September 2011 Calendar of Events from Natural Awakenings Magazine, Westchester & Putnam Counties NY

Dr. Michael Wald, “Blood Detective,” to speak at WHN Meeting Sept. 20


Walk Among Live Butterflies – 10am-4:30pm (Through 9/30). Step into the greenhouse and see Monarchs, Painted Ladies and Swallowtails fluttering from blossom to blossom. Greenburgh Nature Center, 99 Dromore Rd. Scarsdale. Free w/museum admission. 914.723.3470;

Psychic Message Circle – 7-9pm w/Priscilla Keresey. Come receive messages from the other side as Priscilla brings in information from loved ones who have passed. Opal Moon, 2037 Albany Post Rd., Croton. $40. Registration required. 914.788.4955;


Channeled Meditation w/The Master Teachers – 7:15-8:45pm w/Suzy Meszoly. This is a channeled meditation which realigns imbalances, addresses illness, and tunes one’s frequency to a higher resonance. Opal Moon, 2037 Albany Post Rd., Croton. $35. Registration required. 914.788.4955;


Grand Opening Celebration – 10am-12noon. This John Jay Homestead History Quest event is hosted by Westchester Land Trust and John Jay Homestead. Reservations are not required. Free. 400 Jay St., Katonah. Info:


Community Yoga Class – 1:30-2:30pm. Come visit the YogaScape and Spa for the free community class held the first Sunday of each month. 1100 Rte. 52, 2nd floor (at Farmers Mills Rd.), Carmel. 845.225.9642;


Kids Yoga Registration – Wednesdays in September, accepting registration for Kids Yoga. A stimulating, centering interactive practice made fun for ages 5-11. $60/6wks. 4:30-5:20pm. The YogaScape and Spa, 1100 Rte. 52, 2nd floor (at Farmer’s Mills Rd.), Carmel. Preregistration required 845.225.9642.


Yorktown Grange Fair – 9/8-9/11. Yorktown Grange, 99 Moseman Rd. Yorktown. Info:

Holistic Moms Network – 6:30-8:30pm w/Taro Ietka, Curator of Cranberry Lake Preserve discussing how to encourage a love of nature in children; sneaking a bit of education into  games and overcoming fears of spiders and snakes. Desmond-Fish Library, Rt. 9D and 403, Garrison. 845.809.5242.


6th Annual Music & Wellness Festival – 2-7pm (9/9-911). Live music, pony rides, and many healthy businesses at Freedom Park, 212 Skidmore Rd., Lagrange. Free admission. 845.483.9500;


Sleepy Hollow 14th Annual Street Fair – 10am-5pm. Sponsored by Sleepy Hollow/Tarrytown Chamber of Commerce. Beekman Ave., Sleepy Hollow.

“After Loss” Expo – 10:30am-5pm. w/ Roland Comtois, author of And Then There Was Heaven: A Journey of Hope and Love. Stamford Plaza Hotel & Conference Center, 2701 Summer St. Free admission. Info:

IMAD (I Make a Difference) Charity Wellness Festival – 10:30am-3:30pm. Educates about the benefits of a vegetarian/holistic lifestyle and bring awareness to animal suffering. Info: 914.815.5937.

Take Me To The River Music & Art Festival – 12-9pm. Enjoy a day of music and art. For complete line-up of bands and ticket info, visit Hastings on Hudson. Rain date 9/11.

Yoga Teachers Association (YTA) Workshop – 1:30pm. 2nd Saturdays. w/ Toa Porchon-Lynch. Check website for changes. Workshops for yoga teachers and serious students. $35/members; $45/non-members. Wainwright House, Rye. Info:

Brains vs. Brawn: The Future of Water – 7pm. John Cronin speaks about the state of the world’s waters—including the Hudson—and the new paradigm needed for survival. $10. Beczak Environmental Education Center, 35 Alexander St. Yonkers. Info: 914.377.1900 x 12.


Reiki Healing Circle – 11am-1pm. Experience the benefits of loving Reiki energy. No prior training/experience required, only the sincere intention for healing. Everyone gets a turn on the table. Opal Moon, 2037 Albany Post Rd., Croton. $20. Registration required. 914.788.4955;

Relax & Renew Energy Field Clearings – 1-5pm. Experience shamanic techniques for relaxation, grounding, and clearing stagnant energies on this highly charged day.  Pamo Healing, 29 Marble Ave, Pleasantville. $20/20min. Register: 917.620.0444.

Free Meditation & Satsang – 1:30-2:30pm. Join a thought provoking discussion from a yogic perspective, led by director and founder, Amy Pearce-Hayden, ERYT; followed by guided meditation. YogaScape & Spa, 1100 Rte.52, 2nd floor, Carmel. 845.225.9642;

Putnam Art’s Council Fall Photography Show – 3-5pm. Opening reception. Exhibit runs 9/11-9/25. Belle Levine Art Center, 521 Kennicut Hill Rd., Mahopac. Info: 845.803.8622;


Bernie Siegel Presents – 7-9pm (9/12, 9/19, 9/26) “Reflections on the Art of Living and Healing,” a small group workshop in three evenings. The Graduate Institute, Bethany, CT.  $90/series. 203.874.4252;

Full Moon Meditation – Time TBD. Join in for a new monthly gathering facilitated by intuitive tarot maven and astrologer, Pam Cucinell. Opal Moon, 2037 Albany Post Rd., Croton. Registration required. 914.788.4955;

Group Healing – 7-8pm (Also Sat. 9/17 10-11am). Relax and lay down for a vortex and magical awakening combo energy treat. Experience how these transmissions can improve life. Bring a blanket/pillow for top of yoga mat. Ava Yoga. Free. 845.278.2331.


Master Composter & Recycler Training Program – Time TBD. This is a train-the-trainer course for individuals wishing to teach sound composting and recycling practices in their communities. Program participants fulfill a 35-hour volunteer commitment upon graduation. Sheldrake Environmental Center. $275. Amy: 914.834.1443;

Osteopathic Medicine Seminar – Time TBD. Free informational seminar with Dr. Hannah Eucker.  Osteopathic Wellness Center, 158 Danbury Rd., Ste.6, Ridgefield, CT. Info: 203.438.9915.


