October 2018 Newsletter

The Yoga Teachers Association Proudly Presents

Pelvic Power

with Christa Rypins

Saturday, October 13, 2018
1:30–4:30 pm
The Yoga Studio at Club Fit
584 North State Road
Briarcliff Manor, NY

Yoga meets the Franklin Method in this completely experiential workshop. 

The Franklin Method is a technique that shows you how to use your brain to improve your body’s function. Christa will use movement, touch, imagery, and humor to develop a picture of the anatomy of your pelvis. By envisioning the exact location of your hip joints in movement and relaxation, you will be surprised and rewarded with both ease and power. The knowledge you receive in this course will bring dramatic benefit to you and your students. You will leave the workshop knowing how to improve posture instantaneously, how the pelvic bones move with each breath, how the sacrum moves, how to relieve back pain, and how to feel more alive in your pelvis than you have in years, and more! 

Christa Rypins brings 15 years as a professional ice skater to her healing work. She combines the Franklin Method with yoga, Pilates, and meditation. She has taught at Kripalu Center for 23 years and runs the Intelligent Body Movement Studio in Murphys, CA. She developed the online training Yoga Anatomy Magic and the weekly Facebook Live meditation class "My Body, My Freedom."

To attend Chrysta’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.



The Trouble with Tension

by Christa Rypins

Tension is who we think we should be. Relaxation is who we are.


Tension is the underlying cause of so many pesky things: headaches, pain, injury, prolapsed organs, cardiovascular disease, crabbiness, low self-esteem, hamstring tightness, inability to feel, and collapsed arches—to name just a few!

The lucky among us discover yoga and meditation, which shifts our relationship with tension. The unlucky among us might find themselves in the above paragraph. 

Take note: Unattended tension becomes pain.

As a professional figure skater doing four shows a day, five on weekends, seven days a week, I know a bit about tension. With years of that skating schedule, the tension turned to pain. I loved skating and performing so much that I ignored the pain.

Until I couldn’t.

After nine years of professional skating, I discovered yoga. Sometimes yoga helped relieve tension. Sometimes it made the pain worse. I couldn't understand why.

My own experience, mixed with the opposing information on poses and body position, coalesced into a search to understand the body. That search lead to modalities such as Somatics, Pilates, and finally the Franklin Method Imagery.

In the Franklin Method, we picture our own anatomy through “embodiment.” This practice causes tension to melt away and pain to disappear. It completely changed my neck, shoulders, hips, sense of myself, and in turn what I teach.

I begin every yoga class with a tension-relieving embodiment. This helps students feel more connected to their bodies. Tension melts away as they move through poses. The Franklin Method helps students move with more ease.

It is tension hidden in the deeper layers of the body that often cause the most pain. When the tension is released, the benefits ripple outward: reduced pain, ease of movement, and emotionally expanded sense of self.

Here are two warm-ups for deep muscles. Please practice them and share with your students.

Hanging Psoas Release


Obterator Internus Stretch


In Pelvic Power, my workshop with the YTA on October 13, we’ll use embodiment to picture and feel the bones of the pelvis. Tuning into bone rhythms is the fastest way to relieve tension and make pain disappear. The tension is replaced by vitality and pain-free living.

The format of the workshop is embody, practice, teach, repeat. You will leave the workshop with a clear picture of posture, felt alignment, practical tools, and pelvic empowerment. I look forward to being with you at Pelvic Power!

 Learn more about Christa at intelligentbody.net.


2018–19 Workshops

Christa Rypins
Pelvic Power
October 13
Details and registration info in this newsletter and at ytayoga.com

Jeff Migdow
The Practical Wisdom of the Yoga Scriptures
November 10
The Yogic Scriptures come from millennia of human experience and knowledge. They contain keys to reach our optimal health, well-being, and spiritual consciousness. In this workshop, we will explore the essence of the teachings from the Bhagavad Gita, the Yoga Sutras, and the Shiva Sutras. We will also discuss ways for you to bring these teachings and lessons into your day-to-day lives and your yoga classes.

Robert Rivest
Laughter, Expression, and Joy!
December 8
Robert will share his unique health and well-being practice that blends mindful breathing, tai-chi, expressive movement, and laughter yoga. In this very playful workshop, you will learn how to use your body and facial expressions to convey with positive energy all the excitement and joy that laughter yoga has to offer. Robert will show you how to free your body and mind so that laughter will flow freely, joyfully, and spontaneously. His exciting exercises and energizing movement will help you feel more positive, playful, upbeat, and cheerful when practicing and leading Laughter Yoga.

Dan Leven
Shake Your Soul: The Yoga of Dance
January 12
We were born to dance. Human beings have used dance to celebrate, build community, and feel a sense of well-being from our earliest days on this earth. It is time for you to reclaim this birthright. Bring new inspiration and freedom to your body and mind with Shake Your Soul, an integrative dance, meditative movement, and mindfulness-based practice. In this workshop you will learn organic exercises that will open your heart and awaken your soul, connect with the natural dancer within, and transform stress and tension through Dan's unique blend of body-centered mindfulness practices.

