88 Orchard Road
Skillman, NJ 08558
609-924-7294

Press Release: Princeton Center for Yoga & Health Hosts Labyrinth Program Marking 21 Years

(Skillman, NJ) On Saturday, October 14 (1:00 – 3:00 pm) Princeton Center for Yoga & Health, (Princeton Yoga) 88 Orchard Road, Skillman, welcomes Deborah Ketter, a certified Veriditas Labyrinth Facilitator for a special program – Step into the Labyrinth and stoke the Fire of Creativity. Participants will be guided to create their own finger labyrinth, stoking the fires of creativity by first walking the labyrinth together as a group. Fee is $35/$30 if pre-paid by 10/12/2017.

What is a labyrinth?  The labyrinth is an ancient symbol seen in cultures around the globe. Exactly when it became a walking path is a bit of a mystery, but today they are popping up in schools, hospitals, community centers, and places of worship world-wide. Many people find profound effects in walking the labyrinth, often in times of transition or when seeking inspiration or simply finding a stillness and peace.

Says Deborah: “We are all endowed with a certain fire at birth. Call it soul, talent or genius. If you stoke it, it flourishes, though you may never know the secret from where it came. Long before the Labyrinth was a walking meditation it was seen as a symbol, its identity unknown. There is speculation that a small carving on an ancient tomb might have been a finger labyrinth placed for the deceased to use as a map to find a way back after reincarnation. Other carvings seen on cave walls may have been finger labyrinths meant to be traced.”

In speaking about the impetus for creating the labyrinth at Princeton Yoga, Director Deborah Metzger notes: “This year marks our 21st anniversary of the Princeton Center for Yoga & Health. My early vision for the Center was to create a haven for people to follow their unique path to health, well-being and self-actualization. As Maslow taught, this need for self-actualization does not always follow a standard progression. Part of my vision for the Center included having a labyrinth (initially metaphorical) as a way to support people on their path. Though it seems that one meanders along the circular walking pattern, the labyrinth has one path which leads to the Center. In fact, one of our early ‘tag lines’ was Find your center at the Center. This year (now fully settled into our new home, a scenic 5-acre campus at 88 Orchard Road, Skillman), seemed the perfect time to bring the labyrinth into being.

“In contemplating the labyrinth, one phrase which came to me again and again was -”Not all those who wander are lost.” ~J. R. R. Tolkien.  There is no right way or wrong way to walk the labyrinth. You make a choice to go in, go around and around its circuits, yet always find your way to the Center. For some, it represents a journey to our own center, a meandering but purposeful path that always leads back out into the world. A perfect metaphor!”

“I searched for someone to help with its implementation and found a Kripalu colleague, Deborah Ketter, who is a certified, advanced Veriditas labyrinth facilitator, Kripalu Yoga teacher and artist. She and I together choose and modified a classical 7 circuit design to allow for extra gathering space in the center and came up with a plan to make it so. She completed the project beautifully with heart and intention – from initial layout/measuring, finding organic materials like the stone and mulch, recruiting the people to help build it and together, with some of our teachers, students and volunteers, worked for days in the hot sun yielding the what you now see. We envision adding additional landscaping and other features to the project (benches, found objects and the like) over time – this too will grow organically as there is no rush and no “ending” to the circular path!”

REGISTER HERE FOR Step into the Labyrinth and stoke the Fire of Creativity

About Deborah Ketter, BFA, E-RYT 500, is a certified, advanced Veriditas labyrinth facilitator, Kripalu Yoga teacher and artist. She presents nationwide, including Kripalu, North America’s largest yoga training center, and has been building labyrinths and facilitating labyrinth walks at yoga studios, schools, community centers and hospitals for 15 years. Trained by Lauren Artress at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, Debbie also studied labyrinth design with master builder Robert Ferre. As a yoga teacher, she uses a creative and therapeutic approach to teach the art and science of yoga, with a focus on guided relaxation. www.deborahketter.com

Princeton Yoga is the Greater Princeton area’s first and longest running yoga Center. Now at 88 Orchard Road, a bucolic 5-acre campus and its third home in Montgomery, the Center is known for its innovative programs, charitable classes, offerings for all ages, levels of fitness, busy schedules and budgets  – featuring local talent and nationally acclaimed yoga educators and special guests.  Free parking. Schedule and details can be found at www.princetonyoga.com or by calling 609-924-7294. The labyrinth is open to the public during regular business hours. In honor of the Center’s anniversary, new visitors are welcome to sample classes with a $20 for 20 days’ unlimited class pass

The Non-Yogi view of Yoga: I am a ‘Yogi’

Part of our series “People of Princeton Yoga” we asked students, teachers and employees to write some of their thoughts on yoga. Meet Franziska Raeber, she has been part of what we call the ‘experiment of Princeton Yoga’ since 2005. First as student and as SEVA, later as manager for all things marketing and business. Even after she moved to Florida in 2010, she remains part of our team.

