March 2024 Newsletter

Words of Welcome

Dear All, 

Named for the Roman God of war, Mars, the month of March, following the stillness of deep winter, is a contrast as it pushes back darkness and maneuvers the planet into the light. Mother Nature is the feminine counterpart of this tactic to move toward life and renewed growth in the light.

This is a clear example of how opposites can work together peacefully for the greatest good. An element of strategy can always be adapted to honor the needs of all parties involved. The month of March illustrates this point by rudely awakening the Earth from its hibernation in darkness and Mother Nature lighting the path to regrowth and regeneration, always restoring balance.

Our yoga practice teaches us this principle. It is an indispensable truth in every aspect of life in the universe, but not easily seen or understood. It is a wonder how our human species could continue to act as we do without realizing the damage and despair this arrogance and ignorance creates. Life, as it was and is intended to be, is being destroyed by the lack of light from all beings, allowing the darkness to further deepen, overcoming the light that supports life…to balance death.

With our yoga practice and community, let’s concentrate on bringing in as much light as possible, the only practical solution to initiating the changes we desire.
The YTA is here to support this high energy, so badly needed at this time. Each month offers a different workshop and opportunity to help us continue to meet our needs to support ourselves and the community at large. Join us and add to the light source.

Yours in yoga,
Paula Renuka Heitzner

YTA Workshops and Events

Saturday, March 9
1:30–4:30 p.m.
Via Zoom

How to Practice Conscious Business: Five Steps to Empowered Growth as a Wellness Practitioner

with Laura Cornell

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to meet sacred business mentor Laura Cornell, who will share tips and inspiration to grow your business, increase income, and boost confidence. In this interactive workshop, you’ll discover five practical steps to turn your passion into a thriving business, whether online or in person:

  • Make marketing feel like genuine service, so you naturally attract clients you adore.

  • Bust the #1 money myth that holds back women and other entrepreneurs and instead invite abundance on all levels.

  • Avoid the top three spiritual business mistakes that hinder your success.

  • Harness the archetypal power of the Divine Feminine* to supercharge your results.

  • Tap into your purpose as the guiding light for your dream business.

Are you ready to step into a life of expanding service and freedom? Join us for this transformational experience!

Please note that this workshop will be mostly lecture and discussion; however, there will be some small movement and pranayama breaks.

A recording will be made available to all registrants for 30 days following the workshop.

*Laura's work is primarily with women, and as such she has a female-centric point of view in her presentations, such as using a Vedic Goddess model to teach principles of sacred business. However, all wellness workers are welcome and encouraged to join this workshop.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Laura Jean Cornell, PhD, is a seasoned yogini, best-selling author, and the founder of Align Your Divine Business. Her mission is to guide spiritual women (and other) entrepreneurs, whether they are just starting their journey or have a wealth of experience, to build sustainable, purpose-driven businesses. Laura brings over 13 years of experience empowering over 1000 students to turn their dreams into reality, both online and in person, helping them thrive in their practices. Her retreats and year-long mentoring are for sacred business women; this event is open to all.

    Register Now

    2024 Offerings

    March 23, 2–4 p.m.
    Spring Kirtan
    Jane Slotnick
        At Nyack Yoga Center    
    Celebrate the renewal of the spring season in community with bhakti yoga, the yoga of devotion. Kirtan is a call-and-response style of singing a mantra invoking the Hindu gods with roots in the Vedic tradition. You don't need to know how to sing or read music. If you are unsure or nervous about participating, you are welcome to simply observe and enjoy! Learn more and register now!

    April 13
    Starting Off on the Right Foot with Doug Keller
        At Club Fit and via Zoom   
    Join master teacher Doug Keller in person at Club Fit or via Zoom to discover how actions based in the feet can affect sacral/low back, hip, and knee health. Discover a new perspective on the foundation provided by the feet and how the most fundamental poses of yoga are tools for improving wellness in these joints. Learn More....

    May 11

    Radiate & Return: Relating to Your Core
    Jennifer Brilliant

        At Club Fit and via Zoom   
    Anchoring your limbs to your core in yoga practice can support you in feeling whole and guide you to move with more fluidity and ease. In this workshop, we will discuss and explore what parts of your body to include in your concept of your core. Jennifer’s eclectic approach is informed by in-depth and decades-long work in dance, personal training, Pilates, Alexander Technique, yoga and more. 

    June 8
    Quiet Channels: Creating a Steady Postural Base for Tranquil Asana
    with Aasia Lewis
        Via Zoom    
    The groins connect the pelvis to the legs, and due to their intimate, subtle nature, have the capacity to disrupt the orientation of the pelvis, which impacts the core of standing poses and the foundation of seated ones. In this workshop, we will explore the quieting of the inner groins and thighs during standing and seated postures to experience the effects of a soft abdomen and a widened base (specifically the glutes and backs of the thighs). The quiet channels of the groins bring us into a state of ease, equilibrium, and equanimity, supporting us far beyond the asana practice.

