Princeton Center for Yoga & Health Press Information
Free Classes for New Visitors Week
Princeton Center for Yoga & Health Welcomes Summer Season with Free Classes for New Visitors

Princeton Area, NJ - Monday, June 26th 2006 - Free Classes for New Visitors

Princeton Center for Yoga & Health Welcomes Fall Season with Free Classes for New Visitors

Skillman, New Jersey: Princeton Center for Yoga & Health (PCYH) opens its new season with an even wider range of classes and workshops for people of all ages and abilities to help people ease back into fall routines. The Center is located at the Montgomery Professional Center, 50 Vreeland Drive, Suite 506, in Skillman, just off 518 West and one half mile from Route 206. For more details, call 609/924-7294 or visit its website at

From Wednesday, July 5 through Monday, July 11, first-time visitors may attend over 40 classes for free. Returning students may sample classes for a drop-in rate of $15 for most classes (Hot Yoga /$18). Or, bring a friend new to the Center and each gets a free class!

PCYH offers over 40 classes in a variety of yoga styles, ranging from Gentle and Ageless Yoga (gentle) to Astanga (Power) and Vinyasa Yoga (strength-building) to Hot Yoga (vigorous and hot!). Specialty classes include Yoga for Stress Reduction, Ageless Yoga, Pre-Natal Yoga, Mom/Baby Yoga, Yoga for Kids, and Yoga for Positive Health. All classes take place in spacious, light-filled studios with a forest view and ample parking.

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PCYH Director, Deborah Metzger, enthusiastically describes new programs which expand the range of classes to populations who might not have considered traditional yoga practices due to physical limitations. “We are featuring new therapeutic classes this season for older adults and “people who think they can’t do yoga’ with classes such as Ageless Yoga, Therapeutic Yoga,and Gentle Yoga for Cancer Survivors.

“We received this poignant note from one of our Ageless Yoga participants : ‘For many years , I have wanted to actively participate in a challenging, yet flexible program. As a person with Rheumatoid Arthritis, I need a class which will enhance muscle strength, sense of balance, and encourage relaxation. I cannot praise Andrea enough for developing a program which includes those of us who wish very much to increase our activity, but have some physical limitations. I can only laud this course and encourage others to try it. It is fun and salutary!’. Due to this request, we are now offering Ageless Yoga twice a week.”

Evening and weekend classes in Yogic breathing practices and meditation is now available, as well as, chiropractic care, therapeutic massage, and Ayurvedic consultations, meditation, and specialty workshops.

A sampling of workshops and trainings this season includes: a professional 200 hour Yoga teacher training with a free introductory session on September 24th, a Children’s Yoga Teacher Certification program beginning July 8th , and a Fundamentals of Ayurveda course, beginning October 8. The Center also hosts informal and fun weekend social events, such as monthly Drumming Circles (third Saturday of each month), kirtan(second Saturday of each month) and concerts. On October 7, PCYH welcomes the return of popular local songwriter and folksinger, David Brahinsky for a folk concert,and our 10th Anniversary Birthday Bash, Devi Rave will be held on September 30. Other offerings include monthly Ayurveda for Perfect Health: workshops with visiting physician, Kumuda Reddy, MD. Our international guests this season include, Srivatsa Ramaswami for Introduction to Mantra Yoga, July 21 and a week long intensive Vinyasa Krama for yoga teachers and serious students, July 24 - 28, Swami ,September 9 & 10 and 22 - 24. A special holiday Holiday Power Yoga Workshop will be offered July 4. Visit for detailed descriptions and schedule information.


“People in all walks of life are discovering the joy (and benefits) of yoga,” says Deborah Metzger, the Center’s founder/director. “Not only is yoga an effective way to strengthen, support, and heal one’s body/mind/spirit, but it now enjoys the status of being trendy among supermodels, athletes, Hollywood stars and other celebrities. We’ve offered specialty classes for the US Olympic Rowing Team, the Breast Cancer Resource Center, and local girl scout troops. Yoga is here to stay as long as people value their health and well-being. And the community knows it can count on PCYH to offer the very best in teachers, classes, workshops and special events. It’s a place to come and unwind alone or with friends or for just plain fun!”

"We offer our community the depth of the yoga experience, and so much more,” she continues. "You might say, ‘We speak yoga here!’. Since 1996, the Princeton Center for Yoga & Health has not only been an oasis of calm and comfort, but also the Princeton-Montgomery area’s ongoing source for excellent and certified yoga instructors. Ms. Metzger is proud of the Center’s reputation, being the first center of its kind in the area when it opened 9 years ago. “We offer healing experiences with experienced healers. Over the years, we’ve trained and featured superb yoga teachers, many of whom have gone on to open their own yoga studios and lead classes at gyms and health clubs! All PCYH activities are offered in a warm and friendly environment, which is part of our tradition.”

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For More Information:
Princeton Center for Yoga & Health
88 Orchard Road, Skillman
Princeton, NJ 08558
United States
Ph. 609-924-7294
No Longer Gym Rats, Real Men Now Exfoliate
Men finding benefits of healing practices. PCYH students featured

Princeton area, NJ - Wednesday, June 29th 2005 - No Longer Gym Rats, Real Men Now Exfoliate

I think my nine-year-old son might be metrosexual. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Men who are well-groomed, fit, and healthy and know that seaweed takes the toxins out of your skin definitely have a leg up on those poor, misinformed boy-men who think groomed means wearing a button-down shirt only they forget it’s also supposed to be clean, pressed — and buttoned. My Little Leaguer can catch a pop fly and scoop newts and crawfish out of our stream with his bare hands but he also uses mango body wash and knows that Capris are his mom’s pant of choice after Memorial Day. I know his future wife will appreciate these nuances in his personality.

At breakfast the other day he said apropos of nothing at all, “Mom did you know there’s a new spa called the Male Room?” Really, honey, what’s that? “It’s a spa just for men. It’s in Flemington.” And how do you know this, sweetie? “I heard a commercial on WPST.” I then informed him, remarkable coincidence that it was, that I was writing an article on men who go to spas. With his usual aplomb, he said, “Well, there you go.”

