May 2022 Newslette

Words of Welcome

Dear All, 

The name for the month we call May has a very interesting origin, one that parallels well with the yogic concept of dynamic opposites and paradox. May is named for the Roman goddess Maia, who oversaw the growth of young plants, and also from the Latin word maiores, meaning “elders” who were celebrated in this month for longevity and wisdom. This homage to beginnings and to maturity was embraced by the ancient mythology of both the Greek and Roman civilizations and has been carried into the present with our celebration of Mother’s Day.

At this time, let’s take wisdom from the past and find renewal and growth within ourselves as does the Earth following Mother Nature’s plan of regeneration. Let’s open our hearts to the increased light that stimulates the appreciation of loving care, concern, and compassion for the self and all beings, the path forged by wisdom.

It is the fifth month of our calendar, and the number five is prevalent in our practice of yoga. There are the five kleshas, the afflictions; five yamas and niyamas, the practices that build integrity; five elements in all matter; five senses that connect to the brain and the tangible world; and the five systems of the mind that connect us to the invisible, transcendental part of the world: thought, feeling, attitude, belief systems, and imagination. Our practice of yoga helps us bring integrity to balance the dire results of the unbridled mind. The Sanskrit word maya describes the

mindillusion, confusion, delusion.

As we move forward to summer, the season of growth, let’s propagate our lives with the purpose and reality that we get from our practice, alignment with our aspects of being. Our monthly YTA workshops add strength to support and move us forward to achieve these goals for a future season of growing and transformation. It’s your commitment to support you! Join us.

Yours in yoga,

Paula Renuka Heitzner


2022 Workshops 

Saturday, May 14
1:30–4:30 p.m.

via Zoom

Yoga and Lifestyle Practices for Hormonal and Immune Health, Vitality, and Well-Being 

with Jeff Migdow

We all feel when stress is affecting our day-to-day life and our health. These past years have been unusually stressful for each one of us, with changes in our basic life routines that affect our immune strength, hormonal balance, and adrenal resilience. Yoga practices and lifestyle changes can help us optimize our immune responses, rebalance our hormones, and recharge our adrenals, allowing us to come to optimal health, stability, and clarity.

In this workshop we will explore and experience:

  • Yoga practices, including postures, pranayama, and meditation, which will help us optimize our immune responses to infectious diseases
  • Yoga postures, pranayama, and mantra to rebalance our hormones, reduce stress, and recharge our adrenals
  • Lifestyle practices to integrate into our day-to-day life to help experience health and vitality in a relaxed way
  • Herbs, foods, and remedies to help rebalance our body, mind, and emotions

Join Jeff for this revitalizing and informative workshop.

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!

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

Jeff Migdow, MD, a holistic physician and Reiki master/practitioner for over 30 years, directed Kripalu Yoga teacher training from 1991 to 1997 and has been the director of his Prana Yoga Teacher Training programs since 1997. He has led workshops all over the world on the topic of yoga and lifestyle practices and their connection to our health and well-being. He is coauthor of the book, Breathe In, Breathe Out. With his profound expertise in yoga practice and holistic healing you will experience a truly complete approach for strengthening your health and revitalizing your well-being on all levels.

    Register Now

    Last Workshop of the 2021–22 Season!

    June 11

    REST (Reclaim, Embrace, Surrender, 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 April Workshop
    Alison West



    My Journey with Yoga

    by Jeff Prabhakar Migdow

    It's 1957. The 6-year-old boy is outside in the dead of winter looking at the Orion nebula with his new telescope. He is alone, as no one else wants to come out into the Chicago winter wind. He can’t look for too long at a time as the freezing metal eyepiece burns his skin. He pulls back from the telescope and gazes into the magnificently clear night sky. He is drawn to the red shoulder star in Orion, Betelgeuse. He feels a pull up and toward this star and feels at the same time joy and pain in his heart. He feels his connection to all things but also his confusion around the sadness in the eyes and face of one of his classmates. In this moment he sees the boy’s face and feels not only his pain but the pain of humans in the world. Tears start to flow from his eyes, freezing as they stream down his face. He gazes into the soul of Betelgeuse and asks out loud, “Why can’t all people be happy?” And then wishes for the happiness of all beings. His first memory of the Oneness in both joy and sorrow.