Tending the Inner Garden – 12-1:30pm or 7-8:30pm (9/14, 9/21, 9/28 & 10/5) w/Psychologist Stacy Raymond & Nutritionist Renee Simon. Learn how to nurture a healthy relationship with food & body. South Salem or Ridgefield, CT locations. $199/4sessions. Info/register: 914.763.9107;

Conscious Evolution Circle – 7-9pm w/Ron & Victoria Friedman. Calling all those who are spiritually evolving and want to come together to co-create a planetary shift in consciousness.  Wainwright House, Rye. $30. Info: 914.967.6080;

Environmental Sustainability in Law & Policy – 7:30pm w/Sheila Collins, PH.D. Event hosted in partnership with Sierra Club Lower Hudson Chapter. Light refreshments at 7pm. Greenburgh Nature Center, 99 Dromore Rd., Scarsdale. Free.  914.723.3470;


How to Boil a Frog – 7pm. A comedy and documentary film that mixes rapid-fire humor with hard-hitting facts to show the consequences of overshoot: too many people using up too little planet. Ossining Public Library. Free. Info:

Introduction to the Alexander Technique – 7-8:15pm w/Karla Diamond. Quest Yoga Arts 11 Main St., 2nd floor, Mt. Kisco. 914.241.9642;

Learning/Thinking vs. Teaching/Education – 7-9pm. Attend an interactive panel discussion on Transformative Education.  The Graduate Institute, 171 Amity Rd., Bethany, CT.  203.874.4252;

Group Past Life Regression Workshop – 7-9pm w/Certified hypnotherapist Cindy Blum. Travel gently down the path to examine how past experiences influence life today. Awakenings, 215 Katonah Ave., Katonah. $35. Reserve: 914.232.0382;

Women’s Inquiry Circle – 7-9pm. First of four monthly themed gatherings. Bring a juicy question for the group and settle into sacred, honest space. Expect meditation, discussion, and a few surprises. Sacred Centre, 42 Smith Ave., Mt. Kisco. $100/4 sessions. RSVP:

Kirtan Concert – 7:30pm. w/ Damodar Das & Friends. 175 King St. Chappaque. Suggested donation $10. Info: 917.566.5095.

Women’s Circle and Meditation – 7:30-9pm. w/Jo Jayson. A gathering of women to talk, discuss and support current spiritual, emotional, and physical issues. 30 minute guided mediation included. Women’s Center for Holistic Healing, 97 Locust Ave., Cortlandt Manor. $25. 914.309.4741;


Conversations on Conservation Café – 8-10:30am. “Pedaling off Our Carbon Footprint”. A panel of experts discusses the latest news on the benefits of bicycling. Kessel Student Center, Pace University, entrance #3 located off Rte.117, Pleasantville. Free. RSVP: 914.864.7326 by 9/13.


Introduction to Contemplative Prayer – 9am-2:30pm. Workshop provides a non-denominational introduction into the deeper waters of Christian Spirituality. Wainwright House, Rye. $55. Info:  914-967-6080;

Hook Mountain Migration – 9:30am-1:30pm. Hike with a naturalist to the top of Hook Mountain for a bird’s eye view of Haverstraw Bay, the Tappan Zee and points south. Teatown Lake Reservation, Ossining. Free/members or $5. Adults only. Reserve: 914.762.2912 x110.

Open House – 12-4pm. Meet the practitioners and teachers of Women’s Center for Holistic Healing. 97 Locust Ave., Cortlandt Manor. 914.309.4741;

Pilates Open House – 1-3 pm. Learn about Pilates and the benefits along with consultations, demonstrations and postural analysis. Pilates on Hudson, 8 John Walsh Blvd., Ste. 428, Peekskill. Free. Info: 914.739.1178;


Wildflower Walk – 1pm. Hike through Muscoot’s backfields to learn about wildflowers with naturalist Carol Levine. Meet at the reception center, Muscoot Farm, Rte.100, Somers. Info: 914.864.7282;

Healing Circle – 2-4:30pm w/Elka Boren, Shaman & Clairvoyant. Also private sessions w/Elka available 9/15-9/19. Human Bodyworks Massage Therapy & Healing Arts Center, 32 Main St. Hastings on Hudson. $35. Register/info: 917.445.1767;

Rising Star Healing System Initiation – 5–9pm w/Elka Boren, Shaman & Clairvoyant. Also private sessions w/Elka available 9/15-9/19. Human Bodyworks Massage Therapy & Healing Arts Center, 32 Main St. Hastings on Hudson. Register/info: 917.445.1767;


Transition Westchester General Meeting – 7pm. The Transition approach empowers communities to squarely face the challenges of peak oil and climate change, and unleash the collective genius of their own people to find the answers. Greenburgh Nature Center, 99 Dromore Rd, Scarsdale.


Westchester Holistic Network Breakfast Meeting – 8-10am. Group of holistically minded people gather for breakfast & program. Dr. Michael Wald of Integrated Medicine & Nutrition is Sept. featured speaker. Spirituality Center/Good Counsel Campus, 52 North Broadway, White Plains. $15/member; $18/non-member. 914.422.1784;

Massage Therapy as a Career Workshop – 6-8 pm. Learn about the profession of massage therapy, hear about programs, and tour the school. Finger Lakes School of Massage, 272 North Bedford Rd., Mount Kisco. Register: 914.241.7363.

Hatha/Sivananda Yoga – 7-8:30pm. Class emphasis is on breathing, poses, relaxation and scripture and designed for beginner and intermediate yoga practitioners. Well Yoga Studio, 62 Valley Rd., Carmel. $15. 914.715.6130;


International Day of Peace – 1pm & 7pm. Meditation for World Peace. Wainwright House, Rye. Free. Info: 914.967.6080;


Autumn Equinox Celebration – 7pm Fire ceremony and drumming. Wainwright House, Rye.  $10. Info:  914.967.6080;


Annual Autumn Landscape Conference – 8:30am-1pm. Native Plant Center presents Native Culture: Developing Plant Diversity for Sustainable Design. Westchester Community College Library, 75 Grasslands Rd., Valhalla. 914.606.7870;

Hawk Migration from Teatown Hill – 9am. The view from Teatown Hill encompasses the Hudson River flyway and a chance to see migrating hawks, vultures and maybe even a falcon or eagle. Teatown Lake Reservation. Adults only. Free. Reserve: 914.762.2912 x110.