Thanks to Mini Me Metrosexual, I later phoned the new spa owner to get the skinny on what’s up with men and exfoliation. After all, the New York Times ran a story just last month on men who go to destination spas for a healthy dose of organic vegetables, Feldenkrais, and loofah salt scrubs and another on men who are incorporating spa treatments into business trips. I had to know, could any such men actually live around here? And if so, what did they do for a living and more importantly, did they ever have a manicure and could they do the triangle pose?

We found 11 such men, all over the age of 40, and some well over the age of 40, who bared all (figuratively), and the findings are surprising and impressive. There really are still men out there who care about staying healthy and looking good, at 40, 50, 60, and 70. Here’s how — and why — they do it.

“It’s all about men,” says Donna Booth, owner of the Male Room, which opened last month in Flemington. After a 16-year hiatus from hairdressing to raise four kids, Booth yearned to return to work but she had no interest in the whims of female clients. “I enjoyed the guys, talking to them. When I decided to get going again, I saw that unisex shops were a dime a dozen. I wanted a place that would cater to guys.”

She used her own money to transform a building at 35 Stangl Road, with a 35-foot ceiling, into a space that reeks of masculinity. There’s a custom-built bar with leather and cherry bar stools, where guys can have peanuts and iced tea and watch ESPN on a 100-inch projection TV while they wait to get a haircut — or a massage, a back wax (which lasts about a month and a half), or facials with names like Straight, the Energy Boost, the Revitalizer Touch of Youth, and Face Rescue Express. Booth even does a back facial. “I do a hot stone pedicure that guys love. We call it foot and hand detailing instead of manicures and pedicures. We have a pedicure chair that’s heated, reclines, and vibrates. When my husband sits in it, you’d think he was a woman.”

Booth is smart and knows what men want. “Guys don’t like to be fussed over too much.” Her clientele cross all professional borders, from lawyers to construction workers and car salesmen. She plans to install a pool table and arcade games in the loft. As for the 100-inch projection TV, it’s normally tuned to ESPN, but, says Booth, “The guys tease me; if things are slow, Lifetime is on.”

At Gentle Healing Wellness Spa on Cranbury’s South River Road, therapist Shea (“We don’t use last names, for privacy reasons”) says that 40 percent of their clientele are men. And privacy is so important that she wouldn’t approach any of her clients — many of whom are out in the public eye as professional and collegiate athletes, Broadway dancers, and high-profile executives in advertising and pharmaceuticals — to be interviewed for this article.

But she had plenty to say about what draws men to a spa experience. “Younger men are supporting the trend to create a handsome package, more of a fashion sense, the MTV thing. More mature men go to a spa to maintain health and hygiene; they’re really leaning toward old school, the barber shop, the professional lodge.”

Gentle Healing has recreated that atmosphere thanks to a unique building in a unique location — a 150-year-old house full of nooks and crannies, accessed by no fewer than seven major thoroughfares, including the New Jersey Turnpike, Route 18, and Route 130. “It’s not in a strip mall; you don’t have to walk through a hair salon to get here. We’ve created an atmosphere with an old world, comfortable approach,” says Shea. Owner Donda Sternberg, who herself has a strong massage background, has established a massage school on the premises, but plans to break ground on the property soon to build a new massage school and will transform the school’s present building into a separate men’s lounge with a hunt club atmosphere.

Shea says Gentle Healing’s old school approach is key. “Everything’s customized. We focus strongly on massage and body care with classic products like Caswell-Massey. A client will come in and consult with a therapist. Then we might make him an aromatherapy steam, a gentleman’s soak, like the old Jewish bath house, with pine and sage herbs that we grow in our own garden. This is an old home, so we use the claw foot tub, and we offer lager and peanuts instead of the traditional Champagne, chocolate, and strawberries. We energize the water; it’s a ‘presented’ bath, it’s not fluffy.” For the men’s sports manicure and pedicure, they use antibacterial and antifungal products, nothing floral or fluffy. The slippers are basic brown.

Male clients can easily feel that they are the only one there. “We have so many nooks and crannies and old parlors, we jokingly do that Scooby Doo switch,” Shea says. “We have a dining room with a fireplace, where we do private parties, a creaky staircase, and steam ‘cubbies.’” Some men get hooked after their wife or girlfriend lure them in for Gentle Healing’s evening of romance, which features a steam bath, massage for two, and wine and dinner.

Shea says there is a marked difference between male and female clients. “Men, once they find a place they’re comfortable in, are much more committed to get back to that place, where women will try everywhere. Men are loyal, usually much more grateful, and financially rewarding. Men like consistency, conversation, and education. You need to make a man feel comfortable, talk to him about his health, not how his kids are doing. If I’m doing a massage, I ask the man, are you comfortable with the way your skin is? Do you swim? Do you work out? If you work out on benches, there are simple things you can do to keep your skin healthy, like a salt and mud treatment. Often a simple massage leads to more treatments, like a scalp massage, dry brushing the skin, warm oil. Once they get a salt exfoliation, they might try a customized mud wrap.”

Shea also says attention to little details matters. For example, a man sitting in a robe getting a pedicure “is in a vulnerable position. We are conscious of how his robe is draped.”

Surrounded by the warehouses and extended-stay hotels of Exit 8A, Gentle Healing draws transient truckers, CEOs making day trips from New York or Philadelphia to visit their warehouses, and executives from Merck, Shiseido, and Johnson & Johnson, many of whom take advantage of spa membership, which gives them 10 percent off services and retail products.

Sternberg is an aggressive marketer, giving presentations on everything from feng shui to homeopathic care to companies and sports teams. “We do business meetings with a 30-minute massage,” says Shea. “Men may not have as many different services as women but they have more services within a shorter period of time. They tell their friends, and women don’t. It isn’t about sexuality. It’s about health and maintenance. The younger generation is about that visual thing, a look they have to compete with, they’re on the beach trying to portray an image. But with older men, businessmen, let’s face it, you’re not going to have someone sign a million-dollar contract with yucky hands. You’d shine your shoes. Why not take care of your hands?”

