June 2021 Newslette

Words of Welcome

Dear All, 

This is the tenth and last newsletter and workshop for the 2020–21 season, to resume again in September with an unbelievable lineup of presentations. Hopefully we will be "live" and in person, but if circumstances still require Zooming, YTA has that base covered.

June is the beginning of summer and reminds us of Mother Nature's full ability to help the Earth bloom, grow, and be resilient—the promise of perpetuity. Our yoga practice, if we look within as well as without, with curiosity, can do the same thing for us.

We have heart-opening practices to bring balance between the physical and spiritual challenges of the world, awakening the strength, courage, optimism, and vitality needed to navigate life, along with lymph, blood, synovial, and cerebrospinal fluids. Our physical blueprint of the body, our vehicle, is given every opportunity by our practice to reach and maintain a state of health and wellness able to access the magnetism of the Earth we are grounded upon, enabling us to vibrate at a frequency that regenerates and supports our sustainability—very necessary at this time of COVID chaos. 

Our spiritual design evolves as we recognize our universal connection to all of life's elements and energies and learn how to use their knowledge to map our journey—the mudras, mantras, meditations, yamas, and niyamas that mark the way from earth to ether. 

Let's use the hiatus of summer and the suggested spacial and social compliancy guidelines to deepen our personal connections to all the assets of our practice.

Yours in yoga, 

Paula Renuka Heitzner

Final Workshop of the 2020–21 Season

Saturday, June 12
1:30–4:30 p.m.

via Zoom

Practice to Empower Personal Possibilities

with Paula Heitzner

"Practice makes perfect" is an early childhood maxim taught to assure future possible success in the adult world. Yoga philosophy teaches us that there is no perfection!

Having a yoga practice for over 50 years has helped Paula understand the paradoxes that arise in life and that responding appropriately to any given situation creates the sought-after balance and strength attained through a yoga practice, which she now refers to respectfully as "the practice of yoga."

Paula will attempt to offer a different filter allowing us to evaluate and empower our efforts by sharing the maxim that has evolved for her: "A purposeful practice perfects."

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. 

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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!

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Paula Heitzner, E-RYT 500, began her yoga training with Richard Hittleman of TV fame; Elizabeth Spohn, a devotee of Swami Rama; and Blanche DeVries, wife of “The Great Om,” Pierre Bernard. She continued her studies with BKS Iyengar, Swami Muktananda, and Vishnudevananda. Kripalu has awarded her an expert lifetime certification. Her classes are a synergy of East and West, as she has explored the western body-mind concepts of Reichian work, bioenergetics, the Feldenkrais Method, ideokinesis, polarity therapy, and continuum. Paula is also a dance therapist and the author of Yoga and You for a Year: From the Beginining to the End.

Register Now

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 May Workshop
Nina Crist



The Journey Within

by Paula Heitzner

These past 16 months, although difficult and challenging, have also presented opportunities leading to creative exploration of situations and of the self.

My time in lockdown pushed me to write and finish a book that loomed in my consciousness for over 35 years, and helped me rethink and refresh the teaching techniques that I've been using for over 50 years. It seems that everything I ever studied about refining the mobility and health of the mind/body (ideokinesis, polarity, continuum, bioenergetics, Reichian therapy) began to emerge from the deep recesses of my consciousness.

With very few outside distractions, I went deeper into the inner attractions that were life enhancing, physically, mentally, and emotionally, reconfirming what I learned early on from the masters with whom I studied (Iyengar, Muktananda, Vishnudevananda, and Amrit Desai).

Please join me on June 12 for Practice to Empower Personal Possibilities, where I will share my ongoing process of finding peace and reconciliation with the integrity of the body. Each person will have the opportunity to encounter his or her own truths and voice.

In the meantime, enjoy this excerpt from my book, Yoga and You for a Year: From the Beginning to the End:

Yoga is! It cannot be categorized. It is an art, a science, a way of life, and an extensive comprehensive system able to lead one to the source of their own inner light and joy. The state of being happy is an innate part of life that is elusive most of the time because of the difficulties and challenges that this life presents. The practice of yoga offers us the way and means to connect with our own light and joy, and its philosophies show us how unhappiness is optional. Human frailties can be strengthened when we face our fears, make our own choices and decisions, and, with conscious awareness, practice appreciation and self-acceptance and recognize the importance of autonomy for our maturation. We learn from our experiences, whether they are good or bad ones, how we must adapt and adjust.

