May 2020 Newslette

Words of Welcome

Dear All, 

The month of May is named for the Roman goddess Maia, who oversaw the growth of plants. It’s also from the Latin word maiores, meaning the elders, who were celebrated during this month.

Mother Nature and Maia shared the same mindset about this time of year, the growth and greening on our part of the planet. We can use this mindset to augment our own growth and development during any season, which is the prime reason for our practice of yoga, as well as for the gifts of health and wellness we get to experience resulting from this practice. As Spring deepens into Summer, what started so sparsely in nature becomes enriched by time and the conditions conducive to growth and development. So too, our yoga practice brings enrichment to our lives and helps us to determine and discriminate in favor of beneficial habits and choices to help us reach our fullest and highest potential. 

Like the ancient Romans who spoke Latin, our yoga heritage leads us to revere our Rishis and Sages, the wise elders, who taught from mouth to ear. From their powers of observation, intuition, and consciousness, we today enjoy the life-enhancing teachings of their yoga legacy.

Take the month called May, literally, and give yourself permission to grow and transform, honoring all that you are learning, creating courage to risk without judging your sincere efforts, and appreciating who you are and your journey. You may be delighted with the results of that decision. 

Learning from the past, let's keep reaching for greater self-enhancement through the teachings offered by YTA's wonderful and varied presenters—the second Saturday of the month. “May" we meet.

Yours in yoga, 
Paula Renuka Heitzner

2020 Workshops

Saturday, May 9
1:30–4:30 p.m.
via Zoom

Yoga for Pain Relief: Steps to an Extraordinary Life

with Lee Albert

Do you or your students struggle with tight hamstrings, sore knees, hips that just won’t open, or back or neck pain? Is there an effective way to deal with these conditions through yoga? There sure is. 

Most pain is foundational, resulting from imbalances in the musculoskeletal system. Yoga can correct these imbalances in a relatively short time with the practice of appropriate postures to stretch or strengthen targeted muscles. Learn how to identify the most common misalignments and to develop a quick and simple approach to getting back into balance to reduce or eliminate the pain. You’ll learn the five major muscle imbalances; specific poses and sequences for low back and neck pain; which poses to avoid for those who have these conditions; the best way to stretch; and simple breathing and meditation exercises for stress and pain relief.

Lee Albert, NMT, is a national presenter and highly popular neuromuscular therapist and yoga instructor at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. Dedicated to helping people help themselves, Lee created, practices, and teaches Integrated Positional Therapy (IPT), protocols to reduce and often eliminate chronic pain. He is the author of Yoga for Pain Relief: A New Approach to an Ancient Practice and Live Pain Free Without Drugs or Surgery. Lee is trained in neuromuscular therapy, orthopedic massage, positional therapy, yoga therapy, and myofascial release.

Register Now

*** This workshop will be taking place via Zoom. ***
You will receive the meeting information in your registration confirmation.

Final Workshop
of YTA's 2019–20 Season

June 13
A Celebration of Tao Porchon-Lynch’s Life and Legacy 

Join us for an interactive slideshow with time for audience Q & A, followed by a practice encompassing all the unique aspects of Tao’s teachings and including one of her magical savasana meditations.  Read more ...


Workshops are $45 members / $65 nonmembers in advance ($55 / $75 at the door), unless otherwise noted. 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 the April Online Workshop

with Stan Woodman 


Yoga for Pain Relief

by Lee Albert, NMT

Do you or your yoga students struggle with tight hamstrings, sore knees, back pain, or hips that won’t open? Is your stress making you sick? Do you feel anxious and find it difficult to relax and be calm? Is there an effective way to deal with these conditions through yoga? There sure is.

The focus of this class is yoga practice for well-being and pain relief using modern yoga. The ancient yogis believed that a regular yoga practice could help with all aspects of one’s being. Since our lifestyles today are quite different from that of the ancient yogis, we will benefit by culling the traditional yoga practices that will most benefit our needs in the 21st century. The information I will present is suitable for those new to yoga and for those who have been practicing for many years, both students and teachers. This material is for those who want to be able to achieve even better results from their yoga practice and for those who are struggling with certain poses and conditions. It is suitable for all body types.

