Winter WeatherFollowing Keene Valley Central School’s lead in cancelling after-school activities today, Wednesday, March 7th, we are cancelling the 3:30pm Little Kids Yoga class and the 5:30pm Gentle Yoga Sampler class in our Keene Valley studio today. The Little Kids Yoga session will be extended by one week to make up the missed class.

We are waiting to see what conditions are like in the morning in Schroon Lake and Keene Valley (and what the schools do) before announcing any cancellations for our Thursday classes. Please check back in the morning before venturing out for a class.

Guest post by Debbie Philp

Debbie in crow pose

My long-time yoga teacher, Tracey Ulshafer of One Yoga and Wellness Center in Hightstown, New Jersey, often told us that breakthroughs in her yoga practice happened when she was too tired to tell herself she couldn’t. After having plenty of my own exhaustion-inspired breakthroughs, I’ve taken that to heart and shared it. My first lift-off into Bakasana came at the end of a long vinyasa workshop that followed a sleepless night of riding trains to New York City and back. (Don’t ask.)

Like pushing through the “wall” when running, at some point during a physically demanding yoga practice your body decides thinking is using too many precious resources, and redirects them to your muscles. Your brain still works, it’s just gone on autopilot. And you don’t have the energy to say “I can’t.”

Moving through exhaustion

There was a time not too long ago when I’d been exhausted for months thanks to an inner ear issue, and I hadn’t been asking much of my body. For weeks I’d been relegated to supine, non-dizzy-making poses. And, since it was still pretty cold here in the North Country, most of those supine poses had been practiced under my fluffy quilt…which is on my bed.

Anyway, one day I did something a fiesty friend told me to do – I took a “f*ck it all pill” and had myself a real, physical, sweat-producing yoga practice. I practiced Surya Namaskar with no dizziness, no nausea, no ear pain. Woohoo! Then I took advantage of my recovering equilibrium to play with a home practice sequence I had torn out of Yoga Journal months before.

I was enjoying myself, thinking of ways I could adapt the sequence for my varying levels of flow classes until I wore myself out too much to think. When the paper said Bakasana (crow pose), I flew. Then I read the next step. (Yes, while balancing on my hands I was reading from the magazine page. Yoga does have its perks.) It said to draw my chest forward and float my feet back into Chaturanga Dandasana. Countless times before, when a yoga teacher said “jump back from crow,” I had quietly put my feet down and stepped back into plank.

But that day I had taken a “f*ck it all pill” and I had made myself too tired to say “I can’t.” So I did what it said. And it worked…almost. I went a bit sideways and only one foot found my mat. But the second time it worked just fine. And the third, and the fourth. Then my brain woke up and sent me into Balasana.

When my forehead hit the floor in that child pose, a big chunk of something (use your imagination) slid down the side of my throat. I swallowed before I realized what I was doing. Gross. But when I swallowed, my ear didn’t make the crunching sound I’d gotten used to hearing. So I swallowed again, just to be sure. I’m not positive it opened completely, but something definitely changed in my ear.

Yoga fairy dust

At the Colorado Yoga Journal Conference in 2008, the great Ashtanga teacher David Swenson told us that we would, at times, be visited by the yoga fairies who would sprinkle us with fairy dust and we would suddenly be able to do whatever asana had been eluding us. He also pointed out that the yoga fairies had a sick sense of humor, so after achieving that challenging asana, we’d probably not be able to do it again the next day. So I wasn’t surprised when I woke up the next day and my ear was cracking and I couldn’t jump back from crow to low plank.

But that day, when I was too tired to say “I can’t,” I had it.

Check out our  yoga class schedule to find a class that will give you those “too tired to say I can’t” moments and contact us if you have any questions.

Debbie Philp is the founder of True North YogaDebbie Philp, the founder of True North Yoga, sees the pursuit of wellness as a sacred journey that reveals the healer within. She offers yoga and shamanic healing practices to help you discover your innate power, your inner wisdom, and your ability to nurture yourself and others. Debbie is a E-RYT500 yoga teacher and a Shamanic Reiki Master Teacher. She teaches yoga classes, leads yoga teacher training, instructs Shamanic Reiki Levels 1 and 2, and offers individual healing sessions. Visit her website: www.DebbiePhilp.com

We are happy to announce additions to our yoga class schedules in both locations beginning March 1, 2018.

