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Irena Choi Stern on Teaching Yoga and Inventing on the Side PDF Print Email


By Irena Choi Stern

Feb. 15, 2017:  She is the Bronxville Adult School's longest-serving instructor, having taught yoga for more than 20 years, and she remains one of the most popular. This spring semester, Mary Beltran will once again teach several yoga classes, from beginner to intermediate, all of which have a devoted following.

"I have been taking yoga with Mary for over 10 years," said Michele Cooper. "I started in her beginner class and, after some time, she encouraged me to take her intermediate class. Mary is not only encouraging to all her students, but she is patient and ever so kind. She is extremely knowledgeable not only regarding yoga but other holistic subjects as well."

Students describe how "you don't have to be an expert to take advantage of her knowledge," noting that Beltran allows students to go at their own pace but pushes them to go a little further. 

"It's not about competition," Beltran said. "I always say to my students, wherever you are, you're getting a benefit. It's about building a foundation. If you don't have a foundation, you can't go beyond your foundation. Stay with what you can do, build that up, and you'll move on."


When she isn't teaching yoga, the Riverdale resident is an inventor, and her latest invention is set to debut in March:  the MagScoop (

"It's a magnetic scooping system [to solve the problem of having] scoops in the bottom of containers of protein powders [or other materials]," Beltran said. "It has three magnets. Two magnets attached to the lid and a magnet in the scoop that attaches underneath the lid so the scoop is always accessible."

Beltran also offers a Feldenkrais class, described as a safe, effective way for people of all ages and abilities to improve flexibility and coordination, reduce stress, and relieve strain on the back and joints. It promotes freer, more efficient and graceful movement that results from learning to move more from one's center of gravity.

Ultimately, she describes yoga as an individual journey and notes that it can be particularly helpful to older people with everyday skills such as tying shoelaces, getting dressed, getting in and out of the shower, and brushing their hair.

"You'd be amazed," she said. "There are a lot of people who are so crippled and so stiff they can't move. I am always amazed at how, if people do like a 12-week session, how much they improve over that 12-week period. It improves the quality of your life."


"Mary is one of our most popular instructors," said Celia Cuce, executive director of the Bronxville Adult School. "Many of her students have been with her for years, but she is also very warm and welcoming to students who are new to yoga or new to BAS."

Cooper said she would take more classes if she could. "I am presently enrolled in two of Mary's classes and would enroll in more if I didn't work. Yoga has changed my life and I owe it all to Mary Beltran!" 

Classes are conveniently scheduled weekdays, weeknights, and weekends this spring at the Bronxville Adult School. To find out more about the Bronxville Adult School fall course offerings and to register, go to or contact the office at 914-793-4435 or CLOAKING .

Pictured here:  Mary Beltran teaching yoga in the Bronxville Elementary School gymnasium.

Photos courtesy Irena Choi Stern


Presentation on History of Bronxville at Bronxville Library Monday, July 16

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By Christine Utchel, Head of Reference, Bronxville Public Library Jul. 11, 2018: Join us in the Bronxville Public Library at 3:00 pm on Monday, July 16, for a slideshow presentation depicting...


Adult Education Directory

Bronxville Adult School

About the Bronxville Adult School & Contacts

The Bronxville Adult School is a not-for-profit organization incorporated in 1957 and chartered by the New York State Board of Regents. The School "offers all adults of Bronxville and surrounding communities the opportunity for personal growth through life enhancing skills and provides cultural, intellectual and recreational stimulation at a nominal cost."

The Bronxville Adult School
(914) 793-4435
P.O. Box 334, Bronxville NY 10708


Bronxville Public Library

Bronxville Public Library

The Bronxville Public Library traces its origins back to 1875, when it was a small lending library housed in a room attached to the “Bronxville Model School.” The Library was officially chartered in 1906 and moved into the Village Hall Building. The needs of the library grew with the town and, in 1942, a new standalone building was erected, which is where the Library is today. Over the years, the Library was renovated and expanded to meet the needs of the community.

The Library has wonderful resources for adults and children and offers a comfortable and relaxing environment. The Library also houses a fine art collection, consisting principally of Bronxville painters and sculptors.

The Library offers special events, art exhibitions, and programs for adults, young adults and children.  All events are open to the public, unless otherwise indicated.

The Bronxville Public Library
201 Pondfield Road (Midland Avenue & Pondfield Road)

Concordia College

Concordia College Adult Education

Concordia College was founded in 1881. It is a four-year, co-educational liberal arts college located in Bronxville. Concordia's Accelerated Degree Programs are designed to give you the skills to be competitive in your chosen career or in graduate school. 

Concordia College - New York
171 White Plains Road
Bronxville, New York 10708

Sarah Lawrence College

Sarah Lawrence College 

1 Mead Way
Bronxville, New York 10708

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