March 2022 Newslette

Words of Welcome

Dear All, 

March, named for the Roman god of war, is the month that lives up to its namesake—it wages war on Winter!

In March we see signs of source energy from the earth that is supporting renewal and the returning vitality in all of the natural world. Hibernation is over! The ether shines increased light on all of this reviving earthly activity and illuminates the light of body and soul in the atmosphere and our auric field. It behooves us to be in synchronicity with the natural world and integrate with all cycles in the universe.

What our practice of yoga offers us does not depend on the month or season. The practice shows us ways to plumb the deep energies of the earth when we are grounded on our path, and the ways to access the ethereal light to guide our heart’s journey into expansion. We are taught the relevance of balance and ways to achieve the inner and outer balance to stay in our own presence in the present moment—the now! The future is yet to be and the past was!

Being present in our presence is a way to empower the self. This bearing breeds the confidence and trust that enables us to confront and eliminate fear and stress and encourages inner peace amidst the chaos and confusion of these times.

Every month, on the second Saturday, the YTA presents a notable teacher as a source of ongoing knowledge for our yoga community. It is a present (gift) to help us be a greater presence (being) in the present (now).

Yours in yoga,
Paula Renuka Heitzner


2022 Workshops 

Saturday, March 12
1:30–4:30 p.m.

via Zoom

Krama: Creating

Sacred Connections

for Practice Through

Order and Sequencing

with Carla Stangenberg

The word krama translates from Sanskrit as step, sequence, order, or succession. In this workshop we will explore how to create sequences that can be used by a teacher or a home practitioner.

Some of the elements we work with in our practice and teaching are asana, mudra, pranayama, and philosophy, and we take these particles and play with them when we roll out the mat to practice; the teachers among us then craft the different pieces into class offerings. 

But sometimes we get confused about how to generate dynamic sequences, or we hit a stale place in our teaching or practice and need a little inspiration. In this workshop, we'll tap our curiosity to explore how to retool personal practice in order to create kramas for yourself or your teaching. These techniques can be used for any level of teaching or practice, from beginner to advanced. 

We will spend our time practicing and looking at asana categories (standing, seated, forward fold, back bend, inversion, twists) and find the similar components that connect them, for instance, how Vriksasana and Janu Sirsasana are connected. You will learn how to engage your own imagination and create sequences to share with other workshop participants. 

Join Carla to discover how to look to the Bhagavad Gita for themes to inspire contemplation and find a spring of inspiration so you always have fresh material to offer.

Recommended Props: at least two blocks, two blankets, a strap, and whatever else you might need to make practice comfortable.

A recording will be made available to registrants for two weeks following the workshop.

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

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

Please ensure you have the link well before the start of the workshop—check your junk/spam folder!

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

Carla Stangenberg started practicing yoga at the Jivamukti Yoga Center in 1993. In 2000, she became certified to teach at Cyndi Lee’s OM Yoga Center, where she learned the art of alignment-based Vinyasa and Buddhist philosophy. In 2005, Carla became the director of the Jaya Yoga Center. Since then, she has furthered her training with Rodney Yee in many advanced training courses, studied diligently with Amy Matthews in her advanced studies program at the Breathing Project, sought Yin Yoga teacher training with Sarah Powers, and has practiced with many wonderful Iyengar teachers. As a teacher, part of her aim is to facilitate an environment that is conducive to deep self-investigation. Currently, you can find Carla practicing at home, at Jaya, or the Iyengar Institute. 

    Register Now

    April 9

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

    Learn 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 that we often struggle to master. 

    Note: We will be using a dowel in this workshop. Dowels can be purchased from a variety of places, such as Lowe's. The recommended dimensions are 72” (6') x 1.25” (or 1.5”).

    Learn more!

      Bonus Workshop  
    April 30 via Zoom

    Spring Ayurvedic Practice: Yoga for Kapha Season with Colleen Breeckner

    Ayurveda looks to uncover the causes of disease by addressing the environment in which the imbalance was formed. Winter invites a quality of stillness that makes way for introspection, but soon the dormant and building qualities of Winter flow into Spring, a time for growth and creation. Ayurveda in springtime encourages growth and makes use of the fertile bed created in Winter. Learn how to apply Ayurvedic principles to your practice and in your daily lifestyle habits.

    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

    REST—Reclaim, Embellish, Sustain, Transform and Arrest Stress

    with Paula Heitzner
    Join Paula to experience how the world crisis has led us into a practice effective in reaching the body at its deepest levels to receive its organic teachings, a practice that empowers the body, mind, and spirit as we open completely to our inner being. Our practice can help us fight the COVID chaos and confusion as we gain and sustain our strength and endurance to maintain our safety, health, and productivity.

