Words of Welcome
from Paula Heitzner
we are, beginning a new year and a new decade, certainly an auspicious
time! We look forward with great zeal and optimism, as we rightly
should, to how we will manifest, at long last, that which will help us
to experience greater fulfillment.
thing I learned from the years that have passed is that the promises
and resolutions put forth at the time of holiday excitement dismally
slow down and dim as the energy stabilizes. In fact, the old habits and
patterns that were to be changed for the better might even alter to
become more fixed and stuck.
would like to share my personal experiences of the last two years that
have enriched and changed my practice of yoga. As we all know, because
of our interest and involvement in yoga, with its philosophies and
all-encompassing teachings, we have a head start toward those changes we
desire. At the first YTA retreat at the Himalayan Institute led by Luke
Ketterhagen, one point he made resulted in a major physical shift for
me resulting in greater freedom of thought. The refinement of Mula
Bhanda by using the image of how an octopus travels toward the surface
of the sea changed my existing point of view, thus allowing my mind to
be more flexible and my physical body to use the strength of the pelvis
the second YTA retreat at the Himalayan Institute with Todd Norian,
another simple teaching resulted in greater stability of the shoulder
girdle, with the supported expansion of the rib cage permitting more
activity for the breath to enhance the function of the heart and lungs.
The teaching of simply moving the head of the humorous bone back brought
greater alignment to the shoulder, the rotator cuff, the neck, and in
the embodiment of the rib cage over the pelvis.
this time I am choosing to embrace these teachings, as well as those
that continue to evolve through my practice, to enhance, brighten, and
strengthen the "now" which ultimately becomes the future. This is my New
Year's resolution. We have within us all the joy and light we seek and
through our practice, the means to intuit our path and to be inspired as
we integrate these teachings for our own greater good.
sure your "list" includes attending the monthly YTA workshops that are
held the second Saturday of each month at Club Fit in Briarcliff. See the exciting lineup of workshops and presenters below and on our website.
And keep in mind the third annual YTA retreat!
Yours in yoga,
Paula Renuka Heitzner
the Alexander Technique
with Ingrid Bacci
In this 100 percent experiential workshop, Ingrid will share how to dramatically increase ease and flow in your yoga practice by integrating principles based on the Alexander Technique, a famous approach to movement education that has often been called Western Zen. Like yoga, the Alexander Technique is all about the quest for effortlessness and inner calm. By introducing the two disciplines to each other, each of them deepens and becomes more rewarding.
Join Ingrid to discover how the Alexander Technique’s approach to somatic self-awareness can improve all your yoga asanas, as well as meditative practices. You will explore using specific thought processes to release unconscious tensions in your body; the critical role that the neck and hip joints play in fostering tension or ease; how to move more easily by releasing both neck and hip joints, and how to continually initiate, moment by moment, more freedom of movement in everything you do.
Saturday, January 11, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
The Yoga Studio at Club Fit
584 North State Road
Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510
Ingrid Bacci, PhD, CST, CAT, is an Alexander Technique teacher, yoga teacher, and craniosacral therapist in private practice in Cortlandt Manor, New York. She is the author of three books on self-healing, including the bestselling The Art of Effortless Living and Effortless Pain Relief, which was featured in Oprah’s magazine. She has taught her unique approach to self-healing throughout the United States, Europe, and South America.
Read about Ingrid's journey to yoga below!
Yoga Nidra and Restorative Yoga with Mona Anand
This workshop will begin with gentle asana to release tension, followed by a series of restorative poses accompanied by soothing hands-on adjustments and essential oils. Read more ...
Mudras: Empower Your Practice and Your Teaching with Deirdre Breen
Mudras are a powerful tool of self-care that influence the expression of the doshas (kapha, pitta, and vata), the biological forces that govern the expression of nature’s five elements both within and around us. Read more ...
More information on the following workshops coming soon!
Tristana: The Three Pillars of Ashtanga Yoga
Yoga for Pain Relief: Steps to an Extraordinary Life
Eternal Youth Through Yoga
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.
From the December Workshop
with Sandra Anderson
of us come to yoga in a quest to resolve problems with pain, to reduce
stress, or to explore our fascination with the body. Others come as part
of a spiritual journey, in a quest for greater meaning and personal
transcendence. Still others come to yoga seeking emotional balance,
freedom from negative emotions, and liberation from a karmic
inheritance. Because yoga is a profound discipline, wherever we begin
our journey, we eventually find ourselves addressing all these
dimensions of healing: physical, emotional, and spiritual.
was introduced to yoga in 1975 when I was a young professor of
philosophy, through the renowned philosopher Mircea Eliade’s classic
book, written in 1936, Yoga: Immortality and Freedom. Yoga, as Eliade
described it, is the pathway to direct knowledge, or the ability to
liberate ourselves from illusion. But if ultimate wisdom and the freedom
it brings is the goal of yoga, why and how must we use the body to get
there? What is it that we are looking for through bodily exploration,
beyond greater strength, stability, focus, and alignment? And why can
bodily self-awareness lead us to the truth with a big capital “T”? The
challenges I faced in my own life led me to explore those questions. The
answers to those questions all revolve around one thing: the body is
the seat of what is unconscious ourselves. What lies beyond
consciousness includes both our restrictions and limitations (all the
forms that ego takes), and our higher self. The path into the body
brings what is unconscious to light in order to let go of what binds us
and become free.
