March 2018 Newsletter

The Yoga Teachers Association Proudly Presents

Yoga for the Heart

with Shari Friedrichsen  

Saturday, March 10, 2018
1:30–4:30 pm

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

Discover a unique approach to unfolding the secrets held in the heart center. 

With the Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita as guides, we will learn how asana, pranayama, focus, and meditation can strengthen and nourish this sacred space in our bodies. This supports the heart in revealing to us its innate beauty, charm, vitality, and healing powers. This practice uses the tools of yoga to discover what’s already embedded there, enhances our relationship to the more sublime nature of our heart, and strengthens our heart’s deep commitment to the world.

The focus of this workshop is to reclaim the beauty and grace that reside within our own hearts. It is not a substitute for medical care. If you have heart health concerns, please see your doctor.

Shari Friedrichsen is a key facilitator of the Himalayan Institute teacher certification program in Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and Honesdale, PA, and a memberof the 500-hour teacher training faculty at 8 Limbs Yoga in Seattle, Washington. Shari has studied asana, meditation, and philosophy with Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Rolf Sovik, Amma Sri Karunamayi, and BKS Iyengar. She has over 60 yoga videos on and, as well as teaches in person classes, trainings, and seminars in the US, Europe and India. Her approach uses yoga as a vital, powerful, and compassionate component in healing the body and the psyche. 

Register for Shari’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.



Yoga for the Heart

By Shari Friedrichsen

The practice of Yoga is based on Sankhya philosophy, which is a top-down philosophy stating that we evolve from the Light of Pure Consciousness. It further says that the cause (consciousness) is always in the effect (us). And yoga is a practice that is bottom-up, meaning we start with where we are in the body/mind and practice to experience and perceive our true inner nature, which is that light of pure consciousness.

This means that within this body/mind that light exists, not just anywhere but everywhere. The body cannot exist without it. Furthermore, through the continued study of yogis and yoginis before us and the sharing of their experiences, we understand that the most concentrated area of that light is in the heart space. This concentrated light is the essence of pure wisdom, pure love, pure compassion, unalloyed joy, and abiding intelligence. Yet we often don’t get to experience that in our life, or it comes and goes, seeming quite random. The haze or cloudiness is too thick. What the Yoga Sutras tell us is that there are ways to capture that experience and to maintain that level of joy and light within and at the same time live in the world with our work, our relationships, our desires, and our intelligence.

The key is to keep our bodies strong and resilient and our minds free from anxiety, worry, anger, angst, and doubt. As yoga practitioners we have had some success in maintaining or increasing the health of our bodies. Yoga has given us many tools and practices to support us in this. We have been able to reduce back pain, alleviate some of the aches in our joints, decrease our anxiety, lower our blood pressure, combat heart disease, and in many other substantial ways we have strengthened the functioning of our bodies. This is a necessary and foundational step in helping us relieve mental and emotional pain and enhancing the quality of our life.

To go further, we need to understand a bit more about the relationship between our body, heart, and mind. The body supports the healthy functioning of the organs, including the brain and heart, the locus for concentrated areas of prana and light. If the physical functioning is compromised, the movement of prana can also be compromised, or even decreased. And we may not even be aware of it, but slowly over time it drains us of our will, our determination, our body’s intelligence, our joy, and our vitality. To keep a healthy body, the foundational step is asana practice. 

From here we can look at the mind. As we know from our practice, the body and mind are intimately connected. We do our practice and our mind is more at peace. We don’t, and we’re more apt to be reactive and doubtful about our lives, our experience of ourselves. After establishing a stable and comfortable body, relatively free of discomfort or disease, yoga gives us the tools and practices to further calm the mind. This is vital to the connection of the deeper regions in our heart. If the mind is wandering here and there, worried about this and that, the light and joy of the heart are quite difficult to access. We are stuck with our senses moving outward, catching hold of any thread of entertainment or relief or external habit we’ve cultivated. This kind of mind does not have the ability to experience the sublime aspects of the vishoka, joy untouched by sorrow or angst, or jyotishmati, supreme light of the heart, both of which are the subtle building blocks supporting the creation of the heart itself and concentrated in the heart area. Without a quiet mind, guided by inward moving prana, we miss out on this grace that is, always exists, and flows within.

