October 2017 Newsletter

The Yoga Teachers Association Proudly Presents

Traction Action 

with Tzahi Moskovitz

Saturday, October 14
1:30–4:30 pm

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

A yoga strap is an amazing prop. It can be used in supine poses to create freedom and space in the hips and back, in standing poses to clarify the sense of direction and action, and even in inverted poses and backbends to provide support and help us stabilize. It has benefits both when we need to modify our practice or when we want to find ways to deepen it. In this playful workshop we’ll explore the many creative ways in which this prop can enhance the practice and teaching of yoga.

Tzahi Moskovitz, E-RYT500, discovered yoga between rehearsals early in his acting career and soon trained in New York City at Be Yoga, which later became YogaWorks. With his focus and skill, he quickly became a senior teacher trainer there. Another senior teacher urged him to take an Iyengar class, and he was struck by its effects on his body and mind—it was a perfect fit. After completing a rigorous two-year Iyengar teacher training program at the NYC Iyengar Institute and spending a month in 2012 with the Iyengar family in Pune, India, Tzahi became a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher. His primary teachers were Mary Dunn, James Murphy, and Carrie Owerko. Renowned for his clarity and humor, he loves sharing yoga and enjoys observing his students make their own discoveries. 

You can register for Tzahi's workshop here.



Tzahi Moskovitz

Are You Really There?

[Excerpts from interview with Tzahi Moskovitz and Yoga Teacher Magazine,
Fall 2013, yogateachermagazine.com]

Yoga Teacher Magazine: So tell me about your yoga journey. How did you first come to study yoga?

Tzahi Moskovitz: I was acting. I was an actor—

YTM: In New York?

TM: In New York. I was out of acting school and I was doing my first tour in New Jersey. Once done with rehearsals, I had a lot of time and I went to a yoga class. I don’t even remember the name of the neighborhood in Jersey where I took it, nor could I tell you the style. I took it a few times and I felt great after class. Then I started practicing when I came back to the city more regularly. My teachers wanted me to take teacher training and I didn’t want to because of acting. And at some point I had a lull … and I took YogaWorks—before it was YogaWorks, Be Yoga—training and started teaching very quickly.

YTM: Late nineties?

TM: About 2000.

YTM: How was your early teaching? You hadn’t been practicing a long time …?

TM: No, I was practicing for a few years at that point…. When I look back at it I don’t think it was particularly great, I was doing a kind of flow-ey class…. I was teaching a pretty vigorous class, a lot of flow and arm balances and things like that. And YogaWorks was purchased and there was a need for more teachers here who would do a more YogaWorks kind of thing, so I was also brought up quickly in the YogaWorks world, very quickly after I finished the 300 hours.

YTM: Did you have a mentor back then?

TM: Beverly [Murphy], who owned Be Yoga, and I studied with Jean Koerner, and Alan [Finger] who was running Be, which then became YogaWorks, and there was a transition. Jenny Aurthur came to town…. I audited for [teacher] training I would say a year after I finished my training and I assisted about a year and half from that and taught teacher training two and a half years after that…. There was a period of a few years where I would leave my classes and go do a play for half a year and come back. I think it was the first training I audited at YogaWorks which Jenny Aurthur taught and Jenny basically forced me to take an Iyengar class against my will.

YTM: Ah!

TM: Absolutely against my will because all I really knew, by reputation, it doesn’t have flow and it’s about alignment and I heard there was no interest in breath. And I was really into moving and into breath because I’m not a kind of yoga body person and I thought I disliked alignment because I thought that would mean I couldn’t do all the things I could do and I’d have to do all the things I couldn’t do! So she forced me to take an Iyengar class, I mean she made me go to a level 4 class ... there was some things I really could do, but...never in my life was Sirsasana for more than twenty breaths…. I broke a sweat within ten breaths, and they were still in Sirsasana and I went up again and came down, and you know by the fourth or fifth time I just couldn’t go up anymore, it was already four more times than I had ever done and then the teacher said now we’ll start the variations ... about a week and half after that I took my first class with Mary Dunn, a forward bend class, and I could still probably remember the sequences pose for pose, and I knew I’d just found where I needed to go and so I started ...

