June 2020 Newslette

Words of Welcome

Dear All,

It seems like yesterday that it was January and the beginning of the new year and the new decade. We are reminded of the passing of time as we begin hearing the burgeoning sounds and sights of a balmy, beautiful Summer. It is this season, when we notice the growing and greening of the planet and hear the sounds indicating the quickening of a life force shared by all forms of life, that we come to truly appreciate our five senses. 

Helen Keller said, "When you lose your vision, you lose contact with things. When you lose your hearing, you lose contact with people." Through our practice of yoga, we are instructed and led into techniques that neurologically support vision and hearing, as well as smell, taste, and touch—our five senses that highlight for us the gifts and the beauty of living our lives in a purposeful manner. 

Hopefully, the conscious awareness that is provoked by these natural awakenings will be expanded upon and nurtured to bring a greater refinement that will develop and unfold in our own practice of yoga.

Our earliest sages understood this organic connection between all living things. They devised the earliest asanas and practices from the observation and inspiration derived from the natural world, strengthening and using the five senses that increased our powers of intuition. We have inherited the harmony and balance they recognized and revered to be used in our own practice of yoga.

Let's be inspired by the month of June, as she and we move toward light, soften with warmth, strengthen with growth, and expand into the fullness of regeneration, all made possible by our practice of yoga.

The YTA workshops, every second Saturday each month, help us to appreciate our personal practice and our yoga community as we draw continuing knowledge from and through each other's experiences. Our five senses are honed and make us better able to meet the challenges that test us—the best reason of all to do our yoga.

Yours in yoga, 
Paula Renuka Heitzner

2020 Workshops

Saturday, June 13
1:30–4:00 p.m.
via Zoom
$20 for all

The Life and Legacy

of Tao Porchon-Lynch

with Renee Diamond and Joanna Rajendran

Tao Porchon-Lynch, couture model, actress, screenwriter, diplomat, oeniphile, author, two-time Guinness World Records award winner, and champion ballroom dancer—not to mention cofounder of the YTA and, of course, practitioner and teacher of yogawas a pioneer on many fronts. She was curious about the world and the plight of others from a very young age. Her life was devoted to helping others. "There’s nothing you cannot do" was real for her, not just a saying that sounded good.

The workshop will start with a slideshow on the many of chapters of Tao's life, presented by Renee Diamond and Joanna Rajendran, longtime students of hers. The interactive presentation will include contributions by other friends and teachers certified by Tao, and there will be time for Q & A. After a break, participants will be lead through a practice incorporating all the unique aspects of Tao’s teachings—breath work, asanas, vinyasas. The practice will finish with a 15-minute savasana accompanied by one of Tao’s magical meditations.

This is a beautiful way for us to not only honor Tao's life and legacy but also to be together—even if only virtually—during this time and recognize that there is nothing we cannot do or get through.

Register Now

Unless otherwise stated, 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.

Sneak Peek:
Fall 2020 Workshop

September 12
Sustainable Yoga for Life

with Cyndi Lee

October 10
Viniyoga Integrated Practices

with Karen Lee 

November 14
Mudras: Empower Your Practice and Your Teaching
with Deirdre Breen

December 12
Deep Listening: Slow Flow Yoga

with Jillian Pransky 

More information to come soon!

From the May Workshop

with Lee Albert


Reflections on 
Tao Porchon-Lynch

by Renee Diamond

Tao passed away peacefully at the age of 101 on February 21 of this year, surrounded by loving friends. She did not have immediate family or blood relatives, but she had a very large organically grown family that grew from her communities of yoga, ballroom dance, the Wine Society of Westchester, and the Rotary Club of Hartsdale. The Yoga Teachers Association is part of that large family. 

She did not want a funeral or burial ceremony of any kind. It was painful for all of us, set adrift in a sea of grief and loss with no place to mourn together or celebrate her extraordinary life and contribution to the world. Then COVID-19 came to town shortly after, and we were awash in a blur of incomprehensible circumstances. 

I feel tremendous gratitude for the YTA in making this tribute to Tao possible. There couldn’t be a better time to gather together to find joy and inspiration. It will be a joyous afternoon honoring her life and also the formation of the YTA a little over 40 years ago, when Tao joined a group of bold pioneering women who galvanized and began this organization. 