“So this is me…  Marketing Manager for Princeton Yoga. But not a Yogi. My only yoga qualification is to like yoga. I am neither a yoga teacher nor vegan nor do I practice yoga/meditation daily. Nope, I am just person that works from home, handles 3 grade schoolers, chases after way too many pets, gets engaged in excessive amount of committees/projects and tries hard not to fall asleep before the kids do… Yoga is more often NOT on my mind than on it. But still I believe I am a ‘Yogi’.

Yoga has been part of my life for over 12 years. I have always attended classes, some I really liked and some I choose never to go back to. To be able to represent ‘my’ Princeton Yoga Center I do read or come across loads of articles about yoga, what it is, what it is not, with goats, beer, heavy metal, standing, lying down etc. I admire all the dedicated yogis that are passionate about their practice and I applaud them for their dedication of living the yogic life. Often I hear my thoughts whispering: “You should do/be that!” But then I face my real and often chaotic life and know that meeting those lofty goals isn’t me. But still I think I am in my own way a ‘Yogi’.

This morning while I was walking my dogs, I challenged myself to write up for fun my thoughts on how yoga is part of my life, off the mat … in my life. Write those thoughts down out of the perspective of one of those yoga students that only shows up to class once a week, can’t do any fancy poses and is far from elegant while holding any pose and couldn’t repeat a Sanskrit word if her life depended on it. Well someone like me!

Taking on this challenge feels like doing that crow pose in last week’s class, I knew how it was supposed to look, but then my knees wouldn’t want to go on the elbows and my mind told me that I will fall flat on my nose… and still I tried and yes I failed, but I intend to try again and so here I am writing my first blog. I am taking my practice off the mat and even if I fall flat on my nose I am trying this. Yes, my life is Yoga and I am Yogi.”

Check in and follow the thoughts of a Non-Yogi talking about Yoga or not.

Franziska Raeber has been part of Princeton Yoga since 2005. Today she manages Princeton Yoga’s marketing, website and contracts all the way from Gainesville FL.

There from the Beginning: Shelly Yedlin

As we continue our series of “People of Princeton Yoga” we like to introduce Shelly Yedlin. In 1999 – 21 years ago – she was one of our very first students and to date we love seeing her walk through our doors.

“In 1999, when I decided to begin a yoga practice, there was virtually only one center in the Princeton area offering it. PCYH was located off Route 206 near the airport at that time. A larger studio in a nearby location followed shortly thereafter, until PCYH landed at its current, beautiful campus. It has been exciting to watch the changes and growth of the studio, and also of it’s expanding roster of teachers, classes and workshops.

One of the best attributes of PCYH, in addition to the calming, welcoming and attractive environment, is that the teachers and classes are experienced and varied enough to provide a class for all types of students. Classes are open to everyone, and it’s always exciting to have a student walk into a class for the very first time. A beginner can place their mat next to a seasoned practitioner and feel confident that they are in a safe and inviting place.

Although the classes, interests and backgrounds of the teachers are varied, there are a few common and salient themes that run through every session at PCYH. No matter what type of yoga you are practicing, as one of my teachers likes to say, “Your breath is the soundtrack to your yoga practice.” Whether you find yourself in a restorative, gentle, moderate or challenging flow class, you will be encouraged to start from where you are, and to practice with compassion.

Like many, I came to yoga in part to seek physical and emotional healing. Several years after I began my practice, I underwent open heart surgery to repair a congenital valve problem. Another physical challenge presented itself later on. When I was finally able to return to PCYH, I was encouraged to begin anew with gentle classes. I found as I regained my strength, I was rather quickly able to incorporate more moderate classes. I learned to relax into, and enjoy the concept of, “beginner’s mind.” 

I recently learned that I will soon need to undergo a second open heart surgery, this time to deal with a related cardiac issue. My teachers are working with me to stay strong and healthy—the best way to enter into any type of surgery or demanding situation. Moreover, I find that my almost daily attendance at PCYH, reminds me that the key to peace of mind is to stay in the present moment, one inhale and one exhale at a time. Another teacher suggests, “Breathe in what you envision for your life, breathe out that which does not serve you.” During meditation in a recent class, a new mantra came to mind—“I am a warrior, not a worrier.” 