Schroon Lake class schedule:

Mondays
9:30am Hatha (Mixed Level) with Debbie BEGINS March 5th
11:00am Restore & Renew with Debbie
1:30pm Adaptive Chair Yoga with Debbie NEW TIME beginning March 5th

Tuesdays
6:00pm Hatha (Mixed Level) with Beth
7:30pm Shamanic Flow Yoga with Debbie

Wednesdays
9:30am Gentle Hatha for Begninners with Beth

Thursdays
5:30pm Yin Yoga with Jennifer S.

Fridays
9:30am Hatha Flow (Mixed Level) with Beth
11:00am Restore & Renew with Debbie

Saturdays
10:00am Workshop or Community Yoga (please check the calendar)

Keene Valley class schedule:

Mondays
9:00am Tai Ji Quan (Thai Chi) with Curtis
6:00pm Shamanic Flow Yoga with Debbie

Tuesdays
9:00am Keep Strong with Magda

Wednesdays
8:30am Prana Flow Vinyasa Yoga with Teresa
5:30pm Gentle Yoga Sampler (Beginner to Mixed Level) with rotating teachers

Thursdays
9:00am Keep Strong with Magda
11:00am Adaptive Chair Yoga with Debbie BEGINS March 1st
3:30pm Beginner Hatha with Debbie BEGINS March 1st

Sundays
10:00am Workshop or Community Yoga (please check the calendar)

To keep our classes as accessible as possible, we have not changed our prices since 2012. Unfortunately, our rent and other overhead costs have increased more than we can absorb and we must increase our class prices to be able to keep bringing yoga and other wellness practices to our Adirondack communities.

Beginning March 1st, our prices will be:

Drop-in, any class: $15
5-class card, good for any class: $60

2-hour workshops: $25 or double-punch class card

To support our fixed-income seniors, senior citizens (65+) can continue to purchase class cards for $50. There is no senior discount for drop-ins.

Our class cards never expire, so you are welcome to purchase extra cards at the current price anytime before March 1st. Thank you for your continued presence and support for True North Yoga.

Following our policy of closing whenever the local school is closed, the Schroon Lake studio is closed on Wednesday, February 7th and Beth’s 9:30am Gentle Hatha class is cancelled for the day.

Keene Valley is open only in the morning, for Teresa’s 8:30am Prana Flow Vinyasa. The evening Gentle Yoga class and Reiki Share are cancelled, as is Magda’s Thursday 9:00am Keep Strong, to allow time for our parking lot to be plowed.

In Schroon Lake, Ginny’s Thursday 9:30am Connect to Your Breath is cancelled indefinitely as of February 8th. Ginny is caring for an injury that is keeping her off her yoga mat. We will welcome her back when her body is ready.

Enjoy the snow day, stay safe, and stay peaceful!

Guest post by Debbie Philp

It starts with a groundhog

Winter in Schroon LakeA few of days ago, Americans acknowledged the old Celtic festival of Imbolc (or Candlemas) by practicing the art of weather divination. In other words, some folks woke up some groundhogs and, because some saw their shadow, declared there will be six more weeks of winter bleakness. (And, because it is 2018 and even the groundhogs are standing up for their freedoms, one Canadian groundhog bit a reporter who tried to stop it from escaping its pen.)

For the most part, I don’t mind winter and enjoy the snow, but sometimes it does seem to drag on and on. I suspect the Celts thought so, too, since they chose to celebrate the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. It’s kind of an “over the hump” thing – the Wednesday of winter.

This winter’s temperatures so far have bounced between “too warm for winter” and “too cold for me and the pipes,” and rain has alternated with snow leaving a thick layer of ice on places like my driveway. The political and social climate in the United States has been equally inconsistent and icy lately.

Yet here we are at the middle of winter and there is reason to hope. Can you feel into that?