    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 February Workshop
    Shraddha Hilda Oropeza



    My Path to Yoga

    by Carla Stangenberg

    In 1999, I had been practicing yoga for something like seven years. I was working a day job I didn't really like, and one day I saw a sign in the yoga studio where I was practicing (Om Yoga in Manhattan) that said "teacher training." I thought to myself, “That sounds interesting. What a nice way to deepen my practice.” So that's how I became a yoga teacher. It felt like a natural extension of my yoga practicelike I had to teach.

    A few years before I was certified, I taught movement classes at a summer program at Northwestern University. I incorporated yoga into those classes, and it worked. Earlier, when I was in college at NYU, my movement teachers were incorporating yoga too, because they were all going to the same yoga studio, Jivamukti, on Second Avenue, where I was going. I followed their lead, and then I started teaching my friends. I was teaching informally even before I got my certification.

    My first real teaching job was in Forest Hills, Queens, in a continuing education program. There were about 30 people in the class; I traveled all the way there, I made nothing, nobody had the right props, but I taught. Then I taught at yoga studios in Manhattan and Brooklyn. I taught everywhere I could, as much as I could, sometimes as many as 20 classes a week. That was it. That's how you get good. Sometimes I feel like an idiot savant, born to teach yoga, but still you have to practice, practice, practice. Pattabhi Jois said, "Practice and all will come." Keep practicing and you will find out what you're doing, why you're doing it. 

    But the more I practice and try to perfect a pose, the more I realize that the practice is not so much about the pose but about what comes up in my attempt to do it. My perfection may not be a physical perfection but a perfection of understanding how to act in an effortless way, to do an action without a need for the outcome to be a particular thing. The Bhagavad Gita says: “Perform without worrying about the outcome.”

    What comes up for me in my practice are the same things I see in my students. I get frustrated, angry, doubtful, self-conscious, and competitive. I feel all of those things and that's helpful, because when I get on the New York City subway, all those emotions are going to come up in me. If I have really incorporated my practice on the mat into the whole of my life, it won't be so bad because I will have already dealt with it in the privacy of my microcosmic universe of yoga practice. So I can say, "Give me my frustration, give me my anger, give me everything that comes up with attempting to do something that is impossible." What happens when I try? Everything happens. So then, I learn what it's like to try and succeed, what it's like to try and not succeedall of this with quotations around it. It's just like every other day. But when I try mindfully, it's an informed day, a more intentional day, I'm not just getting bashed around by advertising and the newspaper, I have a little bit more of a hold on the reins and I also know that eventually the reins are going to disappear. 

    I think the practice gives you the route to how much effort is correct. And I believe that we all go through times of too much effort and times of too little effort. And we all have to go through that to find a place of balanced effort. I've had people tell me that they've taken two months off and they feel slothful, but maybe those two months will be the best of their life for their practice. Maybe it was too much, practicing for months or years, on the same schedule. You may learn so much from the two months off than you would have had if you just kept going. Every day is different. Some days we feel like a gazelle. Some days we're a bull in a china shop. With practices where the poses are always the same—such as Bikram or Ashtanga vinyasa yoga practice—maybe it's easier to tell what's going on with your body, what kind of day you're having. It may be a bit trickier for us who want to create new sequences from day to day.

    But either way, it makes you feel alive. If you forget you're alive, do Warrior II for 10 minutes. If you start to fall asleep, metaphorically, yoga wakes you up. It sparks this life, helps us to see, “Wow, look at this body that I have.” And then, the practice is so deep that we say, “Wow, what about this yoga, and this philosophy and psychology?”

    As you get older, you won't necessarily be able to do the same poses anymore. One of my friends, a beautiful yoga teacher, came to my class recently and said, "You know, I'm aging and I feel it. I can't do the poses that I used to do, and I need to be in a class where that's going to be okay." She was looking for a place where she could be with the group but be left alone when she needed to be left alone. It's the same situation we're all dealing with, which is that we're all getting older at the same rate. And this is not so dreadful. This is one of the recognitions that are probably going to set us free.

    Starting yoga is like a baby tasting ice cream for the first time, we're so astonished—wow, that feeling, that taste. Doing yoga is like that. It brings out that innocent quality in us—even in the toughest cases, the most unhappy people, feel lighter. No matter what age you come into it, you understand that there's much to discover.