YTM: … reorienting yourself …

TM: Yeah. Honestly the first thing that happened was I just stopped classes that were not Iyengar. It just made sense. Especially from Mary I learned things. It was actually very concrete about things that cannot be explained. So it was like she would give an instruction that was as clear as snow and all of a sudden there was this inner space opened that I’d never experienced in other classes. In other classes the teacher would talk about it, there’s this stage or that stage, you meditate and that happens and that was really nice to hear but I didn’t experience it. Mary would give very clear, concrete instructions and then somehow a door would open … So I was studying with Iyengar teachers at the Institute…

YTM: Well there is a lot of Iyengar influence …

TM: Yes, whatever that means. There’s a murky line. And I was becoming a senior teacher at YogaWorks, doing teacher trainings, I taught trainings here and other places. It was coming to me that if the people I really want to study with are in a certain method, that’s where I need to go. It didn’t really feel inwardly like a switch, it just felt like a progression of my teachings, but outwardly it’s a switch because I had to stop teacher training for YogaWorks, because these are things you need to accept if you’re going to do Iyengar training, not the least of which is that it’s going to take a long time, there’s no talk of teacher trainings for a really long time … first you’re going to have to do a two-year training, then a first assessment and then a second assessment and that will take you three years if you’re really, really fast, and only then will you be fully certified. I would never have done it where I was ten or eleven years ago. That’s the reality of it. There just came a point where I felt this is what I want to do, so even though it means I have to adjust my schedule, where I teach, I might as well do it. 

YTM: Describe for me what your goals or aspirations are, both as a practitioner and teacher?

TM:  Well, as a practitioner it’s not so much of a goal.… What I get from my practice, what the practice has helped me with is to find on the mat and in life ways to create clarity, in terms of contentment…. I think it’s important for us both as practitioners and as teachers … to understand the core of the teaching rather than judge the culture, or attach to the culture. You know, rather than judge the differences or attach to the differences, if that makes sense. 

YTM: It’s hard to ... to figure out what really speaks to me.

TM: But of course the other thing is that you really don’t have to figure it out ... what yoga teaches is that there’s something beyond that. There’s a culture that is more conducive for yoga practices or less conducive, but at the end of the day yoga is about making contact with that within yourself, which is skin and bones and muscles, and consciousness, whatever that is, awareness, and so, when going to India, or when learning from a teacher, it’s not that the culture doesn’t exist, it’s not that there aren’t major differences, but I think it’s kind of foolish to say why does he say this and why didn’t he say that, or I thought that wasn’t very nice, when first of all we don’t really get the culture. And also just as foolish to say, oh he said that, then I should say it to my students.

YTM: In other words, it has to come from a genuine place, an authentic place.

TM: Yes, and I would say that was very true about Mary [Dunn] and it’s very true of the Iyengars. They hold very authentically to who they are. And we’re attuned to when people are not authentic, when teachers are not authentic, when teachers are putting something on. One of the major things that as a student it’s hard for me to get over is pretension. It’s one of the things I’ve tried to train myself to observe, authenticity and presence.

YTM: Are there any other traits you feel you would stay away from in your own teachings, or in other teachings?

TM: I really appreciate when a teacher is able to be present but not overpresent, if that’s a word, so that the class is not about your agenda.… The best teachers allow you—or help, actually, not just allow you—to create a space for yourself in class, rather than making it about them, what they want, or how they sequence, or how great this is or how bad that is or what they just realized or what they just learned ... as a teacher there’s a moment when you have to look at the class and ask yourself, is this about me or them? Am I making this adjustment for this person? 

YTM: One of the things that drew me to your teaching is that the language is always fresh and I find that does draw one into the moment.

