September 2019 Newslette

Yoga for a Radiant Heart, Body, and Mind 

with Todd Norian

October 25–27
Himalayan Institute, Honesdale, PA

Join Todd and the YTA for a weekend of empowerment 
and transformation
. See details below, and register today

The Yoga Teachers Association Proudly Presents


with  Ravi Singh 


September 14
1:30–4:30 pm
Club Fit*
584 North State Road
Briarcliff Manor, NY

If a client came to you with a condition such as depression, adrenal fatigue, migraines, diabetes, high blood pressure, or hypothyroid, would you have the tools to give him or her something that works? 

Yoga teachers are not doctors, and we can’t claim to diagnose or heal, but as an adjunct to medical treatment we want to be in a position to make a difference for people. In this workshop you’ll learn specific techniques for a wide range of modern-day ailments to improve the quality of your life and add to your professional palette. If you have a prevailing condition, Ravi will do his best to offer a protocol as an adjunct to standard treatment. 

Join the Yoga Teachers Association and celebrated teacher Ravi Singh for a profound workout and work-in (70% physical/30% meditative). 

Ravi Singh is an internationally celebrated yoga teacher with 45 years of experience. He stays fresh by constantly innovating his methods, depth, and insight. His approach is powerful, poetic, masterful, and fun, and he is known for helping students make consistent and dramatic breakthroughs in their lives. He is the author (with Ana Brett) of 25 bestselling DVDs and a recent book, Life in the Vast Lane. Ravi presents teacher trainings and workshops worldwide, and he was selected by Yoga Alliance to be on their advisory board for teacher training standards. 

To attend Ravi’s workshop, register now!

*Please note that unless otherwise specified, YTA workshops are now being held in Studio 4 on the first floor.

Workshops are $45 members / $65 nonmembers in advance ($55 / $75 at the door).

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.


My Yoga Journey

by Ravi Singh


From the late '60s forward, I had the good fortune to study with many of the renowned yoga teachers who had come to the U.S. from India. Yoga felt incredibly familiar to me and totally in alignment with my path and purpose, but I always felt that something was missing, something as yet undefined. It seemed that many of the Eastern teachers assumed that Western bodies and Western psyches were somehow not quite ready for the truly authentic, unabashed techniques that would deliver us to unprecedented breakthroughs and bliss. That all changed when Yogi Bhajan unveiled Kundalini Yoga, which I encountered as a student at the University in Chicago in 1972. 

Kundalini is a tantric path. Tantra means that the seen and unseen are interwoven. It also posits that desperate times (Kaliyug or the Age of Darkness, which we're in now despite the onset of the Aquarian Age) call for desperate measures (i.e., what works!). Kundalini Yoga is immediate, powerful, and potent. It's a gift to humanity from the saints and sages of the ages and lets us enter into the profound process of our unfolding in the context of life as we know it. Life is the crucible for our transformation process. But we need to approach life with a firm discipline and the willingness to take our yoga beyond our mat and extend it to everything we do. 

I first met Yogi Bhajan in 1973. He was not like the swamis and gurus I'd met previously. He was more like Sean Connery in the Wind and the Lion rather than Ben Kingsley in Ghandi. What I learned from Yogi Bhajan was exactly what I'd always been looking for in my yoga journey: something immediate; something with some spiritual juice; and, most importantly, something that I could pass on as a teacher to help people deal effectively with all of the issues they invariably encounter. 

For many years I was the only Kundalini Yoga teacher in Manhattan. I had a number of yoga centers and throughout the '80s and beyond I published books, videos, and DVDs. In the 2000s I met Ana Brett, who was a sub for the Vinyasa teachers at my studio. We soon merged into one unit and began to teach together. We recently published The Kundalini Yoga Book—Life in the Vast Lane, a 10-year project. 

This year marks my 45th year of teaching. Yoga now in the U.S. is a bit bipolar. On one hand, it's trendy and silly (goat yoga, beer yoga, nude yoga…) and conversely it's evolving into something amazing. What I foresee is a Grand Synthesis of yoga styles that will be woven through the fabric of our culture and consciousness. 

A Kundalini Yoga teacher is a spiritual teacher because Kundalini Yoga is all about spirit. When spirit is present we can live our greatness. The purpose of Kundalini Yoga is to give us the means to live lit up. What I see happening among many modern yogis is that people are sometimes losing sight of what's important. The key is to remember what the saints and sages have been telling us for 5000 years. Successful living means bringing our minds and emotions under conscious control. Also, we need to deal with karma before it deals with us. We need to live in a way that honors and gathers energy. Our chakras, nadis, nerves, and all bodily systems need to be aligned and purified every day. Every day we need to ingratiate ourselves with the self that never dies. Kundalini Yoga gives us the means to do all that every day so we can live the high life. Then our life can become our yoga and yoga can be our life. 