Jason Ray Brown: The Karma of Your Verbal Cues
February 9
What is the karma of the verbal cues that you offer in class? While they may be appropriate for them today, will they continue to be healthy cues over time, or will they eventually lead to an imbalance and/or injury? Leading students into healthy postural alignment has as much to do with what NOT to say as it does with what to say. In this workshop we’ll examine several common verbal cues about the pelvis and shoulder girdle that may eventually lead to joint pathology in the hips and shoulders, along with alternative strategies and verbal cues that can help preserve the health of these joints over time.

Deborah Lubetkin: LifeForce Yoga to Meet the Anxious Mood
March 9
LifeForce Yoga interweaves ancient disciplines with current scientific findings to help you release what no longer serves you and become the agent of your own healing. Learn yoga tools not taught in regular classes to support the healing journey for yourself or others. Develop a practice that includes breathing exercises, easy postures, and guided meditations. This program covers evidence-based yogic tools designed to relax and calm anxiety and bring balance to the emotional body.

Ray Crist: Yoga and the Luminous Body
April 13
This is an experiential workshop that offers a direct understanding of yoga and its healing power, as well as an introduction to Shamanic energy healing. Ray has a unique way of making deep knowledge accessible to all. You will understand what shamanic work is all about and you will acquire tools that you can use to heal yourself and others. This workshop tends to the healing and evolution of all three perceptual states: lecture for the mind, yoga asana for the body, and shamanic journeys for the soul.

Paula Heitzner: Beyond the Triangle—Esoteric Poses to Spice Up Your Teaching
May 11
Do you like to be surprised, delighted, and enlightened? Our workshop presenter this month is equipped to offer you these experiences. Be prepared to learn the obscure postures that were gleaned over the years from esoteric studies, ancient lore, and Eastern art and philosophy. Be inspired to spice up your own practice and teaching methodology. Note taking and question asking is encouraged and expected! 

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.


Words of Wisdom

from Paula Renuka Heitzner

Dear All, 

In this age of instant communication and the proliferation of verbosity bombarding us at every turn, it is no wonder that we stop hearing and listening. Chanting and meditation, part of our yoga practice, never seemed as relevant in the past thousands of years as it does today. 

Chanting and meditation gives us a way to balance, strengthen, and heal all our physiological systems from the neurological assault of electronics and excessive sound. The simplest chant or focus for meditation is the word aum. However, what this stands for is profound and has layers of meanings and applications to bring balance and surcease to the agitated nervous system. 

The Sanskrit aum and the Latin omne share the same root and vibration, meaning the concepts of omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. The symbol aum is pronounced as if it has three syllables, each one important and with varied meanings that deepen as one's practice progresses.

A symbolizes consciousness and wakefulness. 

U is the dream state. 

M is the dreamless sleep state of the mind and spirit.

The letters also symbolize: A—speech, U—mind and breath, and M—in the entirety, the living spirit approaching the divine. The three letters represent the dimensions of length, breadth, and depth. Aum symbolizes the absence of desire, fear, and anger. They represent the three genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter. The letters correspond to the three tenses of time: past, present, and future, and the teachings of three sources: the mother, father, and guru or religious leader. 

The Triad of Divinity is represented: Brahma, the creator; Visnu, the maintainer; and Siva, the destroyer, the cycle of life. The letters are sometimes arranged at the three points of the triangle. Whatever level of spirituality we are at can be comfortably embraced through this simple mantra with the focus broadening us into greater and deeper connection with the divine, when we deem it appropriate, which is ultimately our birthright, regardless of religious persuasion. It all leads to "the one." 

Follow the vibrations and sounds made on the second Saturday of each month by the yoga community at the YTA workshops. See where they will lead you! 

Yours In yoga, 

Paula Renuka Heitzner


Yoga Q&A

What are the best yoga props?

When to say No to props?

Sticky mats and blankets were the earliest props, as well as ties, barres, walls, and chairs. New additions to these are ceiling aerial slings and swings and straps that are designed to hang off the walls. I feel that the best ones help the student explore an asana in order to reach beyond a physical limitation. The prop should contribute to the expansion of breath and body during practice and aid in allowing mindfulness and purposefulness to lead the search for greater depth of understanding and skill.

I think a teacher should say no to yoga props when they are used as crutches and/or for holding on to self-limiting habits and patterns. These are the times when a teacher can help the student be less fearful and to see how using "safety" is a ploy to stay stuck in avoidance.

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.


Paths to Renewal 

Join us for our first retreat at Himalayan Institute, led by Luke Ketterhagen. Discover new paths to renewal through the practices of asana, meditation, pranayama, philosophy, and restorative yoga.

There will be time for walks in the beautiful woods surrounding the institute and nourishing and delicious meals. You will leave renewed from the inside out and take home ideas and practices that will serve you way beyond the weekend.

