Class Series

The Pelvis as a House – Experiential Anatomy, Movement and Yoga
A 3 part virtual class series with Patricia Videgain

June 19, 26, July 10, 1-3pm ET on Zoom
One Session: $40
Two Sessions: $70
All Three Sessions: $80*/$90
*Early Bird if Signed up by June 7

In this virtual workshop series students will be given the time and space to experience, embody and reclaim pelvic space.  Each participant will have an opportunity to connect to their body in a unique way. Much of the language of the body in Western culture is clinical, therapeutic and pathologic. The intention of this workshop is to offer space to find the poetry of the body; not that of the teacher’s experience but each individual’s version of it.

The pelvis provides stability to the spine and counterweight to the cranium. A healthy pelvic floor is crucial for efficient breathing, for the organic and morphologic structures within as well as energetic and systemic wisdom.

The 3 sessions will study the boney and connective tissue structure, muscles, and organs that are housed in this space. A mix of lecture, discussion, asana, movement and sensory experience will allow participants to experience anatomical locations and connections.

Class 1: pelvic structure
Class 2: spinal connection to the pelvis
Class 3: the limbs’ connection to the pelvis

Taking this series in full is recommended as classes will build on each other but each class can stand alone.

This series is open to all genders and levels. Students who complete the series will receive a certificate to be used for credit with Yoga Alliance.

Patricia Videgain has been teaching yoga since 2002, experiential anatomy since 2010 and somatic meditation since 2017. She is committed to teach others how to use yoga, movement, breathing and meditation as a tool for inspiration and transformation. Teaching yoga is a great source of contentment for her. Her students are her greatest teachers.

Patricia is a Yoga Alliance 500 hr + YACEP Provider, Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher, IAYT Certified Yoga Therapist, Body-Mind Centering Association Member and 2020 Graduate from Leslie Howard’s Pelvic Floor Yoga Teacher Training.  Patricia was also a long-time assistant and sub for Deborah Wolk’s Yoga for Scoliosis Class at Samamkaya Yoga. Learn more about Patricia at

Anatomy of Scoliosis with Deborah Wolk

Wednesdays, 4:30-5:30pm June 23, July 7, 21, August 4
Entire Course (four sessions): $70
One Class: $25

These 1-hour online classes are for teachers. Experienced students who have already been studying Yoga for Scoliosis at Samamkaya for some time are also invited to join.

The classes will focus mainly on anatomy and physiology of scoliosis with some suggestions for yoga poses and sequencing at the end. The sessions will not focus on personal practice nor will we be able to look in-depth at individual patterns of students as we have done in Adjustments, Modifications, and Verbal Instructions classes.

Please have some knowledge of Iyengar style yoga (props, sanskrit pose names, etc.) and some basic anatomy background.

Classes will include anatomy drawings, text, lecture, and discussion.

*Classes can be bought as a recording separately or as a series. Recordings will be available for 10 weeks after the series ends. All students taking the class live will automatically receive a link to the recording a day or two after the scheduled session.

Anatomy of Scoliosis IV:  Summer 2021
June 23: the sagittal curves
July 7:  the structure of vertebrae and discs
July 21: thoracic and sacrum/tail–relationships to adjoining structures
August 4: lumbar and cervical — flexibility and relationships to stable areas


The Spiral Dance:  Twisting Asanas to Rejuvenate and Revitalize the Scoliotic Spine with Helen Margaret Giovanello

JULY 18, 25 & AUGUST 1 9:30-11:30am
One Session: $40
Two Sessions: $70
All Three Sessions: $80*/$90
*Early Bird if Signed up by June 28

Life is a spiral dance:  spirals are found in all biological structures, energy moves in spirals and circles and practicing twists can connect us to this.  However, with scoliosis, many yoga practitioners find twists unapproachable, uncomfortable or even frightening.

Once understood and properly modified, twists are actually fun!  They bring dynamism, mobility and freedom in the spine, massage muscles, help heal shoulder issues and improve forward and backward extension.

