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!

The snow isn’t too bad, but enough to reduce our schedule. The Tuesday 9:00am Keep Strong class is Keene Valley is cancelled today. While the roads are passable, Magda is abroad and our subs have long drives and school delays that prevent them from arriving by class time.

Schroon Lake will be open this evening for Beth’s 6:00pm Hatha. Debbie’s 7:30pm Shamanic Flow has already been cancelled so she can see her son in the Schroon Lake Central holiday concert.

True North Yoga grew to two locations in July, and now the newly added Keene Valley, New York, studio has ungone further expansion. Our newly enclosed front porch has opened up lots of room on the heated floor for more yoga mats.

Expanding into 2018

Our expanded Keene Valley studio features a welcoming check-in area.The studio expansion means there is room for you and your friends in our classes and workshops, and we are looking forward to sharing some great offerings with you in 2018, including the first ever Adirondack Chant Fest – a day-long celebration of the sounds of yoga. The Chant Fest will feature Kirtan led by Adirondack locals, singing bowl meditations, and sound baths, from 10:00am to 10:00pm on April 7, 2018. Save the date!

We will continue to honor community with regular monthly Reiki shares and drum circles. Ladies, you can embrace your sacred feminine at Red Tent Temples in Keene Valley or New Moon Goddess Circles in Schroon Lake. Debbie Philp will be bringing Moon Salutations, Restorative, Reiki and Yoga Nidra, and Shamanic Healing for Self-Care workshops to both locations throughout the year.

Yoga and Reiki Trainings

The Keene Valley studio expansion means there is more room for you on the heated yoga floor.Is 2018 the year you become or expand as a yoga teacher? Do you want to learn to practice hands on energy healing? True North Yoga’s Keene Valley studio is the place to be! In Debbie’s Energetics of Yoga training programs you will deepen your practice and change your life. The element-based advanced modules for yoga teachers who are ready to evolve are offered throughout the year. If you wish to take your yoga practice to the next level or become a yoga teacher, the next foundational program begins in October 2018.

There are also opportunities to learn Reiki. You will find Levels One and Two of Shamanic Reiki, which blends traditional Reiki with other shamanic healing practices, offered a number of times next year. If you would prefer Usui Reiki, we will also be hosting those trainings.

Try a Yoga Class

Between the special events, we always have a great line up of weekly yoga classes for you. Our schedule is full of creative and unique classes led by well-trained, authentic teachers. Now that our physical expansion is complete, we look forward to expanding our class offerings in the year to come.

There’s lots of great stuff on the calendar already, and we are looking forward to seeing you often in 2018!


Winter Weather Policy

December 11, 2017

winter weather warningIt’s beginning to look a lot like…time for a winter weather closing policy reminder!

Our basic school day plan is to close whenever the local school district has a snow day. This allows those of us with school-aged kids to be home with them and keeps us off snow-covered roads. If Schroon Lake Central or Keene Valley Central is closed, the respective studio will also be closed. On weekends and school breaks, we will coordinate with our yoga instructors to determine if we can open. We will, of course, respect any state of emergency declarations and stay off the roads.

We will announce closings on Facebook, by email to our year-round list, and on this news page.

Please check before heading out and keep in mind that some of our teachers have a distance to drive and may not be able to make it even if local conditions are passable. We will do our best to keep you informed. Stay safe and stay peaceful!

Guest post by Debbie Philp

It’s not what to wear to your first class that matters

Your first yoga class can be awkward, but it pays to keep practicing.From what I’ve observed during my nine years of teaching yoga, it’s not hard to get someone to try yoga for the first time. It’s getting him or her back for the second round that’s the challenge. Because most yoga teachers, myself included, can’t take the time during a 75-minute multi-level class to fully explain to newcomers what to expect, here is what you really need to know before your first yoga class.

The first time you try yoga, it will most likely feel very awkward. Just standing with bare feet on a sticky mat feels weird. Getting your body into the same shape as the instructor’s will seem impossible. You might feel uncoordinated, unbalanced, ungraceful and totally inflexible. The next day, you might be sore in places you didn’t know you had muscles. And, if you can’t set all those feelings aside, you might never try yoga again.

Yoga is not an instant cure-all. A yoga practice can make your body stronger, more flexible and healthier, but it won’t happen overnight. One time is never enough. The only way yoga can work is if you keep practicing.

The trick is to get through that first class without letting your critical ego get in the way. Your body is going to think yoga is great and that it wants to do more. The muscles, although they might be sore, will have really enjoyed the stretching. It’s your mind that will shut down your desire for more yoga. Your mind likes to carry on about anything it can, so it will chatter away, telling you that you didn’t look good in the poses, that you aren’t flexible enough to do these kinds of things, or that you need to lose 25 pounds before you try again.

It really is all in your mind

The problem with the mind is that it always wants to be the center of attention. It looks for things to think about so it never has to be quiet. Yoga takes your attention away from the mind and directs it to the body. The mind fights back by dragging you outside yourself. It worries about what other people think and tries to convince you it knows what’s going on in other people’s heads. Once it does, you feel self-conscious and inadequate, because you can never live up to the expectations you have imagined other people have for you.

