May 2019 Newslette

The Yoga Teachers Association Proudly Presents

Beyond the Triangle: Esoteric Poses to Spice Up Your Teaching



Paula Heitzner 


May 11
1:30–4:30 pm
The Yoga Studio at Club Fit
584 North State Road
Briarcliff Manor, NY

Do you like to be surprised, delighted, and enlightened? 

Our workshop presenter this month is equipped to offer you these experiences. Master teacher Paula Heitzner has more than 50 years of teaching expertise behind her unique individualized and therapeutic approach to yoga, enabling practitioners to go deeper into their personal practices. 

Be prepared to move beyond Trikonasana and Virabhadrasana to learn obscure postures gleaned over the years from esoteric studies, ancient lore, and Eastern art and philosophy. 

You will leave with inspiration to spice up your own practice in addition to your teaching methodology. Note-taking and question-asking is encouraged and expected! 

Paula Heitzner, E-RYT 500, began her yoga training with Richard Hittleman of TV fame; Elizabeth Spohn, a devotee of Swami Rama; and Blanche DeVries, wife of “The Great Om,” Pierre Bernard. She continued her studies with BKS Iyengar, Swami Muktananda, and with Vishnudevananda. Kripalu has awarded her an expert lifetime certification. Her classes are a synergy of East and West as she has explored the Western body-mind concepts of Reichian therapy, Bioenergetics, Ideokinesis, Polarity therapy, Feldenkrais, and Continuum therapy. Paula is also a dance therapist. 

To attend Paula’s workshop, register now!

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 Undefined Journey

by Paula Renuka Heitzner

My connection with yoga was totally unplanned. It was an unknown journey, leading to an undefined destiny, but resulted in an undeniable commitment.

I was a dancer since the age of 3, with the usual training at that time in tap, ballet, and acrobatics. I switched to modern dance and jazz, which was the current trend when I relocated to my present community. I met other women who shared the passion of dance and, before I knew it, I was in a modern dance group. 

When my third child was born, I planned to gracefully exit the dance world with the obvious socially acceptable excuses before I injured myself. However, the first morning home with my new infant resulted in a speedy and efficient feeding, leaving me with time to kill until the next child had to be awakened for school. I did something unusual: I turned on the TV, and there was yoga's Richard Hittleman! He caught my attention and answered my technical dance movement questions. I then continued to perform with my modern dance group (until it dispersed after 20 years, but the classes are still ongoing). After 2 years of watching his program and buying his every book and record, I knew I needed a live teacher—this was not an easy feat in the mid-sixties. 

After my fourth child was born, I was reading Yoga, Youth and Reincarnation by Jess Stearn, and, lo and behold, he led me to my next teacher, Blanche DeVries, who was married to "The Great Oom,” Pierre Bernard. During this time, a dance friend who also taught yoga bequeathed to me a yoga group of women to teach when she left the area, and that was how I started. I had been teaching kinderdance at the Airmont Montessori School, and they gave me a beautiful space to use for this new (“questionable”) activity. In time, the once-a-week adult yoga class became twice a week, and then three times a week. 

Again, the plot thickened…the Montessori school announced its closing and I would soon have no space to continue teaching. One day in my class with DeVries, a student came in with a key to a yoga studio in Nyack that she was tired of supporting, as she was mentoring a person who did not come back from California as promised. Sight unseen, I took the key, paid her the month's rent and I've been there ever since—The Nyack Yoga Center.

Muktananda and the Siddha Yoga Dham provided my new center with meditation programs taught by his residents, and I continued to study in the Catskills with him until he passed. Then I journeyed to San Francisco for Mr. Iyengar's first conference in  the United States, studied there with his senior teachers, came home and worked with Tao Porchon-Lynch, who was my favorite Iyengar teacher. I read the books of Swami Rama and attended workshops at The Himalayan Institute. I vacationed on Paradise Island and was able to study with Vishnudevananda Saraswati. 