In this workshop we will discuss the powerful benefits of asana (stretching), pranayama (breathing), and meditation, especially as they apply to neuromuscular conditions and the general health of the body, mind, and spirit. These tools of the ancient yogis are making a resurgence in our modern world as science is confirming their many benefits.

In the final analysis, most pain is foundational, resulting from imbalances in the musculoskeletal system. We are in pain because we are misaligned, or “crooked.” We have poor posture as a result. Even if you think you have good posture, you probably don’t, as misalignments are often not obvious to the untrained eye. This class will teach you how to identify the most common misalignments and to develop a quick and simple approach to better posture and muscle balance that will help with many painful conditions in the body.

By incorporating this information into your practice, you will be able to more precisely choose the poses best suited for your current body conditions. Yoga should not be about performing poses but rather selecting the poses that will most benefit your current body conditions. Not all yoga postures are suitable for all individuals. Depending on your postural imbalances, you might need to avoid certain poses until the body is back in balance. The information I will present will help identify these imbalances, explain how current poses you are practicing might be causing or contributing to pain, and show you how to develop a yoga practice that can achieve the right balance for you. The result will be less pain and more vitality in your life.

Western medicine has few interventions for the musculoskeletal pain and stress often caused by our modern lifestyles. Typically, doctors prescribe painkillers, muscle relaxers, and antianxiety drugs. These can often bring some relief, but they are only treating the symptoms rather than the root problem.

Selecting the correct asanas (poses) for your particular musculoskeletal condition requires some knowledge of anatomy and muscle imbalances. Knowing how to deal with the stress and anxiety in our daily lives requires some knowledge of the mind and body. These yoga solutions will help you alleviate the root causes of your conditions.

I have trained thousands of people in my workshops, including MDs, physical therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, and lay people. They have all learned how easy it is to reduce or eliminate pain. They all have learned how to achieve a greater sense of well-being when following my protocols.

This workshop will take you on a journey so you can discover:

  • the roots of yoga, and how traditional yoga differs from what we practice today 
  • the miraculous mechanics of your musculoskeletal system
  • the cause of most aches and pains
  • how to reduce pain and achieve better results from your practice
  • how to select the correct asanas for you and your students’ conditions
  • why people get hurt practicing yoga and how to avoid injury
  • how to stretch
  • specific yoga flows for pain relief
  • guidelines for achieving superior results
  • the many benefits of pranayama and meditation  
  • how to quickly reduce or eliminate stress and anxiety
  • how to integrate yoga into your everyday life

Learn more at 

Yoga Q & A

What should you be aware of when teaching outdoors? 

The first consideration in my mind would be to make sure of the weather. If a change of location would be necessary because of sudden inclement weather conditions, an alternative venue should be readily available.

An outdoor space that offers good footing for balance and stability should be held in high account. The area should be as bug- and tick-free as possible to allow for a peaceful pursuit of your practice. To sum it up, when doing your yoga outdoors, the practitioner should enjoy reasonable protection and safety from the elements.

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 at the New Age Center in Nyack. 

Learn more about Paula at

Member Events

YTA’s 21-Day Gayatri Community Devotion 
Deirdre Breen 

May 2–22, 7–7:30 am daily via Zoom

The Gayatri Mantra is the supreme prayer received by Rishi Vishwamitra to help humanity during the darkest of times. Yogis around the world begin their day with this mantra to purify their consciousness and radiate vibrant prana.

Participating yogis will chant Gayatri 27 times in community.


Oh God! Thou art the Giver of Life,
Remover of pain and sorrow,
The Bestower of happiness,
Oh! Creator of the Universe,
May we receive thy supreme sin-destroying light,
May Thou guide our intellect in the right direction

Here is a video about the Gayatri Mantra's origins.
Here is a video on how to properly pronounce the Sanskrit.

if you plan to participate, please e-mail Audrey Brooks or Deirdre Breen.

YTA Gayatri Devotion-ZoomMeeting ID: 946 8807 9708, Password: Gayatri

One tap mobile +16465588656,,94688079708#,,#,458501# US (New York)

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


Online Yoga and Meditation Offerings
from YTA Members

Birchwood Center

Gentle yoga, moving mantra, free videos on YouTube

Devi Ma Yoga

Prenatal, new mom, and yin classes. Sun, Thurs, & Sat.