Tao’s life story is astonishing, from the unusual circumstances of her birth and her childhood growing up in Pondicherry, India, accompanying Gandhi in the Salt March, to her aunt’s vineyard in Provence, France, where she participated in helping the Jews escape from the Nazis, to her work with the French Resistance and wartime in London during the Blitz bombings, and finally arriving in Paris after the war to become a couture model. She had not yet reached 25! 

Her life course from Europe to America, from Hollywood to Hartsdale, to her later years receiving Guinness World Record awards (two!), along with numerous international honors and worldwide acclaim, will be presented in photographs and stories. 

Tao never sought fame or glory for any of the ways she served in the world. Her simple life as a yoga teacher is equally as impressive as anything she has done in her life for its humility and selflessness. Tao was, above all else, a humanitarian. 

And so we gather on Saturday, June 13, to honor Tao for her achievements and inspiration and for reminding us that the selfless path we have all chosen as yoga teachers is a prodigious one. 

Following the audiovisual presentation, we will have a yoga practice following Tao’s methodology and beliefs and highlighted by one of her beautiful meditations from her Reflections recording. 

Aging Gracefully Takes Hard Work 

by Tao Porchon-Lynch

Let us will ourselves to live our life, not by empty words, but the radiance of meaning them and believing them. Our smile lights up our body with health.

~Tao Porchon-Lynch

No matter how old you are, let nature be your encyclopedia. Recycle yourself. The same thing will happen to us as we breathe in the breath of life; as with the four seasons, in winter everything looks dead, but the life force is in the midst of reactivating nature and spring returns. Your mind doesn't tire with mental thoughts of what you can't do, but take a break and breathe and the renewal season will respond to it and start a new cycle.

Know there is no such thing as "age." Tune in to the power of the eternal and feel the beauty of life. Nothing is impossible. You revitalize yourself with every breath you take.

Don't be submerged with tons of thoughts you never do. When you wake up in the morning, start the day and know it's going to be a good one. Don't get involved with anything negative. 

Believe the power within you can be felt in the way you think and see life. There is always a positive answer to the way we live. Believe that all the power in the universe is right inside you. Don't procrastinate. Don't live for tomorrow. 

Tomorrow never comes. One minute after midnight is already today. Don't let fear clog your thoughts or negative thoughts to invade the mind. Know that even in the worst calamity something good will come of it. Don't say I can't do something. The verb can or cannot doesn't exist. There is no such thing as can or cannot, only the verb to be able. Know that all the power in the universe is right inside of you. It is the doer and you are the instrument. So know there is nothing you cannot do. 

Know that with each day the sun brings the dawn of recycling and renewal into the world. Let nature be your guide, your encyclopedia, and feel the wonder of living as you breathe the breath of life...the breath of the eternal.

People talk so much about getting older and they allow it to affect them. I don’t think about age at all. There’s not enough time to think about it with all that I accomplish in a day. Live and know that tomorrow never comes. Live for the moment!

I search within myself for the power of creation and inner energy radiates the eternal life force, and I don’t get tired. 

Know whatever you put in your mind materializes. Do not think negative thoughts. Stagnant muscles cause stagnant minds. Don’t procrastinate. 

Know the secret of life dwells within every breath we take. Live, live, live. Don’t waste your life restricting it. As dawn awakens nature and makes the darkness and ignorance of night fade away, let your body feel the freshness of the energy of a new day. There are so many wonderful things to do and so little time to do them!

Much of the development of my own life has been in experiencing the wonder of nature. Know that it gives us the clues to living. As for my own life, I have used these wonderful laws of nature to recycle my body. Then spring bursts forth and the dawn of new life appears throughout the world, bringing the new fruits of food, life, and energy into our lives. As I listen to my heartbeat, a new journey brings into my life a higher level of consciousness. The joy of living each day. I feel the dance of life. 

Dawn awakens nature and makes the darkness and ignorance of night fade away. Let your body feel the freshness of the energy of a new day. There are so many wonderful things to do and so little time to do them!

One feels the life force alive within us and we know everything makes us believe in the renewal force inside of us. Dance, for it will open up the door of freedom from fear and the fun of knowing that we can do things we thought were impossible.

Reprinted from the June 2016 YTA newsletter

Yoga Q & A

What do yoga, dance, and sports have in common?

The body, mind, and spirit is the obvious answer to this question. Athletes, especially the "boys of summer," playing baseball needs to have overall strength and flexibility in their legs, arms, and torso. These are the elements dancers train at the barre and in centre, for arduously long hours, to develop. Overall, balanced strength and flexibility are inherent in a yoga practice.  