Says Shea: “We love men. They can generate a whole family to come, where a woman usually just takes care of herself. Men will reciprocate and give gift certificates to friends and family. It’s a stronger base. In most houses, the man’s income is usually the highest. If you can get him to understand the benefits of the spa, you’re in.”

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Bill Straughn, 49

A business analyst in the IT division of American Re Corporation on College Road, Straughn has worked out regularly for the last 10 years, and belongs to Momentum Fitness and New York Sports Club, where he concentrates on weights and cardio work such as the bike. A native of Barbados, where his parents and identical twin still live, Straughn played soccer and basketball as a child and thanks his parents for instilling in him the tenets of a healthy lifestyle, including a diet high in rice, fish, chicken, vegetables, and fruit. “My father is 78 and goes to the beach to swim every day and is very fit. So is my mom and she’s 79. My grandmother died in her 90s.” He takes a multivitamin daily, drinks green tea instead of coffee, and eats a low-cholesterol, high-protein diet that includes brown rice and coldwater fish like salmon.

But what really drives Straughn’s youthful streak is yoga. He says he always knew yoga was “a good thing,” but it wasn’t until he struck up a conversation with a colleague, Julie Parrella, an underwriting analyst and a yoga instructor at Princeton Center for Yoga and Health in Skillman, that he felt the urge to try it himself. His first class was power yoga, a challenging workout that’s often done in a heated studio. “It made me realize I wasn’t as strong as I thought I was, that even though I may lift and do other power exercises, there were muscle groups and areas of my body that were not being touched and were weak. There was something missing in my overall fitness regimen.”

He now goes to power yoga once a week and is aiming to fit two classes a week into an already busy schedule that includes coaching kids basketball, working with the youth group and singing in the choir at Barnabas Episcopal Church in Monmouth Junction, and volunteering for homeless shelters.

While yoga gives Straughn a great workout, he says it’s the breath work that compels him most. “Yoga emphasizes the power and quality of the breath. I realized it is the most important aspect of life.” He says he has noticed improved sleep, flexibility, physical and mental balance, and concentration at work. “Yoga is also a real boost to your psyche. It also relieves the tightness that lifting does to your muscles. Good stretching and good flexibility develops from a good yoga practice.”

Straughn notes the men in his class range in age from 20s to 50s, all of whom are strong and flexible. He says everyone in the class focuses on their own individual goals. “And boy do you sweat.”

But yoga also has a mental aspect that is integral to the practice, a less tangible but deeply rewarding element that every man I interviewed who practices yoga commented on. “There’s a very high spirituality; I’m still only a rookie,” says Straughn. “There’s a purity about the practice that you must embrace. If you think it’s hoky or kooky, you won’t get it. But yoga has been going on since long before you were born. You can receive it.”

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Hugh Miller, 44

Miller is CEO of Hollyrock/Miller, the Forrestal Village-based advertising and PR firm named, you guessed it, after the Flintstones, who referred to Hollywood as Hollyrock. His 12-person company services clients in New Jersey and New York, but also as far-flung as Florida, California, and Italy. Spa Therapia on Route 206 South is a client, but Miller says he had been going there for spa services long before they became a client.

“I go there for three reasons. The first is stress management and pampering, and I’m not embarrassed to say it. I go for massage three to four times a month; I mix up a hot stone massage with a basic massage. I play a lot of golf, and massage gives great pain relief for your back.”

OK, and then there’s the ear thing. “Men in their 40s, well, they can have hair growing out of their ears, so I get that waxed. My friends refer to me as a metrosexual. But I just say to them, ‘I don’t cut my own lawn, either, at home; I pay someone, they do a better job, and I don’t waste my time.’” He gets a wax every two to three months.

The third reason? “I’ve always had some type of dermatitis on my face. People just think I’ve been out in the sun.” A therapist at Spa Therapia suggested a facial. “‘We can take care of that,’ she said. I figured I’d give it a try. On the one hand it’s very relaxing but it’s a little awkward with the green gook. But it works. I’ve done it twice. I think I’m going to try a manicure or a pedicure next.” When Miller worked for Grey Advertising in New York 10 years ago, he says he had a manicure occasionally.

“Part of going to the spa is to turn the clock back,” says Miller, who also plays golf, often with clients, twice a week at Cherry Valley Country Club in Skillman. “It feels good when people tell you you look younger.” He also works out three mornings a week at 6 a.m. at Princeton Fitness and Wellness Center, including once a week with personal trainer Wynn Headley. When he noticed, after his 40th birthday, that he had put on a few extra pounds, he switched to eating five small meals a day and now swears by it. He brings yogurt, fruit, and carrots to work. “I get cranky if I miss a meal. At a business lunch I’ll have a salad; for dinner, a small portion of fish.” Whereas before he says he felt lethargic, “now I’m energized.”

He has no qualms about telling other men about his spa regime, either. “I always talk up the spa on the golf course. I’m always talking to men about this stuff.”

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Lou Santin, 70

Santin, president and co-owner of Ricasoli & Santin Contracting in Mercerville, has had nothing to drink but water for the last 15 years and hasn’t had a drink-drink in 28. After developing gout at age 30, Santin was put on a doctor’s diet. “You could die from this diet,” he says. He stumbled through the next 20 years, suffering five to six gout attacks a year, usually brought on by alcohol. When his wife, who is allergic to preservatives, developed migraines 25 years ago, they went totally organic and vegetarian.

Since then, says Santin, “She’s never had a migraine, and I’ve never had a gout attack. I still look at a steak and it lasts a second and then it goes away. Vegetarian doesn’t have to be tasteless.” They just started eating fish and “clean meat,” which means organically-raised chicken , and eggs from the Amish farm market in Flemington. “We’ve already poisoned the earth; you can’t put poisons into your body.”

You’d never know Santin, the picture of health, was laid up for 13 weeks in his 30s with a virus that caused an enlarged heart or that he had a cancerous tumor in his liver removed in 1995. Or that in 2000 he had a brain tumor. “When the doc told me, I said, ‘Let’s get it out, I don’t want no foreign thing in my body.’ He operated the next day.” Santin moved to Ringoes 26 years ago where he built a house, with one room designated as a home gym, right in the middle of 11 acres; two years ago, he remodeled the whole house himself, putting in time after work each day.