TM: I think that both humor and freshness of language, or whatever it is, is a reflection of being there.… Prashant Iyengar used this great metaphor, that the mind and the body can be like water and oil, they don’t mix well, but if you add flour, then you can knead them together. And as practitioners that is our job, to use our senses, to use the breath to knead the mind and body together; that’s asana, the unified state of mind, body, breath, and senses, and what happens is the senses and the breath are like the flour, and they make you able to knead into one the mind and the body. And so we’re asked both as practitioners and then when you are practicing teaching, are you really there?


2017–2018 Workshops

Mark your calendar!

Ken Nelson & Lesli Lang
Transformational Teaching
November 11
In this dynamic, interactive workshop, Ken and Lesli will show you how to facilitate the wisdom of individuals and groups by cultivating trust; getting clear about your own goals, strengths, and challenges; and using the tools of intention, attention, agreements, and conscious communication. This program geared toward yoga teachers is relevant to other teaching and leadership positions at home and at work.

Rudy Peirce
Dynamic Gentle Yoga
December 9
Experience a mindful style of yoga movement that opens and stimulates, releases aches and pains, and de-stresses. Using detailed alignment cues and specific breath cueing, Rudy will discuss innovative methods to safely serve the varied needs of those seeking out gentle yoga and present a new approach to dirgha pranayama that will help you and your students breathe more deeply to enhance relaxation.

Patty Holmes
A Breath-Centered Approach to the Art of Joy and Inspiration
January 13, 2018
Pain is our bodies' best means of getting attention. Once it has our attention, how we respond deeply affects the outcome of our stories. Let's choose joy! Playing with the elements of sthira and sukha (steadiness and ease) during pranayama, asana, and meditation creates space, allowing prana to flow more freely. Spaciousness in our bodies, in our breath, and in our minds allows gratitude in. Gratitude in its expanded state is pure joy! Come be inspired. 

Deirdre Breen
Ayurveda and Yoga: Integrating the Twin Sciences on the Mat and in Our Lives
February 10
As yogis it is our responsibility to value and express balance as a way of life. In this workshop, ISHTA master teacher Deirdre Breen will explore how pranayama, asana, and meditative practices affect the doshas (kapha, pitta, and vata) and the qualities of sattva (balance), rajas (action), and tamas (inertia). Discover tools to reestablish sattva both on and off the mat. 

Shari Friedrichsen
Yoga and the Heart
March 10
Our heart is like a flower whose petals hide its true fragrance until it’s 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, 

My last offering in this newsletter was my personal evaluation of “what yoga is.” Now, I would like to share what I know this sacred practice can add to one’s life and how it can fulfill the promise of better health, a calmer and less fearful world view, and a more peaceful outlook from within. 

The condition of life on this planet has never been more worrisome or menacing than it is today. Prehistoric life, animal and human, had to face catastrophic conditions, but they were from natural origins and the species and the planet evolved. New forms of life emerged. Today, man's mind and what our species can provoke is proving to be so much more overwhelming and devastating. It devolves humanness and growth—our own, another's, and the world community—and is a realistic threat for planetary demise.

A yoga practice, in my mind, helps us to establish ourselves in a basic state of trust. The asanas help us explore the physical weaknesses we encounter and when we stop denying that we are less than perfect, we can then become purposeful in our practice. This creates a conscious awareness within us that engenders the trust of self; the process grounds us in a more self-empowering state of being. This is not only healthier, but it is necessary for living our lives in a satisfying way. Satisfaction leads to feelings of gratitude and grace, which help us to define our humanity. It is the antidote to envy, greed, hate, and mistrust, which is destroying life everywhere on this planet.

With self-trust we are better capable of building relationships that are respectful and productive with others. We can then create communities that support the ideals that contribute to the higher good and establish ourselves in the art of negotiation, with humaneness instead of ammunition. Communities create countries, and our yoga practice can be the bedrock on which we can rebuild the trust and respect that can lead to powerful worldwide negotiations instead of nuclear power. 