Hatha yoga is not merely physical activity. Because the physical is clearly so much more tangible when compared to the mental-emotional or the spiritual aspects of our being, it is the way to begin our journey. Working with our own body, as we do our asanas, helps us to open to those parts that will benefit from this attention. We tend to deny, diminish, or disown the parts of ourselves that are weak, resistant, or painful. Yoga helps us bring care, concern, and compassion for the self, helping us confront the blockages and traumas that interfere with our flow of energy and are so destructive to our well-being.

Yoga has been in existence for thousands of years, developed and refined by the practice of those who were aware of—and closely devoted to—the source of pure cosmic conscious energy. It was very long ago when the intrusions and distractions of life were minimal, and these cosmic connections led them to the direct experience of the energy of pure presence. This was their tutelage and instruction, and today we are able to employ the phenomenon of those teachings through our practice of yoga.

One of the great attractions of a yoga practice is the promise of flexibility. We all know that being flexible helps us to live with physical ease, comfort, and freedom. We experience this well-being soon after we engage in a serious practice, evidence of the body’s need for stretching and movement. But as we get more proficient on the physical level, we are led to examine more closely the reasons why our bodies seem compromised at a certain point.

This is the perfect time to introduce my acronym of YOGA:

Y—why, O—oh, G—God, A—again?

When we start to pay attention to this question, we begin our work, the journey within. Our bodies store and hide in vulnerable places what we can’t, don’t, or won’t process and resolve, creating damaging energetic blocks that constrict our life-force and healing capabilities. Here is where the true flexibility of our practice begins.

Yoga Q & A

What are the three most important aspects of a yoga practice?

This is a difficult question to answer because the choices one can site are numerous, and choosing just three is difficult. Using the yogic principle of simple clarity, I'll offer my opinion and these three options:

  • Yoga offers us a wonderful way to love, nurture, and appreciate all aspects of who we are.
  • With our stress levels running so high and for so long, yoga has proved to be an ultimate technique for stress release and relief.
  • Activating the healing feelings of appreciation and gratitude in the practice of yoga encourages and allows the whole body to pray.

The list can go on, so feel free to add to it!

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.

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

Carolyn Iannone, RYT-200
Free virtual weekly gentle yoga with “queen of gentle yoga” (as dubbed by her students), register at Finkelstein Library, Tues, 6 pm; Pearl River Library, Thurs, 6 pm; June, July, & Aug free outdoor in-person classes at Bowline Park, Haverstraw, no residency restrictions, bring mat and blanket, Fri, 6 pm

Devi Ma Yoga 

Prenatal, Sun & Wed; Mom’s Hour, Wed; & New Mom, Thurs; & more; by donation; Online Yin and Prenatal trainings starting in January

Elisha Simpson (Crossover Yoga Project) 

Trauma-informed yoga & meditation.Thurs, 7 pm, Sat, 9:30 am, $15/class, $70/6 classes for YTA members only; Pathways to Healing Through Body-Centered Practices, June 1-July 20, Tues, 7-8 pm EST, for yoga teachers, clinicians, social workers, & interested students; recordings, Alliance credits, & CEUs will be available, investment starting at $395 

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 

Jenny Schuck
Join former owner of Yoga Culture in intermediate and advanced classes with mix of vinyasa & held poses, plus bodywork & ball rolling, on demand on Vimeo; $10/class

Karla Booth
Restorative Yoga Fundraiser for Support Connection, June 6, 4-5:30 pm, by donation

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

Michael Sassano
Beginner/Intermediate Hatha yoga, Tues, 7-8 pm, $10

PranaMoon Yoga at the Hat Factory
In studio & 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, 

Shamani Yoga with Betsy Ceva and 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 me to

Willow Tree Yoga
All-level, Kundalini, stretch, & vinyasa, outdoor & Zoom, $16/class.

Yoga Gifts Online, yoga-themed gifts and teaching tools; gifts can be picked up or possibly delivered to avoid shipping & taxes. Visit yogagiftsonline.com.

Final Thoughts


The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your inner enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter. 

One does not need buildings, money, power, or status to practice the Art of Peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train. 

Morihei Ueshiba, The Art of Peace

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



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