February 2021 Newslette

Words of Welcome

Dear All, 

As February unfolds, we find ourselves adapting and adjusting to the winter weather and the prevailing darkness of the season. These conditions can prove to be fortuitous as they provide the perfect background in which to continue our inner work.

With the shortened light, we are encouraged to take more time to rest, benefitting our state of health that has been taxed beyond what anyone could have imagined. Rest is the primary place of healing.

With this rest it is easier to relax and to restore the nervous system, challenged not only by the frenzy of recent holiday celebrations, whether they were traditionally spent or styled tactically for the precautions necessitated by COVID. 

We can use this time wisely to reclaim our energetic losses; the energy we invested in fear and in the political strife that hopefully will be resolved. We must reclaim our balance and pray for our country and every country in our shared world to do the same, as we move toward the light.

This is our shortest month, but I feel it to be a pivotal one in these times. We can look forward to renewal on every level of life, and, like the planet, we can be renewed as spring looms ahead. 

Let's reclaim all that we respect and cherish by reaching for all things that will help us rest, relax, renew, and regenerate; the perfect yoga recipe for health and joy that is offered by YTA's monthly virtual Zoom workshops. Please partake in this nourishing opportunity and share your light to dispel the darkness. 

Yours in yoga, 

Paula Renuka Heitzner

2021 Workshops

Saturday, February 13
1:30–4:30 p.m.

via Zoom

Beautiful Poses
from the Worlds of Yoga and Kabbalah

with Judith Rose

Whether we are struck by the beauty of a painting, a person, a dance, a piece of music, or a field of golden daffodils, we tend to stop in order to take in the loveliness. And when we discover that the word pose derives from the Latin word pausare, which means "to halt, rest, cease, or pause," the practice of asana in yoga opens to a greater richness of possibility.

Spend a special afternoon taking in the beauty of poses from a variety of yogic and Jewish mystical traditions. Experience Vishnu the Sustainer, Lightning Bolt of Shiva, Krishna the Flute Player, Reclining Buddha, and unique variations of warrior. Then enter the mystery realm through Otiyot Hayyot, a lyrical and expressive movement practice based on Kabbalistic understandings of the Hebrew alphabet. Discover ancient wisdom secrets through the embodiment of the sacred.

Come to pose, to play, and to pause!

Note: A recording will be made available to registrants for 7 days following the workshop. 

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 The Zoom meeting link will be sent in your registration confirmation upon receipt of payment.

Please ensure you have it before the workshop—check your junk/spam folder!

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Judith Rose, the founder of Vital Movement™, is an experienced educator, choreographer, poet, and movement artist. She has an extensive background in a variety of movement arts and therapeutic modalities. Her yoga practice began at 16 when she dedicated herself to studying Richard Hittleman’s handbooks. Her private practice in therapeutic wellness is located in Nyack, NY.

Register Now


March 13
Moving into Stillness:
An Afternoon of Meditation
and Yoga

with Hunt Parr

In this three-hour master class, we will look at yoga practice as a way to explore the Buddhist methods of mindfulness and compassion. You can expect direct lineage meditation instruction, an asana class with creative sequencing and transition work, and a gradual transition into restorative yoga and pranayama to downregulate and send you floating away with a sense of integration. There will be plenty of time to ask questions, explore how things fit together, and insights to add to your own yoga practice, teaching  practice, and life. 

April 10
Yoga and Bodymind Ballwork for Osteoarthritis
with Ellen Saltonstall

In this workshop we’ll talk about each of the joints that are commonly affected by arthritis and how to create a sequence of yoga and Bodymind Ballwork practice that is safe and effective.

May 8
Kung Fu Yoga 

with Nina Crist

Discover the parallels between nature-inspired asana and Kung Fu postures. From eagle mudra to crane asana, learn how intricately nature has inspired the evolution of movement around the world. Uncover the uncanny similarities between Hindu mudras and Shaolin salutations, each designed to invite strength and instill peace throughout human history.

June 12
Practice to Empower Personal Possibil
with Paula Heitzner

"Practice makes perfect" has been an early childhood maxim taught to assure future possible success in the adult world. Yoga philosophy teaches us that there is no perfection! Paula will offer a different filter allowing us to evaluate and empower our efforts by sharing the maxim that evolved for her over her 50 years of yoga practice: "A purposeful practice perfects."

Unless otherwise stated, 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.

From the January Workshops
with Colleen Breeckner
and Dianne Bondy



Why I Am Not a Dancer

by Judith Rose

A thing of beauty is a joy forever. John Keats, from “Endymion”

Very often I am asked why I place my work under the rubric of movement rather than dance.  Let me respond to this by journeying back to a very early memory. I was barely seven. As the daughter of immigrants who arrived here blown by the fury of the time, I was raised with very little in the material stronghold. Toys and games were created from what was at hand, and culture seeped in only through the magic of the radio and the book. So it was especially magical when my father came home one day with two tickets to see the fabled dancer Maria Tallchief as the leading presence in The Firebird ballet.

I remember nothing about the intricate footwork or the imaginative choreographic design. Before me was the most famous dancer of the time, and somehow I was not watching her feet! I was riveted instead by something fuller, something deeper, something more magnetic than her technical prowess. Before me was a dancer whose eyes expressed as clearly as her toes; whose body and spirit were in a state of at-one-ment.

