May 2021 Newslette


Dear All,

Looking back, our lives are affirmed by giving personal testimony to having stayed the course and going through the challenges we faced in 2020. We are now in the Spring of 2021 and, if we are wise, we will take a deep breath and allow Mother Nature to soothe, as well as sustain, our souls. In her season of Spring, and particularly the month of May, we become aware of regrowth and regeneration, the flowering and forward flow of life to the light.

Our practice of yoga encourages us to follow this same path. We are taught to mindfully and consciously direct our thoughts to the positive—faith in one’s own ability to face and form a new sensitivity founded on love and grounded in acceptance, acknowledgement, and affirmation for all beings. We are then able to reconnect with ourselves and entice a union with our basic essence and courageous spirit. Looking within we find the light with which nature reminds us.

Entrance into this inner space of light and love supports our resurgence into our own growth and greening, using the elemental components of the planet that are universal and available to all life. Our practice of yoga and Mother Nature are in compliance with our own life force. We can then reemerge and move forward.

Please remind yourself of YTA’s monthly workshop on Zoom, bringing us a variety of teachers and practices that feeds the spirit and enlightens the heart and mind.

Yours in Yoga, 
Paula (Renuka) Heitzner

2021 Workshops

Saturday, May 8 
1:30–4:30 p.m.

via Zoom

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. Nina will uncover the uncanny similarities between Hindu mudras and Shaolin salutations, each designed to invite strength and instill peace throughout human history, and we'll delve into the warriors of the past’s deeper intentions and discover the true peace and gentleness of the Shaolin monks.

Nina will lead us in a short Kung Fu form and explain the rich heritage of this ancient wisdom and how it can benefit your life. You'll discover how to bring attention to your primitive instincts and strengthen your intuitive knowing to increase your sensitivity to your environment and self. You'll also learn how to sharpen your senses and alertness, freshen your perspective, and enhance your experience of life as you learn to expand your personal wingspan and heighten your responsiveness to all that life presents.

In this workshop you will:

  • Feel your true confidence and strength
  • Awaken your warrior spirit
  • Cultivate grace and flow
  • Experience an increased energetic vibration
  • Learn a Shaolin-inspired yoga flow
  • Increase your personal awareness to support your everyday life
  • Develop layers of awareness to encompass mind, body, and breath

You will need a yoga mat, two blocks, and a cushion or blanket to sit on.

Note: A recording will be made available to registrants for a limited time following the workshop. 

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

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

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

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

Young Master Nina Crist is a black belt martial arts teacher with 20 years of experience. She is a codirector and teacher at the Jaguar Path School of Yoga and Shamanism and teaches at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Her deep knowledge in Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and Chi Gung shine through her teachings. Her dedicated years of practice show up in her yoga as she shares the essence of movement, breathing, and being. Nina offers workshops, trainings, and retreats throughout the world.

Register Now

Last Workshop
of the
2020–21 Season!

June 12
Practice to Empower Personal Possibilities
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." Purchase Paula's book!


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 April Workshop
Ellen Saltonstall


Yoga Q & A

Can Meditation (or Prayer) and Yoga Help to Establish External World Peace?

The meditation practices offered by yoga has brought documented inner peace and deep spirituality to many throughout the ages, as has the power of prayer.

The essence of meditation and/or prayer is solidly linked to manifestation—the mind over matter. We can engage the energies of universal consciousness, beyond the five senses, to enter the world arena, bringing in the needed changes of all kinds, leading to balance and peace within and without, for the highest good of all.

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 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


Member Events 

YTA members (individuals and 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

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-conscious yoga & meditation, Thurs, 7 pm & Sat, 9:30 am; $15/class, $70/6 classes for YTA members only; Trauma-Conscious Training beginning June 2, Sat, 9 am

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 

Meredith Kramer via Yoga Heights 

Switch Gears & Yoga Restore, Thurs, 4 & 5 pm; Yoga Nidra online every other Wed, 8 pm, $20

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

Ray Crist, Jaguar Path
The Medicine Wheel: Shaman’s Apprenticeship Level 1, Apr 7-June 22, 6-8 pm, Zoom or enjoy recordings at your convenience, $1000

Sacred Spirit Yoga & Healing Arts Center 
All levels, with Chris Glover, Tues & Sat, 9:30-11 am, $15/class 

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

Sylvia Samilton-Baker, MA, ERYT

Vinyasa yoga, Thurs, 8 pm; Hatha yoga, Sat, 11 am; email Sylvia to get on Zoom list, drop in, $10

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

Final Thoughts


Countless words 
count less 
than the silent balance 
between yin and yang

—Lao Tzu

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