The Gestalt of Yoga Asana and the Pelvic Floor with Jaki Nett

October 13–15 • Fri: 6–9pm; Sat & Sun: 9am–12pm & 2–5pm each day
Full Weekend: $300 ($280*) • Saturday or Sunday Only: $130 ($120*)
Single Sessions: $70 ($65*) • *Student Member price if registered by October 6

***The dates for this workshop were incorrect on some of the printed posters. The dates above are the correct dates. We apologize for the confusion.***

Gestalt,n.:  the visual perception of an organized whole
The Gestalt principle: “The whole is more than the sum of its parts”

“When I watched Mr. Iyengar practicing an asana I would see him moving through the different actions that made up the pose, i.e. the conscious placing of his feet, rotation of the leg, alignment of the torso, stretching of his arms, etc. But when I looked at a photo of that asana I would see an organized whole, the Asana. The parts became of secondary of importance, even though they were clearly seen.”

We are incredibly excited to welcome Jaki Nett for her first visit to Samamakaya! Jaki is a very accomplished instructor known for her knowledge of the pelvic floor, which she interweaves into all of her teaching. In this workshop, Jaki will teach you how to work directly with your pelvic floor, and then how to incorporate pelvic floor work into the Gestalt of the asana practice. This work help you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and to gain the control offered by a healthy pelvic floor, whether the weakness is due to uterine fibroids, obesity, pregnancy, childbirth, menstruation, sexual abuse, or extreme pressure produced from heavy lifting. This workshop will also address how teachers can help their students with pelvic floor issues. The beauty of this work is that the therapeutic effects of the work can be taught without having to announce that you are teaching it. This can be especially helpful for male teachers, who can teach this work without embarrassment. All are welcome to attend this wonderful workshop!

Jaki Nett has taught yoga since 1976 and Iyengar yoga since 1982. She holds an Intermediate Senior 1 Teaching Certificate, the highest certification of any African American woman in the United States. Jaki has an MA in Humanistic Psychology, and weaves her research in functional anatomy into her teaching. Jaki is the published author of, A Crack in the Mask: The Felt Sense Method® – A Humanistic Approach to Managing Incontinence. Her bright, focused energy and straight-forward teaching style inspires and guides students through the challenges and rewards of a committed practice. Jaki conducts yoga workshops in the Bay Area, around the United States, and in Italy, Germany, England, Poland, Switzerland, and South Africa. Jaki lives in the Napa Valley with her husband, and she is the mother of an adult son.

Please Register in Advance!

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


Adjustments, Modifications, & Verbal Instructions
Teaching Yoga For Scoliosis
with Deborah Wolk

Wednesday, October 18th, 1:45–3:45pm

About This Series:

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.

Teachers: $35
Samamkaya Assistants: $30
Students: $20

This class is held monthly throughout the year! The remaining dates for this series are:

September 6, October 18, November 8, December 6

For cancellations up to 48 hours before the class, we will refund full amount paid less a 20% administration fee. However, no refunds for cancellations made within 48 hours of the event.


FUSION YOGA: Two Workshops with Martha Carter

Saturday, October 21
Both Workshops: $95 | $75 Student Member by 10/7
‘Gentle Fusion Yoga’ or ‘Dancing Your Fusion’ Only: $50 | $40 Student Member by 10/7

Designed for people with fusions and Harrington rods, but appropriate for anyone interested in connecting to their spine in new ways. Good for all levels. No yoga or dance experience required. These workshops are invaluable for yoga and dance teachers who want to better understand their students with spinal fusions.

Gentle Fusion Yoga • 9:30am–12:00pm

Gentle Fusion Yoga combines breathing, stretching, yoga asana, and the rope wall to bring new awareness to flexibility, mobility, and alignment. Based on Iyengar Yoga and Elise Browning Miller’s approach to Yoga for Scoliosis, Martha adds her own blend of breathing, meditation and freestyle movement to specifically address your spinal fusion and how it affects your whole body.

