Yoga Classes for Teachers, Drumming, Quakers, Women’s Retreat and more, March 2013 in Westchester and Putnam NY

Event Briefs from Natural Awakenings Magazine – Westchester/ Putnam NY Edition.

For more great news and events, visit

Continuing Education Programs for Westchester Yoga Teachers

Living-YogaLiving Yoga, a vinyasa studio in Cold Spring, is launching a Teacher’s Advancement Program. The continuing education program is designed to provide an inspiring environment in which yoga teachers can further their training, ask questions and brainstorm with other teachers.

The first offering of the series is an Assisting Workshop for Yoga Teachers, providing guidance and refinement of hands-on assisting. It takes place on March 2 from 1 to 4 p.m. and the cost is $50. In April, program directors Richard Villella and Liz Schulman will offer a vinyasa intensive for yoga teachers from April 19 to 21 and April 27 and 28. “This two-weekend certification will teach current yoga teachers the skills of leading and sequencing a vinyasa class,” says Schulman. “They’ll also explore ways in which to incorporate vinyasa into their current style of teaching.”

In addition to these workshops, Living Yoga offers four Level 3 classes per week and a monthly level 3-plus class for area yoga teachers. Future workshops will feature guest teachers and asana clinics.

Living Yoga is located at 3182 Rt.9, just south of I-84, in Cold Spring, NY. For more information, email, call 845.809.5900 or visit Find them on Facebook at LivingYogaStudios.

Quaker Quest Sessions to Inform at Scarsdale Friends Meeting

The Scarsdale Friends Meeting presents Quaker Quest Programs that invite the public to learn more about this spiritual community. The get-acquainted sessions take place on Sunday afternoons, March 3, 10, and 17, from 2 to 4 p.m., and childcare and light refreshments will be available.

Quaker Quest sessions will center on sharing personal journeys and contemporary Quaker beliefs with the community at large. Each program will feature presentations by Scarsdale Friends Meeting members on a set topic, followed by small group discussions and question-and-answer opportunities. Topics include Quakers and the Spiritual Quest (March 3), Quakers and Environmental and Social Activism (March 10) and Quakers and Parenting (March 17).  At the end of each session, guests will be invited to participate in a Quaker worship meeting.

“Quaker core values include simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and silence,” says member Ginny Blanford. “They lead both to a spiritual path for our time that is simple, radical, and contemporary, and to the daily challenge of seeking ways in which to live by these values.” Scarsdale Friends Meeting, which was founded in the early 1940s, sponsors a nursery school, outreach programs in local shelters, and a prison ministry. The Quaker Quest program will be repeated in April.

The Scarsdale Friends Meeting is located at 133 Popham Rd., just off the White Plains Post Road, in Scarsdale, NY. For more information, call 914.946.8722 or visit Also find them at

Admissions Introductory Session and Camp Open House at Blue Rock School

Blue-Rock-School-News-Brief-Image-Mar-13Families interested in enrollment in grades K-8 are invited to visit Blue Rock School during the school’s Introductory Session at 10 a.m., March 9. Parents can tour the wooded four-acre campus, meet Blue Rock faculty and hear how the school’s vibrant, creative environment nurtures children’s natural curiosity and fosters a lifelong love of learning.

At 2 p.m. the same day, parents and their children ages 3½ to 12 will have an opportunity to learn about the school’s adventure-filled, five-week Summer Play Camp. Campus tours will be given including the new Arts & Nature Studies Annex and pool, and adults can meet camp personnel, while their children enjoy staff-led games and activities. Summer Play is open to the community. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Blue Rock is a progressive, independent day school, founded in 1987 with a mission to offer an experiential approach to education that enables children to follow their natural curiosity, develop as independent thinkers and grow in a dynamic learning community. Students engage in a challenging academic curriculum that fully integrates the arts and nurtures their innate desire to learn.

Location: 110 Demarest Mill Rd. (off Germonds Rd.), West Nyack, NY. Morning attendees: RSVP to Admissions Director Beverly Stycos, at or 845.535.3353. Afternoon attendees: RSVP to or 845.627.0234. For more information, visit

A Nurturing Retreat for Women to Enhance Possibilities and Support

Precious Sellars-Mulhern & Melinda Martin

Precious Sellars-Mulhern & Melinda Martin

Psychologist and coach Precious Sellars-Mulhern, PhD, presents Precious Possibilities For Women, an annual retreat designed to bring women together to nurture and support one another. The next retreat takes place on Sunday, March 24, at Wainwright House in Rye.

