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.