Compost Happens! – 12-5pm (9/23 & 9/24). Come visit an ordinary suburban garden and see how to use leaves, garden, and kitchen waste to build up soil, control weeds and be green. Circle of Tranquility, 301 Memorial Dr., Hawthorne. Free. 914.769.1446;

Fall Equinox Drumming Circle – 6:45-8pm. Bring drums, rattles and bells, or share what’s on hand, some of which are for sale. Awakenings, 215 Katonah Ave Katonah. $20. Registration recommended. 914.232.0382;

Autumn Equinox Fire Ceremony – 7pm. Wainwright House, 260 Stuyvesant Ave., Rye. This is a free event; donations gratefully accepted. For more info: 914.967.6080;


Enso: the Circle of Life – Family art workshop to create a sand painting (to be brushed away at closing) as well as a take home collage. Part of the New Rochelle ArtsFest. Empty Hand Zen Center, 45 Lawton St., New Rochelle. Free. 914.636.1450;

Hatha/Sivananda Yoga – 8-9:30am. Class emphasis is on breathing, poses, relaxation and scripture; designed for beginner and intermediate yoga practitioners. Well Yoga Studio, 62 Valley Rd., Carmel. $15. 914.715.6130;

Town of Cortlandt Stop ‘N Swap and Green Fair – 9am-2pm. Muriel Morabito Community Center, 29 Westbrook Dr. Cortlandt Manor. Info:

Reiki I Shoden Workshop – 9:30am-4pm (9/24 & 9/25) w/Ginny Mackles, Reiki Master. Be attuned and certified to the first level of Reiki, Shoden. Millwood. Info:  914.762.7761;

Art of Sound & Chant Workshop – 1:15-2:15pm. All of life is vibration, including the body, thoughts and emotions. Healing sounds can bring harmony on all levels. Westchester Yoga Arts, 82 Centre Ave., New Rochelle. 914.632.1101;

Beyond the Basics – 1-3:30pm w/Robin Cohen, RYT. This is an interactive approach for yoga teachers and those interested in understanding the structure of a yoga class. The YogaScape and Spa, 1100 Rte. 52, 2nd floor (at Farmer’s Mills Rd.), Carmel. $45. 845.225.9642.

Monthly “Home” Kirtan and Drumming Circle – 7pm. Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Westchester (UU Coffee House). 236 South Bedford Rd (Rt.172), Mt. Kisco. Info: 914.241.1360.

Kirtan – 7:30pm w/Sita’s Light. Wake up the soul & spirit with an evening of heart opening, uplifting devotional chanting. All welcome/no experience necessary. Liberation Yoga and Wellness Center, 900 S. Lake Blvd, Mahopac. $20. 845.803.8389.


Wainwright House Community Celebration – 12-5pm. (Formerly August Healing Arts Fair).  Wainwright House, Rye. Info: 914.967.6080;

Séance – 1-3pm w/Medium Joan Carra. Come find comfort and closure from grief with messages from the dead. Everyone gets a message. Greenwich location. $50. 203.531.6387.

Putting the Garden to Bed – 1-3pm. Join junior volunteers in the vegetable garden as they harvest any remaining produce and prepare it for the upcoming winter months. Dress to get dirty. Muscoot Farm, Rte. 100, Somers. Info: 914.864.7282;

Stretch Wellness Party – 1-3pm. Experience a healthier self. Come Dance with me Studio, 110 Willet Ave., Port Chester. $35. 914.458.2249;

Journey To Muse Workshop – 1-4pm. Meet one’s Muse through shamanic journey, exploring creative nature, and transforming limiting beliefs. Prepare to be inspired! Led by shamanic healer, writer, and musician Mikki Davis. O2 Living, Cross River. $40/ includes art materials.   914.763.6320.

Harvest Party – 2pm. Reap the harvest of the gardens and hives. Pick ripe veggies from the organic garden, help make apple cider and enjoy tasting fresh honey from the hives. Greenburgh Nature Center, 99 Dromore Rd., Scarsdale. $4/members, $8/non-members. 914.723.3470;


Chinese Medicine Master Visits Eastgate Acupuncture – 9/26-10/8. Grandmaster Zhang Yuanming offers private Medical Qi Gong treatments and seminars to the public. Info: 914.713.1000;

Kids & Tweens Yoga & Zumbatomic Autumn Sessions – Through December. $180 or $150/ members. Children’s Acting Academy, 82 Centre Ave., New Rochelle. Info: 914.632.1101;


Green Drinks – 6-8pm. Monthly informal networking group built around a common interest in the natural environment. This month, meets at the Tarrytown Doubletree. Info: Dani 914.403.5149.

Finding Right Work – 7-9pm. This is an interactive workshop in four evenings. The Graduate Institute, 171 Amity Rd., Bethany, CT.  $295/series. More info: 203.874.4252;

Digestive Health Lecture – 7:30pm w/ Drs. Hiro & Michiko Izumi. Learn how NUCCA upper cervical chiropractic and enzyme nutrition therapy helps restore normal digestion and promotes overall health naturally. 550 Mamaroneck Ave., Ste.103, Harrison. Free. Register/info: 914.310.9000 ;


Raise Your Glass! – 5-9pm. Fundraiser for Support Connection. Enjoy Wine & Hors d’oeuvres , Music, Raffles, Prizes and more. The Winery at St George, 1715 East Main St., Mohegan Lake. Free admission:  914.396.7664.

Alexander Technique – 7-8:30pm (9/29, 10/6, 10/13, 10/20). Quest Yoga Arts, 113 Main Street, Mt. Kisco.  $100/4 sessions. 914. 241.9642.