The March 10 workshop will focus on practices that strengthen, stabilize, and turn us inward to this heart center. Through specific postures and breathing we will increase access to the four gifts that come with a body: rupa–beauty; lavanya–tastefulness; bala–vitality; and vajra samharanatva–the inherent healing power. Once we have ease and stability in the body, we will use specific pranayama practices to turn the mind peacefully inward. With a calm mind, we will be able to access the deeper stillness of the heart, where we can touch upon and rest in our true nature of unobstructed joy and light.

Learn more about Shari at and


2018 Workshops

Shari Friedrichsen
Yoga and the Heart
March 10
Details and registration info in this newsletter and at

Vandita Kate Marchesiello
Transform, Relax, & Rejuvenate: A Brief Retreat with Lasting Results
April 14
Please note that the time for this workshop is 1:15–4:15 p.m.
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, 

I can remember, as a young child in public school, wanting to please the adults in my life, both family and teachers, by applying myself to the task of becoming "educated." Attention at my desk, completed homework assignments, on-time book reports, special projects for extra credit, and good conduct earned good grades. Getting As was the ultimate accomplishment—A in work and A in deportment.

This has proved to be invaluable training for me, through the years, preparing me for the tasks of young adulthood, marriage, and parenthood, and I called upon this resource when yoga entered my life over 50 years ago. Yoga highlighted the value of this early, simple system of applying effort and the benefits of self-motivation to achieve satisfaction in what you are involved with.

Today, as a yoga teacher, I still use the ABCs to make myself and my teaching more relevant, and to spark the same enthusiasm for this material in my students. A yoga practice teaches us how to enhance our lives. 

We can still find the joy of A– in our human experience: Adapt–Adjust—you're never too old or too young! It makes doing our asanas more satisfying, as well as making our lives and those around us happier. Another yogic A–A principle is Alignment–Awareness—definitely important to our practice, both on the mat and in the world.

The Bs give us incredible points of information on how to better our health and our yoga practice. The four Bs—the Brain, Breath, Bones, and Blood—remind us of the infrastructure upon which our lives depend. Yoga teaches us how to incorporate these 4 elements to build wellness.

The Cs are strong contenders in our journey toward transformation as well. Consciousness, Care, Concern, and Compassion give us the skills to interact with others, to experience our true humanness and the ability to be more charitable in our connections. 

We don't need a report card to understand the benefits of these values. With our maturity and autonomy we can bestow these blessings on ourselves and on those who are in our lives—yoga at its best! 

Align, breathe, and connect with us, the second Saturday of every month. YTA provides us with a workshop taught by foremost instructors in their field. The varied topics will increase Awareness, Brain power, and Consciousness. 

Yours In Yoga,
Paula Renuka Heitzner


Your Thoughts

Is All Yoga Therapeutic?

The word yoga, in Sanskrit, means union and promises the organization and unification that leads the practitioner to the healthy harmony of holistic healing. It is now fully recognized in the leading scientific communities all over the world. 

The word therapeutic encompasses many levels of application.... but yoga is definitely therapeutic!

When someone has a sincere practice, he or she feels happier and healthier as a result of his or her efforts and recognizes the positive, therapeutic results of yoga. The applied practice of yoga to bring about healing is therapeutic. It can balance the body, both physically and physiologically, and can radically reduce the impact of injury on the organism.

Yoga will enhance the body's ability to take care of itself by strengthening its immune system and its life force.

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 February YTA workshop with Deirdre Breen





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 the YTA 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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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 
Mar 24 (Sat, 11:15 am-12:15 pm)
Basic fundamentals. No yoga experience necessary. Good for those from other yoga methods interested in learning Iyengar basics. Email to preregister. Free

Scoliosis and Back Care with Nancy Kardon 
Mar 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

Kula for Karma
Penni Feiner
3 Vreeland Avenue
Hawthorne, NJ 07506

Yoga for Trauma & Addiction with Adrian Molina & Dennis Hunter
Mar 24 & 25 (Sat & Sun, 11 am-6 pm)
Learn the skills needed for working in rehab centers; integrate breath work and affirmations; create meditations that reinforce positive messaging; learn how to prepare and deliver effective lesson plans, and more. 20 hours of CEUs with 16 contact hours. $350 