An Iyengar certified teacher and Yoga for Scoliosis practitioner and trainer, Helen M. Giovanello will guide students away from preconceived ideas to a place of exploration where no asana is inaccessible.  From a deeper understanding and sensing, these asanas will be approached step by step; adjusting inner and outer spinal movements, stabilizing the hips, initiating shoulderblade movement and working with the front body this series will move from standing poses, to seated twists, to balance.  Join Helen and you too can find and enjoy your own “spiral dance”.

Helen Margaret Giovanello was born in London and grew up in Turin, Italy. While studying Philosophy and Human Sciences at the University of Turin, Helen moved to Paris, France to explore different art forms.  In 1996 she graduated from the prestigious International Center of Photography in New York and embarked upon a successful career as a photojournalist.

Having practiced hatha yoga since her teens, it was her encounter with Iyengar yoga in NYC 1999 that marked the beginning of a life-changing experience.  She studied with Kevin Gardiner, Carrie Owerko and James Murphy.  In 2003 Helen lived in Mumbai, India studying and apprenticing with Senior Iyengar yoga teacher Zubin Zarthoshtimanesh who remains her mentor.

Helen also travels regularly to the Ramamani Iyengar Yoga Institute in Pune India.  Under the guidance of Geetaji, she deepened her practice of yoga for scoliosis.

Helen received her Iyengar Yoga Teacher Certification in Paris from the Iyengar Yoga Masters Faeq and Corinne Biria in 2013 and in 2014 she completed Elise Browning Miller’s Yoga for Scoliosis teacher training in NYC.

The following year Helen assisted Deborah Wolk at Samamkaya and offered her first workshop on Yoga and Scoliosis there.

Recently, Helen moved from Paris to Biarritz in Basque Country. She follows her two passions: photography and teaching Iyengar Yoga and Yoga for Scoliosis in France and abroad.

Helen’s yoga teaching style is creative, precise, compassionate and joyful.


Seeing and Modifying Scoliosis the

Series with Deborah Wolk

Thursdays (Biweekly) 2-4pm EST: March 11, 25, April 8, 22, May 6, 27, June 3, 17
One class: $40
6 Classes: $210/$190 add-on to Anatomy of Scoliosis*
4-classes: $150/$135 add-on to Anatomy of Scoliosis*

*Please email us at to access add-on price

Students of all levels with scoliosis can come as students on their class cards/at the single class price ($25). No crossing over (ie coming as a student if you are a teacher).

Scoliosis is a condition that is difficult for many teachers to see—virtual classes are making it harder!!  Understanding the anatomy, and archetypal patterns of scoliosis will help you see more.  Alternatively, for students with scoliosis understanding and feeling your own pattern is often muddled by sensory feedback in the scoliotic nervous system.  This workshop brings students and teachers together to see and understand scoliotic patterns better and look for solutions for modifying asana for the scoliotic body/mind whether you are working online or in person.  Each class will riff off of previous Anatomy of Scoliosis topics so this workshop is a great complement to Deborah’s Anatomy of Scoliosis classes! 

Please note:  Unlike the Anatomy classes, these classes will be working with students’ personal issues related to their scoliosis and will not be recorded.dots2

Back to Basics: How To Take Yoga for Back Care Online with Jen Gorman, Eva Lev, Wendy Baranello, and Cat Murcek

First Saturday of the Month at 4:30pm EST
June 5 with Cat Murcek
$25 per class for Samamkaya students
$15 for Students who are new to the studio! Use the code BRANDNEW at checkout to get this special price! New students will also have the opportunity to purchase a class card at a discounted rate after their first class!

This monthly class is designed for brand new beginners to online yoga or returning students who would like to re-discover the fundamentals. These workshops will be slow-paced and accommodating to whoever is “in the room”. This class is perfect if you’re new to yoga for back care online and are feeling confused or intimidated by the props or alignment-oriented cuing used in our drop-in classes. This class is appropriate for students experiencing a wide variety of back issues including spinal fusions, bulging/herniated discs, Scoliosis, and others. Please be prepared to let your teacher know what diagnoses you have from your doctor.