If you are like me, you realize that there is much in this world that is out of our control. Especially in these times of division, incivility and uncertainty, it is wonderful to have a place that offers a way toward expressions of unity, kindness and gratitude. It is liberating to work with the idea that the only thing we can be sure of is the present moment.  A longtime PCYH teacher says that yoga is not a workOUT, but a workIN. At PCYH, there is always an opportunity to explore the union of mind, body and spirit, and to discover how that can be shared with others both on and off the mat.”

Alisa Rose: Yoga to integrate body, mind and heart

Alisa was classically trained and certified as a yoga teacher in India at the Vivekananda Ashram. She has been continuing her extensive studies in the US, integrating modern bio-mechanics and tantric philosophy into her teachings. Through alignment cues, breath awareness and philosophy her nurturing classes provide a deep connection to the sanctuary within.

Who should come to your yoga class?

Everyone is welcome, classes combine Asana (poses), with Pranayama (breathwork) and Meditation. Our Yoga practice is a sanctuary and safe place.

What are you focusing on right now in your practice?

Classes mostly restore, nourishing to body and spirit. I enjoy poetic metaphors inspired by mythology and chanting mantras: the Arts and travel also inspire me and I share my passions with students. Meditation, has always been essential to my daily practice.

As a big picture what do you hope to teach your students?

That no matter the range of motion – when the body heart and mind are in alignment – a deep sense of peace is experienced.

What inspired you to become a yoga teacher?

My first experience of yoga was in London in 1988. I was on a break from a 3 year performing arts conservatory at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute. Spontaneously, I visited Ananda Ashram where I first encountered Sri Brahmananda Saraswati. It was this powerful meeting that propelled me to dedicate myself to the science and practice of yoga. In 1996 I traveled to India where I lived for almost a year intensely training at the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Ashram SVYASA.

I completed my dissertation and certification in Yoga Therapy in 1997 by working with participants who enrolled in the Ashrams Arogyadhama Health Care Center. This center is a holistic research base in tune with traditional holistic health care by yoga therapy and modern medicine for the treatment of stress related ailments. For several years I was the director of yoga at the Chakra Institute in the US and Europe, where I studied chakra psychology, mantra and meditation for over a decade. I co led pre-dawn sadhana and 3x yearly 5 day silent purification retreats. It was an honor to counsel participants through this delicate process and witness a process of self recognition. Yearly visits to temples and places of pilgrimage in India were part of this lifestyle. From 2008-2012, I trained extensively in the US studying biomechanics and tantric philosophy. I am an E-RYT 500 registered with Yoga Alliance. Engaging in an adventure of selfdiscovery –yoga– and experiencing the psychospiritual benefits of the practices, inspired me to teach and help others.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

It is the privilege of a lifetime to share teachings that have been life transforming to me. It is inspiring to see people all lit up, consciously working toward freedom. Being fully present so I can best serve.

Who are your greatest influences?

The power of revelation and silence.

Coming Soon with Alisa Rose:

Yoga and Meditation Retreat: Return to Center

Sunday, November 5, 2017 at 12:00 pm – Register Now
Our Return To Center day will include a gentle asana class followed by a walking meditation practice. These practices will help prepare us for a led seated mindful meditation practice. Mindful meditation has been scientifically proven to restructure the brain and trains it to concentrate, feel greater compassion, cope with stress and more. Afterwards the class will be dedicated to restorative yoga which deeply nourishes the nervous system and invites deep relaxation to the body.
REGISTER NOW

Alisa teaches the following weekly classes:

Hatha (Gentle): Slow paced with less weight-bearing postures
Thursdays, 10:30 to 11:45 am

Hatha (Moderate): Medium pace with fairly long holds for each pose.
Saturdays, 10:15 to 11:45 am

REGISTER HERE

Denise Corsini: Yoga is Life. Yoga is my Life.

