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
Entire Course for IAYT Credit (includes one-on-one mentoring session): $180

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.



A Two-Day Creative Exploration of Scoliosis and Spinal Fusions with Martha Carter (movement) and Patricia Horvath (writing)

Saturday & Sunday, June 6-7, 2020 11am-1:30pm & 3-6pm EST Each Day
Full Weekend: $180/drop in (within 24hrs): $200 USD
One Day Only: $100/drop in (within 24hrs): $110 USD
Saturday Morning Only: $60/drop in (within 24hrs): $65 USD
Saturday Afternoon Only: $65/drop in (within 24hrs): $70 USD
Sunday Morning Only: $60/drop in (within 24hrs): $65 USD
Sunday Afternoon Only: $65/drop in (within 24hrs): $70 USD

Come and spinal fusion wellness expert Martha Carter and special guest and author Patricia Horvath for a wholehearted exploration of spinal fusions! Designed for people with scoliosis and spinal fusions, this unique workshop combines gentle movement and guided writing to address how this confounding condition affects the whole self – body, mind, and spirit.

The idea for this workshop was born when Martha had the realization that almost everyone with a spinal fusion, like herself, struggles to achieve comfort in their movement in different ways to what non-fused ‘scoliotics’ experience. Often there is fear and uncertainty around what is ‘safe’ and ‘unsafe’ movement, not to mention the many life-style questions that are difficult for non-fused folks to understand. This workshop will address it all!

Starting with a gentle blend of breathing, yoga, somatics, and freestyle movement, Martha’s comforting approach will help participants to better understand their bodies – with the goal of replacing stiffness and fear, with mobility and freedom. Patricia’s guided writing sessions encourage freewriting – stories, memories, emotions, not to mention reflections on the some fo the unusual medical moments that we all struggled through – that can either be shared, or stay private.


DAY 1 Sat June 6
11am-12:15pm- Movement 1 – Breathing for Fusions
12:30-1:30pm – Writing 1
3pm-4:15pm – Movement 2- Gentle Yoga for Fusions.
4:30-5:30pm – Writing 2

DAY 2 Sun Jun 7
11am-12:15pm – Movement 1 – Moving your Fusion
12:30-1:30pm – Writing 1
3-4:15pm – Movement 2- Introduction to Somatics for Fusion
4:30-5:30pm – Writing 2

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. (

Patricia Horvath is the author of the memoir All the Difference (Etruscan Press) about her experiences with scoliosis and spinal fusion. Her stories and essays have been published widely in literary journals including Shenandoah, The Massachusetts Review, New Ohio Review, The Los Angeles Review, and Confrontation. She is the recipient of New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships in both fiction and literary nonfiction and the Goldenberg Prize for Fiction at Bellevue Literary Review. She teaches at Framingham State University in Massachusetts.

Please register in advance!

Cancellations made up to one week in advance will be refunded less a 20% administrative fee. There are no refunds for cancellations made within one week of the workshop.

dots2Holistic Health: Yoga for Depression, Headaches, Immune System and Nervous System with Bobby Clennell

Saturday and Sunday August 1 and 2
Saturday 9am-12pm & 2pm-4:30pm
Sunday 9am-12pm & 2pm-4:30pm
Full Weekend: $210 early bird*/$230 in advance
One Day Only: $110 early bird*/$120 in advance
Saturday AM Only: $65 early bird*/$70 in advance/$75 drop-in
Saturday PM Only: $55 early bird*/$60 in advance/$65 drop-in
Sunday AM Only: $65 early bird*/$70 in advance/$75 drop-in
Sunday PM Only: $55 early bird*/$60 in advance/$65 drop-in
*early bird if registered by June 8

Saturday August 1

9am – 12pm: Active restorative sequence
Depression is a disease of the emotions and mind as well as the nervous and endocrine systems. Lift your chest to elevate your emotions, lead your mind to a lighter state and create room for prana to move freely around the heart area. Keep your eyes open and focus primarily on your inhalation, the bringer of life.

2 – 4.30pm: Forward Bends
Forward bends are important to cool the body and decompress the head. They bring relief from anxiety and headaches, lower blood pressure and help the distracted mind unwind and focus.

Sunday August 2

9am – 12pm: Immune System
This sequence focused on the immune system was given to students at the Iyengar Institute in Pune when it was closed due to an outbreak of a virulent flu.

2 – 4.30 pm: Repairing the nervous system
A restorative practice teaches us to be in the asana longer and penetrate deeper. Students will use inversions, supine asana,  and supported back bends to become familiar and more confident with a deeper level of internal practice. This mentally calming and physically rejuvenating sequence forms the basis for breathing practices that are soothing, settling and profound.