In addition to his diet, Santin gets a one-hour weekly massage at Full Circle Family Massage and Healing Center on Princeton- Hightstown Road. “It gets the lymphatic fluids moving, which is what removes the toxins from your body, excretes the sweat.” Does anyone tease him about going for massages? “I ain’t gonna take no crap from nobody,” says Santin. “I don’t broadcast it to the world.” More importantly, Santin says he has no stress.

Massage, diet, and exercise — as well as chiropractic — are part of a whole package, says Santin, who has two grown children in their 40s and four grandchildren. You can’t do one without the other. Faith is another element. I asked him if he was mad at God for his tumors, gout, and heart virus. “People get mad at God when bad things happen but they don’t get glad with God when good things happen. And good things happen every day. I do give praise to God. He designed the body to heal itself. I read a lot of inspirational books. I read the Bible every morning. I read Psalm 91, ‘What the Lord Promises You.’”

Santin’s also been happily married for 47 years. He looks forward to a long life. His own father, who rode his bike every day and was a moderate eater, died at 92. “I believe it gave him quality of life,” says Santin. “My wife and I took him out to dinner every Friday. One Friday, he had taken a bike ride that morning. When we went to pick him up, he was sitting in his chair with his hat and coat on, ready to go. He died just like that.”

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Bob Schnitzlein, 47

When I call Schnitzlein for a phone interview on Tuesday, June 21, at 8:30 p.m., he says, “Can you call me back in 10 minutes? The runaway bride is gonna tell us why she ran away; she’s being interviewed by Katie Couric!” I ask in as neutral a voice as possible, “Are you kidding?” He says, “No, I’m not kidding.”

We reconnect at 9 p.m., and Schnitzlein says that everyone will be talking about the runaway bride the next day so he wanted to know the scoop. I already like this guy. He’s got his priorities straight.

I talked to plenty of men who have stress in their jobs for this article, but Schnitzlein, a psychiatrist, has a professional plate full of responsibilities guaranteed to grey your hair and raise your blood pressure. In addition to logging in 20 to 35 clinical hours a week in his solo private practice in Kendall Park, Schnitzlein consults with approximately 50 to 60 patients at two developmental disability residences for adults in South Plainfield and Somerville, and he sees about 160 inmates — including sexual predators, fire starters and firemen (“They sometimes go hand in hand,” says Schnitzlein), murderers, and several chronic psychiatric patients who are now in the state prison system.

What is his antidote for near-total immersion into the mental health problems of a rather extraordinary cross-section of the population? “I have to balance it with an active athletic lifestyle,” says Schnitzlein. “That’s how I relieve my stress. I work hard and I play hard. I just got back from playing three sets of tennis.” He plays at least two round robins and participates in at least one team tournament a week; swears by the 6 a.m. spinning classes at New York Sports Club in Kendall Park, where he lives; rollerblades and bikes in good weather; and snowboards in winter at high-end locales including Innsbruck, Austria, Mount Tremblant in Canada; Heavenly in Nevada, and Copper and Breckinridge in Colorado.

Schnitzlein says he feels like he is 18 years old. Part of that no doubt comes from maintaining a healthy physique but he also has a dirty little secret: he colors his hair. Well, to be accurate, he blends. Four years ago, Schnitzlein met Tim Bricker, owner of b+b Color Studio on State Road (Route 206), on the tennis courts at the Doral Forrestal tennis club, Winning Touch Tennis. “I needed a haircut,” says Schnitzlein, who has brown wavy hair that he wears a little bit long. “It was graying at the temples. That’s a good thing, in one respect, in my line of work; you look like you’re older and have more wisdom. But when I went to Tim he asked, ‘Do you want to try some blending?’ I said, ‘Is it gonna make me look good?’ He said, ‘Sure, it’ll make you look fabulous.’” Now Schnitzlein’s hooked, popping in to b+b every five weeks for a cut and touch-up.

Coming off the heels of a difficult divorce, Schnitzlein says that now he is “getting a do-over in life.” In addition to staying in good shape, Schnitzlein is enjoying new adventures (he took a Caribbean cruise last fall) and a new relationship, practices meditation, and maintains a positive attitude. “I want to try to live the most I can every day. I think positively. I believe everybody I meet has something to teach me. So many things happen for a reason. You just have to have faith that what’s happening is exactly where you should be.”

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Charles Ganoe, 70+

Ganoe is definitely a man who knows the power of seaweed. After working as a banker for many years in Philadelphia and then for a large consulting firm outside of Philadelphia, he set up his own company, Ganoe Associates, 10 years ago, in Research Park. He prepares sales and information materials for medium and smaller-sized banks, as well as newsletters for associations.

“Six or eight years ago, I found that in the winter I got itchy skin. Somebody suggested Eastern European skin treatments.” At the time Ganoe was doing work for a couple of banks and American Express in New York, so he sought out spas in the city that specialized in skin care. Now he goes once a month to Amber Spa in Pennington for a full body seaweed wrap. “They put a seaweed paste on, then wrap you in a heated blanket. It opens your pores, penetrates the skin, and removes some of the toxins. It moisturizes your skin, and it’s long-lasting. Some people go to spas for beauty treatments; I go for therapeutic treatments.”

No ordinary septuagenarian, Ganoe, who is married with two grown children and two grandchildren, has run the New York marathon nine times and races regularly in Central Park. He has run 14 marathons since 1990. Though he had to quit running marathons two and a half years ago, due to the stress on his feet, he still runs 5Ks and runs during the week at 6:30 a.m. He also takes spinning classes at Momentum gym, where he gets an occasional massage if he strains a muscle. “My cardiovascular system is in better shape than my feet,” Ganoe says, adding that people often comment on how young he looks.

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Chris Emmi, 41

Emmi and his wife, Donna Marie, have their own law practice, Emmi and Emmi, in Hillsborough, specializing in worker’s compensation defense for insurance carriers. “There’s a reason why you don’t see movies about worker’s compensation lawyers. But I used to be a fraud investigator. That was a little more exciting.”