The truth is nobody else in your yoga class, besides the teacher whose job it is to make sure you are doing the poses safely, cares what you look like on your mat. Other beginners are suffering the same insecurities you are, and more experienced practitioners are usually thrilled when someone new tries this practice that they love. Once the class is underway, all those with experience are focusing on their own bodies and probably won’t even look at you. Many go through their practice with their eyes closed. They are not watching you to see if you mess up.

It’s okay to laugh

While laughter is certainly not off-limits in yoga class, and is, in fact, a welcome release when the class is getting too intense, nobody will laugh at you for being a beginner. Yoga students sometimes laugh at themselves when they struggle to balance in tree pose or mess up their rights and lefts and end up facing the wrong way. Laughter is a wonderful, heart-opening practice when it comes from love and camaraderie. Yoga students may laugh together, but they don’t laugh at each other, despite what your ego may tell you.

Practicing yoga is also an exercise in humility. Unlike sports, you are not going to get much recognition for doing yoga, no matter how well you do it. You can practice yoga for 20 years and you will never get a trophy, or even a ribbon. You are unlikely to have your journey to yoga greatness documented by a gaggle of photographers. On your mat, it’s just you against……you. Nobody wins. No sports page coverage.

Putting all the ego stuff aside is what makes yoga different than just stretching exercises and, in the end, is what brings people back to the mat. When you learn to ignore all the stuff the mind is going on about, it shuts up. You get to have a few moments of quiet and you discover what yoga really is.


Yoga is the settling of the mind into silence.

That’s what it comes down to. The whole time you’re on your mat, struggling awkwardly into poses, fighting off critical thoughts – while toning and strengthening your body, of course – all you’re trying to do is have a moment of silence.

Once you discover the silence, you’ll keep coming back to your mat. The next time you practice, you can be pretty sure you’ll be right back to struggling with your ego, trying to find the silence again. But over time the poses will feel a little less awkward. You may be a bit more balanced and feel a touch more coordinated. You will begin to move with grace. And you may discover that you are more flexible than you thought.

All because you didn’t let the first class be the last class.

Check out our beginner-friendly yoga class schedule to choose your first class 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

Holiday affirmation box at True North Yoga's Keene Valley studioThe holiday season is upon us, and that means endless joy, family bliss, and abundance, right? (Yeah, even the yoga teachers are snickering at that.) Traffic, crowded stores, and unrealistic expectations can turn bliss into tension. But you don’t have to fall into the holiday stress trap. An affirmation practice can help.

An affirmation is simply a statement made confidently about what you desire to be true for you. When you create an affirmation, decide what you want to be true in your life, then state it as if it is already the case. Choose something you can say in the positive, rather than repeating what you “won’t” be doing. For example, if you notice you anticipate being uncomfortable around aquaintances at an upcoming holiday gathering, you might affirm:

I embrace the holiday season with joy and an open heart.

To use an affirmation powerfully, repeat it daily, out loud, with conviction. It helps to say it three times in a row, three times per day. This way, you are programming your mind into believing it to be true. Where your thoughts go, your emotions follow. It’s the same mechanism that makes us cry during a sad movie scene, as if it were happening in reality.

To get started, you can choose a holiday joy affirmation from the box when you visit one of our yoga studios. Your yoga practice will also help relieve holiday stress, so check our schedule for a class in Schroon Lake or Keene Valley, New York.

Still digging out? We are too. Beth’s Wednesday 9:30am Gentle Hatha for Beginners class is cancelled tomorrow, March 15th.

We look forward to resuming classes on Thursday evening with Jen’s 5:30 Yin Yoga class, followed by our monthly Reiki Share and Healing Circle. After all the shoveling, we could use some self-care.

Due to the approaching winter storm, we plan to be closed Tuesday evening, March 14th, for Beth’s 6:00pm Hatha Class.

As we send this on Monday evening we plan to be open for Debbie’s 9:30am Power Vinyasa class. If Schroon Lake Central closes Tuesday morning, however, that class will also be cancelled for the day and the studio will be closed for the day. We will send another email in the morning to inform you of any changes.

It’s too soon to call on Beth’s Wednesday morning class, but if Schroon Lake Central is closed on Wednesday that morning class will also be cancelled.

Stay safe, warm and peaceful!


Due to snowy roads, the 5:30 Yin Yoga class is cancelled this evening. We expect to be open for our regular Friday classes. If you must be out this afternoon, please drive safely.

Our studio’s policy is to close whenever Schroon Lake Central School has a snow day. On non-school days, or when the school has a delayed opening, we will make a decision based on conditions. Please keep in mind that, even though conditions may be okay near the studio, many of our students and some of our teachers have to travel further and may not be able to get to the studio from where they are. The safety of our entire yoga family is our first priority.

Due to poor road conditions, the 9:30am Yoga for Every Body class is cancelled today. We will be open for 11:00am Restore & Renew and 2:00pm Adaptive Chair Yoga. If you must be out this morning, please drive safely.

Our studio’s policy is to close whenever Schroon Lake Central School has a snow day. On non-school days, or when the school has a delayed opening, we will make a decision based on conditions. Please keep in mind that, even though conditions may be okay near the studio, many of our students and some of our teachers have to travel further and may not be able to get to the studio from where they are. The safety of our entire yoga family is our first priority.

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