December 2023 Newsletter

Please Note

Our December 9 workshop with the Sharma sisters has been canceled and is being replaced with a kirtan on the same day and time. Please see more info below!

Words of Welcome

Dear All, 

As we race into the holiday season and toward the New Year, let’s stop and take a deep yogic breath. After coming through the anguish of the pandemic, we are now facing the horrors of global warfare and the ensuing death, destruction, and despair. Those of us who can read this must express gratitude and appreciation for our relative safety at this time, blessed by our distance from the strife.

Our practice teaches that these positive emotions radiate light into the darkness, life force, and prana into the universe. We need this process to emerge from the chaos with minimal damage and maximum strength and courage to face the challenges ahead, victoriously.

To make any sense of the state of the world led me to think about a deep yoga tenet—the pendulum swings from damaged darkness to healing light and vice versa. It can’t get much darker, hopefully, so let’s meditate on the light that will soon shine.

Before we know it, we’ll be making our New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps, it would be more effective and appropriate at this time to begin to uplift our spirits to help keep us on our path to unrelenting joy and irrefutable health, growth, compassion for ourselves and others. Thanksgiving and the holidays present the perfect opportunities to celebrate light and love.

Take a step in that direction and join YTA every month for the workshops that manifest the best that yoga offers to help us fulfill a personal successful journey. We can only be a force for change if we stay focused on a positive outcome, and our outlook is enhanced and supported by others of like-minded goals.

Yours in yoga,
Paula Renuka Heitzner

YTA Workshops and Events

Saturday, December 9
1:30–4:00 p.m.

Universal Healing Arts
4 Crestview Avenue
Cortlandt Manor, NY

Holiday Kirtan
with Jane Slotnick

Please join us for a special bhakti yoga gathering to celebrate the season and ease holiday stress.

Kirtan is a call-and-response style of chanting with roots in the Vedic tradition. The repetitive chanting of the same sounds has a hypnotic effect on the mind, thus releasing it from stress, transferring it into a state of higher consciousness and concentration and out of negativity. The musical vibrations lead you to a place of well-being  as we create a unique experience together.

You don't need to know how to sing or read music. Chairs/cushions will be provided. Tea and water will be available.

Kirtan will begin at 2. There will be time before and after to connect with others and do some holiday shopping at YTA member Universal Healing Arts' Metaphysical & Crystal Shop.

Read more about kirtan here and here.

$15 Members/$20 Nonmembers in advance
$18 Members/$24 Nonmembers day of and at the door

    Register Now!

    2024 Workshops

    January 13

    So Much More Than Stretching: Teaching

    Chair Yoga Stretch
    with Beatrice Mattaway

    Learn how to stretch each muscle group deeply and safely, from the head, down to the toes. Suitable for everyone, and particularly ideal for athletes, seniors, pregnant women, and anyone with injuries that prevent sitting on the floor. Learn more...

    February 10

    Subtle Yoga: The Science Behind Slow, Mindful

    Yoga Practice with

    Kristine Kaoverii Weber

    Learn how slow, mindful yoga practices change the brain–both structurally and functionally–to support greater physical and mental health and well-being. We will also explore specific techniques and principles of asana practice to elicit positive neuroplasticity. Learn more and register now!

    March 9
    A Spiritual Approach to Your Livelihood and

    Client Attraction
    with Laura Cornell

    April 13
    Starting Off on the Right Foot—New Perspectives on the Feet and Why They Matter with Doug Keller  

    May 11

    Radiate and Return: Relating to Your Core with 

    Jennifer Brilliant 

    June 8
    Quiet Channels: Creating

    a Steady Postural Base

    for Tranquil Asana

    with Aasia Lewis

    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.

    Yoga Q & A

    How do you achieve the benefits of yoga without incurring injury?

    Often there is a common complaint among new yoga students: "I've been doing yoga for a short time and I’m athletic (tennis, gym, biking). I thought I was in good shape, but I have been getting hurt and frustrated."

    They are not alone, if that’s any consolation. The benefits of yoga do not show up by competing with others in class, muscular force, and/or an iron will, all attributes in other pursuits. Here are a few suggestions that could help and steps to take for a better yogic experience:

    1. Speak to your instructor about giving you constructive feedback, that you will greatly appreciate it.
    2. Being challenged is inevitable and by “surrendering” you won’t be defeated. Surrender in the world of yoga is letting go of the habits, patterns, mind sets, and negativitiesthe real obstacles bringing pain and frustration and in the way of growth.
    3. Switch over to guidance from the breath, instead of brawn, and to anatomical awareness of the bones and joints instead of merely the muscles.
    In time this will make more sense as your practice moves forward physically and emotionally. Let your brain be your guide instead of the mind.

    This section is dedicated to answering your questions about yoga—as a student or as a teacher. Questions? Comments? Send them to yta_editor@ytayoga.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.

    Holiday Happenings


      Every month in this space we will share some type of community news—local happenings, volunteer opportunities, member perks or news... If you have something you'd like to share, please email us.

      We will continue to share YTA member workshops, special events, and trainings occasionally in eblasts. Whenever you have an event or training to share, please email yta_editor@ytayoga.com. You can also activate your profile in our directory to post your events on our website.

      If you are in need of a sub or know of a teaching opportunity, email us at any time and we will get it out to our 800+ mailing list as soon as possible.

      Final Thoughts

      I am everywhere, infusing everything. To find me, become absorbed in intense experience. Go all the way, Be drenched in the energies of life. Enter the world beyond separation. The light of a candle reveals a room. The rays of the sun reveal the world. So does the divine feminine illumine the way to me. 

      Radiance Sutras, Verses 20-21

      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 / $75 day of)

      Board of Directors

      Gina Callender, ERYT 200, RYT 500, CEP

      Vice President
      Lorraine Burton

      Tony Salmon



      Programming Chair

      Sylvia Samilton-Baker, MA, ERYT


      Terry Fiore Lavery, RYT (Editor)

      Cassie Cartaginese, RYT (Designer) 

      Social Media

      Chantale Bourdages


      Victoria Moya

      Board Member at Large
      Paula Heitzner, ERYT



      Copyright © 2023 Yoga Teachers Association. All rights reserved.

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