September 2021 Newslette

Words of Welcome

Dear All, 

This past summer marked the reopening of the world closed by the dreaded fear and anxiety provoked by the pandemic. September, now, is bringing the continuing return to a more open lifestyle and raising the question of what is “normal."

Hopefully, during the many months of living with imposed constraints meant to enable safety, we have learned to go within to find our resources, which are a continuing support system, always available to the seeker regardless of the outside chaos and confusion. This is one of the redeeming philosophies that constitute the practice of yoga—the balance of darkness and light. 

We can also rely on our practice to aid us in establishing ourselves in the “new normal" mode of life. Although we're not likely to forget the fallouts of heartache, grief, and fear that were experienced, we can also take away the valuable lessons learned to create a better normal.

The yogic principles of caring, concern, and compassion were so very necessary to face the dire situations around life and death. Healthwise, we understand the importance of keeping the body in peak working condition, especially after the enforced sedentary lifestyle of quarantine. Never before has adapt and adjust been so relevant, and this lesson, along with our practice, can help us reengage, reconnect, reclaim, regenerate, and rejuvenate.

 A phenomenon that is being encountered is the hesitancy felt as the normal lifestyle unfolds. We are now able, by contrast and personal experience, to place more value on the meditative quality of life we experienced for so many months and are now leaving behind. We have new options.

Not to be forgotten, and to be included in this endeavor of emerging into the light, is our monthly YTA workshop. YTA supported us for many years in the past, sustained us with Zoom through the COVID crisis, and is in place to brighten the future and shape the new normal. 

Yours in yoga, 

Paula Renuka Heitzner

2021–22 Workshops 

Saturday, September 11
1:30–4:30 p.m.

via Zoom

Lifting the Sails

of the Lungs:

Yoga, Pranayama, and the Art

of Breathing

with Tias Little

The lungs are highly sensitive. Not only can they be quickly opened through cardiovascular exercise, but they can also become closed and restricted due to states of tension and fear. In this workshop, we will practice postural movements to make the lung tissue more expandable. Learn how to safely open your lungs through pranayama, SATYA (sensory awareness training for yoga attunement), supported asana, and physio-ball release work. Tias will begin by showing slides that detail the anatomical connection between the lungs, respiratory diaphragm, heart, and ribs.

We will experience the intimate connection to the breath with meditation, asana, and pranayama. This class promises to bring about lightness, space, and clarity within. 

Recommended Props: a block, blanket, bolster, and belt, and a chair, if possible.

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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Tias Little synthesizes more than 30 years of study in classical yoga, Sanskrit, Buddhism, anatomy, massage, and trauma-healing in his dynamic, original style of writing and teaching. Tias began studying the work of BKS Iyengar in 1984 and in 1989 studied Ashtanga vinyasa yoga under the tutelage of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Tias is the founder of the Prajna Yoga School in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with his wife, Surya. In 2010, Tias created SATYA, a therapeutic movement system. He also offers a wide array of online classes through Glo, YogaU, Yoga Journal, Embodied Philosophy, and Shambhala. He is the author of four books: The Thread of Breath, Meditations on a Dewdrop, Yoga of the Subtle Body, and The Path is the Practice: Lessons and Reflections on the Transformative Power of Yoga

Future Workshops

October 9
The Anatomical Body: Perception and Practice

for Yoga with Lauri Nemetz
In both yoga and anatomy, what we can't "see," we may not acknowledge or understand. In this workshop, we will mix anatomy stories and some images from lab with hands-on explorations and yoga practice to understand our bodies on a deeper level.

November 13     Via Zoom  
Refining the Path to Your Greatest Self: Understanding the Roles

of Breath Training, Asana, Relaxation, Pranayama,

and Meditation
with Luke Ketterhagen

December 11    Via Zoom  
The Sahana of Love
with Jovinna Chan

January 8
The Bhagavad Gita
with Devarshi Steven Hartman (to be confirmed) 

February 12     Via Zoom   
Yin Yoga for Endurance and Resilience in Times of

Loss and Grief
with Shradda Hilda Oropeza

March 12
Krama: Creating Sacred Connections for Practice Through Order

and Sequencing
with Carla Stangenberg

April 9
The Dowel as a Tool for Alignment and Support: Working with a Neutral Spine with Alison West

May 14
Yoga and Lifestyle Practices for Hormonal and Immune Health, Vitality, and Well-Being with Jeff Migdow

June 11
Dharma: Finding Your Place in the Order

of Things with Stephen Cope
Based on the book The Great Work of Your Life
Register Now

Unless otherwise stated, workshops are $45 members / $65 nonmembers in advance ($55 / $75 day of) and count toward Yoga Alliance certification requirements. 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 June Workshop
Paula Heitzner



Your Delicate, Blood-Filled Lungs

by Tias Little

I like to say where there is breath, there is blood. When you breathe, your lungs and your heart together propel blood through your circulatory system into every nook and cranny of your body. When bright red blood irrigates through all bodily tissues, there is longevity and radiant health. A yoga practice helps to animate the breath and distribute prana (oxygen-enriched blood) throughout the body. By breathing we  “pranagize” all of our systems. 