Gathering in hope

We may be gathering in protest, in celebration, or for a big football game, but we are gathering. We are leaving our homes, risking icy spots, to declare that we still have hope and winter won’t beat us.

This is the spirit of Imbolc. It is a time to shake off the winter doldrums and cultural and joyfully declare, “I know that spring is coming. We can get through this dark time.”

We also gather at the yoga studio. In addition to yoga classes, where we connect through the shared practice, we gather for events such as our drum circles and Reiki shares, goddess circles and Red Tent temples. Yoga teachers gather for teacher trainings to advance their own practices and to become better instructors for you. We do our best, working around winter weather when necessary, to keep our opportunites to gather going all year.

I appreciate everyone who braves the cold and snow to gather with me. You bring me hope. More snow is on its way. Perhaps the second half of winter will bring us opportunities to enjoy the outdoors as well as coming together on our yoga mats.

Check out our yoga class schedule for chances to gather and our home page for upcoming events.

Debbie Philp is the founder of True North YogaDebbie Philp, the founder of True North Yoga, sees the pursuit of wellness as a sacred journey that reveals the healer within. She offers yoga and shamanic healing practices to help you discover your innate power, your inner wisdom, and your ability to nurture yourself and others. Debbie is a E-RYT500 yoga teacher and a Shamanic Reiki Master Teacher. She teaches yoga classes, leads yoga teacher training, instructs Shamanic Reiki Levels 1 and 2, and offers individual healing sessions. Visit her website: www.DebbiePhilp.com

At True North Yoga, we’ve been bringing you our best offerings of asana (poses) and meditation. Those are only part of the yoga path, however. We are happy to introduce Bhakti Yoga to our studio family and bring you a new way to experience yoga.

Bhakti, which is Sanskirt for intense love or devotion, includes practices like prayer, mantra, and – our favorite! – chanting. Chanting is shared through the practice of Kirtan, during which chants are lead in a call-and-response format. Traditional Kirtan chants repeat names of the Hindu deities in Sanskrit, but many contemporary kirtan artists blend English-language chants and those from other cultures into the Bhatki experience.

Read more about Bhakti practices on Yoga International’s website.

Bhakti at True North Yoga

For the last six months, Beth and Debbie have been developing their own Bhakti prpactices. With their guitars, they have been practicing chants and they are ready to bring Kirtan to the broader community.

On Saturday, February 3rd, as drumming winds down in our Sacred Drumming Circle in the Schroon Lake studio, Beth and Debbie will be offering a “pop-up” community kirtan. We will chant for about 45 minutes and there will be no charge. Look for more of these informal kirtan events in the future in both studio locations.

Bhakti Yoga at the Adirondack Chant FestAdirondack Chant Fest

If you’d like to deepen into the Bhakti practice, block off Saturday, April 7th on your calendar. We are hosting the Adirondack Chat Fest in our Keene Valley studio from 10:00am to 10:00pm. We are bringing together a number of Kirtan artists and sound healers for a full day of chanting, singing bowls, and sound baths. More details and tickets are coming very soon. Watch our home page for event information.

Energetics of Yoga Teacher Training at True North YogaMost of the great teachers we have at True North Yoga were part of Debbie’s yoga teacher training program. Debbie has trained 32 Adirondack yoga teachers since her initial 200-hour teacher training in 2012. She prides herself on not only giving trainees a firm foundation in yoga asana and philosophy, but in also giving them a strong connection to the magic of our Adirondack park. Because they can share that connection in their yoga classes, our studio more than just a place to practice yoga. It is truly a reflection of the beauty of the lakes and mountains that our part of our lives. The Energetics of Yoga Teacher Training Foundational program includes eleven weekends between October and March. With time to integrate the practices and teaching skills, you will finish ready to teach your first class.

Interested in a deeper practice or becoming a yoga teacher? Our next 200-hour, foundational training begins in October.

