88 Orchard Road
Skillman, NJ 08558

Planting seeds….Deep roots… New pathways

Twenty years for the experiment called Princeton Yoga!

by Deborah Metzger, Owner and Director

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

~J. R. R. Tolkien

2016_10 Celebration (1)Over twenty years ago, following a personal healing crisis which led me to a path of yoga and alternative healing practices, I set out to create a warm, inviting environment for all to explore different paths to health, healing and personal growth. The studio was the first of its kind in our area and we are humbly proud to have trained and/or inspired many other new teachers to follow their own vision to open their own studios, planting even more ‘seeds’ of yoga. Today, thanks to the community’s support, our oasis of calm and comfort has evolved to serve the greater Princeton area, much of Central Jersey and beyond. Now in our third location at 88 Orchard Road, Skillman – a scenic 5 acre campus – our light filled and serene new home offers an abundance of opportunities to fulfill that original vision and mission as we continue to evolve.

 In honor of this milestone anniversary, we’ve created a labyrinth for all to enjoy. 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 – and so I found it a fitting and meaningful addition to our Center.

As many of you may know, I am intrigued by mystical and Kabalistic symbolism in all the many realms. The Hebrew letter for 20 is Kaf and means ‘palm’ (its early ancient form is represented as an open palm of the hand).  Thus it can be viewed as a symbolic invitation to open to life and activity, or a way to “allow” something.  The number 20 also represents a powerful awakening, bringing new purpose in our ongoing evolution. The essence of the number represents wholeness, inclusiveness and infinite potential. Comprised of two numbers, it realizes itself best while part of a team, or community in our world.

Deborah standingWith much love in my heart, I thank all of you who come through our doors on your journey to health and well-being and appreciate all your support, dear friends. As I look to the future, I am dedicated to keeping the Center the region’s premiere quality yoga studio that our community has come to love.

So on this 20th anniversary of the experiment we call Princeton Yoga, I extend an open palm to each of you in an invitation to continue to wander with me and place my open palms together in deep gratitude for your ongoing support.

Please join us on Saturday, October 1st, 2016 for an afternoon and evening of celebrating, yoga, dancing, drumming and kirtan.
Click here to learn more.

Unveiling of New Labyrinth – Walk the Labyrinth with Intention

by Deborah Metzger, Founder and director of the Princeton Center for Yoga & Health

2016_07 Labyrinth walking (6)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.

In speaking about the impetus for creating the labyrinth at Princeton Yoga, Director Deborah Metzger notes: “This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Princeton Center for Yoga & Health. My early vision for the Center was to create a 2016_07 Building it Labyrinth (1) outdoorshaven 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 2016_07 Building it Labyrinth (1) with Deborah Ketteris:  ‘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 in 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!”

On Wednesday, August 24, 2016  Princeton Center for Yoga & Health welcomed   Deborah Ketter, a certified Veriditas Labyrinth Facilitator for a special program – Walking the Labyrinth with Intention . This event inaugurated the new Princeton Yoga labyrinth.  Following a short talk on the origin, meaning and ways of walking the labyrinth, participants were guided in the custom of preparing “despachos”, or prayer packets, with objects of symbolic significance, and ended with a candle-lit walking the labyrinth.

Traditionally, Andean despachos are made as offering of thanks-giving or atonement, or as a petition for guidance. Bundles are carefully arranged, wrapped then burned as a way to “dispatch” prayers. In the August 24th workshop participants will make their own artful prayer packet and use it as they walk the labyrinth, planting intentions in the quiet field of pure potentiality.

2016_08 Labyrinth building almost complete (3)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