At one time in history, the kings and leaders led the charge to battle. Perhaps we should bring back this practice and see what would happen; if fingers were removed from the detonator in plush private offices and placed on weapons carried into the throes of destruction they organized, would these mature men of wisdom be so quick to start a fight? Maybe they should begin a yoga practice!

We are able to deepen our practice and bring more balance into our communities with the knowledge and inspiration offered to us each month from the varied workshop presentations sponsored by the YTA. Please join us and see for yourself.

Yours in Yoga,

Paula Renuka Heitzner


Your Thoughts:

Insurance for Yoga Teachers?

In the past, yoga was taught in a very personal way by older teachers deeply steeped in the knowledge and trainings they were imparting to their select students, people who were known by them. There was no insurance necessary, thought of, or even available. 

Times have changed, and business practices have encroached into the yoga world. Younger teachers are facing large groups in gyms, Ys , and other facilities, all requiring insurance and certification. The purchasing of insurance has become commonplace to new instructors and is readily available through YA, Yoga Journal, and state venues. Insurance is not obligatory if one teaches privately.

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. We would love to hear from you.

Paula Heitzner, ERYT– 500, is a Master Yoga Teacher. She has taught yoga for over 50 years and has trained 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 September YTA workshop 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 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 can send their information to ytadirectory@gmail.com.

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Iyengar Yoga Scarsdale/Greenwich
Nancy Kardon
74 Brewster Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583


Scoliosis and Back Care with Nancy Kardon
Oct 21 (Sat, 2-3:30 pm)
Modify, adapt yoga asanas for your body. Rope wall traction work is anessential part of creating space and freedom. Monthly. Class size limited to 8.Preregister. $25

A Practice for Anxiety: Quieting the Nervous System and Fluctuations of Mind with Nancy Kardon
Oct 28 (Sat, 2-4 pm)
Preregister. $35

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

Meditation for Beginners with the Boston Buddha
Oct 7 (Sat, 11 am-12:30 pm)
Learn what meditation is, what it isn’t, and how meditation helps manage daily stress in a world filled with distractions. No experience or pre-requisites are necessary. This is perfect for beginners and anyone who wants get back on track with meditation. $45

Moving into Stillness Flow Master Class with Anton Mackey
Oct 13 (Fri, 6:30-8 pm)
The movement of the body is expressed through the Divine Feminine, while the stillness that is achieved through meditation is an expression of the Divine Masculine. When brought together we are in balance with the universe. $40 members; $45 nonmembers (Weekend Pass $125 members; $140 nonmembers)

Aligned & Alive Master Class with Anton Mackey
Oct 14 (Sat, 10-11:30 pm)
Open up the psoas and hip flexors, the main muscles involved in flight or fight. Then align the spine so that energy can flow more freely. $40 members;  $45 nonmembers (Weekend Pass $125 members; $140 nonmembers)

Sacred Space & Primal Movement Master Class with Anton Mackey
Oct 15 (Sun, 10-11:30 pm)
Through water-like vinyasa sequences and pranayama that builds a passionate fire inside, we will connect deeper to Mother Nature and Father Sky. $40 members;  $45 nonmembers (Weekend Pass $125 members;  $140 nonmembers)

SkyBaby Yoga and Pilates Studio
75 Main Street
Cold Spring, NY 10516

Dharma Sunday School with Maeve Eng Wong
Oct 1 (1st Sun of every month, 12:30-2 pm)
Unique Buddhist-oriented class for children 5+ and their families. Explore concepts like kindness, compassion, gratitude, and generosity through readings, creative activities, community building, movement, and meditation. Donation based.