    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 Darkness to Divine: My Journey to Empowering Women Through Yoga and Business 

    by Laura J. Cornell

    At a time when values, health, and community are crumbling, the New Earth will be birthed from the inside out—one breath, one being, and one relationship at a time. This is why I do what I do—to help women healers have the skills and the strength they need to meet the challenges of today. I am a sacred business mentor, author, and speaker on a mission to help women heal body, mind, and soul so we can reach out to heal the world.

    My journey hasn't always been easy. In my 20s, I struggled with anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue, and an eating disorder. I felt lost and disconnected from myself. It was during this time that I discovered the transformative power of yoga. Yoga helped me reconnect with my feminine being and find my way back to wholeness. I chronicle this journey of healing in my book, Moon Salutations: Women's Journey Through Yoga to Healing, Power, and Peace.

    This book on the moon salutations also tells the story of a yoga practice created by and for women and gives instruction in variations of the moon salutation for everyone from beginners to highly experienced practitioners. While the more familiar sun salutation embraces solar or masculine qualities, the moon salutation fills the need for our lunar/feminine qualities.

    Through yoga, I found my purpose. I realized that I wanted to help other women experience the same healing and transformation that I had. Along the way I completed graduate studies in yoga, earning a Master’s in East West Psychology and a Doctorate in Religion and Philosophy from the California Institute of Integral Studies.

    From 2001–2007 I pioneered a Green Yoga movement in the United States, inspiring the greening of yoga studios, producing two major conferences on yoga and ecology, and selling 10,000 nontoxic yoga mats from my living room. This work was featured in Yoga Journal, Natural Health, LA Yoga, and Common Ground magazines.

    Later in 2011 I discovered my passion for business coaching. Women began asking me to help them grow their confidence and skill as entrepreneurs. I began to see how massive the blind spots are that we all have around money in the spiritual community, and I became quite committed to helping other women overcome these, as I have.

    I believe that there is no way that women can reach their full potential when they are struggling financially. I see an epidemic of underearning among women healers, coaches, and teachers, and this sucks our energy field, holding women back both personally and professionally.

    Through the platform of Divine Feminine Yoga, I’ve inspired and uplifted over 30,000 women, offering seven online conferences empowering women through yoga, as well as coaching, retreats, online courses, and year-long mentorship programs. As a business trainer and coach, I support holistic healers, teachers, and coaches in putting their gifts to use so they can be of greater service through the work they love.

    Divine Feminine Yoga has grown into a vibrant community of women supporting each other on their paths to wholeness. It brings me immense joy to witness the way yoga empowers women to find their voices, embrace their bodies, and step into their power.

    Here are some of the reasons why I do what I do:

    • I believe that every woman deserves to live a life of purpose and joy. I have seen firsthand how yoga can help women overcome challenges and create lives that are aligned with their soul's purpose.

    • I am passionate about helping women connect with their feminine energy. In today's world, it is more important than ever for women to tap into their intuition, creativity, and compassion. Yoga is a powerful tool for doing this.

    • I want to create a world where women are empowered to lead and make a difference. I believe that when women heal, they heal the world. But we need solid business skills to do that, and that’s what I teach!

    My work is not just about yoga or about business; it's about creating a sisterhood of support and empowerment. I am grateful for the opportunity to use my gifts and experiences to help women on their journeys to wholeness.

    To learn more about Laura, visit

    Yoga Q & A

    How can I stretch in a meaningful way when my body is tight?

    Those of us who have an easier time of stretching know that the body is “elastic and plastic.” The correct breathing is able to allow the body access to move tight muscles, mobilize joints and expand, wide and side, with every inhale. The out breath enables the body to lengthen from the feet, that are grounded, through the center of the body, and through the top of the lifted head. Breathing also reduces the tensions that tighten the muscles and allows the body to move more freely when stretching. Know how your joints are designed to move and use them correctly.
    Breathe and feel well!

    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

    Spotlight on 

     Women's History Month

        In honor of Women's History Month, please enjoy this non-exhaustive roundup of links, yoga-related and not, to celebrate, learn about, and connect with women's history this month—and every other month.

        Please share your own links and resources and/or how you are celebrating women's history on our Facebook page or in reply!


        Yoga-Related Articles and Links

        Local WHM Events


        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 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

        Maybe the journey isn't so much about becoming anything. Maybe it's about un-becoming everything that isn't really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place. 

        Paulo Coelho

        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


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