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Workshops

TOPS offers a variety of workshops at the TOPS Studio in Vancouver and in various locations throughout North America and beyond. Our workshops provide a safe, non-judgmental space that is open to everyone. No previous experience is required. In an effort to include all, many of our workshop fees are open to sliding-scale payment based on the participant's need – please contact us about the workshop you're specifically interested in. 

Classes are led by TOPS associates who are experienced working with people with back issues, particularly scoliosis. Our team of associates includes yoga, Pilates and dance instructors, life coaches, physiotherapists, massage therapists, chiropractors and Tension and Trauma Release (TRE) providers.

 

Upcoming workshops:

 

Fall 2019 WorkshopS - NEW OFFERINGS FOR OCTOBER and december

Saturday, October 5th: 10:00am–1:00pm | @ HopBopShop TOPS Studio, 150 McLean Drive, 2nd floor, Vancouver, BC

Gentle Yoga and Introduction to Schroth Technique
with Martha Carter and guest, Hannah Weifels, from Germany

Therapeutic Movement for Back Care, Scoliosis and Spinal Fusions with a special introduction to Schroth technique by a young woman from Germany who has experienced tremendous benefits from this scoliosis-specific technique.

*****

Saturday, December 7th: 12:30pm–3:30pm | @ Om Prem Studio, 2442 Haywood Avenue, West Vancouver, BC

Gentle Yoga and Introduction to the Rope Wall (also know as the ‘Great Yoga Wall’) with Martha Carter

Therapeutic Movement for Back Care, Scoliosis and Spinal Fusions with a special focus on and use of the Yoga Wall for decompression, traction, relaxation, and optional inversions.

*****

Do you have a sore back?

Do you have scoliosis or a fusion from spinal fusion surgery?

Are you a yoga teacher or bodyworker who is interested in learning more about working with these conditions?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then these workshops are for you!

COST: $60 per workshop - or pre-register for BOTH workshops for only $100!


Seaview-Studio-Dock.jpg

fall classes at seaview studio:
’GENTLE YOGA WITH MARTHA CARTER’
Seaview Studio - Black Creek, Vancouver island, BC
every Tuesday & friday, SEPTEMBER 10–OCTOBER 18, 2019

Join Martha Carter and refresh your mind, body, and spirit at the beautiful Seaview Studio in Black Creek on Vancouver Island, BC.

SCHEDULE:

Tuesday September 10, 9:30am — 10:45am
Friday September 13, 9:30am — 10:45am

Tuesday September 17, 9:30am — 10:45am
Friday September 20, 9:30am — 10:45am

Note: NO CLASS on Tuesday September 24
Friday September 27, 9:30am — 10:45am

Tuesday October 1, 9:30am — 10:45am
Friday October 4, 9:30am — 10:45am

Tuesday October 8, 9:30am — 10:45am
Friday October 11, 9:30am — 10:45am

Tuesday October 15, 9:30am — 10:45am
Friday October 18, 9:30am — 10:45am

Feel free to drop in. Or email us for the address, to register in advance, or with any other enquiries. See you in the studio!

Cost: $10 suggested per class.
Pre-payment is not required.


BODY CARE ON THE BEACH
”the best vacation ever!”
With Martha Carter
Troncones, Mexico

February 29 - March 7, 2020

Looking for some rest, rejuvenation, and inspiration?

Come and join Martha Carter for a week of relaxing bodywork and movement exploration, giving special attention to lengthening and strengthening the spine. Taught in the beautiful beach studio of Yoga del Pacifico in Troncones, Mexico, it’s a perfect winter getaway, providing just the right balance of yoga, movement, nature, and fun! 

Martha's gentle approach, combining stretch yoga, somatics, and relaxation techniques, will rejuvenate your body and lift your spirit!

All levels welcome. No movement experience required.

Retreat includes: 

  • All classes

  • 7 nights accommodation, double occupancy in ocean-front rooms.

  • 2 catered meals (brunch and dinner) per day, plus morning snacks.

  • Return transportation from Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo (ZIH) airport.


ACCOMMODATIONS:
Participants will stay in beautiful beachfront palapas at Los Raqueros, just a 5-10 minute walk from Yoga del Pacifico where classes will be held. The villa has direct access to ocean swimming on Troncones beach, as well as a beach-side swimming pool.

Accommodation is shared, but there is the option of having a private room for an extra charge of $400 USD for the week. It is also possible to extend your stay on either end of the trip.

COST:
$1,750 USD - Full Retreat, Double Accommodation.
(Early Bird Rate: $1,650 USD on registrations by Nov. 25 - save $100!!)
Single accommodation available for an additional $400 USD for the week.
Participants are responsible for airfare to and from Ixtapa/Zihuatenejo airport. 


Yoga for Scoliosis - Part 1
with Elise Browning Miller
Vancouver, BC
September 11-13, 2020

Part 1: Friday Sept 11 (evening) to Sunday Sept 13 (late afternoon).
(exact times TBD)

We are bringing Senior Certified Iyengar Teacher Elise Browning Miller into Vancouver for a special 3-day Yoga for Scoliosis workshop. This is Elise's sixth visit to teach in BC and she has inspired and trained many local TOPS associates in Yoga for Scoliosis.

Thrilled to announce we’ll be hosting this workshop at the gorgeous Om Prem Studio in West Vancouver!