Morning Meditation with Brandis Buslovich
Oct 2–4 (Mon–Wed ongoing, 8:45-9:15 am)
Singing bowls included on Wednesdays. Free

Sound Healing & Tibetan Singing Bowls with Michelle Clifton 
Oct 20 (every 3rd Fri, 7:30-8:30 pm) 
Listen to the singing bowls and awaken our bodies’ own innate healing abilities and retune our bodies. Register at cliftonmichelle1@gmail.com. Donation: $25

Unwind with Melia Marzollo 
Oct 17 (every 3rd Tues, 7:15-8:30 pm) 
Myofascial release class that restores range of motion, relieves pains, and removes blockages by stimulating the bones using a gentle, air-filled ball with gravity doing most of the "work." Move through feet, hamstrings, quadriceps, abdominals, ribs, spine, and neck, and finish with a sweet savasana complete with warm, lavender-infused hand towels, chimes, singing bowls and tuning forks. $20

Yoga Haven    
62 Main Street
Tuckahoe, NY 10707

Yoga Haven 2
91 Montgomery Ave
Scarsdale, NY 10583

Betsy Kase, Director/Owner

Yoga Through Cancer Treatment & Beyond with Kathy & Doris 
Oct 1 (Sun, 1-2:15 pm, Tuckahoe)
Formatted to address the physical and emotional needs of those affected by cancer and its treatments. Whether you are newly diagnosed, in treatment, or a survivor, yoga can further your journey of recovery.  FREE

Yoga for Scoliosis with Jen Krakowsky & Margaret Duggan
Oct 2 (Mon, 7-8:15 pm, Scarsdale)
Better understand scoliosis curves and work with specific postures and the breath in order to develop body awareness, achieve spinal extension and length, and build core and back strength. $23

Yoga 101 with Baisa Kinglake
Oct 12, 19, & 26 (Thurs, 7-8:30 pm, Tuckahoe)
Go back to the basics. This 3-week workshop provides a solid foundation in basic and essential yoga poses. $60

Aerial Yoga with Jacqui Stix
Oct 12 (Thurs, 7-8:15 pm, Scarsdale)
You do not need to be a circus star, lifelong yogi, or natural-born acrobat to come play! Students of all levels can learn to flip, fly, and flow through Aerial Yoga sequences. $35

Kid Aerial Yoga Series with Jacqui Stix
Oct 16, 23, 30 & Nov 6 & 13 (Mon, 3:45-4:45 pm, Scarsdale)
This super-fun style of yoga promotes better balance, boosts confidence, and offers kids a sense of courage and strength. No experience necessary. Grades 5-9. $160

Childbirth Education: Essentials for a More Easeful Birth with Jacqui Stix 
Oct 15 (Sun, 1-7 pm, Tuckahoe)
Our childbirth education workshop is packed with tools and information for both you and your partner, beyond what you might get in a standard hospital course. This interactive workshop will help your partner build a labor and delivery support toolbox. $185

Yoga for Anxiety with Basia Kinglake
Oct 29 (Sun, 3-5 pm, Scarsdale)
Explore different modalities of yoga practices that may relieve some of the symptoms and physical manifestations of anxiety. Included are yoga and restorative poses, breath awareness, body scan meditation, Reiki and essential oil therapy. $45

Restorative Yoga & Reiki with Judy Raso
Oct 29 (Sun, 6-8 pm, Scarsdale)
Restorative yoga and Reiki both promote relaxation, stress relief, and create balance within the body. Experience the potent combination in this popular workshop. $35 

Rob Farella
78 Stony Hill Road
Bethel, CT 06801

Restorative Yoga: Unwind from the Grind with Gloria Owens
Oct 7 (Sat, 2-4 pm)
Use props (pillows, blankets, straps, etc.) to support your body so you can rest and stretch your muscles; lower your heart rate and blood pressure; calm your nervous system; and experience a peaceful state of deep relaxation. Wear super comfy layers and bring a mat if you have one. $30 in advance; $38 at door (if space allows)

Yoga Nidra: The Art of Deep Relaxation with Karen Gillotti 
Oct 21 (Sat, 3-4:30 pm)
Yoga Nidra is an 8-stage guided relaxation journey that has the power to transform and rejuvenate you at core levels. 45 minutes of yoga poses (mixed level) to prepare the physical body to be still for 45 minutes of Yoga Nidra, allowing you to go beneath the surface and experience the multidimensional being that you are. $22 in advance; $28 at door


~ 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