Swimmers and track runners need enhanced breathing capabilities, as do dancers who must also focus on musicality, as well as their physical performance. Golfers, not to be excluded, connect their body, breath, and focus in yet another dynamic, but all could benefit from yoga and its practices of pranayama, including the restoration of meditation. 

The spirit in all sports and dance is necessary for the positivity needed to excel in whatever one is involved with and yoga philosophy and principals unite all 3 categories: sports, dance, and yoga with body, mind, and spirit. 

This section is dedicated to answering your questions about yoga—as a student or as a teacher. Questions? Comments? Send them to ytaeditor@gmail.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 at the New Age Center in Nyack. 

Learn more about Paula at nyackyogacenter.com.

Member Events

YTA members (individuals and studios) are invited to include their events here. Send details to ytaeditor@gmail.com 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 ytadirectory@gmail.com.


Online Offerings
from YTA Members

Devi Ma Yoga
Yin Yoga Teacher Training, June 10, 17, 24, & July 1; June 15, 22, 29 Adapting Asana for Prenatal Yoga Students, July 10 & 11; Prenatal, New Mom, & Women’s Yoga, 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 

Riverstone Yoga

Online & Kids yoga classes, $10, free for healthcare heroes; 200-hour Teacher Training, July 1-Aug 16, $800 off through June 15; Full Moon Ceremony, June 5, $25; Whole Body, Whole Life Group Coaching, June 16, 4-week program, $30/week, $120 total; Sound meditation, June 23, $30 

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

Yoga with Betsy and Charlene
Gentle yoga, moving mantra, free videos on YouTube

... from YTA Presenters

Al Bingham,
 encourageyoga.com: Project Love online classes, $5 or free

Alison West/Yoga Unionyogaunion.com: online classes, $120 for 5 classes; drop-in, $25

Amy Weintraubamyweintraub.com: Remote Relief Series, free

Christa Rypinsintelligentbody.net: Tues & Sat, 11 am PT

Colleen Lila Yogacolleenlilayoga.com: 60-min online Mon vinyasa level 2/3 class & Thur level 2 class, 11 am,  $15 without membership; $75 monthly membership

Daniel Orlansky, yogaofenergyflow.com: online yoga classes daily; Yoga of Energy Flow, Tues, by donation; Pranayama, Mudra, Bandha: The Power of the Breath, June 2, $25

Deirdre Breen, deirdrebreen.info: meditation classes, free

Michael Hayes, buddhabodyyoganyc.com: Wed-Fri, 90-min classes, Sat, 60 min, online membership

Mona Anand, monaanandyoga.com: daily online classes, $15

Ravi Singhraviana.com: Wed, Fri, Sun, 9 am PT, $12

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

Sarah Bell, sarahbellyoga.com: Tues, $15; Sat, by donation

Stan Woodman, allthingsashtanga.com: Mysore, Mon, Wed, & Fri, 7-9 am; Primary Series, Tues, Thurs, & Sat, 8–9:30 am, pay what you can

Todd Norian, ashayayoga.com: Facebook Live Series, Pillars of Peace meditation, 8 am daily,  Asanas for Inner Peace, Mon, Wed, & Fri, 9 am; Tues & Thurs classes, free

... from YTA Friends

Eileen Fisher, womentogether.com: Interactive Live Stream, Resilience, June 18, Thurs, 12-1 pm, free

Integral Yoga Institute, iyiny.org: online classes, by donation; Accessible Yoga Training, June 15-19; Yoga for the Special Child, part 1, June 15-19 & 22-25

Jennifer Reis, jenniferreisyoga.com: online classes, pay what you can starting at $2

Karma Road, karmaroadyoga.com: vinyasa, gentle, & Yin yoga classes, 60 minutes. $10; meditation, 30 minutes. $6

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

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

Final Thoughts

Call forth the softness,
in the harsh moments let the gentle ways guide you.
Even if the chaos is chasing you,
your soul remembers her foundation---
You are still,
grounded here and now.
Let peace rise from the earth and hold you,
let Spirit remind you.
If you have forgotten this birthright,
go and sit among the giant trees,
feel the ways they hold on and reach out at once,
rooted and reverent.
Dance among the butterflies,
allowing your heart soft joys.
Walk near the shore and let the water whisper,
allow the waves and calmness both remind you,
flow and forgive.

—Tracy Brooks, soulbeckons.com

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 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