own life took me out of a purely intellectual journey as a philosopher
and into intensive somatic self-exploration. In 1976 I began to suffer
from severe chronic pain. No amount of hospitalization or conventional
medical care helped me. Over the years I came to realize that my
dis-ease was the result of a combination of factors: on the physical
level, scoliosis and a tight ligamentous structure; on the mental level,
a hard-driving, self-critical type A personality; and on the karmic
level, buried emotional conflicts dating to infancy and before. I was
tied up in knots, and it was my body, not my mind, that was showing me
spent years studying meditation with an Indian spiritual teacher, all
of which helped. Then I discovered the Alexander Technique in the late
1980s and its study opened the door to a complete change in
understanding of who we are and how to heal. The Alexander Technique is a
specific approach to learning how to identify and release unconscious
physiological tension. While this tension is physical, it affects every
aspect of our being: our thought processes, emotional reactions, and so
on. You can’t change those thought processes or emotional reactions more
than marginally through mental analysis or psychotherapy, because
ultimately the body rules the mind. FM Alexander, the founder of the
Alexander Technique, showed that all of us carry excess physiological
tension all the time, and demonstrated that this unconscious tension
underlies physical disease, as well as mental and emotional stress. He
developed ingenious methods for helping people identify, observe, and
release this tension. The consequence of putting your primary attention
on noticing, feeling,and releasing physiological tension is that life as
a whole becomes increasingly effortless, the mind becomes more
peaceful, perception becomes more accurate, health improves, and it
becomes easier to stay detached in the face of life’s bumps.Does this
sound like yoga? It is. It’s not the same as yoga, but it shares a lot
of yoga’s ultimate aims. It just uses different tools, a different
terminology, and comes from a different culture.
path into the subtle body in yoga is the path into more and more
refined sensation and perception. It’s a path toward effortlessness. We
move from the grosser to the subtler sensations and perceptions. As we
learn to do this, we are increasingly able to release negative karmic
issues, tied to heavier and grosser sensations (being more tamasic or
rajasic), and move toward lighter, more expansive and sattvic states.
This process of refinement can only happen if we make
effortlessness—softening and letting go—more important than achieving,
being right, or any other ego issue. The deeper we move into refined
physiological sensation, the more we let go of outer compulsions and
reactions. The commitment to the exploration of lighter and lighter
states of being is a very important aspect of higher yogic practice.
This is a process of ever subtler physiological awareness.
quest for effortlessness, with everything it implies, both mentally,
physically, emotionally, and spiritually, has been a guiding force in my
understanding, study, and teaching of both the Alexander Technique,
craniosacral therapy (which I have practiced and taught internationally
since 1994), and yoga. It has also been the focus of my three books on
self-healing: The Art of Effortless Living, Effortless Pain Relief, and
practice of yoga extends far beyond our workout on the mat, in which
most of our attention is on strengthening, stabilizing,and expanding the
body. As yogis, we all seek to release our own samskaras (grosser
physical, spiritual, and emotional restrictions) and become more attuned
to our more refined, sattvic selves. And this is a process that takes
place every moment of every day. The conscious pursuit of physiological
effortlessness, which is identical with deepening peace, can be a great
adjunct to the yogi’s journey, and can help deepen one’s understanding
of the core meaning of ancient yogic practices.
Yoga Q & A
Are itchy hands and feet when doing restorative yoga the result of toxins leaving the body?
Restorative yoga accesses deep relaxation and focus on the breath by using props to support the different parts of the body. This practice helps to release the stress and tension patterns that block and lock up our energy flow. By entering a supported position, we are better able to release the fear, anxiety, and pain that often appears.
We learn how to manage these tense and frightened muscles, which puts us on the path of redoing the physicality of any given asana by changing our habitual approach.
As this pathway of energy and circulation flows more easily, the blocks being removed, the freed energy, and Prana could result in itching, tingling, vibrating, etc, as the balance is being restored. Deep, slow breathing and hydration is always good at these times, taking care of any toxicity that may arise.
This section is dedicated to answering your questions about yoga—as a student or as a teacher. Questions? Comments? Send them to email@example.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 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.
YTA members (individuals and studios) are invited to include their events here. Send details to firstname.lastname@example.org by the 15th of the month to be included in the following month’s newsletter. Member events are also posted in YTA's online directory, the 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 email@example.com.
Crossover Yoga Project
Elisha Simpson, RCYT, EYRT, YACEP
Empowering marginalized teen girls through trauma-informed yoga, mindfulness, and art.