At some point during the performance, a mystical transfer occurred, and suddenly, I, too, sitting in the hard seat of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, experienced and lived the vital movement of the dance. Years later, I understood that it was this mysterious peak experience that served as the initial catalyst for a lifelong devotion to conscious movement work, using it as a tool for healing, evolution, and transformation.

My professional vision returns us to the organic patterns we used when we lived in intimate connection with the earth. This understanding lies at the root of the yoga and movement classes I design, choreograph, and teach. These kinesthetic motifs were innate to a life that once placed an ear close to the ground and lifted eyes upward to read the signs and signals of nature. They satisfy the body’s longing for movement that is pure, joyous, and essential. When we move with Beauty and Truth, we too are moved, and that is the gift that deepens the practice each and every time.

For more information about Judith’s teaching offerings, visit judithrosevm.com.

Yoga Q & A

What are the benefits of yogic breathing?

The practice of yoga, as a holistic resource, is breath-oriented in its every aspect, because of the great benefits breathing provides to support the level of health and vitality one experiences. The actively breathing body can tap into the life-sustaining advantages of balancing the dis-ease before it becomes disease.

Yadav, Singh, and Pai reported in The International Journal of Yoga in 2015 that yoga can be used as a complimentary or adjunct therapy to improve lung function in patients with coronary artery disease. “Yogic exercises and pranayama may improve breathing patterns,” which allows for an efficient flow of oxygen in your body. Breath is life!

On the physical level, breath supports the muscle function needed to keep the body moving, engendering the circulation of blood, lymph, synovial fluid, and cerebral spinal fluid. Asana practice, coordinated by the breath, helps to keep the body's structural strength, especially for the heart, lungs, and brain, thus avoiding the possible depletion of debilitating breakdowns and the resulting pain of immobility.

Mentally and emotionally, breathing helps to dispel the damaging effects of fear, anxiety, and depression. These "breathless" emotions also have a negative effect on our immune system, needed to support our life force....and our longevity. The spiritual aspect offers one access to faith, hope, peace, and joy, all healing and sustaining emotions engendered by the breath.

To conclude, the practice of yoga promotes the deep, conscious breathing that allows the body to be well-oxygenated, lubricated, and rejuvenated, certainly a formula for good health and longevity. 

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 to share your thoughts!

Paula Heitzner, ERYT500, is a master yoga teacher. She has taught yoga for over 50 years and has trained many others in the time-honored principles, practices, and philosophy of yoga. The “teacher of teachers,” as she is called by her students, can be found at her studio, the Nyack Yoga Center, in its new location at the American Legion Hall. 

Learn more about Paula at nyackyogacenter.com.

We are thrilled to announce that Paula's new book is available on Amazon. Yoga and You for a Year: From the Beginning to the End uses the Zodiac as a guide to  the poses best suited for your astrological sign and provides direction and discipline to empower you. Get Paula's refreshing perspective on this ancient art.

Member Events 

YTA members (individuals and 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.


Online Yoga and Meditation Offerings

Devi Ma Yoga Prenatal, Sun & Wed; Mom’s Hour, Wed; & New Mom, Thurs; & more; Online Yin and Prenatal trainings; by donation

Elisha Simpson (Crossover Yoga Project)
Trauma-informed yoga & meditation. Tues & Thurs, 7 pm; Fri, 8 am; $15/class

Gina Callender
Yin/Restorative, Mon, 7-8 pm; Wed, Hatha yoga level 1, 5:30--6:30 pm, $10/class

Iyengar Yoga Scarsdale
Asana, restorative, & pranayama via Zoom,
5 days/week; see website for different levels, $15 

PranaMoon Yoga at the Hat Factory
Zoom, Mon-Sun, Bhakti pass, $10/class

Sacred Spirit Yoga & Healing Arts Center 
All-levels, with Chris Glover, Tues & Sat, 9:30-11 am, 

Wainwright House 
Yoga & movement classes, $10 members; $15 nonmembers; meditation classes, $5 

Willow Tree Yoga
All-level, Kundalini, stretch, & vinyasa, in person & Zoom, $16/class.
New: Yoga Gifts Online, yoga-themed gifts and teaching tools; gifts can be picked up or possibly delivered to avoid shipping & taxes. Visit yogagiftsonline.com for more info 

Shamani Yoga with Betsy Ceva and Charlene Bradin
Online classes
$9, with 48-hour replay link 

Final Thoughts


Do not be dismayed by the

Brokenness of the world.

All things break.

And all things can be mended.

Not with time, as they

Say, but with intention.

So go. Love intentionally,

Extravagantly, unconditionally.

The broken world waits in darkness

For the light that is you.

—L.R. Knost

Yoga Teachers Association was created in 1979  by a small group of pioneering yoga teachers who saw the need for affordable and continuing education. Today, YTA continues as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to expanding learning opportunities for teachers and committed students in the Hudson Valley. We offer monthly workshops presented by the leading yoga teachers of our time for the benefit of the community. All are invited. Membership dues and additional contributions are deductible to the extent allowable by law.

 for individual membership
$75 for studio membership

 members / $65 nonmembers in advance
($55 and $75 at the door)

Board of Directors

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, E-RYT 200, RYT 500, CEP 

Terry Fiore Lavery, RYT

Newsletter Design & Layout
Lisa Sloane, MA, ERYT



Copyright © 2021 Yoga Teachers Association. All rights reserved.

Yoga Teachers Association • 21-39 Croton Lake Road • Katonah, NY 10536 • USA