Anatomically, your lungs and heart are inseparable. An elaborate system of vessels span the two organs so that if your heart were lifted from your chest cavity, your lungs that are attached to your heart would be removed too. 

In terms of feeling, your lungs and heart are also interwoven. They are the primary repository for sentiment. Thus your lungs do not simply draw and expel air like Scottish bagpipes but, together with your heart, they are the center for sentiments of tenderness and love. In Sanskrit this is called bhava. In states of bhavafeelings of empathy, spiritual rejuvenation, and kindness flourish. 

Your lungs are impressionable, sensitive to emotion and feeling. Feelings, especially grief and sadness, imprint onto lung tissue. The impressionable lung is most evident in a child who is disposed to strong feelings such as laughter, cries, or screams. Emotion passes quickly through the motile lung. 

Lungs are extremely delicate. Airborne particulates such as the coronavirus, pollens, pollutants, and toxic chemicals can blotch the tender, spongy lung tissue. Lung tissue is light and fragile because the capillary membranes at the outermost tips of the bronchioles (the alveoli and alveolar sacs) must be fine enough to permit gas exchange into the bloodstream.

In yoga, we not only practice to expand our lungs, but to feel into the moods, mind states, and psychological pressures that manifest inside our lungs. Through meditation, pranayama, postural movements, and sound resonance, we develop greater sensitivity for our prana and become connoisseurs of the air that flows in and out of our lungs 20,000 times per day.

To learn more about Tias, visit

Yoga Q & A

Why Is Your Yoga Practice Important?

This is a question that has as many answers as those who were asked. I will answer from a purely personal standpoint.

I am not new to the practice of yoga, and as I continue on my life's path, it has become more sustaining in its aspects—physically, mentally, and emotionally. It proves its relevancy when the unexpected creates colossal upsets. Its principles and teachings help to clarify what is really important in the scheme of things, helping to personally develop and value the maturity and the life experience needed to handle what 
initially seems overwhelming.

The practice of yoga offers up the "gold" in the golden years and helps us to mine, refine, and purify that which hides and holds the treasures we long for. Yoga is not magic but offers the opportunities to develop skills, strengths, and insights to make our journey magical.

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 Classes and 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


Carolyn Iannone, RYT-200
Free weekly gentle yoga via Zoom with the “queen of gentle yoga” (as dubbed by her students). Register at Finkelstein Library (Spring Valley) for Tuesday classes at 5:50 p.m. and at Pearl River Library for Thursday classes at 5:50 p.m.

Elisha Fernandes Simpson, LMSW, RCYT, ERYT

Yoga Alliance certified 200- & 300-hour teacher training, Oct. 26–Apr. 26, 6:30–8:30 p.m.

Gina Callender
Yin/Restorative, Mondays, 7 p.m.; Open-level Hatha yoga,
Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m., via Zoom.

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

Paula Heitzner
Mixed-level yoga with the “teacher of teachers,” M-Tu-W-Th, 9:30–11 a.m., starting August 30. American Legion Hall, Nyack.

Sylvia Samilton-Baker, MA, ERYT
Vinyasa yoga, Thursdays, 8 p.m.; Hatha yoga, Saturdays 10:30 a.m., starting Sept 11, both via Zoom. Vinyasa yoga, Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m., NYSC/Dobbs Ferry (register online; if not a member, there is a fee).

Final Thoughts


Root for Your Team

by Doug Swenson

In this mirror of life 

Find peace with yourself 

Observe all qualities

As rivers flow to the sea 

Become the energy thread 

Weaving mindfully 

A beautiful and sacred tapestry 

To embody all of life 

If one Human, or species fails

We all fail – 

Root for team earth

Alone is hard to survive

Together our energy will thrive…

Be the light in darkness

The one who thinks

With love and 


Stay Human



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 day of)

Board of Directors

Lorraine Burton

Susan Edwards Colson


Renee Diamond

Membership Chair

Jenny Schuck

Programming Chair

Gina Callender, E-RYT 200, RYT 500, CEP

Marketing and Communications Chair

Cassie Cartaginese

Terry Fiore Lavery, RYT

Lisa Sloane, MA, ERYT

Board Member at Large
Paula Heitzner, ERY


Copyright © 2021 Yoga Teachers Association. All rights reserved.

Yoga Teachers Association • 18 Derby Lane • Ossining, NY 10562 • USA