I look forward to seeing all of you on September 14 at the YTA's kickoff for the 2019 season of workshops. You will experience a yoga workout, and we'll also be focusing on yoga tools for every form of modern malaise. These include: thyroid issues, addiction, weight loss, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, issues around menopause, adrenal fatigue, digestive issues, depression, insomnia ... and anything you would like to request a protocol for. 

Increase your professional palette. Share in a powerful group energy. Give your life and practice an energy boost. Manifest destiny and heal the world!

To learn more about Ravi, go to


2019–2020 Workshops

Ravi Singh: Yoga Therapy Approaches Through a Kundalini Lens
September 14
Details and registration info in this newsletter and at

Yoga for a Radiant Heart, Body, and Mind with Todd Norian
October 25–27 (Friday, 4 pm, to Sunday, 12 noon)

* Our second annual retreat at the Himalayan Institute

Using the therapeutic alignment techniques and empowering Tantric philosophy of his Ashaya Yoga method, Todd will safely guide you into a variety of spiritually uplifting poses that open your world to new levels of transformation. Over the course of this magical weekend you’ll increase your strength, flexibility, and inner resolve to face the challenges of life and know greater freedom and joy. Program registration booked through YTA; meals and accommodations booked through HA. Register by Sept 15 for early-bird pricing. 

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

More information on the following workshops to come soon!

Daniel Orlansky: Flowing into WholenessYoga for Energy Flow and Qigong 

October 12

Alison West: Yoga and Scoliosis—Principles and Practice
November 9

Sandra Anderson: Lions, Tigers, Elephants, and Prana: Exploring the Hatha Yoga Pradipika
December 14 

Ingrid Bacci: Yoga Meets the Alexander Technique
January 11

Mona Anand: Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra to for an Expanded State of Awareness
February 8

Deirdre Breen: Mudras: Empower Your Practice and Your Teaching
March 14

Stan Woodman: Tristana—The Three Pillars of Astanga Yoga
April 11

Lee Albert: Yoga for Pain Relief: Steps to an Extraordinary Life
May 9

Tao Porchon-Lynch: Nothing Is Impossible!
June 13


Words of Wisdom

from Paula Renuka Heitzner

Dear All, 

September is that month that carries the imprint of summer but is edged by the increased energy that comes along with new beginnings and all the promise inherent in those beginnings.

As the fall yoga schedule unfolds, we look forward to the workshops lined up for the coming year and to the retreat at the Himalayan Institute in October. The YTA is on the ball in carrying the creative banner enticing us to exciting new experiences to explore and to deepen our yoga practice.

The impact of a yoga practice on our lives is immeasurable and touches every aspect of our being with strength, consciousness, and clarity, enabling us to live more fully and effectively. 

From a physical standpoint, we recognize the need to stand on our own two feet and to ground ourselves to access the strength needed to withstand life's pressures and to align with our physical anatomical design with which we were blessed, the synergy of form and function.

The threshold to the portals of the mental/emotional aspect of our being is there for us to enter and move through, teaching us the importance of adapting and adjusting, especially when life seems to not be working in our favor. This is when we need to use the principles of our practice: to focus and to be purposeful because we are not perfect. We gain self-respect when we stop self-sabotaging ourselves with feelings of defeat and weakness that lead us to excuses and compromises in our actions and thoughts. This is a definite dead end. 

Limitations approached with the yogic teachings of adapting and adjusting lead us to a state of balance that empowers the practitioner and enables growth and transformation; you organically work through the limitations and get to the next level. This empowerment is not only physical, but brings us to better emotional health gained by the greater awareness of what was stopping us and why. This is the self-knowledge that engenders the wholesome mental and emotional states of being to support our spiritual quest. 

When we feel grounded and strong in our bodies and balanced in our thoughts and feelings, we can open to the high energy of the Spirit. This is ultimately what our earthly journey is all about—our connection to Ether.

Wherever you are on your journey, forge a path to our monthly workshop and join us in our yoga quest for greater clarity, joy, and peace for all beings. We need your light and energy!

Yours in yoga, 
Paula Renuka Heitzner


Your Thoughts

What Are the Best Techniques for Visualization in Meditation?

The object of meditation is to still the mind, deepen the breath, and to focus with ease and clarity, stimulating inner vision. These aims help the meditator to relax muscles and release stress, tension, and anxiety, which are toxic for the physical or energetic body.

One popular approach is Tratak, the unblinking focus on a candle flame, that is then seen on the "inner" screen. Chanting a mantra, or hearing any repetitive sound for a length of time, induces relaxation and focus. Paying close attention to the sound of the breath and/or the sensations of the inhalation or exhalation on the nasal passages brings the mind to stillness. Focusing on the sounds and colors of the Chakras allows the state of meditation to prevail.