In the early eighties, I discovered Kripalu in the Berkshires and did my 200- and 300-hour certifications there, and earned my E-RYT 500 as well. During the time I studied yoga, I also studied the current body/mind modalities: Reichian therapy, Ideokinesis, Polarity therapy, Bioenergetics, and Continuum therapy. 

At present, I am part of the 200- and 300-hour teacher training program at the Wainwright House in Rye, NY. I am totally immersed in the YTA and the organization's support of yoga, teachers, and students in the tristate community.


2019 Workshops

Paula Heitzner: Beyond the Triangle—Esoteric Poses to Spice Up Your Teaching
May 11
Details and registration info in this newsletter and at

Tao Porchon-Lynch: Celebrating Life!
June 8
Experience 100-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. Practice Tao’s special “yoga tango” and learn subtle techniques that are not taught anywhere else. Walk away inspired, strengthened, renewed, and ready to energize your practice and life.

Our 2019-2020 season will open with Ravi Singh (Kundalini) on September 14 and continue with Alison West (Scoliosis), Daniel Orlansky (Vinyasa and Qi Gong), Lee Albert (Positional Therapy), and more! 


Words of Wisdom

from Paula Renuka Heitzner

Dear All, 

I  think of May as the flagstaff of Spring because the vagaries of the first two months of the season, March and April, have run their course culminating in spring-like stability. Historically, May was the chosen month for the Maypole, the flagstaff of merriment, giddiness, and frolicking evoked by the expanding senses and scents that abound after the starkness and darkness of Winter.

Like nature, we too have times when quietude or exuberance influences us. Hopefully we can handle these mood swings appropriately. Our yoga practice can prove to be expedient with these occurrences by giving us a way to create a healthy balance through mindfulness. 

We can be aware of a thought, a sensation or an emotion without identifying with it, or assuming because we think or feel something, it must be true. Mindfulness assures us that our thoughts, sensations,  and emotions are not facts, or do they represent who we really are. This knowledge is liberating for the mind and spirit.

Also, mindfulness helps us connect to our feelings of confusion, uncertainty, fear, or stress by creating attentiveness to these states; it allows us to be in a better position to evaluate our reality and make informed decisions that will be productive. Mindfulness is a transformational power that enables us to take control over our inner life rather than vice-versa.

We are reminded to pay attention to our own intention, to stay in the present moment, and to be nonjudgmental, nonreactive, and certainly self-observant. This is a difficult path, but it leads us to our higher selves where we are able to enjoy the celebratory aspects of our being; this is why we have a yoga practice. It takes persistence and patience with self and others to fulfill these aspirations, knowing that it is always a work in progress.

Progress with us! Join us the second Saturday of each month when YTA offers renown presenters offering transformational workshops on varied topics of interest for teachers and serious students.

Yours In yoga, 
Paula Renuka Heitzner


Your Thoughts

Can Yoga Relieve Headaches and Migraines?

Tension in the mind and body are known stressors leading to headaches and migraines, the severest form of headache. Yoga is a recognized way to address these issues. 

Headstand, shoulder stand, and plough are asanas that help to reduce tension in the areas of the body associated with these conditions and demand a focus on breath and balance. Forward-bending poses help by opening the muscles in and around the spine and the back of the body, particularly between the lower back and neck, where there is very often a pain referral. Pranayama practices, without breath retention, help to reduce headache pain, as does sitting with folded legs in a comfortable meditation position. 

Quite simply, yoga offers tension reduction, and breathing practices control the relaxation response.