    It is now 1971. I’m outside on a cool autumn evening. I instinctively look up and see a group of stars, including a reddish star at the upper left. I feel a connection to these stars and a long lost memory begins to float into my awareness. What are these stars? What is this longing feeling? I have a fleeting image of a young boy looking at these stars in wonder and deep connection. “Was this me, was it in a dream?”

    I walk outside late the next evening to look at these stars again, and I begin to hear the words of Orion, then Betelgeuse. “That’s a strange word,” I thought, and then a rush of memories flooded into my being. I was that boy gazing at the stars, loving Orion, the cosmos, living so fully, and praying for all people to be happy. What had happened to that full experience? Where had it gone all those years? Where had I gone?

    These questions reopened me to my inner self and connection to life on a deeper level. The connection I had until I was 7 years old, when I became embarrassed to be free in my actions and thoughts and constricted myself into a typical American boy. Here I was 14 years later, reconnecting to that freedom of thought and wonder and connection to life, activated by my recent delving into the science and practice of yoga. I had discovered and read a copy of the Bhagavad Gita at the college library. I had gone to the library with a friend and was magically drawn to the yoga philosophy section. The wisdom of the Gita felt so profound as it touched my soul—as if I had read these words hundreds of times before, the wisdom of the Enlightened Self guiding the ego mind, the connection of all things within ourselves.

    Yoga practice—yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, and the depths of meditation—taught so clearly in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, has brought a presence, richness, and openness into my life. It has led me to connect with wonderful people, find deep relationships and friendships, given me the confidence and clarity to spend my life earning a living practicing what I love: energy medicine, Reiki, and teaching all aspects of yoga all due to the knowing that the prana flow is real, more real than my mental concepts and judgments. It led me to living for 15 years at Kripalu ashram, where every day was a deep journey into life within and around me and to transition to day-to-day life in our cynical, materialistic culture. Through yoga workshops I have traveled all around the world, meeting people of many different cultures and connecting to yoga aspirants in an open, clear way.

    I have deep gratitude for the practice of yoga and philosophy and the profound effects it has had on my life and the life of many of those I have touched—family, friends, colleagues, and students. It’s the vibration that is opened through the practice of yoga/union that not only vibrates throughout my being but affects the world around me. The energy of light/love/presence that resounds and travels is palpable and has been a true blessing in my life.

    To learn more about Jeff, visit

    Yoga Q & A

    Can a person who is physically limited

    benefit from yoga?

    I would say “yes” prompted by what I’ve learned through my practice of yoga. The fact that you are limited, for any number of reasons, can be viewed, yogically, as a gift, because most of us are caught in a frantic and distracted pace of life.    

    You are in a place that a practice can bring peace, stillness, and a consciousness that highlights your innermost strength, perhaps to inspire and increase more physical mobility. In this environment of peace and stillness, creativity is able to manifest ways to enhance and broaden your reach into the self and the community, because yoga teaches us to be fully present, wherever and however we are. 

    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. 

    Michael Sassano

    Yoga Zoom class on Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. The first class is free, then $10/1 hour thereafter.  Classes are for beginner and intermediate levels. 

    Nancy Kardon

    Tuesday-Saturday Iyengar Yoga; All welcome to hybrid classes including asana, pranayama, meditation. In-studio for fully vaccinated students.

    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. 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

    If you're a yoga teacher, I'm certain that your students will show up not for what your poses, your body, your practice looks like, not because you are the most innovative or brilliant or beautiful (though, I assure you, you are innovative, brilliant, and beautiful), but because you’re the only one who can teach like you, whose journey has led you exactly to this moment. And, I assure you, whatever you’ve got and whatever got you here—embrace it.

    We need your message.

    Ashley Asti 

    A Teacher’s Guide to Creative Living

    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