Bobby Clennell  has been teaching Iyengar Yoga for over forty years. She is a core faculty member of the Iyengar Yoga Institute of New York and teaches workshops throughout the United States and around the world.
Bobby began practicing yoga in London in the early 1970s while working as a costume designer and animator. In 1976, Bobby (along with husband, Lindsey, and sons, Miles and Jake) made her first trip to study with B. K. S. Iyengar in Pune, India. She has returned every two years to continue her study. She earned an Iyengar Yoga teaching certificate in 1977.
In the 1980s, Bobby‘s interest in women’s issues was sparked by her studies with Mr. Iyengar’s daughter, Geeta Iyengar. While Mr. Iyengar was teaching the main class, the women who were menstruating were sent to the back of the room to work more quietly with Geeta. This experience awakened Bobby to the need for a woman’s yoga practice.
She is the creator of a short film, entitled Yantra, based on the movements of B. K. S. Iyengar during his own asana practice. Bobby Clennell lives in New York City.


Online Workshop!
All About the Feet
with Karin Stephan

Saturday, June 27 2:00-4:30pm EST
Sunday, June 28 1:00-3:00pm EST
Full Weekend: $90*/$100/$110 drop in (within 24hrs)
Saturday Only: $55*/$60/$65 drop in (within 24hrs)
Sunday Only: $45*/$50/$55 drop in (within 24hrs)
*Early Bird until June 15

In this workshop Karin will present her work with the feet in relationship to the yoga asanas as taught in the Iyengar Method. Her focus will be how correct alignment in the feet can enhance the precision and alignment in the poses themselves.  She will also demonstrate how misalignment in other areas of the body can affect the feet. Karin will draw on the use of imagery, visual cues, understanding of the structure of the foot, props, and other methods to help students understand how to adjust and activate the muscular-skeletal action of the feet to enhance the strength, beauty, and resilience of the entire body.

6 months minimum practice experience in Back Care / Alignment based and/or Iyengar Yoga

Check out this interview with Karin!

Karin Stephan began teaching Yoga in Paris in 1972 at The European Center of Yoga under the direction of Jean Bernard Rishi. At the time she was teaching Ashtanga yoga after having spent 3 months with Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India and having studied it prior to that with Jean Bernard Rishi in Paris. From 1972- 1976 she studied with B.K.S. Iyengar on his European Tours and then in India after that. When she moved to the Boston in late 1976 Karin began studying The Macrobiotic Diet, which she had already begun in Paris, with Aveline and Michio Kushi. In early 1977 Karin opened her own Yoga studio in Beacon Hill and taught Mr. Iyengar’s work as well as some classes in Ashtanga Yoga. She continued to practice the macrobiotic diet and began offering retreats offering Yoga and macrobiotic meals. In 1981 Karin opened her open Yoga Center called ‘The Loft’ located in Cambridge where she still lives and teaches.

In the early 80’s Karin helped introduce Iyengar Yoga to New York City and Washington D.C. and has continued teaching in New York City since then. She also began to run Yoga/Macrobiotic Retreats in the Caribbean and throughout the United States. Karin has written a large number of essays for her Newsletters on the relationship between Yoga, Art, Film and way of life. In these essays she draws on the inspiration of B.K.S. Iyengar, Krishnamurti, poets, writers and literary and film critics. Her second passion is literature and writing and she is currently working on a few different memoirs.

Karin has specialized in Alignment and The Asymmetric Body but also offers private sessions on using Yoga to heal from injuries and various illnesses and offers consultations on ‘Way of Life’ and ‘Healing through Yoga and Food.’

Cancellations made up to one week in advance will be refunded less a 20% administrative fee. There are no refunds for cancellations made within one week of the workshop. Registrants will be sent zoom log on info 30 minutes before each session.


 Adjustments, Modifications, & Verbal Instructions: Teaching Yoga For Scoliosis

with Deborah Wolk

Wednesdays, 1:45-3:45pm
2020 Dates: 
1/8, 2/12, 3/18, 4/1, 5/27, 6/10, 7/1, 8/26, 9/16, 10/7, 11/18, 12/16

Please Note: This series has been postponed and will resume when we are allowed to reopen

One class for: $40 teachers, $30 Samamkaya Teaching Assistants, $20 Students 
Any 3 months for Teachers/Assistants/Students:  $105/80/54
Any 6 months for Teachers/Assistants/Students $180/150/100
Any 12 months for Teachers/Assistants/Students  $300/275/170

This course is now approved as an IAYT CE Course! You may begin the series at any point and have up to 15 months to complete the 12 class series +  one 1 hour mentoring session = 25 hours total
12 months for Yoga Teachers/Samamkaya Teaching Assistants/Samamkaya Faculty Members working for IAYT credit: $400/350/250

Students with scoliosis have very specific needs with the nervous system, proprioceptive system and with pain patterns.  One must avoid muddled information.  Using prop set-ups, hand on adjustments and verbal instructions, Deborah Wolk will guide you in how to better teach your students with scoliosis.

This class is appropriate for all yoga teachers and for students with scoliosis. Teachers of other modalities (Pilates, personal training, etc.) may attend as teachers with Deborah’s permission. This class is not recommended for brand new beginners to yoga.




“Teaching The Older Student” with Laura Staton

This workshop is being postponed as we are closed in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19. The weekend will be rescheduled at a later date. If you would like to be notified about the new date, please email us at

March 21–22, 2020
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

This is part of the Advanced Studies Course.