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. 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


From the April YTA workshop with Ray Crist


Member Events 

YTA members (individuals & studios) are invited to include their events here. Send details to by the 15th of the month to be included in the following month’s newsletter. Member events are also posted in 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

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Devi Ma Yoga
Kelly Swails
450 Mamaroneck Ave (Suite 414)
Harrison, NY

Yin Yoga Teacher Training with Kelly Swails
June 10, 13, 17, 20, & 24 (Mon & Thurs, 6:30-9:30 pm); June 15 (Sat, 12 noon-5 pm)
This training provides a comprehensive understanding of the yin yoga format; its effect on subtle anatomy, how to safely teach and sequence a yin yoga class, and how to assist students in finding the appropriate level practice. 20 CEs Yoga Alliance. $575 ($500 before May 28)

Elisha Simpson

Teen Mindfulness for Peekskill Youth
Ongoing (Tues, 3:15-4 pm)
Elisha Simpson of Crossover Yoga Project and Pat Taylor offer free mindfulness sessions to help teens learn how to control impulsive behavior, focus better in school, and develop empathy toward themselves and others. Free for Peekskill youth
Held at Family Dog Yoga Studio, N Division St, 2nd Floor, Peekskill, NY 10566

Iyengar Yoga Scarsdale/Greenwich

Nancy Kardon
74 Brewster Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583


299 Greenwich Avenue, 3rd Fl

Greenwich, CT 06830


Iyengar Yoga Fundamentals with Nancy Kardon

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May 18 (Sat, 11:45 am-12:45 pm)
If you are new to the Iyengar method of teaching yoga, come for an hour of basic fundamentals to teach you basic actions we learn to bring our mind and body to attention. This is a practice of being here now in the present. Class limit is 8. $25; Free for students new to Iyengar Yoga Scarsdale 

Scoliosis and Back Care with Nancy Kardon 
May 18 (Sat, 2:15-3:45 pm)
We learn to identify and work with habitual patterns using the rope wall and traction actions to make space and extension. Through basic Iyengar yoga we learn to lengthen and strengthen. Class limit is 8. $25

Sutra Tea with Nancy Kardon 
April 6 (Sat, 4:15-5:30 pm)
Yoga is a disciplined practice, not a pill. A long-time disciplined practice with enthusiasm has the potential to transform your life. Share a cup of tea and conversation. RSVP. Free

Pema Chodron Web on Air Talk #1 with Nancy Kardon 
May 18 (Sat, 4:15-5:30 pm)
Watch this first of 4 talks with Pema Chodron. Discussion following. Free

Restorative Class with Nancy Kardon 
May 28 (Tues, 7-8:30 pm)
Restorative classes relax the body, give space for the breath, quiet the mind, and calm the nervous system. We learn to self regulate and cultivate equilibrium not bounce about with the reactive mind and events that incessantly toss us. $25

Luke Ketterhagen
Yoga, Meditation, Wellness

Experience India 2019 with Luke Ketterhagen
Oct 10-24, 2019Chaliye!  (That's "Let’s go" in Hindi.)Application upon request. Early registration discounts. ONLY $500 deposit holds your spot. Space is limited to 25 participants!Videos, pictures, and full testimonials at

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

Movers and Shakers with Gina 
May 2 (Thurs ongoing, 9:15-10 am)For parents (or caretakers) and young children that want to experience yoga and mindfulness together. This class is a great introduction to yoga and basic mindfulness exercises. $125

Teacher Training Info Session with Phoebe 
May 8 (Sat, 6:30-7:15 pm)Find your personal power and passion, courage and strength both on and off the mat, whether you aspire to instruct or simply wish to grow your practice to a new level. Free

MELT Performance with Joy 
May 11 (Sat, 12 noon-1:30 pm)
MELT Performance (previously known as MELT Neuro-Strength) is a revolutionary self-care method that boosts your competitive edge and reduces your risk of injury. The foundation of MELT Performance is stability. Stay fit and deal with aches and pains. $30


~ Final Thoughts ~

A real teacher can never run dry because he continually learns from each and every experience, not filled with likes and dislikes, bur desire through learning to evolute whatever he touches. A correct teacher of Yoga is not one who discusses it, but who is it.

—Krishnamacharya’s son, the wise T.K.V. Desikachar:

14. “The success of Yoga does not lie in the ability to perform postures but in how it positively changes the way we live our life and our relationships.”

A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.

—Zen Shin


MAY 2019

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)

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, ERYT

President Emeritus
Tao Porchon-Lynch, ERYT, IAYT