Advanced Studies



This 3 module therapeutics course is open to teachers and students who are interested in broadening the scope of their practice. Participants will learn alongside each other in a dynamic and nurturing environment.

In this second 6-weekend Module —“The Breathing Body And The Private Client: Working With Individuals Throughout All Stages Of Life” — the focus will be on several areas including: developing the tools necessary to address an individual client’s needs; learning techniques to support the less mobile; and exploring ways to develop a deeper, more mindful approach to our own practice and ways of working with others to balance and calm the nervous system.

Led By Rachel Lynch-John, Laura Staton And Deborah Wolk, With Guest Teachers Julie Brandwein and Mimi Rosetti.

If you are interested in signing up for the modules, or any individual workshops, please complete our application here.

All students welcome but If you are not sure this program is for you, please contact us!

MODULE 2: “The Breathing Body And The Private Client: Working With Individuals Throughout All Stages Of Life”

If you missed it the first time around The 1st Module “Seeing Human Structure” will be repeated beginning in the fall of 2020 so stay posted for updates about this schedule coming soon!

All of Deborah Wolk’s Advanced Studies courses are APD approved through IAYT. All of the other Advanced Studies courses fulfill the requirements for the IAYT CE credits and fit into the course categories and competencies. We will assist students with getting them approved if needed

If you are interested in signing up for the modules, or any individual workshop, please complete our application online or at the studio.


Full Weekend–4 session workshop: $265 in advance
Full weekend–5 session workshop: $310 in advance
Full Module–6 weekends Sept-Feb: $1400 in advance
Full Module–6 weekends Sept-Feb with payment plan: $200 non-refundable deposit + 4 payments of $325 = $1500

For cancellations up to 7 days before the class, we will refund full amount paid less a 20% administration fee. However, no refunds for cancellations made within 7 days of the event.

“Teaching Privates” with Deborah Wolk and Mimi Rosetti

October 26–27, 2019
Saturday – 9am–12pm & 2–5:30pm
Sunday – 9am–12:15pm & 1:45–4pm

This workshop addresses how to teach a therapeutic private yoga lesson.

We will discuss ways to “see” and work with students from a biopsychosocial perspective so that you can decipher the aspects of the practice that will be most healing for your students.

Deborah Wolk & Mimi Rosetti, Samamkaya faculty with busy private practices for many years will discuss and demonstrate through lecture, partnering & working with actual students what the major factors are that a teacher wants to “see” in the student at intake, through listening, through asana and through touch.

Included in the weekend will be:

  • Working with teens with scoliosis
  • Working with aging students
  • Working at the student’s home vs. the studio
  • Helping your student create a home practice

Saturday’s session will address these questions with lecture, demonstration, practice and partnering with each other.

On Sunday participants will work with their own student or with a Samamkaya Back Care student.

Join Mimi and Deborah as they share their exceptional knowledge on this topic useful for any yoga teacher or aspiring teacher.


“Teaching Pranayama for Back Care and Scoliosis” with Deborah Wolk

November 9–10, 2019
Saturday – 9am–12pm & 2–5:30pm
Sunday – 9am–12:15pm & 1:45–4pm

The breath is a guide for all yoga therapeutics students:  it can calm pain patterns, guide students to internally locate an asymmetry, and create space and length in the body.

Teachers participating in this course will learn how use of the breath can re-shape and and create equilibrium within strongly held physical patterns as well as re-balance the nervous system of the student who struggles with pain or with compromised range of motion and proprioception.  Experienced students wishing to learn more about a pranayama practice to address their back problem or scoliosis will also attend, giving teachers an opportunity to see and work with typical issues that arise within this population.

Classical pranayama techniques such as ujayii, viloma, brahmari, and digital pranayama such as nadi shodana will be explained and practiced in the context of the asymmetrical and/or injured body.   Pranayama geared to the specifics of the asymmetric body will also be discussed and practiced along with modifications for supine and seated postures.

Teachers and students will also practice restorative poses that prepare the body for optimal lung capacity.


“An Investigation of the Vagus Nerve” with Julie Brandwein

December 14–15, 2019
Saturday – 9am–12pm & 2–5:30pm
Sunday – 9am–12:15pm & 1:45–4pm
Whole Weekend: $265
Saturday all day: $150
Sunday all day: $125
Saturday Morning Only: $75
Saturday Afternoon Only: $80
Sunday Morning Only: $80
Sunday Afternoon Only: $60
*MUST TAKE full weekend for IAYT credit

The Vagus nerve (the 10th cranial nerve), oversees a vast number of critical functions such as digestion, breathing, heart rate, vocalization, facial expression, and many others. It controls the parasympathetic nervous system, commonly referred to as the “rest and digest” system. When we experience a trauma of any kind, it can effect the vagus nerves’  ability to respond appropriately. It is what we commonly experience as “stress” and can lead to a vast array of bodily responses that impacts our overall well-being.

In this workshop, we will learn how to effectively work with tonifying and supporting this important nerve pathway using sound, breath, yoga asana, and movement.  You will leave the weekend understanding this important nerve pathway, and ways to promote healing in yourself and those you work with.


“Respiratory System, Diaphragms & Qualities of the Nervous System” with Rachel Lynch-John

January 17–19, 2020
Friday – 6–8pm
Saturday – 9am–12pm & 2–6:30pm
Sunday – 9am–12:15pm & 1:45–4pm

Finding Ease and Fluidity in Stillness and in Motion
In this workshop we will explore the structure and function of the lungs and the diaphragms of the body, looking at ways to elicit and expand the qualities of our nervous system.