“Each year the retreat deals with different issues that are important to women,” says Mulhern. “What is unique about this retreat is that women walk away with tools that enable them to address those issues. The underlying premise is that women who are empowered and enjoying life have more to offer their families, friends and colleagues.”

An associate professor in the Counseling Center at Borough of Manhattan Community College, Mulhern has entitled this year’s retreat, “Re-Scripting Your Life: Tapping Yourself To Joy.”  It features, Melinda Martin, LCSW, an expert in Energy Psychology and Emotional Freedom Technique, a method of meridian tapping that helps people to free themselves from traumas, pain and limiting beliefs.

“Women will learn techniques that are accessible to them at all times,” says Mulhern. “They’ll also engage in activities with other women in an elegant environment overlooking Milton Harbor, and they’ll leave feeling energized with support, tools and friendships to lift their spirits and spring them into action.”

Wainwright House is located at 260 Stuyvesant Ave. in Rye, NY. For more information and to register for the retreat, visit or call 914.522.5276.

Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute Accepting Applications for Summer Program

Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute graduates

Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute graduates

The Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute (EFLI) has opened the application process for the 2013 summer session. Now in its fourth year, EFLI promotes leadership in young women through self-empowerment, connection with others and activism in Westchester County.

This summer, EFLI will offer two sessions of the twelve-day Activating Leadership program for first year participants. The sessions begin on July 15 and August 5. “Last year, thirty-nine talented and courageous young women participated in the Activating Leadership program,” says Program Coordinator Aimee Aubin. “This year EFLI plans to reach an even larger population, and to continue our Leading for Impact sessions for returning participants.”

Aubin says that EFLI will also carry on the LIFE Fellowship, a summer internship program for a select group of recent high school graduates. ELFI began in 2010 with a dozen girls and has now reached more than 150 young women with the three programs. “We anticipate that 2013 will be our best year yet,” says Aubin. “We have an incredible lineup of facilitators, both old and new, and we’re really looking forward to building a team of diverse and powerful young women to join the team.”

Applications may be submitted online at and are due by any of the following deadlines: March 1, April 5 or May 3.

For more information, call 914.487.3354 or email


Fishkill Cares for Cats Event Benefits Animals in Need

FCCSpring13Sound Earth, New York’s only manufacturer of natural, pet-safe cleaning products, presents their annual Fishkill Cares for Cats benefit on Saturday, March 30. The family-oriented event takes place from noon to 4:30 p.m. at the Dutchess Plaza Shopping Center in Fishkill and features food, music, face painting, raffles and humane education and demonstrations. Proceeds go to Furry Friends Pet Rescue, Inc. of Hopewell Junction, Katmarroon, Inc. of Newburgh and the humane efforts of Sound Earth.

In addition to the festivities, The Animal Rights Alliance, Inc., a mobile spay and neuter clinic for cats, will provide low cost health services to cats on site. The service benefits animal rescue organizations, individuals and families who have not, for financial reasons, been able to spay or neuter their pets. Feline drop-off services are by appointment only and take place from 7:30 to 8:15 a.m., with pick-up times from 4 to 4:30 p.m. For complete details, to sponsor a cat or set up an appointment, visit or call Ann at 845.489.2378. The first 50 cats to be dropped off will receive a goodie bag.

Fishkill Cares for Cats attendees will receive a free raffle ticket when they donate an item from any rescue center wish list, and adoption applications will be accepted. Sound Earth, which is recognized as a cruelty-free company, offers customizable, scented products that are safe for people, pets and the planet.

The Dutchess Plaza Shopping Center is located at 1545 Rte. 52 in Fishkill, NY. For more information about Sound Earth and Fishkill Cares for Cats visit

Yoga Meets Spinning for Fitness and Fun

Gersh Rosen

Gersh Rosen

YogaSpin, a new hybrid of yoga and spinning, is now offered at Apogee Fitness and Wellness in White Plains. YogaSpin was created by Gersh Rosen, an experienced yogi and cyclist who teaches the class.

“Experienced spinners will be challenged by Alpine climbs, rolling hills and soaring sprints simulated with my vivid and inspiring visualization techniques,” says Rosen. “Yogis and yoginis will recognize the integrated yoga elements of the class, including pranayama, vinyasa and savanasa.”