Elisha Simpson (Crossover Yoga Project)

Mindfulness classes, Tues, 8 am; Wed, 8 pm, free

Gina Callender
Short yoga and meditation videos on YouTube, free

Iyengar Yoga Scarsdale

Online classes, $15

PranaMoon Yoga at the Hat Factory 
Vinyasa, gentle, & Yin yoga classes, 60 min, $10; meditation, 30 min, $6; & a free offering as well

Sacred Spirit Yoga & Healing Arts Center 
Online All Levels Yoga Class with Chris Glover, Tues & Sat, 
9:30-10:45 am, $15

Wainwright House 
Yoga & movement classes, $10 members; $15 nonmembers; meditation classes, $5 drop-in

Willow Tree Yoga

All-level, Kundalini, stretch, and Vinyasa flow classes, by donation

Yoga by Meredith
Community Yoga classes Tues, Wed 7 p.m., Sat 9:30 a.m.; e-mail for details:

Yoga Culture 
New student pass 30 days for $39; drop-in $19 

... from YTA Presenters

Al Bingham, "Project Love" online classes, $5 or free

Alison West, Online classes, preregister

Amy Weintraub, Remote Relief Series, Free

Christa Tues, Thurs, Sat, 9-10:15 PT

Colleen Breeckner, 60-min online vinyasa Level 2/3 class, suggested donation $10

Daniel Orlansky, Online classes daily, $10–$20

Deirdre Breen: Free meditation, Mondays, 5:30–6:30. Zoom meeting ID: 310 398 6443; PW: Calm

Mona Anand, daily online classes; Ishta Yoga Nidra Teacher Training, May 6-8, $575

Priti Robyn Ross, Tues, 2 pm; Thurs, 6 pm

Ravi Singh, Wed, Fri, Sun, 9 am PT, $12

Rudy Dynamic Gentle pranayama chair yoga, daily, 8-9 am; Dynamic Gentle chair yoga, Tues, 5-6 pm; Dynamic Gentle yoga mat class, Thurs, 4:30-6 pm, free on Facebook or Zoom

Stan Woodman, Ashtange Primary Series, every day, 8–9:30 a.m., $20

Todd Norian, Blankets of Grace: Practices for Sound Sleep and Deep Rest begins May 13; 5 classes for $45

... from YTA Friends

Eileen Fisher, Interactive Live Stream, Embodied Creativity, May 21, Thurs, 12-1 pm, free

Integral Yoga Institute, Mon, Tues, & Wed classes, by donation

Jennifer Online classes, pay what you can starting at $2; also online Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra Teacher Training, May 16-17 & May 23-24, $870

Karma Road, Vinyasa, gentle, & Yin yoga classes, 60 minutes. $10; meditation, 30 minutes. $6

Radiate Yoga, radiateyoga.comVinyasa, gentle, & Yin yoga classes, 60 minutes. $10; meditation, 30 minutes, $6

Riverstone Yoga, Full Moon Ceremony, May 8, New Moon Ceremony, May 22, $25; Yoga Nidra, Mon, free; Covid-19 Trauma Informed Yoga, May 9, 16, & 23, $20, $55 for series

Yoga Shivaya, Tues-Sun, Beginner, all levels, gentle, slow flow, intermediate, & meditation, $20

Final Thoughts

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.

Martin Luther King Jr.

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

WORKSHOP FEES (unless otherwise stated)
 members / $65 nonmembers in advance
($55 and $75 at the door)

Board of Directors

Audrey Brooks

Vice President 
Lorraine Burton

Steven Cownie

Susan Edwards Colson

Board Member-at-Large
Paula Heitzner, ERYT

Program Coordinator
Robin Laufer, MS Ed, ERYT 500

Special Events
Gina Callender, ERYT 200, ERYT 500; CEP

Terry Fiore Lavery, ERYT

Newsletter Design & Layout
Lisa Sloane, MA, ERYT


Copyright © 2020 Yoga Teachers Association. All rights reserved.

Yoga Teachers Association • 21-39 Croton Lake Road • Katonah, NY 10536 • USA