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 weekend will provide an overview of common age related conditions and provide an increase understanding of how to treat them safely with yoga. The class will explore strategies to ensure participationin in yoga that will be positive, enjoyable and healing for both the student and the teacher. Hand-outs will be provided as will material from Laura’s upcoming book on healing orthopedic injuries through yoga.

Saturday will focus on conditions of the spine including herniations, disc bulges, stenosis and osteoarthritis and explore understanding joint and muscle range of motion.  We will also explore strategies for fluctuating cognition such as mindfulness and breath work and why using external cuing is important for an older population.

Sunday will include fall prevention training and balance activities which are essential to reduce a risk of falling. These techniques can be used in class and when working with students privately. We will also explore mobility limitations in the legs and pelvis including strategies for managing hip and knee replacements, and practice safe transfer techniques on and off the floor.



Yoga for Scoliosis Teacher Training Part II and Beyond
with Elise Browning Miller

Saturday, Dec 12 & Sunday, Dec 13, 2020 | 9–11:30am & 2–4:30pm Each Day
Full Weekend: $350 in Advance | $325 Early Bird Special if registered by Nov 7, 2020

Samamkaya is proud to present Yoga for Scoliosis Teacher Training Part II and Beyond. Anyone may attend this workshop—we highly recommend it for teachers and students alike. If you want to take Part II towards certification, you must have taken Part I with Elise Browning Miller at another time. Most of the Samamkaya faculty have completed Elise Browning Miller’s 20 hour course program. The Yoga for Scoliosis Teacher’s Training is the first teacher’s training program designed specifically to train yoga teachers on how to work with students who have scoliosis. This course may lead you to do the coursework and practicum for a Yoga for Scoliosis Trainer Certification and presence on the Yoga for Scoliosis website. This particular course is also appropriate for those who have already done the Teacher Training with Elise in full but would like to prepare or receive support for their practicum or are certified trainers but would like to learn more.

Samamkaya is the ideal location for this workshop. Well-stocked with props & outfitted with a 20 station rope wall, the workshop will be limited to 20 students. You will be able to address questions that have come up in teaching in an intimate and supportive environment. This workshop will go “beyond” Part II into more techniques and real life solutions than Part II at other locations.

During this course teacher trainees will learn:

  • The anatomy and physiology of scoliosis
  • The common scoliotic patterns
  • Patterns of injury and pain with scoliosis
  • Yoga Asana to address scoliotic patterns which will help reduce progression, pain and discomfort, and perhaps even the curve(s) themselves
  • About other patterns that often accompany scoliosis; such as hip and shoulder problems, neck problems, and disorientation
  • How to give verbal and hands-on adjustments to your students with scoliosis
  • How to use Yoga Props to specifically address scoliotic patterns and related issues
  • Addressing psychological aspects of scoliosis. How to work with your own students with scoliosis

Yoga for Scoliosis for Beginners with Elise Browning Miller

Friday, December 11, 2020 – 6–9pm
$75 in advance | $65 early bird if registered by Nov 6 | $80 drop in

New to Yoga? Want to get started addressing your Scoliosis with Yoga? Come to this 2-hour session with Elise Browning Miller, especially for those new to this practice. Elise is the author of the booklet and DVD Yoga For Scoliosis, and is world famous for her workshops and Teacher Training for Yoga for Scoliosis and Yoga for Back Care. Most of the teachers at Samamkaya have trained with her and we all love her!

Elise Browning Miller, M.A. in Therapeutic Recreation from UNC-CH, is a Certified Senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher who has been teaching yoga throughout the US and internationally for over 30 years. A founding director of California Yoga Center in Mountain View, CA, Elise has successfully used yoga to minimize the effects of her own scoliosis. She has published numerous articles on scoliosis and other yoga related subjects in Yoga Journal and other national magazines. Elise has studied on numerous occasions with the Iyengars in India and specializes in Scoliosis, lower/upper back problems and sports related injuries. She recently launched her new book “Yoga for Scoliosis – A Path for Students & Teachers”, and has produced her own DVD and booklets, “Yoga for Scoliosis”, “Yoga for Back Care” and her “Yoga: Anytime, Anywhere book”. Her joyous personality and ease of communication endear her to students with a teaching style that is down-to-earth, precise and nurturing.

Please Register in Advance!

Cancellations made up to one week in advance will be refunded less a 20% administrative fee. There are no refunds for cancellations made within one week of the workshop.

Elise Browning Miller may also be offering a limited amount of private lessons while in NYC. Students interested in a private should contact Elise or her assistant Vera Popova directly at ASAP.  Samamkaya does not arrange private lessons.



It is strongly recommended that you pre-register for workshops. If you pre-register for a workshop, you must cancel either 1 week or 48 hours in advance (depending on the workshop), in order to be refunded for that workshop less a 20% administrative fee. Cancellation deadlines can be found below the workshop descriptions above.

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.dots2

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