How do you get a guy who started weight training at age 13 and played football in high school to take a yoga class? After complaining about a herniated disc, which had been giving him problems since his mid-30s, Emmi says his wife, who is also an instructor at Princeton Center for Yoga and Health, convinced him to try yoga. “In January, 2004, I finally gave in because PCYH was giving a yoga class for beginners. I thought it was gonna be a bunch of spacey people tying to float around the room but it was really just stretching. My back felt a bit better after the first class. Now almost two years later, I’ve really not had any major problems with my back.”

Emmi works out at Maximum Fitness in Hillsborough two to three nights a week, and he and his wife go mountain biking. But when it came to curing the residual pain and discomfort left over from a dislocated shoulder dating from his boxing days at the University of Delaware, Emmi says again yoga did the trick. “I couldn’t lift a shovelful of snow before, had problems with bursitis, and it hurt in cold weather. Since I’ve done yoga, that shoulder doesn’t bother me.”

Emmi takes a vinyasa, or flow, class twice a week as well as hot yoga, where they crank up the temperature over 100 degrees. “It really loosens you up,” Emmi says. “I tend to be type A, sitting on the edge of my seat, twitchy. The breathing techniques help calm you down. When I’m in court doing a trial and I have to cross-examine someone, which is stressful, I just breathe and it gets me back in my head. I find it clears my thinking process so I can ask the questions I want to ask.”

Another health trick Emmi has discovered is eating a decent-sized breakfast and lunch and a very small dinner, such as a shake made with soy milk and a banana, or a small salad. “That’ll hold me until the next day.” But he’s certainly not a fanatic. “I like wine, red meat, and I have maybe a cigar a week.”

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Sunder Narayanan, 45

Narayanan commutes from his home in Lawrenceville as a professor of marketing at New York University, where he teaches an average of six to eight courses a year, including the summer. He says it’s a grueling commute made less grueling by virtue of the fact that he has to go into the city only on the days he teaches.

In his native India, running and working out with weights made up his exercise regime until one day, when he was in his mid-20s, he says, “I just wanted a change. I went to a bookstore and bought a book on yoga and just taught myself.” When he came to the United States 19 years ago to pursue studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he began taking yoga classes. He later earned a doctorate from Columbia.

Narayanan, who is single, now averages three classes a week. “It’s like working out but mentally I feel great,” he says. “It calms your mind down, the way I do it; I do a gentle kind of yoga.” He also tries to walk about 15 miles a week, and has been a vegetarian his whole life. “All of that makes a difference.”

If his mother is any indication, Narayanan has found the right combination of diet and exercise to pursue a life filled with energy and activity. His mother went out and earned a Ph.D. in education in her 60s and now lives in Princeton and works at Accenture.

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Phil Macias, 45

Macias rides a serious man-toy — a BMW R1150R motorcycle, a recent upgrade from a BMW F650CS — to his job as a senior systems engineer contractor at Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab at the Forrestal campus. He can also do a headstand.

How does he reconcile the obvious dichotomy of motorcycles and yoga? There’s no dichotomy, says Macias. “There’s a really strong connection between the two. If you think about all the good things about yoga — letting go, being very present — it’s just like being on the bike. When you’re on the bike, you have to be very present, you can’t be judgmental. If someone cuts you off you have to let them go. Yoga is an analogy of life, and motorcycling is an analogy to yoga.” Macias says he used to be strictly an off-road biker but once he started yoga and meditation, “the fear started disappearing” and now he has no qualms about roads like Route 1.

Macias, who is single and lives in Canal Pointe in West Windsor, had been an avid gymgoer, doing step, spinning, and weights, but fell off the wagon when he hit a real low three years ago, losing two jobs and ending a long-term relationship all in the same time period. “I had kind of lost my way,” he says. When Macias got his current job, which he loves, things started to turn around but then he developed what is called an essential tremor. “They don’t know what causes it, it’s mild but it scared me. It felt like I was really jacked on caffeine.” Macias takes medication but he says meditation and yoga are what really kicked off his wellness regime.

He began taking classes at PCYH taught by his best friend, Julie Parrella. “I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking for. But yoga is about being present, not harming yourself, being nonjudgmental, accepting who you are and what you are. That allowed me to accept this tremor, and I came out of my emotional thing. My yoga became very important to me not for the physical aspect; I do it for my soul.” He also became hooked on Pilates and now teaches twice a week at New York Sports Club Princeton North.

About nine months ago he started getting a one and a half hour massage once a month with Gina McLaughlin at Kingston Wellness Associates, when he feels something’s not quite right with his body. He admits a couple of guys rib him at work about the massages but Macias comes right back by asking them, “Doesn’t it feel good when someone gives you a neck rub? It’s a chance to disconnect and relax and it feels totally good. It’s an hour that you don’t have to do anything.” He also does acupuncture and chiropractic. “People look at you funny but you know that it’s actually a really good thing to get mobility to the spine.”

The contents of Macias’ desk drawer reveals his take on healthy eating. “I have a drawerful of Shredded Wheat, Kashi Go Lean Crunch, almonds, an apple, and an assortment of herbal teas. I eat fruit salad or Japanese from Teriyaki Boy for lunch. I don’t eat red meat.”

And women, listen up. This guy has no problem revealing his softer side. “I take baths. I take a nice bath three times a week, do a salt scrub, turn off the lights and have candles and incense.” He swears by Origins products, including Ginger Body Smoother, Swept Clean smoother with charcoal, Let’s Circulate Salt Rub Soap, Have a Nice Day supercharged moisture lotion, and Soothing Bath Salts. Also in his medicine cabinet are Neutrogena’s facial peel and Dr. Hauschka’s cleansing cream and normalizing day oil. “I used to use products all the time but fell out of it for a few years. I am so glad I rediscovered using them.”

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Jeff Thomsen, 47

‘I’m 47 but I feel like I’m 27,” says Thomsen, president of 20/20 Multimedia, a video production company he formed 23 years ago, which is based in Princeton Forrestal Village and specializes in commercial, music videos, and corporate and industrial videos. He has played golf since age 11, and now plays four times a week, sometimes taking in 36 holes a day. He also coaches his 13-year-old son’s travel basketball team in Montgomery and takes several golf trips a year.