Kirtan – 7pm. Chapel of Our Lady of Restoration, 45 Market St. Cold Spring.

BlisSing! (Kirtan) – 7-9pm w/Eileen O’Hare and Cat Guthrie. Enjoy an inspiring evening of music and chanting dedicated to increasing the loving frequencies in the world. Opal Moon, 2037 Albany Post Rd., Croton. $20. Registration required. 914.788.4955;


Stone Barns Center’s 8th Annual Harvest Fest – 10am-3pm. Live music, a farmers market, food demos, hayrides and workshops. Rain or shine. Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. 630 Bedford Rd. Pocantico Hills. $35/adults. Info:

Dobbs Ferry Festa – 1-8pm. 9th annual street festival with music, food and vendors. Main and Cedar Streets, Dobbs Ferry. Fore more info:


Annual Support-A-Walk – Bring help and hope to people fighting breast and ovarian cancer by participating in the 17th Annual Support-A-Walk, presented by Support Connection, Inc. at FDR Park in Yorktown Heights. Info:  914.962.6402;


Becoming a Volunteer – Enroll in the Volunteer Environmental Educator program, learning how to teach children about the natural world. Get outside, improve physical and mental health and inspire school children to do the same. Sheldrake Environmental Center. Mary: 914.834.1443;

Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Suffers – 7pm. Lecture is limited to people who are Fibromyalgia and chronic pain suffers. Upper Cervical Chiropractic. Includes dinner. Free. 914.868.6200.

Integrative Med Solutions: Where Nature and Medicine Meet

Dr. Fred Lisanti with a patient

By Kazaray Taylor

The best evidence of the effectiveness of Dr. Fred Lisanti’s natural healthcare practice might be the doctor himself. At a time when economic uncertainty and other stressors are taking a physical and mental toll on patients and healthcare providers alike, Lisanti is a model of calm in a storm. While he stays at the cutting edge of alternative medicine, maintaining certification in several disciplines—he is a naturopathic physician, a licensed acupuncturist, a registered herbalist, a clinical hypnotist and neuro-linguistic programmer—he never strays far from his medical roots. Whether he’s backpacking solo in the wilderness, immersing himself in an indigenous culture, or studying botanical medicine with shamans in Nepal or the Amazon, Lisanti grounds his life and his practice in nature, with its remarkable ability to heal.

“I have a particular reverence for the outdoors, such as hiking through back country, as well as a great appreciation for creative arts, world travel and learning about diverse cultures,” Lisanti says. “One of my favorite traditions is attending Burning Man, the world’s largest arts collective that meets once a year in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to express and share community, self-expression and self-reliance.” He is also trained in North Indian classical music and plays percussion instruments from various native cultures.

These experiences keep him healthy and centered, he says, and they underscore the philosophy he shares with all his patients—that nature provides the various tools and means we need to heal ourselves. Trained at the National College of Natural Medicine, the oldest naturopathic college in North America, Lisanti has synthesized ancient healing arts and state-of-the-art science at his Eastchester practice, Integrative Med Solutions.

Dr. Fred Lisanti sat down with us recently to talk about his practice, where nature and medicine meet.

You often see tough cases where people have not found help with traditional methods. How are you able to guide them back to wellness?

Too often a physical challenge is approached from the outside in. I find that listening deeply to each case and drawing out the root of the problem enables me to help people heal themselves. I often find that people are unaware of the disconnect between themselves and their world—spiritually or creatively, for example. They often need to remove emotional obstacles to rediscover their deep identity. Addressing such things as their personal life, including relationships with family members, co-workers and their own inner voice, helps me target the root cause of their problem. Then I can prescribe the proper treatment, whether it is acupuncture, diet or lifestyle modifications, nutraceutical supplementation, or many other therapies, either alone or combined.

What excites you most about working with your patients?

Watching people get well with the tools I give them excites me. A core principal of naturopathic medicine is docere, meaning “doctor as teacher.” I take that job very seriously. I get excited when I see people live a healthy, sustainable life using the wisdom I have learned and shared with them. The goal? To empower them to take a responsible role in their own healthcare.

What conditions do you see most frequently? 

Interestingly, the conditions I see a lot have to do with stress-related life transitions, such as a career change, divorce, leaving home (young people going from high school into college), and people feeling stuck or in a funk. Many of these transitions create emotional imbalances that can lead to depression and anxiety, which in turn manifest as different physical ailments.

So many health providers are stressed these days, yet you radiate peace and calm. How do you stay balanced?

I try to stay balanced by continually feeding my creative spirit as well as maintaining my own physical and mental health. Obviously, eating right and listening to my body are essential, but working with percussion is a great self-therapy, too. This practice grounds me and enables me to release pent-up or absorbed challenging energy I may have stored throughout the day or week. Linking with nature also helps calm my mind and restore my vitality.

What advice can you give our readers about taking responsibility for their own well-being and turning their lives around?

The advice I would give someone for their well-being would be to take pause and re-assess their own direction. It’s important to understand that fear is packaged in many different ways which can confuse and misdirect us. The world we live in—with its labels and unrealistic expectations—has an uncanny ability to program people without their even knowing it. Don’t succumb to this. Don’t become a victim of this programming, which may stamp out your inner light before it ever gets a chance to blaze. By all means, ask for my help, as I would be more than happy to simply listen and assist in creating a new path for you to forge and discover.

Dr. Fred Lisanti practices at Integrative Med Solutions, 281 White Plains Rd., Eastchester, NY. For more information, contact him at 914.337.2980 or visit

Yoga Profiles for Natural Awakenings Westchester/ Putnam NY

Westchester and Putnam Counties abound with experienced and skilled yoga teachers and spacious, serene yoga studios. Natural Awakenings presents the following profiles to help yoga students of all ages and ability levels find the right place to practice and the right teachers to guide them on the mat.

Basil Yoga     

This yoga and ballet studio in the North Salem countryside overlooks treetops and horse farms from atop a building constructed in the mid-1800’s. The bright and spacious Basil Yoga studio features a professional quality sprung dance floor with radiant heat, state of the art sound, and shower facilities.

