November 2021 Newslette

Words of Welcome

Dear All, 

This month brings to us a sense of closure. Fall is here and daylight saving time is ending. Nature, in our part of the universe, is also closing down by returning to a resting mode to regenerate and reappear with full vigor when Winter passes. Mother Nature's great plan reminds us of the needed balance for successful continuity and creativity.

Our practice of yoga mirrors this wisdom. We are taught about the balance we strive to achieve between the vital energy we expend without and the inner strength to be nurtured within. The practice makes us aware of the integration achieved through the neurological activity between the breath and the brain. Also, it's important for us to keep our inner rivers of life flowing—the blood, lymph, synovial, and cerebrospinal fluid—with the assistance of our infrastructure, the bones. 

All this inner activity is happening whether we are awake or sleeping. The balanced body keeps the glands, organs, and muscles able to function effectively and efficiently with every breath and heartbeat in the inner space created by our bones and joints. Our physical external yoga work, through asana, keeps us strong to align and balance the inner happenings. We can compare ourselves to yet another phenomenon of nature—"the tip of the iceberg"; most of our assets are below the surface and unseen but powerful enough to create health and vitality.

Our practice of yoga through asana and meditation deepens our ability to be in touch with all these gifts and to promote our health and balance, within and without. The monthly YTA offerings, coming to us on the second Saturday of each month via Zoom (for now), add to our inner and outer resources by making available the yoga knowledge of different lineages, masters, and related latest information and research in the mind–body arena. 

Yours in yoga, 

Paula Renuka Heitzner

2021–22 Workshops 

Saturday, November 13
1:30–4:30 p.m.

via Zoom

Refining the Path to

Your Greatest Self:

Understanding the Roles

of Breath Training, Asana, Relaxation, Pranayama,

and Meditation 

with Luke Ketterhagan

Practice, practice, practice is the path of yoga; the path to freedom and fulfillment, as the scriptures say. However, sometimes there are so many practices we have learned that we may not know what to choose when. Or we choose those we like the most, or those we are the most confident in, regardless of whether they are the right thing for us right now. As we know, not everything that feels good is right, and not everything that is right feels good.   

This is where we turn to the yoga sutras and explore an essential principle of practice: yukta—that which enables us to connect with our inner self. Learning to refine the practices and expanding our understanding of their benefits will enable us to continue the fulfilling journey toward health, happiness, fulfillment, and freedom. 

In this workshop we’ll take a deep look at some of the major themes and building blocks of any yoga practice, including breath training, asana, relaxation, pranayama, and meditation. Through our work and study we will find understanding in the role of effective timing, technical details, and the specific combinations of practices that can create something extraordinarily powerful. 

Yoga says your greatest Self is within reach, and it is your birthright to experience and live this truth. Join Luke and the company of like-minded seekers of joy and happiness for an afternoon of immersion, relaxation, and growth. Practice, practice, practice …

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

Note: A recording will be made available to registrants for two weeks 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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Luke Ketterhagan graduated magna cum laude from Marquette University with a degree in biomedical sciences. Soon after, he immersed himself in the studies and practices of the Himalayan tradition through residential programs at the Himalayan Institute. His stay of over seven years in residence and study with his teacher, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, fueled his passion to share this knowledge with others. He has opened yoga studios and launched programs at centers and retreats in the United States from Venice, CA, to the Hudson Valley; from Dallas, TX, to Fond du Lac, WI, and internationally from the Grand Cayman Islands and Dominican Republic to Brussels, the United Kingdom, and India. Luke and his family live in Kalamazoo, MI, where he specializes in hatha yoga, meditation, and the yogic lifestyle. In addition to teaching retreats and certification programs at the Himalayan Institute, Luke teaches locally, nationally, and internationally and leads spiritual excursions.

December 11    Via Zoom    
The Sahana of Love

with Jovinna Chan

“Do you know how to love?” On the path of self-realization it is important to keep asking questions and looking at the same thing from as many different points of view as possible. The goal of this workshop is to create a sacred space for us to explore the subject of love.

January 8

Bonus Workshop!  

January 29     Via Zoom  

Trauma-Conscious Yoga and Yoga Unify Talk

with Judy Weaver and

Ravi Singh 

More information coming soon!

February 12     Via Zoom  

Yin Yoga for Endurance and Resilience in Times of 

Loss and Grief

with Shradda Hilda Oropeza
Endurance and resilience go hand in hand and bring both strength and lightness to our lives. It may take endurance to stay with discomfort to find the best solution to whatever challenges are present; resilience gives us the heart do do so. This workshop offering will include a presentation about grief and a soothing yin practice for honoring mind, body, and heart.

March 12
Krama: Creating Sacred Connections for Practice Through Order

and Sequencing
with Carla Stangenberg

More information coming soon!

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

Alison will share how to exploit the dowel as a tool that provides alignment insight, physical support and challenge, sensory and visual feedback, limb extension, and more. Working with a neutral spine is valuable in the presence of spinal conditions, but it is also an invaluable alignment tool which we often struggle to master.

