Virtual Women’s Yoga

This online class is for women and people with or without internal reproductive organs,
with an emphasis on back and scoliosis care. Based on traditional Iyengar Yoga
practices and sequences for women’s health, the class offers an opportunity to
explore our deepest selves, to convene with the rhythmic essence that we carry
inside and outside of ourselves. The intention of this class is to help you connect with your
body, mind, and breath through yoga, experiential anatomy, and selected readings.

Yoga & Somatics for Scoliosis & Fusions

Yoga & Somatics for Scoliosis & Fusions with Martha Carter

Fridays 12:30-1:45 October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
Full Series: $110
One Class: $25

Join movement educator Martha Carter for a gentle series of classes combining yoga and somatics. Using specific breathing techniques, students will be guided to visualize their bodies to find clarity and ease. Following a series of yoga poses, freestyle movements, and foundational somatic movement patterning, participants will learn to shift their scoliotic patterns from within, allowing more mobility and less pain.

This series is helpful for students of all levels with scoliosis and fusions. It is also educational for bodywork professionals and movement teachers interested in expanding their tools to work with students/clients with scoliosis and fused spines

About Martha CarterMartha’s gentle approach combines her experiences as a dance artist, yoga teacher, and ‘scoliosis warrior with a fused spine’. Martha’s enthusiasm, encouragement, and creativity helps students to connect with the whole body and find awareness, length, strength, comfort and fluidity.

About SomaticsBased on the discoveries of Thomas Hanna (1928-1990), Somatics is a combination of his combined expertise as a philosopher, movement educator, and neurophysiologist. Similar in some ways to restorative yoga, the exercises are accessible to all ages, fitness levels and body types. Done lying on the floor in loose clothing, Somatics is known to be anti-aging in the way it helps us re-find and re-fine our mobility, reversing lost function from injuries, disabilities and bad habits.

Fusions Support Group

Fusions Support Group with CJ Shapiro

Thursdays, 4:30-5:30pm
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, 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 as she seeks 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.

Anatomy of Scoliosis

Anatomy of Scoliosis with Deborah Wolk

Wednesdays in May and June 4:30-5:30pm
One session: $25
One Month (four sessions): $80
Entire Course (eight sessions): $140

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.

IAYT APD Credits pending. For those looking to take the entire course for credit, a $40 one-on-one mentoring session with Deborah is required.


Virtual Back Care Basics

This is a live, interactive virtual class to take from home! For all types of back issue, pain and postural problems including scoliosis. Log on to lengthen your spine and move out of the habitual behaviors that are making your back hurt! All levels welcome including those new to yoga and beginners. All students must sign up in advance.

WORKSHOP: A Resilient Heart – Loving Kindness for Ourselves & the World

A Resilient Heart: Loving Kindness for Ourselves & the World

Loving Kindness is the practice of cultivating a friendly, caring state of mind. Through conscious intention, we can learn to love ourselves and others more fully. Practicing loving kindness gives us a way to transform our heart and mind to be more resilient. Cultivating resilience allows us to be steady no matter what is going on around us. In challenging times, keeping an open heart is of great importance. A resilient heart does not simply break, but rather breaks open to connection with everyone and everything.

Loving Kindness – ‘Metta’ in pali or ‘Maitri’ in Sanskrit is one of the four Brahma Viharas – or Divine Abodes – and exists in both Yoga & Buddhism. Current scientific research backs up this ancient practice to validate that with a little effort, we can change our minds and become more loving… towards everyone.

WORKSHOP: (Getting to Know) Your Amazing Psoas Muscle!

(Getting to Know) Your Amazing Psoas Muscle!

The psoas is integral to sitting, standing, walking, moving… all of our daily activities. It’s involved in both forward and backward bending, connects upper and lower bodies, and plays a special role in the pelvis, back, ribs, and breathing. Starting at the lower ribs and ending at the top of the thigh, psoas covers a lot of terrain. We could say it’s like a road that starts in the plains, crosses over the mountains, desert, hills… and ends by the sea. Intriguingly, psoas is influenced by how we feel. When we feel threatened, psoas contracts. When we are at ease, psoas relaxes and lengthens. And no two psoas are alike – even within your own body.

Given the complexity of this muscle, it’s worthwhile to take a little time to get to know it. Class will include in depth investigation of this essential muscle through experiential anatomy, yoga poses, pranayama, breath awareness. Accessible to all.

WORKSHOP: Relieve Jaw Tension with Yoga & Mindfulness

Relieve Jaw Tension with Yoga & Mindfulness

Do you clench your jaw, or grind your teeth at night?  This workshop is for you! It will also be of interest to Yoga teachers and practitioners wishing to help their clients and students.  Jaw Tension and TMJ or TMD – Temporal Mandibular Joint Dysfunction – is a very common, and often painful condition. At present there are few options for treatment beyond being fitted for a night guard by your dentist.  In this workshop you will learn the causes and repercussions of TMD, simple self-massage techniques to relax the face and jaw, mindfulness practices, and a yoga asana sequence that can bring relief. This is a unique approach developed from working with hundreds of clients and students over many years.
**Jaw Tension can be a factor in many conditions including headaches, sinusitis, sciatica, digestive and hormonal disorders. Come and learn why this is so and how to bring relief.

Virtual Spinal Fusions & Scoliosis

Spinal Fusions & Scoliosis

This is a live, interactive virtual class to take from home! Because of the contraindications with Harrington Rods and other instrumentation, being in a general class—even one focused on scoliosis or back problems—can be frustrating. This class covers all the principles and poses of the Yoga & Scoliosis classes but without twists, convex forward bending, back bending. The practice will help strengthen muscles around the fusion in an aligned manner, bring stability to hypermobile joints or open up very stiff areas—without destabilizing the body or the instrumentation itself.  

Virtual Teens & Tweens

Virtual Yoga & Scoliosis for Teens & Tweens

This is a live, interactive virtual class to take from home! This class in appropriate for ages 11-17. All teens are welcome to this class, but as idiopathic scoliosis is commonly diagnosed in adolescence, the class will generally focus on scoliosis. This class creates an environment that is less intense that the adult classes, allows teens to relate with one another, and is sequenced for a young person’s energy level. Dahlia Galler’s positivity and experience with her own scoliosis will communicate how the love of yoga will lead to a healthier relationship to the body…at a time when this relationship is particularly difficult.