Poses2Pints at Sing Sing Kill Brewery
Jan. 5, 11:30 a.m.
Support CYP's mission to empower vulnerable teen girls through trauma-informed yoga, mindfulness, and art by joining us for a fun vinyasa flow and handcrafted brew at SSKB! $25
Sing Sing Kill Brewery, 75-77 Spring Street, Ossining, NY
Trauma informed Training at Well Haus of Westchester
Jan 11 & 12 (Sat & Sun)
CYP’s trauma-informed training offers a practical skill set that can be used in different professional work settings to manage stress and enhance our well-being. Learn useful resources, instruction, and support to understand how trauma impacts our daily lives, and how therapeutic interventions assist in finding balance. This 15-hour training includes an overview of trauma and its impact on our body, minds, and behaviors, techniques to manage stress and anxiety, understanding what intersectionality is, and how that affects us on and off the mat. Participants receive a manual, support, and practices that can be used immediately for yourself and others. 200-hour yoga Instructors are eligible for 15 Yoga Alliance credits. $395.
Well Haus of Westchester, 202 Sparks Avenue, Pelham, NY
Donna Laughter Yoga
Briarcliff Manor, NY
Certified Laughter Yoga Leader Training (CLYL)
Feb 1 & 2 (Sat & Sun, 9-5 pm) OR Feb 4 & 5 (Tues & Wed, 9-5 pm)
Take this life-changing training if you want to lead Laughter Yoga sessions for fun, get paid to laugh, infuse laughter into your current work, or just energize yourself during two joyous days of laughter and learning. $375 before Jan 1; $400 thereafter
Iyengar Yoga Scarsdale/Greenwich
74 Brewster Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583
299 Greenwich Avenue, 3rd Fl
Greenwich, CT 06830
Iyengar Yoga Fundamentals
Jan 4 (Sat, 11:45 am-12:45 pm)
Learn the basics of this method of classical yoga for all. Preregister by email. $25
Back Care & Scoliosis
Jan 4 (Sat, 1:45-3:15 pm)
Learn about the asymmetrical pulls and turns of your spine and how to take care of your back. We use both strengthening and traction actions (rope wall and props) to learn. $25
Jan 4 (Sat, 3:30-4:45 pm)
Learn how to work with your breath in this “gateway practice” to presence. $25 (cash or check)
Jan 4 (Sat, 5-6:10 pm)
Welcome the New Year with good intentions guided by the Sutras of Patanjali. No fee, but feel free to bring a small treat to share.
105 Mill Plain Road
Danbury, CT 06811
Yoga Nidra Guided Meditation and Relaxation
with Allison Ray Jeraci
Jan 10 (Fri, 7:30-8:30 pm)
We will explore a receptive state of relaxation through setting an intention, becoming aware of the sensations lingering in the body, feeling the breath and the energetic body around us and coming to a place of detachment, a time for self-reflection and deep relaxation. $30
Super Deep Restorative Semi-Private with Beth Perlman
Jan 23 (Thurs, 6-7 pm)
Just when you thought you couldn't love restorative more! Join Beth for this super propped practice. This semi-private will allow for abundant propping that supports this well crafted restorative sequence. Come rest, and breathe into a richer restorative experience. $35
New Year’s Morning
Helen Hunt Jackson
Only a night from old to new
Only a night, and so much wrought!
The Old Year's heart all weary grew,
But said: "The New Year rest has brought."
The Old Year's hopes its heart laid down,
As in a grave; but, trusting, said:
"The blossoms of the New Year's crown
Bloom from the ashes of the dead."
The Old Year's heart was full of greed;
With selfishness it longed and ached,
And cried: "I have not half I need.
My thirst is bitter and unslaked.
But to the New Year's generous hand
All gifts in plenty shall return;
True love it shall understand;
By all my failures it shall learn.
I have been reckless; it shall be
Quiet and calm and pure of life.
I was a slave; it shall go free,
And find sweet peace where I leave strife."
Only a night from old to new!
Never a night such changes brought.
The Old Year had its work to do;
No New Year miracles are wrought.
Always a night from old to new!
Night and the healing balm of sleep!
Each morn is New Year's morn come true,
Morn of a festival to keep.
All nights are sacred nights to make
Confession and resolve and prayer;
All days are sacred days to wake
New gladness in the sunny air.
Only a night from old to new;
Only a sleep from night to morn.
The new is but the old come true;
Each sunrise sees a new year born.
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.
$50 for individual membership
$75 for studio membership
$45 members / $65 nonmembers in advance
($55 and $75 at the door)
Susan Edwards Colson
Paula Heitzner, ERYT
Robin Laufer, MS Ed, RYT 500
Terry Fiore Lavery, RYT
Newsletter Design & Layout
Lisa Sloane, MA, ERYT
Tao Porchon-Lynch, ERYT, IAYT
Copyright © 2020 Yoga Teachers Association. All rights reserved.
Yoga Teachers Association • 21-39 Croton Lake Road • Katonah, NY 10536 • USA