Rosen says that pranayama, or yogic breathing, synchronizes the heart, lungs and body in movement, resulting in sustained energy and power and extended aerobic thresholds during the YogaSpin workout. “There’s also an optional, exciting sing-along during a simulated climb that demonstrates the effectiveness of this breathing, and the vinyasa flow strengthens muscles and hastens recovery in stretch periods,” Gersh adds, noting that the cool-down period includes a guided meditation for integration and relaxation.

“This mind-body class achieves the best of both yoga and cycling,” says Rosen. “There’s serious core and muscle strengthening, heart-healthy breathing, major calorie burns, and an endorphin high. It ends with a real sense of calm and purpose.” YogaSpin is offered Mondays at 8 a.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. and Friday and Sunday at 10 a.m.

Apogee Fitness and Wellness is located at 140 Mamaroneck Ave. in White Plains, NY.


Shop, Wear and Walk to Support Parkinson’s Research

Unity-Walk--High-ResNatural Awakenings is an enthusiastic sponsor of the One T @ a Time fundraising campaign for the Parkinson’s Unity Walk on April 27.  The campaign raises money for Parkinson’s research through sales of 100% organic cotton t-shirts with the message, “As One, We Heal.”

“The design on this T-shirt was created by me and Mary Keunecke, as we are both intimately affected by Parkinson’s disease in our families and we share a passion for health and wellness,” says Justine Kawas, founder of the One T @ a Time campaign. “Each shirt sold eliminates waste, maintains a low carbon footprint and benefits Parkinson’s research.”

Kawas is also leading the One T @ a Time Team at the Parkinson’s Unity Walk in New York City’s Central Park. “We want to support organic healing and uniting in the world,” she says. “People can participate by buying a fundraising t-shirt at, wearing the shirt and sharing pictures on social media via #AsOneWeHeal, #NaturalAwakenings or #Unitywalk.”

Those wishing to support the cause can also walk with the One T @ a Time Team by registering at, entering the team name in the search bar and joining the team.

For more information regarding the One T @ a Time campaign or Team, contact and visit


A Starry Nights Café to Brighten a Winter Evening

Starvisions-logo-2StarVisions, Inc. presents an evening of spiritual comedy and musical entertainment on Saturday, March 2, at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Mt. Kisco. Starry Nights Café begins at 7:30 p.m. and the cost is $20.

The evening features a unique spiritual improvisation routine by writer, poet, past-life regressionist and medium Jessica Lawrence, who brings in personalities “from the other side of the veil” with her Brooklyn accent. Audience participation will be encouraged for her tag team improvisation skits. The event will be topped off by the adult contemporary music of Westchester’s own Porter Smith, accompanied by singers Megan Longwell and Meirav Eytan.

“StarVisions is all about community,” says president Peter Ferrio. “We provide spiritual seekers with opportunities to connect with like minded individuals, not only during the programs that we offer throughout the year, but at social events like this one.” Doors open at 7:15 p.m. for the Starry Nights Café, and healthy snacks and non-alcoholic beverages will be available.

The Unitarian Universalist Church is located at 236 South Bedford Rd., Mt. Kisco, NY. For more information, visit or call 914.236.4503.

Massage, Full Moon Drumming and Visualization Circles in Yonkers

Donna-CostaAfter taking nearly a year off to heal a broken leg, Donna Costa is practicing massage therapy again. Costa returns with a remodeled therapy room, several new programs and package deals for bringing the relaxation of massage to clients’ homes.

Costa has also studied Native American spirituality and healing methods for more than two decades with such indigenous elders as Wallace Black Elk, Sun Bear, Bear Heart, Beautiful Painted Arrow and Nicki Scully. “I incorporate these healing modalities into my massage therapy and in ceremonies to help those dealing with addictions and with healing the child within,” she says.

As of this month, Costa is also offering Full Moon Drumming Circles and facilitating a monthly sharing group. “This group is for conjuring our hopes, dreams and goals,” she says. “It’s a safe place to share, support, and fine-tune ideas and dreams to create the future that participants envision. I’ll call on everyone to pool our energies and share visualizations to achieve common and personal goals.” Costa says that her monthly groups will start with a heart circle, followed by a meditation focused on sending ideas and dreams “out into the universe” to assist participants in achieving their highest and deepest hopes.

Donna Costa Massage Therapy is located at 58 Wickes Ave. in Yonkers, NY. For more information, call 914.907.4485, email or visit



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