Advanced Yoga Teacher Training

Beginning in 2017, yoga teachers were offered a way to evolve on their mats and in their lives. The Energetics of Yoga Advanced Training program for yoga teachers consists of four “elemental” modules, each taking place over four weekends at our Keene Valley studio. Debbie incorporates shamanic journeys and other experiential practices into the teacher training modules so yoga teachers can awaken and expand personally and professionally.

Elemental Modules

The Earth module focuses on the physical aspects of an asana practice. The program includes a deepening of anatomical awareness, assisting and adjusting asanas, and mapping challenging asanas to introduce them in an accessible and safe way.

The Air module wakes up your inner storyteller. Through discussion of the power of story and learning styles, yoga teachers grow more confident in incorporating story into their classes and workshops. The Air module also includes advanced pranayama and a dive into your personal story. Yoga teachers finish with a completed bio ready for promotional materials.

In the Water module, yoga teachers explore the subtle body in yoga and the joyful practice of Bhakti. During this module you will do lots of chanting! You will gain a deeper understanding of the chakras, the meridians, and energy practices which compliment yoga. After an introduction to Yin Yoga you will be able to incorporate Yin poses into your classes for more variety and to address energetic as well as physical imbalances.

During the Fire module, you will discover your passions. A weekend is devoted to an eye-opening look at the various social and environmental issues that exist around the world and your own core values. You will approach teaching as an expression of your unique inner fire. You will advance your sequencing skills to create magical flows and design transformative workshops and private offerings.

Teacher Training Registration

Each module is offered once a year. Teachers can take any modules of interest in any order. More information, the upcoming dates for each advanced teacher training module, and online registration is available on Debbie’s website. You can also learn more about the six-month, 200-hour Foundational Training program and register for the next session which begins in October. You will also find the dates on our Keene Valley studio calendar.

We are opened following a reduced class schedule during Christmas week. Here’s when you can join us for a yoga practice:

Schroon Lake:
Monday, December 25th:
Closed – Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 26th:
6:00pm Hatha Yoga with Beth

Wednesday, December 27th:
9:30am Gentle Hatha for Beginners with Beth

Thursday, December 28th:
5:30pm Yin Yoga with Jennifer S.

Friday, December 29th:
9:30am Hatha Flow with Beth

Saturday, December 30th:
10:00am Community Yoga with Jennifer M.

Sunday, December 31st:
No scheduled classes

Monday, January 1st:
Closed – Happy New Year!

Keene Valley:

Monday, December 25th:
Closed – Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 26th:
9:00am Keep Strong with Magda

Wednesday, December 27th:
Closed

Thursday, December 28th:
9:00am Keep Strong with Magda

Friday, December 29th:
No scheduled classes

Saturday, December 30th:
No scheduled classes

Sunday, December 31st:
10:00am Community Yoga with Jennifer V.

Monday, January 1st:
Closed – Happy New Year!

Our regular schedule resumes on Tuesday, January 2nd. Have a wonderful holiday week!

Have you found a yoga blanket in our Schroon Lake studio with a gold thread tied in the fringe? If so, you have a newley washed blanket thanks to the Seva of Helene Vanderburgh, a regular and long-time supporter of our studio.

Seva Gratitude Clean BlanketsSeva in yoga and life

Seva means “selfless service” in Sanskrit, the traditional language of yoga. Helene has been washing our blankets two at a time, week after week, so they are fresh and clean for us, and for you. We are very grateful to Helene for her service, for which she expected nothing in return.

Being of service doesn’t have to be difficult. Helene saw a need we had and found a simple, mundane way to meet it. That doesn’t make her service any less meaningful for us. MindBodyGreen shared Ram Dass’ thoughts on Seva, which we think sums up Helene’s work perfectly.

“Helping out is not some special skill. It is not the domain of rare individuals. It is not confined to a single part of our lives. We simply heed the call of that natural impulse within and follow it where it leads us.”

Next time you see Helene in our Schroon Lake studio, join us in thanking her for washing our blankets. We appreciate all the help we get from our community, which includes very simple things like inviting your friends to a yoga class or event, taking the time to put your props away neatly for the next class, and taking off your shoes before you walk on the floor to keep it clean for all of our socks and bare feet. We thank you, too!

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