Daly & Kristin Prevallet
Feb 15 (Thurs, 7-8:30 pm)
Clear blockages, open your heart Chakra, and find love. Soundweaver Celine Daly and therapeutic hypnotist Kristin Prevallet return for another session in a series of thematic journeys, each designed to facilitate your capacity for self-healing. Learn tried-and-true techniques from the teachers' diverse knowledge of hypnotherapy, neurolinguistic programming (NLP), sound healing, shamanism, and Buddhism, so that you can begin immediately integrating them into your life, and affect change in the world around you. $20 drop in or one class pass

Deep Restorative Yoga with Sandra Socastro 
Feb 22 (Thurs, 7-8:30 pm)
Guided positioning of props is used to assist in holding poses for extended periods to experience progressive relaxation, reduce stress, and muscle tension, and improve circulation and digestion. For all levels. $20 drop-in (or purchase class pkg online)


~ Final Thoughts ~



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