Thomsen says he has probably been to five or six different spas and started getting massages 10 years ago. At one spa he used a gift certificate someone had given him for a facial and a manicure. That was two months ago. Was it his first? “No, I had a manicure when I got married in 1988.”

Thomsen gets deep tissue massages regularly at Spa Therapia. “Besides releasing muscle tension, the stress relief is just incredible. It’s all about having the right massage atmosphere. It’s like walking out of a tunnel into a very relaxing atmosphere. I lose some stress just walking through the door in anticipation.”

Thomsen says massage is essential to getting through a stressful work day. “Once I had a client come in for an editing session and things weren’t running too smoothly. We had to book an extra editing day the next day. I ended up booking a massage for that night after the extra day.”

Thanks to playing a lot of golf, drinking more water, eating more fruit and smaller portions of everything, and cutting back on his beloved tiramisu, Thomsen has reached his goal of losing 15 pounds in three months. Oh, yes, and there is one other little lifestyle element that Thomsen says contributes to his stress management. “I go away quite often. We have a house in St. Thomas.”

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Jerry Fennelly, 45

Fennelly, owner of NAI Fennelly, a major player in commercial real estate, could easily be a poster child for the stressful workaholic. Instead, he’s an exercise nut, grabbing at every golden ring on the carousel of life. In a phone interview, he describes his agenda of the previous day. “5:30 a.m., bike riding for 45 minutes, had a meeting for a 5K race I’m organizing at 8 a.m. Then lots of meetings, showing space, meeting with people though the day. Got a call at 4 p.m. to go to a 20-year anniversary party at 5:30 in East Brunswick, then at 9 p.m. went to visit my mother in the hospital, then from 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 I drove through a tour of properties I was going to show the next day. Got home about 1:30 a.m. and got up this morning at 6:30.”

Fennelly, who ran track and was on the fencing team at St. Peter’s, now aims for five or six workouts a week. He bikes, runs, and hits the pool at Robert Wood Johnson Hamilton Fitness Center and Princeton Fitness and Wellness for 30 to 40 laps. “When you work out you have more strength to go through the day. If you think about it, I sometimes walk five miles a day, showing buildings, going up and down stairs, in the hot or cold. I’m always on, just like a machine, then it’s a problem to shut off. You’re always producing, you’re just a constant movement of forward energy.”

About 20 years ago Fennelly discovered running, and competes in about 40 races a year, mostly 5 and 10Ks. “What happens is when you work a lot, you’ve got this Eveready battery that keeps going. Racing actually gets me tired, slows me down a little bit.”

Training constantly at a competitive level can be a strain on your muscles and Fennelly says he lives in pain every day. For nine years Darby Line, owner of Full Circle Family Massage and Healing Center, has been coming to his home once a month to give him a massage. His wife and two kids also get one. “We’ve been involved in massage forever. If you’re training, your body needs to have the work done to take the lactic acid out.”

Fennelly is also a spa fanatic, booking treatments into every vacation, which he takes twice a year. Two years ago he took a client and his wife to the ultra-chic Canyon Ranch Spa in Lenox, Massachusetts. “First of all they don’t let you eat anything that’s bad. I got a stress test, massage, facial, yoga. I got a pedicure. The real pain came at the end: the bill was $4,000 for four days.”

But Fennelly is hooked. Two weeks ago, he and his wife were in Boulder at the brand new St. Julien Hotel, which boasts a 10,000 square foot spa. When he skis in Utah, he always books two to three massages. “Sometimes I throw a facial in. You’re trying to rejuvenate.” He likes the spa at the Hyatt in Beaver Creek, where he often indulges in a double session with a personal trainer.

Any vices? “I eat too much,” Fennelly admits. “We’d have to live like rabbits to be healthy. It’s hard to do. When you’re brought up on pizza it’s hard to convert. Conversion comes with great pain. I had salmon for lunch today, though.”

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David Fradin, 53

What happens when an overweight guy with a high-stress job and medical issues, who hasn’t worked out in 20 years, takes a yoga class? An independent computer systems consultant, Fradin services clients around the country, like a Midwestern agricultural corporation that is losing hundreds of thousands of dollars a month because its factory computers aren’t working efficiently. His job has high stress and high pressure stamped all over it. Traveling about 20 days a month only adds to the stress.

“Several years ago I developed high blood pressure and arthritis,” says Fradin, who lives in Plainfield and has two grown children in their 20s. He went on medication for both and also started getting debilitating sciatica attacks. “I felt I was on a downward spiral.” He says a number of people suggested yoga, and he finally succumbed, taking a hatha yoga class with Leslie Hadley at Princeton Center for Yoga and Health. “It took me about a week to recover from that class,” he says. “I had not worked out in more than 20 years.”

He gradually worked up to three classes a week, while cutting way back on desserts and snacking, losing 15 pounds in the process. His blood pressure returned to normal, his arthritis improved, he went off of his medication for both, and the sciatica cleared up completely.

“I feel better than I have in 10 or 15 years,” he says, “so good that I became certified to teach yoga in 2003.” He says he has attracted more men into his classes. How? “It’s all about three things with men — high blood pressure, stress management, and sexuality. It’s all about blood flow. It’s all about relaxing — better blood flow and being more relaxed. Think about it. Fifty percent of your sexual problems will go away.

“Yoga is thousands of years old and yet it lends itself to adapting to our time so well, it almost seems it was invented for the present. Work and family stresses — yoga can be so helpful in managing that. Yet men have traditionally stayed away. Like me they sort of stumble into it, and if they stay with it, they start noticing real substantial improvement in their health.”

Here’s the real kicker. “For guys yoga is one of the last great frontiers for meeting women. Most classes have a 1 to 8 ratio of men to women. You don’t have to go to a bar and you can get healthy.”