Denise was introduced to yoga in 2006 and was fascinated by the unique combination of mental stimulation and physical demand. Compelled to learn more, she enrolled in a 200 Hour Hatha Teacher training with Jeannine Dietz. After she completed the teacher training, she jumped right into teaching. She found that the more she taught, the more she wanted to learn! In 2014 she continued her studies of alignment-based yoga with Sue Elkind and Naime Jezzeny at Dig Yoga. She has now earned her 500 Hour Teacher Training certificate through their yoga school. She is enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge of how practicing yoga with optimal alignment enhances overall body awareness and appreciation for what the body can do. She also strives to show students how a regular yoga practice can help them to live more fulfilled and conscious lives. This practice has transformed her life beyond what she could have ever imagined, and she hopes to guide the way for her students to have the same experience. She is forever grateful to her teachers, and to the PCYH community for creating a peaceful place to practice yoga.

Today Denise is the Studio Manager of Princeton Center for Yoga & Health, she makes sure that every student can find his or her center at the center. Her warmth and dedication to a holistic lifestyle make PCYH a home to many.

As a big picture, what do you hope to teach your students?

As a big picture, I hope to teach my students that life is a gift and it is meant to be enjoyed. For me, one of the most profound lessons that I have learned through yoga is that too often, we stand in our own way. The practice of yoga has a unique way of helping us understand ourselves, and through this understanding, we can make choices that serve our highest potential.

What inspired you to become a yoga teacher?

I was first introduced to yoga when I was a senior in high school. I had been recovering from an eating disorder, and was not in a good place. I had a looming feeling of inadequacy and was stressed out about where to go to college and what to do with my life. I was completely out of touch with the present moment. A friend’s mother suggested that I try a yoga class. I agreed and was instantly hooked! I left the class with a sense of inner peace and groundedness that I hadn’t felt in a long time. I decided to go once a week. I looked forward to going every week, but I don’t think that I fully understood why I enjoyed it so much.  At the time, it just seemed like a cool, alternative way to get some exercise, take a break from outside stresses, and wind down. After graduating high school, I went to college and practiced occasionally. It wasn’t until I graduated college and started working that I joined a studio and started practicing 3-4 times a week. The benefits that I felt were remarkable. I found that I was less stressed, less reactive, more confident, and overall happier than I had been before. I had to learn more about the practice, so I looked up Teacher Trainings in New Jersey, and found that there was one at PCYH! I enrolled in the teacher training with Jeannine Dietz, and it was a truly life-changing experience. I am forever grateful for it. Soon after, I began teaching and have been teaching and training ever since.

What do you enjoy most about teaching yoga?

What I enjoy most about teaching yoga is the people that it has connected me to. In my earlier years of practicing, I attended many workshops and classes alone. At the time, I enjoyed the “me-time”, and of course, still do once in awhile. However, being in the yoga community as a teacher and long-time student has allowed me meet so many friendly and inspiring yogis! I am forever grateful for the friendships I have formed through the yoga community, especially our warm, loving community at PCYH. 

Who are your greatest influences?

My greatest influences are Naime Jezzeny and Sue Elkind. I completed my 500 hour teacher training with them, and still attend classes with them weekly. They have taught me to teach, think about, and practice asana in a way that is both safe and sustainable. They inspire me to embrace life and enjoy it!

How does yoga influence you in your role as Studio Manager?

In an everyday sense, my yoga practice is my sanity. Consistent practice helps me to juggle the many tasks that come along with managing the studio without feeling overwhelmed. Running a yoga studio comes with various demands, and I often have to wear a lot of hats. It can get hard to squeeze in my practices sometimes, but I remind myself that the better I care for myself, the better I can care for the center and our community.

As a big picture, part of my “off the mat” yoga practice is to uplift, empower and be of service to others wherever possible. As the studio manger, I strive to make everyone who walks through our doors–from teachers, the SEVAS (awesome volunteer desk staff), to students–feel welcome and open sharing and exploring our many offerings. I especially love giving teachers the opportunity to teach from their hearts, and sevas the gift of being of service to community.

I am extremely thankful to everyone who makes my work possible, especially to our founder, Deborah Metzger, who has given me the opportunity to do what I love. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

Try out one of Denise’s classes:

Hatha (Moderate)

Mondays, 9:30 to 11:00 am
Wednesdays, 7:30 to 8:45 pm
Fridays, 9:30 to 11:00 am

Medium pace with fairly long holds for each pose.

What to expect:
These classes integrate physical yoga poses (asanas), breath work (pranayama), philosophy, and relaxation. Teachers sequence each class intelligently and creatively, and guide the students through optimal alignment in each pose. The poses that are taught are moderate to challenging.

Is this class right for you?
Some experience is recommended; however variations and modifications are offered so that each student is both accommodated and challenged.