Utilizing pathways the skeletal system provides and an understanding of the breath, we will explore ways to coordinate and interconnect the diaphragms of the body.

Through these explorations we can begin to find a balanced, subtle, support for our movement, a clarity of the three-dimensionality of our form, and an easing of the discomforts and pain that we may hold in the tissues and structures of our body.  All of this work seeks to open up a potential for healing, develop a fluidity in our movement and create a quality of ease in our yoga practice, our daily activities and when we are at rest.

We will explore the structure and function of our lungs and how they can give support to our limbs and spine.

We will examine the structure of the thoracic and pelvic diaphragms and how they relate to the other diaphragms throughout our body.

Skeletal System
We will utilize the pathways our skeletal system provides to deepen our exploration of the diaphragms and the breath.

Nervous System
We will look at ways to develop and maintain a balanced and healthy nervous system through an embodiment of the qualities of our parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems.



“Yoga Scoliosis And The Nervous System” with Deborah Wolk

February 28–March 1, 2020
Friday – 6–8:30pm
Saturday – 9am–12pm & 2–6pm
Sunday – 9am–12:15pm & 1:45–4pm

The scoliotic spine affects not only the bones and muscles but also the nerves—the feedback from the right and left sides of the curves is not the same. The eyes are not level and the sense of internal and external space is distorted. Some of the most powerful asana directions for students with scoliosis are ones directing and re-training the nervous system. In this workshop, students with scoliosis will learn to practice so the spine follows the eyes and is re-directed by props, walls and other external stimuli. By the end, students will find more extension, alignment, and balance as a result of practice than ever before. The  sense of the body and particular nervous system issues will be felt in a new way and students will learn how to unravel the disorientation they may feel when practicing yoga or when receiving adjustments and modifications in the asanas. Teachers will learn to guide their students with scoliosis with a different set of directions.

An experiential exploration of the anatomy of the nervous system in relationship to the anatomy and physiology of the scoliotic body.

In the morning poses and breathwork will be introduced which stimulate the concave aspects of the scoliotic pattern awakening these areas and balancing the nervous system.

In the afternoon through yoga asana, students will use the eyes to re-pattern the spine and head; use the wall and props to bring awareness to the back of the body and other areas where it may be difficult to feel.

In the morning practicing even limb use in the asanas will help help strengthen and balance the spine. Moving sensory feedback away from the joints and into the muscle ie: avoiding hyperextension and other common scoliotic misalignments.  

In the final afternoon session students will use props and other cues in the restorative poses to move from sympathetic to parasympathetic in the often agitated scoliotic nervous system.

This workshop is appropriate for all levels and the asanas will be modified for all abilities and range of motion issues.

6 months minimum asana practice is recommended before taking this workshop.


Practical Strategies for Working with the Aging Student” with Laura Staton NOW ONLINE!

October 2-4, 2020
Friday, Saturday & Sunday 9:00am -1:00pm EST
Whole Weekend: $265
One Day Only: $100

Working with an aging population requires an understanding of age-related health concerns and a deft ability to observe what kind of support is needed. This 12- hour course will provide an overview of common issues often seen in an “older” population and the strategies for safely working with students in their home or studio. The topics we will cover include the normal physical, neurological and sensory changes that occur with aging, assessing the difference between joint limitations and muscle weakness, safe transfer techniques, and breathing and mindfulness practices to increase energy and focus. We will also explore sitting and standing balance activities and how to use common household furniture to enhance therapy. Hand-outs will be provided to accommodate the on-line learning experience. The workshop is divided into three convenient time slots and the material will be presented in a collaborative way which will include discussion and embodied practice. The workshop will be recorded and can be provided to individuals if their schedule does not allow for full workshop participation.

Friday 10/2: 9:00-1:00. Friday will begin with a chair yoga class and move into a discussion of the  normal physical, neurological and sensory changes that occur with aging. We will briefly discuss conditions of the spine including herniations, disc bulges, stenosis and osteoarthritis and their indications and contraindications. You will learn to assess the difference between joint limitations and muscle weakness.

Saturday 10/3: 9:00-1:00. Saturday will begin with (a few) class members teaching a chair yoga class and we will discuss and explore how to use the home environment to enhance home practice. We will explore fall prevention training and balance activities and learn the basic techniques of safe transfers. We discuss the difference between external cuing and internal cuing, why that is important and when to use them.

Sunday 10/4: 9:00-1:00. Sunday will begin with (a few) class members teaching a home/studio yoga class using any combination of props and furniture. We will discuss mobility limitations in the legs and pelvis including hip and knee replacements and strategies for working with them. We will explore mindfulness practices using chakras and breathing practices to increase endurance and emotional stability.

Laura Staton works as rehabilitative Occupational Therapist at Staten Island University Hospital and has taught yoga therapeutically in hospitals, studios and homes. She is the co-author of Baby Om -Yoga for Mothers & Babies and has remained interested in the effect yoga has on physical and emotional well-being and how this interacts with daily life.  Her new book Yoga Bones: A Comprehensive Guide to Managing Pain and Orthopedic Injuries Through Yoga will be published by Hachette Book Group in January 2021.