For More Information:
Princeton Center for Yoga & Health
88 Orchard Road, Skillman
Princeton, NJ 08558
United States
Ph. 609-924-7294
Jamie Saxon
Worried About Breaking Your New Year’s Resolutions? Try Thinking Like a Yogi
New Year's Resolutions

Princeton Area, NJ - Monday, December 12th 2005 - Worried About Breaking Your New Year’s Resolutions? Try Thinking Like a Yogi

(Skillman, NJ) Humans have been making – and breaking – New Year’s Resolutions for thousands of years. Improvements in health are perennial favorites: losing weight, quitting smoking, exercising more, and taking time for relaxation, are likely to top many people’s lists.

Unfortunately, research and surveys show that a small minority of resolutions last even one month. According to Deborah Metzger, Director of the Princeton Center for Yoga & Health, the problem is not in the resolutions themselves, but in our mindsets as we make them.

Metzger explained that according to Yogic principles, most people make three serious errors as they set their resolutions. First, they judge themselves harshly. This leads to the second error, choosing unattainable goals. They magnify the gap between where they are and where they want to be. That causes the third error, thinking that the only way they can climb such a tall mountain is by beating themselves up until they reach the top.

“This combination of errors sets up a spiral of failure,” Metzger said. “The minute you start with negative judgments, you lose the ability to make positive changes.” For example, a woman who attends yoga class to “fix” her stress-related problems may actually spend the class berating herself for not attending every day: “This feels so good, why do I only go once a week? She’s just given herself a negative message for doing something positive for herself. Why would she want to keep repeating that experience?!”

When judgment leads to unattainable goals, the first misstep can spell the end of the resolution. “If someone who loves ice cream vows to stop eating ice cream, that’s just not reasonable. So the minute they have a single spoonful, they just give up and say, ‘Hey, why not eat the whole half gallon?’”

When resolutions can only be kept by discipline and fear of self-inflicted punishment, Metzger asserted, they are not sustainable. “In the end, we only do things that give us pleasure or help us avoid pain. If we think of the change we want to make as essentially negative, as requiring us to give up something we love, then we’re fighting against ourselves. Our old habits will prevail.”

The Yogic model of personal change, by contrast, consists of three simple decisions: awareness, acceptance, and adjustment. “Awareness, as opposed to judgment, means knowing where you are right now. If you want to follow a map to get to a destination, the first thing you need to figure out is where you are on the map. It’s not to beat yourself up, but simply to allow you to make good decisions.”

Acceptance means acknowledging your situation without wishing it were different. “Once you accept reality, and stop fighting against it, you can make a conscious decision to try something new,” Metzger explained. Often, non-judgmental awareness all by itself causes a shift, or adjustment – the change feels natural and effortless.

With this mindset, there can be no failure, only more information to help make better adjustments in the future. “Awareness is the key to the whole process. But in our culture, we prefer numbness to awareness. We run around and keep busy rather than quiet our minds and pay attention to our inner needs and wisdom.”

To help people get into the right mindset for keeping New Year’s resolutions, the Princeton Center for Yoga & Health is offering a free Holiday Power Yoga class on January 31 and a week of classes from January 2 through 8. “We want people who are curious about yoga, who would like to experience difference styles and intensities, to take as many classes as they like and see what feels right for them.”

Metzger said that the Center’s motto was, “Yoga for every body.” “You don’t need special clothing, you don’t need to look like a model, you don’t even need to be able to stand up. We welcome you as you are, and our morning through night and weekend schedule accommodates virtually everyone.”

The free week of classes includes Power Yoga, Hot Yoga, Hatha or Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Integral yoga, Kripalu Yoga, Gentle Yoga, as well as Therapeutic Yoga, Yoga for Beginners, Yoga for Stress Reduction, Feldenkrais, and other healing forms. For a complete schedule or directions to the Center, visit their website at, or call (609) 924-7294. Website visitors can download a free 20-minute guided relaxation in mp3 format to help ease the holiday stresses.

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For More Information:
Princeton Center for Yoga & Health
88 Orchard Road, Skillman
Princeton, NJ 08558
United States
Ph. 609-924-7294
Deborah Metzger
Tibetan Monks: Holy, But with Humor. In our culture, holy men don't dance.
Fundraiser for Tibetan Monastery at Princeton Center for Yoga & Health

Princeton Area, NJ - Wednesday, May 11th 2005 - Tibetan Monks: Holy, But with Humor

In our culture, holy men don't dance.

So it may seem a little strange when people from another land demonstrate their spiritual commitment with movement.

Buddhist monks who have been exiled from Tibet are on tour of the United States with a program that draws on all kinds of talents - intellect, prayer, music and chanting and, yes, dance - the Black Hat Dance, the Dakini Dance, and a Yak Dance. The monks from the Gaden Shartse monastery in southern India will present "Sacred and Healing Arts of Tibet" at the Princeton Center for Yoga and Health on Friday, May 13.

The Black Hat dancers re-enact the time when a ninth century religious man dressed in black attire - feeling great compassion for an oppressive king who needed to be removed from his throne - shot an arrow into the king's heart. Monks who perform this dance undergo intense ritual preparation to achieve their intense focus on compassion, and they believe that those who observe the dance can be "cleared of both inner and outer obstacles," according to the program.

Some 25 years ago in Pittsburgh I saw the Black Hat dance performed by monks who were on their first trip outside the borders of Bhutan, the neighbor of Tibet. The monks moved with circular sweeping movements, arms curved, stepping high, turning and bending. Even though I had no idea what I was looking at, I was mesmerized. Yet the very next part of the program involved a bit of low comedy, clowning around.

Just as the monks integrated movement into their worship experience, they also integrated the sacred and profane into their daily lives. These were holy men, but they were also young guys, 25-year-olds who laughed at their own fright when they encountered their first revolving doors and gleefully bought boom boxes as souvenirs.

When I watch another culture's ritual dance I try to decipher its purpose and absorb some of it into my own faith experience. If the Black Hat mesmerizes with its intense focus, the Dakini dance instructs. According to the program, the Dakinis try to entice the Guru to leave the imperfect world, where he is instructing disciples, and join them in their "pure land." At the end of the dance the Guru consents to stay and continue to help the disciples, who, nevertheless, are striving to get to the Pure Land.