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

Primal Movement Master Class with Tribal Drumming & Sound Healing with Anton Mackey
Mar 2 (Fri, 6:30-8 pm)
Working with the wisdom of multiple spiritual paths, this class works with the four directions and their corresponding elements to create a sacred space. Including the elements of meditation, pranayama, sound healing, and of course, asana, we will connect more deeply with Mother Earth and Father Sky. $40 members; $45 nonmembers; 3 classes with Anton, $95 members; $105 nonmembers

Finding the Calm Within with Anton Mackey
Mar 3 (Sat, 10-11:30 am)
Move and flow into a place of calm and peace. Ground into the supportive Mother Earth energy through pranayama and asana. $40 members; $45 nonmembers; 3 classes with Anton, $95 members; $105 nonmembers

Anatomy Module 1, 2, & 3 with Anton Mackey
Mar 3 (Sat, 12 noon-4 pm; 5-9 pm); Mar 4 (Sun, 11:30 am-1 pm)
Yoga teachers can revisit their anatomy knowledge, as well as any yogi practitioner who would like to deepen his or her own understanding of the body and practice. We will discuss anatomical alignment, breaking down asanas anatomically, and smart sequencing. Module 1 & 2, $75; Module 3, $95; all 3, $195

Soulful Sunday Master Class with Anton Mackey
Mar 4 (Sun, 9:30-11 am)
Connect body, breath and spirit. Flow through an uplifting practice that creates space for Divine Union. $40 members; $45 nonmembers; 3 classes with Anton, $95 members; $105 nonmembers

Meditation with Jennifer
Mar 11 (Sun, 11:30 am-1 pm)
Explore the importance of a developing a personal meditation practice, investigate how this personal work can better guide your teaching and how to incorporate key elements of meditation into your classes. 
$30 members; $35 nonmembers

Yoga for Kids with Leslie
Mar 22 (9 class series on Thurs, 4-4:45 pm)
Young-yogi's will become familiar with their feelings and breath through poses, games and experimental movement.  Practice restorative poses and attention to breath to strengthen the mind-body connection and step away from the mat stronger and happier. Ages 5 to 9. $100

200-Hour Teacher Training with Riverstone Yoga 
Opening Immersion: Mar 1 & 2 (, Thurs & Fri, 6:30-10 pm); Mar 3 &  4 (Sat & Sun, 8:30 am-10 pm); Mar 5-9 (Mon-Fri, 9 am-9 pm); Mar 10 & 11 (Sat & Sun, 8:30 am-9 pm); Weekend Schedule: Mar 16, 23, & 30 (Fri, 6-10); Mar 17 & 24 (Sat, 8:30 am-9 pm); Mar 18 (Sun, 8:30 am-6 pm); Mar 25 (Sun, 8:30 am-3 pm)

Our comprehensive program will focus on the essential asana principles of alignment, anatomy, breath, movement and core strength.  Classroom training concludes within a quick 1 month period. Certain yoga classes are included in your class time. Empower that which lies within. $3595

Sacred Spirit Yoga and Healing Arts Center 
Anne Day
(Located on the Campus of South Presbyterian Church)
343 Broadway
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522 

Chair Yoga with Suzanne Cohen
Mar 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 (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

All Levels Yoga with Christine Tergis
Mar 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 1 class pass (or purchase class pkg online)

Collage Quest Miniseries with Donna Thompson
Mar 6 (Tues, 7-9 pm; also 1st Tues, Apr 3, May 1, June 5)
Uncover your deep yearnings and tap into your inner artist. As you learn to translate your intuitive nudges into a colorful symbol-filled collage, you also learn to quiet the mind and listen to your innate guidance. Donna's playful, colorful, and meditative method leads you on an adventure of self-discovery. Check website for supplies list. $120 preregistration for all 4 classes or $35 per class drop in  

Deep Restorative Yoga with Patricia Castimore 
Mar 8 (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 1 class pass (or purchase class pkg online)

Yoga for Osteoporosis with Sarah Knox
Mar 24 (Sat, 2-5 pm)
Learn postures in a specially designed sequence and how they help build bone in the areas most prone to fracture. Learn some precautions and modifications that will allow you to attend regular yoga classes more safely if you have osteopenia or osteoporosis. $45 Early Bird (reg by Mar 19), or $55 from 3/20-3/24


~ Final Thoughts ~


MARCH 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)

Cancellation within 24 hours of a workshop may 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, ERYT

President Emeritus
Tao Porchon-Lynch, ERYT, IAYT