Basil Jones

Basil Yoga is aligned with the Vinyasa tradition, emphasizing breath and movement along with self-study and mindfulness as the cornerstones a strong yoga practice. Classes, workshops, and private sessions are offered for practitioners of all ability levels, with an emphasis on hands-on adjustments, customized support, and the incorporation of higher yogic philosophies to maximize one’s potential.

Founder Basil Jones has more than 10 years of experience as a professional yoga teacher. He holds a certification from Integral Yoga, completed Ashtanga teacher training with David Swenson, and studied extensively in the Jivamukti Method. Basil currently assists Seane Corn and supports her global activism.

 Location: 2 Keeler Lane, North Salem. Info:

Bikram Yoga Yorktown Heights

Bikram Yoga class

Bikram Yoga is a series of 26 postures done in a room that’s heated to 104 degrees with 40% humidity.  During each 90-minute session, practitioners work every part of the body inside and out, from bones to skin and right down to the cellular level. Instructors guide students through each posture, opening up the entire body and bringing fresh, oxygenated blood to the cells while detoxifying the body and leaving one feeling relaxed, refreshed and energized. The Bikram yoga posture series, which is repeated each session, is challenging but suitable for beginners.

Bikram Yoga Yorktown Heights is a Certified Bikram Yoga College of India studio. Bikram yoga teachers are trained and certified by Bikram Choudhury, the founder of this original hot yoga style. The Yorktown Heights studio conforms to the authentic teachings and traditions of Bikram Yoga.

 Location: 37 Triangle Center, Yorktown Heights.  Info:; 914.245.5405.

 Come To The Well  

“Yoga came to me via a wonderful teacher who taught a basic class in my home,” says Joanne Sanchez, founder of Come to the Well yoga studio in Carmel. “What began as a stretch on the mat grew into greater mindfulness of my body and breath.” Joanne’s appreciation for yoga led her to obtain Teacher Training Certification in 1999. She began teaching in private homes, where she gained awareness of what students need during a class, and she initiated a yoga program for adults. Joanne continues to teach small, intimate classes, adding scripture that reflects various postures and meditations. “Come to the Well was developed to offer those who are seeking the spirit of God an opportunity to come together and receive the gifts of strength, spirit and serenity through yoga,” she says.

 Location: 62 Valley Road, Carmel. Info: Joanne Sanchez 914.715.6130.

Golden Temple Yoga Studio

Rai Kaur

When Rai Kaur was introduced to meditation at age 13, a journey of healing and exploration began. After studying and practicing many forms of yoga, meditation and spirituality, Rai was led to Kundalini Yoga and Meditation as taught by Yogi Bhajan, where she immediately knew she was “home.”  Her calling to share this practice manifested as Golden Temple Yoga Studio in Katonah, a sacred space created to share in the “homecoming” that is possible through Kundalini Yoga and Meditation.

Golden Temple is a non-competitive environment where all levels of experience are welcome. Weekly classes, gong meditations, Teacher Trainings, and classes to support issues of mental health and addiction are offered at Golden Temple in an effort to help students live healthier, happier lives. Rai is Kundalini Research Institute Certified and a practicing Mental Health Counselor.

 Location: 223 Katonah Avenue, Katonah. Info: 914.232.3473;

 Hudson Valley Health & Tennis Club Yoga Studio

Caryna Wong

Conveniently located near the Metro North station in Hastings-on-Hudson, the studio offers inspirational views of the Hudson River with heated floors and a fireplace in the winter months, as well as lounge areas and changing rooms. They provide an array of classes for all levels of Hatha and Vinyasa yoga for students who wish to start or grow their practice.

The teachers at Hudson Valley Health & Tennis Club Yoga Studio are highly trained and certified, infusing their own practices with the influences of Bikram, Iyengar, Ashtanga, and Jivamukti yoga.  Classes are fun and invigorating, with a focus on strengthening and healing that leaves students with a profound sense of serenity and greater harmony of body, mind, and spirit.

Location: 100 River Street, Hastings-on-Hudson. Info:; 914.478.4400.

Katonah Yoga

Nevine Michaan

Nevine Michaan and her teachers spent the last 30 years developing Katonah Yoga in Bedford Hills, where students learn techniques to participate in their own wellbeing. Katonah Yoga students practice classical hatha yoga and breathing techniques (pranayama) in order to initiate a flow moving through the form. “While practicing the postures is the effort to make an origami cup through folding and developing pliancy of forms,” Nevine says, “the study of pranayama allows us to fill the cup with our breath, the elixir of the universe. The power of the practice comes as students endeavor to develop their depth, stability, and capacity to participate in the world, while using their imaginations to achieve freedom and acuity of vision.” Katonah Yoga offers classes for beginners, intermediate, and advanced practitioners.

 Location: 39 Main Street, Bedford Hills. Info:; 914.241.2661.

Laughing Hearts Yoga

“Yoga and motherhood have transformed my life,” says Elisha Fernandes Simpson, founder of Laughing Hearts Yoga. “I was drawn to yoga to get grounded, develop a personal practice and connect to my inner light. When I became a mother, I naturally shared this gift with my children, and established a foundation for us as we moved up and down the east coast.” Seeking a way to enhance her family’s practice, Elisha completed a children’s yoga teacher training program and developed a passion for teaching young people. “Through a creative exploration of kids’ yoga, I witness how kids gain respect and love for themselves and discover the place of peace and stillness within,” says Elisha, noting that the word yoga means union. “Watching families connect through yoga continues to fuel my passion to offer yoga to all.”

 Contact: Elisha 914.319.4010. Info:

Liberation Yoga & Wellness Center

David and Adrea Roble, owners.