Some things you can expect to go over:

-how to set up your tech to get the most out of class
-the standard props and how to work with them
-basic yoga postures you might encounter in our drop-in classes
-gentler modifications for some standard yoga postures
-plenty of time and space to ask questions, look at backs, etc.

Please bring all your questions, and have the following props ready to use:
-three-four 4″ yoga blocks
-one Pune-style yoga belt (8 or 10 feet preferable)
-two or more yoga blankets (or you could use full-size towels and/or throw cushions)
-a yoga or dining chair
-some wall space is ideal but also okay if not possible

*Please visit Deborah Wolk’s website to source props dots2

Fusions Support Group with CJ Shapiro and Martha Carter

MONTHLY on Thursdays, 4:00-5:30 pm on ZOOM:
April 29, May 27, June 24
Free or by donation
Sign Up Here!

Samamkaya Yoga is pleased to offer a support group for people with spinal fusions for scoliosis (or those considering a spinal fusion for their scoliosis). This group, led by CJ Shapiro and Martha Carter, is designed to encourage participants to safely explore the emotional toll and experiences related to their fusion in an environment with other participants who share their experience.  Whether you were a teen when your spinal was fused or an older adult or somewhere in between, discussions within this group will draw out personal reflections, identify successful ways to self-heal, and evolve to reflect the needs of the group.
Please join CJ and Martha as they seek to encourage health and healing through group interaction—free of the shame and stigma associated with scoliosis and related surgeries.

CJ Shapiro understands enduring a lifetime of scoliosis and spinal fusion surgeries. At 16, CJ wore a brace during her vulnerable adolescence creating body image and social issues. In her early twenties, CJ had her first fusion, a Harrington Rod, as her “S” curve and associated pain had progressed. She was told if she wanted to carry children, she would need the surgery. In her, late 50’s, unaware of any issues for 30 years, she was overcome with severe pain and an inability to walk. The unfused areas, upper Thoracic and lower Lumbar discs, had disintegrated from wear and tear. Reconstruction followed and CJ now has 22 screws and 2 cages from T1-S2. Yoga has truly enabled her to be pain free and active, but the emotional scars still require constant attention.
CJ majored in Social Psychology as an SSA undergraduate (Carnegie Mellon University) and then pursued a graduate degree in Social Work and Social Research (Bryn Mawr College). Since she was 16, her passion drew her to jail and prison reform in her quest to help the downtrodden and persecuted.  CJ also majored in art and continues to use her x-rays to express her sense of the fused body’s rigidity and her sense of being “caged and screwed”. Throughout her lifetime, CJ has facilitated many types of workshops and support groups and draws on her background in applied, inclusive research for problem-solving and healing.

Martha Carter 
As a therapeutic movement specialist for scoliosis and spinal fusions, Martha teaches Gentle Yoga and Scoliosis Wellness classes, workshops, and retreats for all ages and abilities in Canada, the US, and internationally. She is a certified teacher of Yoga for Scoliosis, based on the techniques developed by acclaimed Iyengar teacher, Elise Browning Miller. She has also studied (and continues to enjoy explorations in) Pilates for Scoliosis, Essential Somatics, Energy Medicine, and Trauma Release techniques, which she weaves into all her classes to help participants with pain relief while enhancing their movement potential. Martha is the founder and director of the Twisted Outreach Project for Back Care and Scoliosis (TOPS), a Canadian-based non-profit that provides a range of holistic and creative approaches to working with back care and scoliosis. (


It is strongly recommended that you pre-register for workshops and series. If you pre-register for a series, you must cancel 48 hours in advance in order to be refunded for that class series less a 20% administrative fee.

Please cancel via email ( or call 646.964.5772. Even if we receive the message later, we will go by the time stamp and refund your money if appropriate. If you are ill or there is an immediate family medical emergency, we will of course waive the fee. However, please email us as early as possible, and before the workshop begins, to waive the fee or arrange a credit.


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