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Meet Yoga Instructor Betsy Kase

By Christy Knell
July 04, 2021

In 1997, Betsy Kase opened Yoga Haven as a single room in Tuckahoe. After over 20 years of teacher trainings and workshops, nine Best of Westchester awards, two studio locations, and thousands and thousands of classes, the studio now known as Haven is bringing its renowned 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training program to HudCo.

Betsy, the lead instructor the program since 1999 and a certified yoga therapist, has studied with many of the top American teachers including Rodney Yee, David Swenson, Sharon Gannon and David Life, Dharma Mittra, Patricia Walden, and Cyndi Lee. She trained at Integral Yoga, continued with prenatal and postnatal trainings, and recently focused on pain and spinal issues with Alison West, Deborah Wolk, Loren Fishman, Matthew Sanford, and Jillian Pransky.

Whether you’re at a point in your practice to consider the teacher training program or just discovering what a sun salutation is, you can begin to bring yoga into your life to build strength and feel more at peace. We connected with Betsy to learn her favorite resources.

Do you recommend any podcasts, books, or newsletters in the yoga world?
My most favorite, incredibly influential book, the book I require all teacher trainees to read before they start training is Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence, by Matthew Sanford. I also recommend looking into Erich Schieffmann, Tara Brach, Yoga Physics, the podcast 10 Percent Happier with Dan Harris, Sharon Salzberg, Kathryn Budig, and Jillian Pransky.

If you’re not doing yoga, what other movement classes or activities do you enjoy?
Paddle boarding, walking. I am not a big exerciser! I don’t enjoy sports… that’s one of the reasons I ended starting yoga in my 20s. The practice of yoga has changed so many other aspects of my life, my ability to be more patient, accepting, a great ability to listen, and more “success” in my personal relationships as a partner and a parent. 

If someone is suffering from work-related stress, is there a pose you’d recommend them to try at home at the end of the day?
For any type of stress, but most specifically because we are sitting at our desks for so many hours a day, we must reverse the flow of lymph and energy in our body. Taking time to lie down with our legs up the wall relieves fatigue, tired legs, swollen feet, and rests our hearts, quiets our nervous system, slows down our breath, and, finally, resting our brains. To make the pose more comfortable, especially if the back of your legs are tight, place a pillow under your hips, and then cover your eyes. Stay as long as you are comfortable. Some people fall asleep!

Join Betsy for a 75-minute mixed-level yoga class in the HudCo Atrium on Monday, July 12, at 6:30pm (members get $5 off!). She’s also hosting an informational session on the 200-Hour Teacher Training Program on Tuesday, July 13, at 7pm.