Located in Mahopac, Liberation Yoga & Wellness Center was created as a sanctuary for busy lives. The studio offers stunning views of Lake Mahopac and aims to bring healing, empowerment, and liberation to the body, mind, and spirit. Classes range from gentle to challenging, while all are creative and fun. Liberation Yoga & Wellness Center offers high-quality yoga instruction in Vinyasa and other yoga styles, with emphasis on proper alignment, breathing, and philosophy. Their 200-hour Yoga Alliance Certified Teacher Training Program offers students the chance to expand their practice by studying in more depth and awakening the teacher within. Liberation Yoga instructors teach from a desire to share their love and knowledge of yoga, and the Wellness Center offers several types of massage, bodywork, and Reiki to assist the healing process.

Location: 900 S. Lake Blvd., Suite 6, Mahopac. Information:; 845.803.8389.

 Lotus Gardens Yoga School

Lotus Gardens is a comparative theory yoga school devoted to nurturing the experience of sharing and educating both yoga students and teachers.  Since 1980, founder Lara Azzarito Ward has brought yoga, meditation, martial arts and stress management programs to major corporations and hospitals in the greater Danbury area. She also established the first Yoga Alliance approved school in Connecticut. Lotus Gardens Yoga School has a well respected and refined 200-hour yoga teacher training program with over 260 certified instructors now guiding others throughout the world. With a private studio in Sherman, Lotus Gardens has five training studios offering a comprehensive yoga certification curriculum in Canton, Newtown, North Haven, and Plantsville, CT, and Troy, NY. Continuing Education blooms for yoga teachers from all disciplines through the school’s Seniors, Therapeutics, Kids and 500-hour certification courses.

Contact: 860.354.6241; Info:

 O2Living Yoga

The wood planked floors and beamed ceiling rooms of the O2Living yoga studio in Cross River establish the setting for a perfect yoga class. O2Living offers a variety of hatha based yoga classes including Vinyasa, Hot Vinyasa, Power Vinyasa, Restorative, Gentle and Kundalini. These balancing classes are taught by a variety of intuitive yoga teachers who help lead students on a transformational mind-body journey. The peaceful setting in the Yellow Monkey Village adds to the ambience of the yogi state. After class, students can flow into the café and pick up a fresh organic juice or smoothie before stepping into the O2Living spa for a therapeutic healing treatment. O2Living is open seven days a week, offering a variety of classes at all levels throughout the week.

 Location: 792 Route 35, Cross River. Info: 914.763.6320;

 Quest Yoga Arts

The studio at Quest Yoga Arts

While primarily a Vinyasa yoga studio, Quest Yoga Arts in Mt. Kisco incorporates core strength, massage and other mind-body disciplines to complement the quest for inner and outer fitness. Vinyasa Flow is a short, fluid, creative style of practice where the movement is driven by the music of the breath, and the classroom journey unfolds in delicious and exciting ways. It’s also a serious workout, not only for the body, but also for the mind and spirit. Quest presents a warm and accepting tone, allowing everyone’s journey to unfold in an environment of safety and joy. The instructors are inspiring and filled with great warmth, bringing a wonderful energy to the light filled studio space. Quest Yoga Arts offers daily classes, workshops, and a beautiful selection of yoga clothes and accessories.

 Location: 11 Main Street, 2nd floor, Mt. Kisco. Info:; 914.241.9642.

 Richard Villella

Richard Villella

A student and teacher of yoga since 1985, Richard has a thriving private yoga practice in New York City, where he helps people with pain and aging related problems who haven’t found relief through Western medicine. Some of his well known clients include: Candice Bergen, former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, ex-CIA Director George Tenet, former senator Bill Bradley, professional golfer Raymond Floyd, and members of the New York Mets. Richard co-founded and operated the Yoga Zone studios from 1994 to 1998, and he created and directed the Yoga Zone Teacher Training Program. Hundreds of students inspired by his teaching have become instructors, and Richard was voted best yoga teacher in the United States two years in a row by Allure Magazine. He currently teaches a group class at The Yoga Coop at the Garrison on Sundays from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

 Contact: Richard at

 Sacred Space Yoga Studio

Sacred Space Yoga Studio in Somers opened its doors in March 2010 to offer Vinyasa, Hot Power Yoga, and Gentle Hatha classes at the most affordable prices in the area. “My mission is to bring sanctuary to the community during times of global upheaval and natural disasters,” says studio owner Laura Jean Polisky E-RYT, “We all need to feel safe and we all need to feel connected. I offer my home and keep fees as low as possible so that everyone can practice yoga regardless of economic status, thus creating unity.”

 Location: 245 Route 100, Somers. Info: 914.401.9140; 

 Sandra Bernstein

Sandra Bernstein

Sandra’s yoga classes help people of all ages and ability levels to feel relaxed and renewed, with an improved sense of overall well-being.  A Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, Sandra received her 200+ hour instructor certification in Hatha, Gentle, and Chair Yoga from Integral Yoga Institute in New York and Virginia, where she was recently certified to teach Yoga for Arthritis. Her Gentle classes provide the benefits of yoga in a non-strenuous way, incorporating easy breathing and stretching techniques that are designed to reduce stress, decrease anxiety, build strength, and help maintain mobility. This style is ideal for older adults and for individuals who have some physical limitations, less flexibility, or who may not have exercised for a long time. Sandra remains committed to helping older adults stay flexible and strong through yoga as it opens their hearts, minds and bodies.

 Contact: 914.539.8909.

 Susan J. Wright

Susan J. Wright

Yoga has been a vital part of Susan’s healing journey for decades. A licensed massage therapist, clinical social worker and Kripalu yoga teacher, Susan draws on her background as a bodyworker, psychotherapist, shaman, and belly dancer to weave yoga classes that are mindful, dynamic, and healing on all levels of being. Susan is the author of, The Chakras in Shamanic Practice: Eight Stages of Healing and Transformation, published by Inner Traditions. She’s thrilled to be returning with her yoga teaching practice to beautiful Wainwright House in Rye, where she studied extensively with Swami Shantanand in the early 1980s. Susan’s new class at Wainwright House, “Mindful Yoga for Everyday Healing,” will be held on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m., Wednesday mornings at 10:30 a.m. and Saturday mornings at 8:45 a.m.

 Contact: Susan at 914.967.6080.