These workshops are designed for students with scoliosis at all levels and stages; they are also great for yoga teachers who are seeking to expand their knowledge.

  • COST by Registration Deadline (JUNE 8, 2020): $375 CAD +tax (workshop only)

  • COST after deadline (provided space remaining): $395 CAD +tax (workshop only)

Anyone needing accommodation in Vancouver, feel free to email us. If you are interested in Airbnb sharing with others, let us know, and we can help to arrange.


FUSION RETREAT
WITH MARTHA CARTER (and special guest, AHAVA SHIRA)
BLACK CREEK, VANCOUVER ISLAND
JUNE 5-8, 2020

This workshop will be held in beautiful Black Creek on the West Coast of Canada. MAP

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN.

ABOUT THE RETREAT

Designed for those with surgically corrected spines, this inspiring 4-day retreat empowers participants to connect with their bodies and help overcome spinal discomfort. Martha’s comforting approach will assist participants with increasing mobility, improving alignment, and reducing stiffness from surgery. 

Ahava is passionate about creating safe spaces for authentic expression. During the retreat, she will spend a few hours guiding participants through the four practices of Writing Alone Together to help us explore our unique and common stories of fusion. Through our writing and sharing, we will become compassionate witnesses for ourselves and each other. Our conversation will centre around the questions:

  • How do we come home to the crooked beauty of our bodies?

  • How can we thrive in a body with a fused spine?

Relax and unwind on beautiful Vancouver Island while finding new sensation and awareness in the whole body!

ABOUT THE DESTINATION
The retreat will be held between Campbell River and Black Creek at the beautiful seaside wellness centre, Ocean Resort. Perched on the stunning coast of Vancouver Island, participants will stay in ocean-view rooms while enjoying delicious meals made from the best local ingredients. Participants may also choose to take advantage of the on-site spa which offers massage, healing treatments, a sauna, and more. The beautiful retreat setting has been chosen to allow people time to ‘treat' themselves to an escape in nature where they can come together to share stories, meet new friends with similar issues, and learn ways to help themselves.

ABOUT MARTHA CARTER
From Vancouver, Canada, Martha Carter is the Director of Marta Marta Productions, and Twisted Outreach Project (TOPS). A certified Yoga Teacher, she holds a BA in Music, an MFA in Dance and teaches both dance, yoga and Stretch for Scoliosis in Vancouver and beyond. As a progression of Martha Carter's ongoing training in Hatha Yoga and Yoga for Scoliosis, Fusion Yoga has evolved from Martha’s desire to find ease and mobility in her own fused spine. Based on Iyengar Yoga and Elise Browning Miller’s approach to Yoga for Scoliosis, Martha adds her own personal experience with Harrington Rods to specifically address spinal fusion, instrumentation and how it affects the whole body.

ABOUT AHAVA SHIRA
Ahava Shira is a poet, writer and multimedia performer who has been exploring the liberating power of creativity for over 30 years. Ahava wore a brace for 4 years during her adolescence before having spinal fusion surgery at 17, fusing her spine from L1 to T3. Her memoir-in-progress, Curve, is about her journey to free herself from anxiety, fears and other physical and emotional patterns inherited from childhood and to embrace the beauty and serenity of the present moment.

Author of a book of poetry and a spoken word CD, Ahava is co-author of Writing Alone Together: Journalling in a Circle of Women for Creativity, Compassion and Connection. She lives on Salt Spring Island where she keeps her body strong and resilient through dance, hiking and her practice of Yoga for Scoliosis.


 

YOGA FOR SCOLIOSIS AND THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
WITH DEBORAH WOLK
SALT SPRING ISLAND, BC
Summer 2020 (dates to be announced in fall 2019)

This workshop will be held on beautiful Salt Spring Island on the West Coast of Canada. MAP

ABOUT THE RETREAT
Exploring how scoliosis affects the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.

Deborah is currently fleshing out the details of the fabulous topic and focus for this retreat! Stay tuned for updates.

This retreat workshop will be for all levels, as well as for students with spinal fusions. Teachers who work with students who have scoliosis are also encouraged to attend.

ABOUT THE DESTINATION
Salt Spring Island is known as the largest and most popular of the many gulf islands on the west coast of Canada. With its spectacular coastal and pastoral scenery, the island offers many outdoor activities, as well as the opportunity to explore dozens of artist studios and artisanal farms and markets. The workshop will be held at the wonderful Salt Spring Centre of Yoga. Salt Spring Island is a quick float plane ride from Vancouver International Airport. Or you can arrive via a stunning ferry ride from Vancouver or Victoria.

ABOUT DEBORAH WOLK
Having practiced yoga for her own scoliosis since 1994, Deborah has found that alignment-based yoga can control back pain and arrest the progression of the curvature and twist. In January 2015, Deborah founded Samamkaya Yoga Back Care and Scoliosis Collective in New York City – the only Yoga Center specializing in back care and scoliosis operating as a workers’ cooperative in the world! Deborah’s yoga teaching is inspired by her mentors, Elise Browning Miller, Bobbie Fultz, Genny Kapuler, Karin Stephan and Donald Moyer, and by therapeutic practices observed at medical classes at The Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI) in Pune, India. Her understanding of the organs is supported by ongoing study of Experiential Anatomy with Genny Kapuler and through her work with teacher Rachel Lynch-John in Body-Mind Centering techniques, a study she loves as much as Yoga itself. Deborah Wolk is certified by IAYT.