All food is vegetarian, and there is a full service cafe for coffee, chai, expressos, lattes, etc. 

Friday to Sunday, November 2–4, 2018

Member: Regular – $199

Nonmember: Regular – $229 

NOTE: Registration and payment through the YTA website are for the program fees only. You must make arrangements for accommodations at the Himalayan Institute separately. Details can be found in your registration confirmation.


From Light on Ganesha with Todd Norian


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 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.

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

Crossover Yoga Project (nonprofit organization)
Elisha Simpson, Executor Director
420 S. Riverside Avenue
Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520

Dance to Empower with Crossover Yoga Project 
Oct 12 (Fri, 7 pm)
Celebrate 3 years of empowering over 2500 at-risk girls in detention centers, prisons, and residential treatment centers throughout Westchester through trauma-informed yoga, mindfulness, and creative art therapy. Join CYP, Michael Orth, Commissioner Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health; Catherine Borgia, Westchester County Board of Legislators; and many more to learn about the October 1 Raise the Age legislation and hear trauma survivors’ powerful stories of transformation. Food, drink, silent auction, live music, dancing, and powerful artistic performances from CYP participants at Cedar Lane Art Center. For info, go to eventbrite.com/e/cypempowersme-fundraiser-tickets-49536216156#CYPEmpowersme.  $100  

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

Iyengar Yoga Fundamentals with Nancy Kardon 
Oct 20 (Sat, 11:15 am-12:15 pm)
Learn the basics using alignment while developing strength, stamina, flexibility, and balance. No yoga experience necessary. $25; free for those new to Iyengar Yoga Scarsdale 

Scoliosis and Back Care with Nancy Kardon 
Oct 20 (Sat, 2:15-3:45 pm)
Learn about what you do unknowingly to create compression and pain. Feel, adapt, and adjust how you work with your right and left sides. Learn back care through traction actions of the spine and free habits of posture that cause compression. $25

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

Yoga  for Bone Health with Caryna Wong
Oct 1 (Mon, ongoing, 4:30-5:30 pm)
Focus on two main conditions that occur with age: osteoporosis and arthritis. Learn safe movements for each condition and what exercises can help minimize symptoms. Review modifications if you have both conditions. $28 

Breathwork with Erika Forsell
Oct 20 (Sat, 4-6:30 pm)
A deep and active meditation, Breathwork uses three-part breath to facilitate emotional release. Held traumas, thought patterns that no longer serve us, and strong emotions such as grief or anger are reached and released. Please bring an eye cover. $35

Yoga Culture
Kristine Habersang
105 Mill Plain Road
Danbury, CT 06811

Teacher Training Info Session and Class with Jenny Shuck and Allison Ray Jeraci
Oct 3 (Wed, 7:30-8:45 pm)
Learn details of upcoming teacher training, starting Nov 3. Experience our yoga style and enjoy a cup of tea and a mini teacher training session. Bring your questions. Free 

Yoga for Healthy Knees, Semi-Private Lesson with Janette Petrovich
Oct 4 (Thurs, 6-7 pm)

Learn key actions of the feet and lower legs to help stabilize and align your knees in a variety of common poses. Troubleshoot some common postures that exacerbate hyperextension in the knees, such as Triangle Pose, Pyramid Pose, standing forward bends, and seated forward bends. This is also a great practice for people without hyperextension who want to improve the alignment and strength of their legs. $35

Studio Open House with Multiple Instructors
Oct 13 (Sat, 8:30 am-12:30 pm)
Check out our studio and take a free class catering to yogis of all experience levels. A restorative class is among the offerings. Attendees can also take advantage of discounts on class passes and retail, and enter a raffle for a variety of prizes, including a Jade yoga mat. Free

Awaken Your Soles, Semi-Private Lesson with Beth Perlman
Oct 17 (Wed, 10 am-12 noon)
Learn how to care for your feet and your ankles and keep them supporting you through your yoga practice and your day. We will cover simple ways to make your phalanges, or "piggies,” feel better and how to use your practice in the best interest of your feet and ankles. $35

Fortune Tells & Witches Spells Meditation Workshop with Jennifer Bianco
Oct 26 (Fri, 7-9 pm)
In this Halloween-inspired workshop, we spin the wheel of fortune by diving into the third eye through meditative and visual techniques. Journey into the psychic center of the body to increase your intuitive prowess and deepen your self-discovery. With a stir of our witches brew, we will discover the magic in manifestation through creating mantras. Discover your own personal magic during this Halloween adventure. $30 by 10/25, $40 thereafter


~ Final Thoughts ~

As I Began to Love Myself

by Charlie Chaplin

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY.”

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT.”

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY.”

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE.”

As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY.”

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health—food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF.”

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since, I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY.”

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where EVERYTHING is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT.”

As I began to love myself I recognised that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But As I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART.”

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems  with ourselves or others.  Even stars collide, and out of their crashing  new worlds are born. Today I know THAT IS “LIFE!”

(written on his 70th birthday, April 16, 1959)



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 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