 The Yoga Co-op at The Garrison

The Yoga Co-op at The Garrison

The Yoga Co-op at The Garrison is a community-based, teacher-run yoga studio rooted in the heart of the beautiful Hudson Valley. Their mission is to provide high-quality, accessible yoga to the community while inspiring and encouraging a movement towards honoring the sacred in everyday life. Through the art and science of yoga and related work, the Yoga Co-op strives to help all students feel good in their bodies, quiet their minds and reclaim their peace.

 Location: 2015 Route 9, Garrison at Snake Hill Road. Info: 845.224.9909. 

 Yoga for Birth

Yoga for Birth

Beth Gibney-Boulden, owner of Yoga for Birth, offers inspiring classes for women throughout their journey into motherhood. Beth’s experience as a counselor and Kripalu practitioner and teacher help shape her classes into a nurturing mix of movement and insights that support body, mind, and soul. Classes are held at Full Circle Family Care in White Plains, and drop-ins are always welcome at weekly classes in Fertility, Prenatal, Mommy & Me, and regular Women’s yoga. Beth co-teaches the popular Couples Yoga for Birth workshop with midwife Tanya Tringali to give partners the skills and practice they need to feel confident about supporting moms during labor. Beth enjoys helping women find physical and emotional peace as they welcome their babies into the world.

Location: Full Circle Family Care, 1241 Mamaroneck Avenue, White Plains. Info:; 914.421.1500.

 Yoga on Lake Rippowam

Yoga on Lake Rippowam

Stephanie Harding, founder of Yoga on Lake Rippowam, started practicing yoga when she became pregnant at age 41 and experienced chronic back pain. Her yoga practice kept her fit during pregnancy and eased her back pain. “Although I initially thought of yoga as exercise, I soon found myself happily immersed in the profound teachings of connectedness and presence that yoga offers,” Stephanie recalls. “I decided to devote myself to bringing these gifts to others.” She trained with Viniyoga teacher Gary Kraftsow, and with Leslie Kaminoff in the Krishnamacharya tradition, which teaches adaptation of the elements of yoga to each person. Stephanie’s home studio classes are intimate and tailored to each individual’s needs. Sessions are held in view of Lake Rippowam or on her lakeside dock, accompanied by the sounds of nature.

 Contact: Stephanie at 914.763.2548; Info:


Vitalah Simon of Yoga Shine

Located in Valhalla, YogaShine is a simple, non-commercialized yoga studio based in Kripalu and Viniyoga styles.  Their adult classes reduce stress, calm the mind, and honor a person’s spiritual core while developing flexibility and strength. Classes are taught at a relaxed pace tailored to the needs of the moment and students receive individual attention. Vitalah Simon, the primary yoga teacher and dance-movement therapist at YogaShine, also provides special needs and other yoga classes for kids. Her specialty is working with children with autistic spectrum disorders ADD/ADHD, PDD, and other emotional, developmental and physical disabilities. Parents are typically included in special needs sessions. YogaShine also offers Super Gentle yoga for seniors and adults with special health considerations, individual yoga/movement therapy for adults, family yoga, and parent support services.

 Location: 7-11 Legion Drive, Valhalla. Info: 914.769.8745; 

Cancer Comfort: Minerva Santos, MD, Offers Integrative Therapies in Westchester

Dr. Minerva Santos & Dr. Andrew Weil

Dr. Minerva Santos & Dr. Andrew Weil

by Kazaray Taylor

Integrative medicine is finally gaining a firm foothold in the West, as physicians and patients alike embrace the promise of preventive healthcare through strategic choices in nutrition and lifestyle. In other words, Western medicine is just catching up with Minerva Santos, MD, who for 20 years has guided her patients to be active partners in their own healthcare.

Santos, an integrative medicine internist with a practice in Jefferson Valley, New York, is now advancing that cause as medical director of the Health and Wellness Program at Northern Westchester Hospital. Recently she talked to us about integrative medicine, the Health and Wellness Program, and how it’s helping the hospital’s cancer patients.

You recently finished your fellowship with Dr. Andrew Weil in Arizona. Tell me about that experience.

It was amazing! The University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine has a two-year fellowship in integrative medicine. There were physicians in my class from as far as Norway, and the diversity was impressive—cardiology, oncology, renal, almost every medical specialty was represented. We chose to be there because we sensed that something was missing from what we learned in medical school. Physicians need to look at patients as whole beings—mind, body, spirit; what they do, who they are. You can’t divide a person into parts to be treated.

Dr. Weil’s program emphasizes a partnership between patient and practitioners in the healing process. It is a solid, scientifically based program that critically evaluates the broad world of alternative medicine. Believe me, some things are really out there and can be very dangerous. The worst-case scenarios are patients who refuse chemotherapy in a search for alternative treatments, with disastrous results. Andrew Weil is a man with a vision regarding what medicine is and where it should be going.

And now you are the director of the new Health and Wellness Program at Northern Westchester Hospital. This hospital is a little different from most, isn’t it?

When I accepted the position over a year ago, I was excited and had so many ideas to offer—and then was surprised to find that Northern Westchester was way ahead of the curve. They had a robust program with an emphasis on local foods, organics and going green; they offered acupuncture, aromatherapy and energy medicine; they also offered Reiki to all inpatients at no cost. The hospital is one of only a few in the country designated as a Planetree hospital, which signifies it is a truly patient-centered facility.

And tell me about the Health and Wellness Program.

I am very excited about our new Cancer Health and Wellness Program for patients, which launched in April. Patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy at the hospital can enroll in our program to receive acupuncture, nutrition counseling, an exercise program, energy medicine, yoga, Pilates, stress reduction and aromatherapy, to name of few of the integrative modalities, all for free. It is going very well. The staff is the most caring and compassionate I have come across. Patients love the support during a very difficult time, and studies reinforce the fact that patients do better and use less pain and anti-nausea medication when participating in programs like ours.

You’ll be conducting your own clinical studies, right?

