Anatomy of Scoliosis with Deborah Wolk

Wednesdays 4:30-5:30pm
July 8, 22, August 19, September 2, 23, October 14, 28, November 11
One session: $25
Entire Course (eight sessions): $140
Entire Course for IAYT Credit (includes one-on-one mentoring session): $220

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.

Series 2 Topics:
July 8 Nervous System: Eyes and Proprioception
July 22 Nervous System: Touch and Proprioception
August 19 Joint Hypermobility
Sept 2 Organic Body–General
Sept 23 Organic Body–Heart, Lungs and Diaphragm
October 14 Organic Body– Digestive System
Oct 28 Organic Body—Women’s Hormonal System Part 1
November 11 Organic Body—Women’s Hormonal System Part 2

Series 1 Topics (Lessons Prerecorded):


Anatomy Courses with Jon Musgrave

Anatomy of Breathing
Wednesdays, July 29th & August 5th – 4:30–5:30pm
Both Classes: $45 – Single Class: $25

In this 2-part class, Jon Musgrave will help you better understand how your organs, bones, and muscles work in the breathing process, and how to apply this information to your yoga practice. The class is appropriate for students and teachers of any level, and will consist of both lecture and practice to help feel the processes happening in your body. It’s recommended that you take both sections of the class, as the second half will build upon the first. Class will be recorded for students who cannot attend live; however, if at all possible please do attend the class so that you can ask questions as they arise.

Anatomy & Physiology of Pain
Wednesdays, September 9 & 16 – 4:30–5:30pm
Both Classes: $45 – Single Class: $25

Many of us with back issues and bone asymmetries come to our yoga practice to help deal with acute or chronic pain. Being in regular pain can be frustrating, overwhelming, exhausting, irritating, and confusing. In this 2-part class, Jon Musgrave will teach you about the healthy functioning of the pain systems in the body and brain, and how these systems can go awry to cause chronic pain. He will also discuss ways to work with these systems, in your yoga practice and other areas of your life, to start calming down your pain. The class is appropriate for students and teachers of any level, and will consist of both lecture and practice. It’s recommended that you take both sections of the class, as the second half will build upon the first. Class will be recorded for students who cannot attend live; however, if at all possible please do attend the class so that you can ask questions as they arise.

Jon Musgrave is a yoga teacher, manager, and founding member of Samamkaya, and has a bodywork practice in Union Square. He has studied Iyengar yoga since 2011, and has focused primarily on yoga for back care and scoliosis. His primary teachers are Deborah Wolk, Julie Brandwein, Genny Kapuler, Debby Green, and Wendy Baranello, and he has also studied in workshops with Elise Browning Miller, Karin Stephan, Sri H. S. Arun, Jaki Nett, Simone Inns, Rita Manos-Lewis, Cator Shachoy, and Kevin Gardiner. He has also assisted Deborah Wolk’s Yoga & Scoliosis class at Samamkaya since 2017. Jon is a former conductor and tuba player, and his interest in bodywork began during his Bachelor’s degree in Tuba Performance at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he studied the Alexander Technique with James Brody to help deal with the chronic pain associated with two childhood falls, and which became worse during the demanding schedule of a college music major. He has continued to study the Alexander Technique since 2004, primarily with Witold Fitz-Simon in NYC and Jerry Schweibert at the Conductor’s Retreat at Medomak. After completing his Master’s degree in Wind Conducting at Ithaca College, Jon attended massage school to be able to further study the body and to help people live with less pain. He has continued to study extensively, and has advanced training in working with transgendered clients and other members of the Q community, and clients with chronic pain and trauma issues. Visit to find out more about his bodywork practice.


Online! Spinal Traction with Bobby Clennell

Sunday, August 16 12:30-3:00pm EST $50 in advance/$55 within 24 hrs of event

We are so happy to welcome Bobby Clennell back for another virtual workshop! This workshop takes us into an asana practice that will elongate, lengthen and decompress your spine. We will also explore strategies to strengthen the back muscles, help improve and maintain healthy movement, improve overall posture, and re-educate how the back is used.

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.


 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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