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. Tell us your thoughts!

Paula Heitzner, ERYT– 500, is a Master Yoga Teacher. She has taught yoga for over 50 years and has trained many others to teach the time-honored principles, practices, and philosophy of yoga. The “teacher of teachers,” as she is called by her students, teaches at the New Age Center in Nyack. 

Learn more about Paula at


From the June workshop
with Tao Porchon-Lynch


Member Events 

YTA members (individuals & 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

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

Crossover Yoga Project
Elisha Simpson
127 Main Street
Ossining, NY 10562

Trauma-Informed Training 
Sept 11, 18, & 25 & Oct 2 (Wed 6-9 pm)
CYP's trauma-informed training offers resources, instruction, and support to understand how trauma impacts our daily lives, through the lens of social justice, how therapeutic interventions assist in finding balance and the importance of self-care. Skills learned in CYP's 15-hour training can be used in interventions, yoga classes, and everyday interactions with others by all professionals who work with trauma survivors. Participants receive a manual, support, practices they can use immediately for themselves and their clients. 200-hour yoga Instructors are eligible for 15 Yoga Alliance credits. $395

This training is taking place at Speakeasy10562, 127 Main Street, Ossining, NY 10562.

Iyengar Yoga Scarsdale/Greenwich

Nancy Kardon
74 Brewster Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583


299 Greenwich Avenue, 3rd Fl

Greenwich, CT 06830


Iyengar Yoga Fundamentals 
Sept 21 (Sat, 11:45 am-12:45 pm)
Experience a first step into Iyengar Yoga with some basic fundamentals of this method where you are taught how to make the shapes and quiet your monkey mind. Preregister by email. $25; free to those new to this studio.             

Scoliosis & Back Care 
Sept 21 (Sat, 2:15-3:45 pm)
Learn about your asymetry: what moves out and what moves in; what is overworking and what is underworking; and, most importantly, learn how to create space and bring balance. We will use the rope wall and other traction action as we explore in this practice. Open to all yoga practitioners. Preregister by email. $25

Pranayama: A Gateway Practice to Meditation and Living Yoga

Sept 28 (Sat, 3-4:30 pm)
Prana is energy. We work with our vital energy with breath as a tool of presence. A regular yoga practice is necessary to be able to work in a "less is more" way with the breath. In Iyengar Yoga a prerequisite is to first work with the skeletal body to learn to connect mind and body. $25

Sutra Tea
Sept 28 (Sat, 4:40-5:45 pm)
Study and share with the Yoga Sutras as our springboard guide. Preregister please. No fee, but feel free to bring something to share (edible and otherwise) 

Yoga Culture
Kristine Habersang
105 Mill Plain Road
Danbury, CT 06811

Yoga for Back Pain and Strengthening, Semi-Private Lesson

with Jessie DiMauro Marks
Sept 5 (Thurs, 6–7 pm)
Alleviate pain by building stronger lower back muscles and developing healthy posture. This lesson specifically focuses on strengthening the low back.
Please note: If you are dealing with back pain severe enough to keep you from moving freely, you should see a doctor. Then you should get medical clearance from your doctor before attending this lesson. Semi-private lessons are limited to 6 students allowing for more personalized instruction. $35

Yoga for Pelvic Floor Health, Semi-Private Lesson with Beth Perlman
Sept 26 (Thurs 6-7 pm)
Calling all women! Increase your knowledge of this powerful system of muscles and learn how to keep them strong yet flexible. This will help prevent lumbar spine issues, hip and sciatic issues, bladder issues, and so much more. After a brief discussion, learn an asana practice to keep these muscles working and apply this to all your yoga practices. Limited to 6 students. $35


~ Final Thoughts ~

But now in September the garden has cooled, and with it my possessiveness. The sun warms my back instead of beating on my head ... The harvest has dwindled, and I have grown apart from the intense midsummer relationship that brought it on.      

Robert Finch



Newsletter design and layout: Lisa Sloane 

Editorial team: Terry Fiore Lavery, Paula Heitzner, Audrey Brooks

Yoga Teachers Association was created by a small group of pioneering yoga teachers in 1979 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.


$50 for individual membership
$75 for studio membership


$45 members / $65 nonmembers in advance
($55 and $75 at the door)

Find out about and register for upcoming workshops at


Audrey Brooks

Vice President 
Lorraine Burton

Steven Cownie

Susan Edwards Colson

Board Member-At-Large
Paula Heitzner, ERYT

Program Coordinator
Robin Laufer, MS Ed, RYT 500

Special Events
Gina Callender

Terry Fiore Lavery, RYT

Newsletter Design & Layout
Lisa Sloane, MA, ERYT

President Emeritus
Tao Porchon-Lynch, ERYT, IAYT