Yes. The first study will assess the improvement in stress level and quality of life in the patients enrolled in the program versus those who choose not to participate. I hope to publish the results to support the fact that integrative medicine makes a difference. The next study will focus on patients undergoing radiation, assessing how an herbal topical cream might help prevent burns or changes in the skin, which are common side effects of radiation treatment. I will work closely with the oncology department, as they need to be 100 percent on board.

What advice can you give our readers about which foods to eat—or not—during cancer treatment?

That’s a hard one when you still have oncologists who tell patients not to eat fruits or veggies because of the antioxidants, or not to take Omegas because of possible bleeding problems. During my recent integrative medicine fellowship, I found it interesting that there were more oncologists in the program than any other medical specialists, and I came to understand how difficult a field oncology is.

Regarding diets, each patient must be evaluated individually. Someone with breast cancer needs a different diet than someone with an ENT carcinoma or prostate cancer. A serious problem I come across is patients taking various supplements or eating certain foods just because they read or heard about them. That could be dangerous, because some supplements can reduce the strength of chemotherapy. Cancer patients should seek the advice of someone trained to put the whole picture together.

Are there foods that can help patients stay cancer-free?

I wish there were foods that would guarantee you would be cancer-free. There are many that can help lower your risk. For starters, I would avoid processed foods as much as possible and follow an anti-inflammatory diet. Consuming fruits and veggies that span the color spectrum is very important. For example, tomatoes—whether in marinara sauce or just stewed—have been shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. (Aim for two cups of cooked tomatoes per week; cooking maximizes the lycopene.) Even the healthiest diet can’t lower your cancer risk to zero, but anything we do to lower that risk is worth it.

As integrative medicine becomes mainstream, do you still find there are challenges in the field?

Well my biggest challenge is my peers who tend to place all integrative medicine into this box called “bogus.” Fortunately, because I’m well-respected in the medical community, having practiced internal medicine for 20 years, my peers listen with an open mind—they know I’m not prescribing “eye of newt” to my patients! My focus is on preventing illness through diet, exercise and stress reduction.

What’s in the future with your work that you are excited about?

My list of things to be excited about goes on and on! We are starting a wellness program at Northern Westchester Hospital for employees. I’m writing a book on stress reduction, and I’ve joined the Mount Kisco Medical Group. I’m also studying botanical medicine with Tieraona Low Dog, MD, the director of the fellowship at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. She’s the most amazing person I’ve ever met.

Dr. Santos has a private practice at 691 East Main St., Jefferson Valley, NY. For more information, visit or call 914.245.6800.

Pets v. Pests: Natural Protection

Avoiding Chemical Warfare against Fleas and Ticks

by Dr. Alex Barrientos, DVM

Natural pest products available at Earth Angels Veterinary Hospital

Natural pest products available at Earth Angels Veterinary Hospital

It’s safe to say that every dog and cat owner in the Hudson Valley will come into contact with ticks and fleas at some point. They usually cope by using veterinary-recommended products like insecticides that are applied each month—Frontline, Advantix or other brands of the sort. These products are lipophilic, which means they like fat; they go through the skin and sit in fat and oil glands. Each individual shaft of hair has an oil gland, and lipophilic products work by remaining in each gland and spreading the pesticide along with the oil which is produced by each gland on a daily basis. This creates a toxic environment for whichever insect decides to walk through the pet’s coat.

As pest control goes, it’s an easy and effective method. But this convenient bio-warfare has some unintended casualties.

Every time we touch our pets’ coat, for example, we also touch this pesticide—which in turn penetrates our skin and goes into our fat. So far, safety testing has evidenced that even when given in large quantities, these products will not kill you or your pet immediately. But no one knows the long-term effect they will have on our children and grandchildren. We should remember the footprint left in the past by other fat-loving pesticides like DDT and Agent Orange.

Natural repellents and insect killers that are more biodegradable do exist. There are lawn treatments done with pyrethrins (derived from the chrysanthemum flower), as well as an increasing number of sprays and shampoos containing cedar, geranium, citronella, garlic, eucalyptus and derivatives of other well-known plants and trees. These natural ingredients may be used in addition to or instead of the above-mentioned heavy pesticides.

In my veterinary practice, I have noticed that there is growing concern about the safety of synthetic chemicals. I have also found that escaping Lyme disease, a serious condition carried by ticks, involves more than just applying one of these products. With this in mind, I generally recommend a combination of products, with an emphasis on more natural treatments and fewer synthetic pesticides. I’ve found this strategy works very well for my clientele.

As a veterinarian, I have used and recommended all of the above products—natural and synthetic—depending on the season and on the severity of the insect problem. As a parent of two small children, however, I have also wondered what they and future generations will think about our current practice of using heavy pesticides to control fleas and ticks in our pets. These upcoming generations are destined to be more environmentally aware than we are, with a far greater understanding of the long-term legacy of the chemicals we leave behind.

Whenever I see children hugging their pets, not only do I marvel at the uniqueness and beauty of the human-animal bond, as I have done for decades, but I also now wonder about the chemicals our children’s skin is absorbing, and storing, for us to answer to in the future.

Prevent Pests Naturally

Below are the all-natural flea and tick prevention products recommended by Earth Angels Veterinary Hospital in Wappingers Falls, New York. (Many of the ingredients in these treatments are organic, as well.) Earth Angels Veterinary Hospital carries and can ship all these products. For more info, call 845.227.7297 or visit

  • Pet Escential Flea Flicker (*dogs only)
  • Pet Escential Tick Flicker (*dogs only)
  • Honey Birch Farms Bug Spray (*dogs and owners only)
  • Pop’s Pet Products Insect Away Shampoo (dogs and cats)
  • Pop’s Pet Products Flea & Tick & Insect Repellent Spray (*dogs only)
  • Earth Animal Bug Spray (*dogs and owners only)
  • Earth Animal Internal Powder (dogs and cats)
  • Earth Animal Herbal Internal Powder  (yeast-free for dogs and cats) *Please note that many essential oils, along with too much garlic, are toxic for cats.

Dr. Alex Barrientos practices at Earth Angels Veterinary Hospital, 8 Nancy Court, Wappingers Falls, NY. For more information, call the office at 845.227.7297 or visit

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