May 14
Yoga and Lifestyle Practices for Hormonal and Immune Health, Vitality, and Well-Being with Jeff Migdow
These past years have been unusually stressful because of the changes in our basic life routines that affect our immune strength, hormonal balance and adrenal resilience. In this workshop we will explore and experience yoga practices that will help us optimize our immune responses, rebalance our hormones, and recharge our adrenals, allowing us to come to optimal health, stability, and clarity.

June 11
Dharma: Finding Your Place in the Order

of Things 

with Stephen Cope

Based on the book The Great Work of Your Life.
More information coming soon!

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 YTA's October Workshop
Lauri Nemetz



How You Start Doesn’t Matter...

What Matters Is That You Start

by Luke Ketterhagan

My yoga journey began in a very unconventional way ... as a punishment. 

During the beginning of my senior year of high school I attended a party that served alcohol. Clearly a representation of pre-prefrontal cortex maturity 😊. My dad found out and told me to go to bed and we’d talk in the morning. I didn’t sleep very well that night, but then I also thought since my dad was a yoga teacher and meditation practitioner that he may just say, "Luke don’t do it again." Boy was I wrong. In the morning he told me I had to turn myself in to my coach because I broke the team rules of conduct and did not follow through with my agreement with the coach and fellow teammates. It didn’t matter to him that a lot of my teammates were at the party and the parents of some of them bought the beer and collected keys from anyone who didn’t have a designated driver. He and my mom were “new” to this rural Wisconsin culture and couldn’t possibly understand the parenting required in “these parts of the woods.” I pleaded and pleaded for him to change his mind, because playing high school sports was really important to me. He wouldn’t budge.  So not knowing where this may go, I told him I would do anything to not have to turn myself in. “Ok. I have a proposal,” he said. “Every morning before school for the remainder of the season, meditate with me for 20 minutes. If you miss a day you will have to turn yourself in.”  I took that deal as fast as I could, but little did I know what I was up against. 

The first few days, to be honest, were torture on all levels. Physically sitting on the floor on a meditation cushion in a cross-legged position was extremely uncomfortable. As an athlete back then, I wasn't taught flexibility. My hamstrings and quads were strong but tight. My back hurt because all the strength I had developed from lifting weights and running sprints around the field or on the courts did not apparently do a great job of strengthening the deep muscles of my back that were required to sit in an erect position. Hmm… It made me wonder how I could be so strong and so weak at the same time. Mentally, 20 minutes seemed like an eternity.  My mind was ripping and running every which way. Holding a train of thought or a focus on my breath as I was taught by my dad was laughable. Could my mind be any busier, noisier, and more disorganized? Psychologically, I fidgeted from anxiety of some nonsensical FOMO (fear of missing out) and constantly checked the clock from a case of utter boredom because at that moment I was so uncomfortable, I’d rather escape than tap in.  

As the days turned into weeks and weeks turned into the middle of Octoberthank goodness football season is shortthings got better, meaning less like torture. I started to enjoy the quiet I was feeling after the practice was done and sitting still was becoming something I could actually do for short periods of time. I didn’t miss a day and didn’t have to turn myself in. This was a total success because it was the only reason I took on this “punishment.” However, the balancing, nurturing, and healing inherent in yoga practice had created some other grooves… 

Fast forward 1 year. I was sitting in my dorm room at Marquette University and ruminating about how stressed I was about my upcoming midterm exams. My anxiety was really messing with me. Then out of nowhere (or so I thought then 😊) I remembered how I felt after the meditation I had done with my dad. And I remembered him sliding my meditation cushion under my bed. “This is here just in case,” he had said as he pushed it way in the back. I grabbed it and sat down.  Those 20 minutes were some of the most enjoyable I experienced. I saw my anxiety fall away and my mind catch the thread of peace and contentment that was somehow locked inside, waiting for a moment of quietude to come out and bless “my space” again.  

To learn more about Luke, visit

Yoga Q & A

Will the Authentic Sources of Wisdom Transcend the Modern Hype of False Cures and “Drive-Through” Teachings?

The yogic sources of wisdom will support a sincere practice as it has always done since its inception. Our progress may be slowed by all the “smoke and mirrors," but the sagaciousness of the earliest wise ones will prevail. Truth is an unshakable ally. These teachings guide us to the light, intelligence, and strength within, allowing us to be  autonomous and independent in choice, action, and thought.

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.

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, American Legion Hall, Nyack.

Sylvia Samilton-Baker, MA, ERYT
Vinyasa yoga, Thursdays, 8 p.m.; Hatha yoga, Saturdays 10:30 a.m., 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


join t

In the end, 

Only three things matter: 

How much you loved, 

How gently you lived, 

And how gracefully you let go

Of things not meant for you. 


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

Membership Chair

Jenny Schuck

Programming Chair

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

Interim Secretary

Robin Laufer, MS Ed, RYT 500

Marketing and Communications Chair

Cassie Cartaginese, RYT

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