The ultimate compliment for someone or something is to imitate it, and so some American Indians perform a deer dance, in which they don the skin of a deer. The Cudamani Balinese troupe at McCarter Theater last month showed their Barong dance, in which two dancers in elaborate costume acted out the part of the animal that represents Shiva, and as the program closed the entire troupe turned their backs on the audience and worshiped the deity.

For Tibetans, it's the Yak Dance. The yak is as important to them as a camel is to an Arab. Yak hair is woven into cloth for tents, and its milk is used for nourishment and to make butter, which is sculpted into ornamental patterns for temples and burned in lamps. I have not seen this Yak Dance, but it has been described as playful and hilarious.

Holy men, playful and hilarious? Holy men, dancing?

Maybe we Americans don't know it all, after all.

-Barbara Figge Fox

"Sacred and Healing Arts of Tibet," Tibetan Monks, Friday, May 13, 8:30 p.m., Princeton Center for Yoga & Health, 50 Vreeland Drive, Suite 506, Skillman. Monastic music and dance presented by the touring Tibetan Monks of the Gaden Shartse Monastic College in southern India. Benefit for the monastery. Donation $20. 609-924-7294.

For More Information:
Princeton Center for Yoga & Health
88 Orchard Road, Skillman
Princeton, NJ 08558
United States
Ph. 609-924-7294
Barbara Figge Fox
Exploring the Mind-Body Connection
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction: Hospital Partners with Yoga Studio

Princeton - Monday, August 27th 2007 -


Exploring the mind-body connection

By: Michael Redmond , Lifestyle Editor

Staff photo by Mark Czajkowski

Pat Vroom of Capital Health System and Deborah Metzger of Princeton Center for Yoga & Health, prepare for the second presentation of their course on stress reduction.

Hospital partners with a yoga studio

Based upon the success of their initial collaboration in the spring, Capital Health System in Trenton and the Princeton Center for Yoga & Health will once again be presenting an eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course at the yoga center's studio in Montgomery, beginning Sept. 24.

This is news, folks.

First, it's news that Capital Health, based in Trenton, has joined other forward-looking medical centers throughout the country by establishing a department of "integral medicine" — the formal term for such complementary approaches to health and healing as mindfulness-based psychotherapy and stress management, meditation, yoga practice, hypnosis and self-hypnosis training, nutrition programs, fitness programs, and massage therapy.

It's also news that the health system is partnering with an independent yoga studio — even a studio with PCYH's excellent reputation. It isn't all that long ago that such a partnership would have been unthinkable. But as clinical study has followed clinical study indicating that complementary therapies have a measurable influence on a wide range of health issues — chronic pain, migraine headaches, high blood pressure, tolerance of cancer therapies, sleep disorders, anxiety and depression, post-operative recovery — attitudes have changed.

"Institutions such as Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco offer complementary programs to patients being treated for cancer, chronic cardiovascular disease, sickle cell disease, sleep disorders and undergoing operative procedures," stated Robert Remstein, DO, FACP, vice president of Medical Affairs at CHS, when the department's establishment was announced in May.

"At Capital Health System, we not only welcome Integral Medicine for these same purposes, but also open our doors to anybody who is searching for a complement to traditional pharmacology to address issues of pain, stress and anxiety," Dr. Remstein stated.

The linchpin between both institutions is Pat Vroom, Ph.D., Capital Health's director of Integral Medicine, a Princeton resident who has worked before with Deborah Metzger, RYT, LSW, PCYH's director.

A psychologist with substantial clinical and research experience in mindfulness-based therapies, Ms. Vroom established Memorial Sloan-Kettering's Mind-Body Program, based upon the work of Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, professor of medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Kabat-Zinn's work has been featured in the Bill Moyers' PBS documentary "Healing and the Mind" and in the book of the same title. More than 17,000 people have completed his Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program, according to the UMass Medical School.

So what are we talking about? We're talking about an evidence-based approach that develops mindfulness — that is, self-awareness, awareness of the mind-body connection — by introducing the practice of meditation and what Ms. Metzger describes as "gentle" yoga. The two women work as a team to guide participants through the MBSR course.

"Mindfulness is as simple — and as difficult — as living in moment-to-moment awareness. It is invoked by first paying close attention to your breath and then to every other aspect of your life," Ms. Metzger said. "It's not a deeply mystical thing unless people want to take it there. It's a way of breathing, feeling, noticing what's happening in the body, listening to what the body says. These is not about perfect asanas (classic yoga poses) — it's about people being totally aware of themselves, not about doing perfect yoga postures."

The PCYH, which offers a wide variety of health-promoting classes and specialty programs, has hosted a research study for individuals with multiple sclerosis. Beginning next month, the center will be partnering with the Delaware Valley chapter of the National Parkinson Foundation by offering "Yoga for Parkinson's." Subsidized participation is available.

The cost of the MBSR course is $495 per person "at the door" or $450 for advance registration, 609-924-7294. Free introductory sessions will take place on Saturday, Sept 8, at 1:30 p.m., and Monday, Sept. 17, at 7:30 p.m. PCYH is located at the Montgomery Professional Center, 50 Vreeland Drive, Suite 506, Montgomery, a half mile from the intersections of routes 206 and 518 West.

©PACKETONLINE News Classifieds Entertainment Business - Princeton and Central New Jersey 2007

For More Information:
Princeton Center for Yoga & Health
88 Orchard Road, Skillman
Princeton, NJ 08558
United States
Ph. 609-924-7294
Michael Redmond, Lifestyle Editor. Princeton Packet

About Princeton Center for Yoga & Health:
The Center offers a variety of yoga (Kripalu, Power, Hot, Astanga, Vinyasa Krama, Vinyasa Flow,Integral,Hatha), meditation, pilates,Pre/Post-Natal,Mom/Baby,Therapeutic Yoga, Yoga for Rejuvenation, Yoga for Stress Reduction, monthly drumming circles, Yoga for Kids, concerts, kirtan experiences,belly dance, and holistic lifestyle classes and workshops. Yoga Teacher Certification training. The Center also provides community access to various therapeutic and bodywork practitioners, as well as a forum to support those practitioners in their work. Gift certificates and corporate programs available. Office and workshop space available for rental. Ask about our work exchange opportunities.