Dancing Your Fusion! • 2:00–4:30pm

Drawing on Martha’s personal experience of living and dancing with a fused spine, Dancing Your Fusion! incorporates dance, yoga, pilates, massage, stretching, breathing, and meditation techniques to awaken the body to new sensation. Working with music, Martha will guide you to find your own movement potential, creatively working through the tightness, stiffness, fear, and pain often experienced by people with surgically ‘corrected’ spines. You will experience new ways of connecting and ‘dancing’ your own spine, giving you essential information to help yourself in the future.

Martha Carter was a young and enthusiastic 11 year old dancer when she was diagnosed what became a 55 degree ‘C’ curve scoliosis. At 14, she underwent a Harrington Rod surgery where her spine was ‘corrected’ and fused and she was told she could never dance again. Several years after the surgery, Martha found herself drawn back to dance realizing that movement was essential to keeping her body mobile and healthy – physically and emotionally. This led her on a journey to have her rods removed and rediscover her spine by experiencing a combination dance, yoga, pilates, physiotherapy and many healing techniques.  

In 2009, she presented TWiSTED, a multi-media, one-woman show where she recounted her struggle as a dance artist with a twisted and fused spine. Since then, Martha initiated the Twisted Outreach Project for Backcare and Scoliosis (TOPS) as a non-profit community service to provide a network of holistic and creative non-surgical options for people with scoliosis. Since 2010, TOPS has hosted classes and workshops for hundreds of students in British Columbia and beyond, with Carter teaching ‘Yoga for Scoliosis’ and ‘Dancing Your Spine’ in Vancouver, Victoria, Montreal, Halifax, Ottawa, and Mexico.

To continue evolving her own practise, Martha pursues a multidisciplinary approach to training through Yoga for Scoliosis (Elise Browning Miller, Deborah Wolk, Louie Ettling), Pilates (Darcy McMurray, Joanne Wong, Matthias Gustavsson), Osteopathy (Simon Alarie), and Healing Massage (Bryan Hill, Hedi Keller). She completed her 200 hr Yoga Teacher Training at Saltspring Yoga Centre in 2013, and also trained in the medical classes at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune, India in January 2016.

Please Register In Advance

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


Yoga for a Healthy Lower Back with Liz Owen

Saturday, October 28 • 9am–12pm
$60 In advance | $55 Early Bird Special before September 30 | $65 Drop In

In our time together, you will learn gentle, safe movements to stretch tight hip and lower back muscles and strengthen weak ones, techniques for coping with pain flare-ups, and ways to create natural tone and balance while respecting the body’s particular conditions and limitations. Special attention is paid to pelvic misalignment issues, sacral joint dysfunction, and spinal disk conditions that contribute to lower back pain. Liz Owen’s expertise of lower back health and yoga philosophy brings both Eastern and Western wisdom to bear on creating a healthy lower back and will bring mindfulness and depth to your journey of maintaining lower back health in daily life.

This session covers techniques introduced in earlier Yoga for a Healthy Lower Back workshops and also presents new materials. You will leave with a well-rounded array of techniques for lower back health. Open to everyone, especially new beginners and those who live with lower back pain. Yoga Alliance CEUs available for yoga teachers.

Yoga for a Healthy Lower Back, by Liz Owen and Holly Lebowitz Rossi (Shambhala Publications) may be purchased at the workshop for a discounted price of $20.

Liz Owen, E-RYT500, C-IAYT, is an inspiring and passionate yoga teacher. She combines physical and energetic alignments with meditative action to create an innovative and transformative class experience. She has taught since 1990 and is known for her light-hearted teaching style as well as for the depth of her knowledge. Liz has studied Iyengar, vinyasa, classical hatha yoga, and meditation extensively for 30 years, and has studied with masters of various traditions, including Thich Nhat Hanh, B.K.S. Iyengar, Patricia Walden, Dharma Mittra, Erich Schiffmann, Rod Stryker, T.K.V. Desikachar, and Vasant Lad. Liz teaches workshops nationally and leads retreats in the U.S. and Mexico. She is co-author of two NIH-funded studies at Boston University School of Medicine studying yoga as a modality for improving depression and anxiety, and is co-author of Yoga for a Healthy Lower Back, Shambhala Publications.

Please Register in Advance!

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



Please check back for more exciting workshops!



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.



Stay tuned for upcoming workshops with our outstanding teachers outside of New York City!


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