    Adapted from a 2009 interview with the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education.

    To learn more about Carla, visit or check her out on Instagram.

    Yoga Q & A

    Does Chest Breathing Cause Disease?

    People with heart disease, depression, anxiety, and chronic pain show persistent chest behaviors. Chest breathing is inadequate in supplying the oxygen needed to support health. Many people chest breathe because they simply do not know how to breathe correctly. Sticking out the chest and pulling the shoulders back is usually the way of error. The simple truth is to inhale by expanding the rib cage—wide and

    side—and by having the upper back and shoulder blades expand sideways as well, assuring a fully oxygenated system. The back of us is responsible for delivering 65 percent of the body’s oxygen needs.

    The diseases and conditions mentioned above are aggravated by low oxygenation, which contribute to the body’s inability to overcome its incapacitation. Proper breathing makes available the healing energies and life force of the body, and works with the medical protocols for healing and a return to health.

    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.” Register through Finkelstein Library (Spring Valley) for Monday classes at 6 p.m. and through Pearl River Library for Thursday classes at 6 p.m. Private sessions also available.

    Elisha Simpson
    "Pathways to Healing Through Body-Centered Practice" led by Eiisha Simpson, LMSW, ERYT; Anna Moore, LMSW; and Erica Fross, LCSW, PC. Our trauma-informed yoga teacher training offers resources, instruction, and understanding of how trauma impacts us, offering therapeutic interventions assist in finding stability. Self-paced, online course. 

    Ellen Cohen, E-RYT200, LYCYT

    Fitness Flair in the Chair, a blend of gentle fitness and chair yoga at St. Pius Church, Scarsdale, NY, Thursday mornings at 10:30. $15. This one-hour class is invigorating yet relaxing and set to fun music. For more info, contact Ellen at 914-472-8412.

    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.

    Lauri Nemetz, MA, BC-DMT, ERYT500, CIAYT, YA and CIAYT Provider

    Monday night via Zoom, 5–6 p.m.

    The Practice (for teachers) first Thursday of the month 1-2:30 p.m. via Zoom

    Privates for additional info. 

    Paula Heitzner
    Mixed-level yoga with the “teacher of teachers,” Mondays–Thursdays, 9:30–11 a.m, American Legion Hall, Nyack.

    PranaMoon Yoga

    Rebuilding, Reconnecting, and Reimagining Together!
    We are still standing! Serving the yoga community since 2013....we have weathered through the challenges of 2020-2021 and continue to offer in-studio + Zoom classes and workshops. 
    We are located at the Hat Factory in Peekskill. In- studio classes are limited! Always Room on Zoom

    Sacred Spirit Yoga and Healing Arts Center

    In-person and live-streamed: Tuesdays, moderate yoga; Fridays, gentle/moderate yoga, with Chris Glover, 9:30–11 a.m.; Saturdays, intermediate yoga, 9:15–10:30 a.m., beginner yoga, 10:45 a.m.–12 noon with Kathleen Hinge. March Special Event with Kathleen Hinge (in-person only): Introducing Inversions into your Yoga Practice, Saturday, March 5, 3–5 p.m., $40. Learn more & register online. 

    Shamani Yoga

    Meditation~Movement~Breath~Self-Reflection; online and in-person classes for all levels with Charlene Bradin and Betsy Ceva.

    Sylvia Samilton-Baker, MA, ERYT
    Vinyasa yoga, Thursdays, 5 p.m.; Hatha yoga, Mondays, 5 p.m., both via Zoom. Vinyasa yoga, Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m., NYSC/Dobbs Ferry (register online at NYSC; if not a member, there is a fee).


    Final Thoughts

    Awake Awhile

    Awake awhile.

    It does not have to be

    Right now.

    One step upon the Sky’s soft skirt
    Would be enough.


    Awake awhile.

    Just one True moment of Love
    Will last for days.

    Rest all your elaborate plans and tactics
    For Knowing Him,

    For they are all just frozen spring buds
    So far from Summer’s Divine Gold.

    Awake, my dear.

    Be kind to your sleeping heart.

    Take it out into the vast fields of Light
    And let it breathe.



    Give me back my wings.
    Lift me,

    Lift me nearer.”

    Say to the sun and moon,
    Say to our dear Friend,

    “I will take You up now, Beloved,

    On that wonderful Dance You promised!”


    From I Heard God Laughing: Renderings of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky. Mobius Press, Oakland, CA, p. 73.

    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 © 2022 Yoga Teachers Association. All rights reserved.

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