Long Island Yoga Association
Brief History

Introduction and Brief History

The Long Island Yoga Association (LIYA) is a non-profit organization that was formed in 1988 for the purpose of promoting yoga and networking the yoga community on Long Island, NY. The organization conducts workshops and retreats to provide opportunities for members to share a diverse array of traditions, techniques, practices and insights into yoga.

LIYA was the long-cherished dream and hard work of four Long Island yoga teachers: Marianne Mitsinikos, Joan Lowitt, Anne Rechter and Tara Eidmann. Over the years, it had become apparent to them that Long Island students and teachers of yoga were in need of an organization that could serve as a resource center for yoga studies and a networking forum to share information with other practitioners.

It all began when Marianne and Joan met Anne at a yoga workshop and discovered that they shared a fervent desire to see such an organization formed. However, making the dream a reality took more than passion and desire. Months of hard work followed as they laid the foundations for the non-profit organization. The newly-established Officers labored to create an Association which would welcome and appeal to serious yoga students and teachers alike, and by virtue of the meaningful and professional programs it planned to offer, would promote yoga on Long Island. 

To Marianne, who had become the first president of LIYA, fell the challenge of providing this vision, leadership and energy needed to give LIYA its lifeblood. This required her involvement in programming, publicity and numerous related duties. Joan, who served as Treasurer, set up the financial structure of the organization and handled all of the monetary responsibilities. Anne, appointed as the first Vice President, working on programming and, in fact, was a guest teacher at one of LIYA's early workshops. Anne also brought Tara Eidmann on board to serve as Secretary. Tara became the architect of our Articles of Association and Bylaws and assumed the difficult task of establishing our legal and organizational framework.

It all paid off. In February 1988, the first LIYA workshop was held and Beryl Bender Birch was the guest instructor. The room was packed, literally, and the enthusiastic turnout demonstrated that the dream of LIYA's four founders had become a reality.

Today, twenty seven years later, LIYA is nearly 200 members strong and continues to grow. We owe a profound debt of gratitude to our four founders for their vision and our heritage and thank all of our members, past and present, for their dedication and active participation.