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.


Hybrid Workshops with Cator Shachoy
In-Person AND On ZOOM!

Both Workshops $120/$100 early bird if registered by September 13
Sign up HERE for In-Person
Sign up HERE for Zoom

Accessing The Pelvic Floor: Yoga For Stability & Ease of Being

Saturday, October 2 2-5pm ET
$70 in-advance/$60 early bird/$80 day-of
Sign up HERE for In-Person
Sign up HERE for Zoom

Learning to access the pelvic floor supports grounding and connection as well as stability and suppleness. We are more able to respond to the challenges we may face in any moment. Many health conditions can be improved by accessing the strength of the pelvic floor – including back pain, headaches, poor digestion, hormonal imbalances, incontinence, and breathing issues to name a few.  Through simple yoga poses and strengthening exercises we will learn to access the pelvic floor.  This information goes beyond yoga class.  It can be applied to any exercise routine as well as activities throughout your day. This body of work is informed by Cator’s background in Craniosacral Bodywork as well as Iyengar yoga & Mindfulness practice.

(Getting to Know) Your Amazing Psoas Muscle

Sunday, October 3 1-4pm ET
$70 in-advance/$60 early bird/$80 day-of
Sign up HERE for In-Person
Sign up HERE for Zoom

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. Open to all.

Cator Shachoy began the practices of yoga, Buddhist meditation, and energy healing in 1990 to heal chronic illness. Through the regular practice of these disciplines, she recovered her strength and vitality. For Cator, spiritual growth and development is a healing path inviting us to become more intimate with everything. Her practices of Buddhism, Energy Healing, Yoga and conscious body movement are deeply integrated. Cator is a CIAYT yoga therapist, YACEP instructor, MBSR Mindfulness teacher and Visionary Craniosacral work practitioner. She completed teacher training at the Iyengar Inst of SF & Kripalu and studied extensively with SF bay area senior Iyengar teachers for 24 years, including Donald Moyer, Marylou Weprin, Ramanand Patel & Elise Miller. Her primary meditation teachers are Ajahn Pasanno, Ruth Denison, & Mingyur Rinpoche. She has a certificate in Buddhist Chaplaincy from the Sati Center. Cator began teaching yoga & meditation in 1996. Currently she is in private practice and teaches online & internationally.


Anatomy of Scoliosis with Deborah Wolk

SUMMER SALE Recordings of all three Series!

One session: $25
One Series (eight sessions): $120
All Three Series (32 sessions): $300
One-on-one Mentoring Session add-on for IAYT Credit: $80

These 1-hour online classes are for teachers and students who have already been studying Yoga for Scoliosis at Samamkaya.
The classes will focus mainly on anatomy and physiology of scoliosis with some suggestions for yoga poses and sequencing at the end.
Classes will include anatomy drawings, text, lecture, and discussion.
Each Series is IAYT CE approved but requires a one-on-one mentoring session (per series).

Series 1 Topics:

  1. Seeing The Spiral
  2. Concavity AND Convexity
  3. Bone/Remodeling
  4. The Hips and Legs
  5. The Shoulders and Arms (and Head and Neck) 
  6. Nervous System:  Proprioception
  7. Nervous System:  Sympathetic/Parasympathetic
  8. Nervous System:  Pain Patterns

Series 2 Topics:

  1. Nervous System: Eyes and Proprioception
  2. Nervous System:  Touch and Proprioception
  3. Joint Hypermobility
  4. Organic body–General
  5. Organic body–Heart, Lungs and Diaphragm
  6. Organic body– Digestive System
  7. Organic body—Women’s hormonal system  part 1
  8. Women’s hormonal system  part 2

Series 3 Topics:

  1. Sagittal Vs. Lateral
  2. Muscle Imbalances:  Illiopsoas and Intercostals
  3. Fascial Pull
  4. Shoulders, Arms, and Hands
  5. Hips, Legs, and Feet
  6. Head and Neck:  Tilt & Rotation
  7. Exteroception/ Proprioception/ Kinaesthesia
  8. Scoliosis:  Effect on Emotions



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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