Neuroscience | Psychology | Trauma Sensitivity
Anatomy | Adjustments


Friday, August 11th - Friday, August 18th, 2017
50 CEU’s available from The Yoga Sequence (500 hour RYS, Yoga Alliance)

with Ambyr D’Amato
teacher trainer at Loom Yoga, The Standard Hotel, Miami

and Ralph De La Rosa
therapist, meditation teacher training mentor at MNDFL

at Won Dharma Center
Catskills Mountains, NY


A weeklong deep dive into the science of meditation, the art of guiding healing experiences, the mechanics of the body, and supercharging your teaching path


In the meditation module you’ll learn how meditation works from an integrative East-West perspective, techniques and modalities for structuring solid meditations and talks, how trauma works (both the everyday kind and the PTSD kind) and what to do with it in meditation, and evidence-based breathwork practices for rewiring the nervous system. You’ll receive individualized attention and be given a supportive atmosphere for practicing your new skills, solid advice on shaping your career, as well as post-retreat practicum and individualized feedback from Ralph on post-retreat teaching endeavors.


Go deeper into your own body as a yoga practitioner or teacher with hands-on adjustments, the anatomy behind them, discussion about when to use them, as well as time to practice them. Learn and receive delicious thai yoga bodywork and assisted stretching to nourish and prepare the physical body for meditation.


The Won Dharma Center is set on 400 rural acres, with walking trails that offer breathtaking views of the Catskills Mountains, open meadows and cascading brooks. They serve Korean vegetarian food that is wholesome, nutritious and delicious. The guest residences are simple but elegant and eco-friendly. You can choose between a private room, double room (you can choose your roommate if you are traveling with someone), or quad room. Accommodation fees range from $1075 to $1800 depending on room selection, and include all meals. The Won Dharma Center is about 2.5 hours away from NYC via train and short taxi ride.







Meditation Module One

Touching the Earth:
History of Meditation and Mindfulness

  • The Buddha’s story and the orthodox approach
  • How meditation developed after the Buddha
  • How meditation came to the West and why that matters
  • The neuroscience of mindfulness

The Body Is the Mind:
The Emergent Somatic Emphasis in Meditation

  • The neuroscience of embodiment and what modern mindfulness is missing

  • How to practice in an embodied manner

  • Fruition: the desirable reality attention on the body leads to


Interlocking Mandalas:
Understanding the Three Families of Buddhist Meditation From the Inside Out

  • Mindful presence and Insight: Shamatha-vipashyana

  • Awakening the Heart: Maitri

  • Compassion: Tonglen


Meditation Module Two

How You Breathe is How You Feel:
Breathwork and Pranayama

  • How to teach:

    • Setting the breath in its natural rhythmNinefold clearing

    • Twelvefold belly breathing

    • Three-part breath

    • Measured breathing practices

  • And how they function differently to bring about psycho-somatic results


How You Do Anything is How You Do Everything:
The Psychology of Meditation   

  • How the breath reflects your unresolved emotional material and traumas

  • How our traumas manifest in our teaching paths

  • How to effectively work with nervousness, imposter syndrome, and limiting beliefs that hold you back in your teaching career


Trauma Sensitivity

  • How to guide students with PTSD

  • How hurts are healed appropriately in meditation

  • Rudimentary “parts work” for guiding students into difficult emotions safely


Meditation Module Three

Structuring a Meditation:
Integrating Psychology, Neuroscience, and Traditional Philosophy Into the Mechanics of a Guided Practice

  • How a meditation should begin, why it matters, and various techniques

  • What matters most in the middle of a meditation and why

  • Endings: Why endings matter more than anything else, and techniques for making an impact


Connecting Dots:
The Art of a Dharma Talk

  • Accruing material to speak about

  • Structuring: ground path, fruition


Putting It All Together

  • Supervised student-led meditations and feedback


Ongoing mentorship (not included in the retreat package) is available

Post-training Practicum

  • Record three meditations of 10 mins or longer in a live setting in submit them for review within one month of the program

  • Hold one class one hour in length or longer (public or private) within three months of completing the course

  • Participate in a weekend retreat of your choosing within 6 months of the program


Required Reading
Touching Enlightenment – Reggie Ray
The Body Keeps the Score – Bessel van der Kolk
A Path with Heart – Jack Kornfield

Optional Reading
Hardwiring Happiness – Rick Hanson
The Places That Scare You – Pema Chödrön


Yoga Module One: Art of Touch


  • when to adjust, how much pressure, etc

  • new adjustments to learn and experience


Trauma Sensitive Adjustments

  • trauma sensitive touch (how to use cuing instead of touch to “adjust”, how to ask for consent to touch in an inclusive way)


Thai Yoga Stretching / Partner Exercises

  • learn how to give a short Thai yoga massage to a friend or client

  • develop more sensitivity through touch

  • how to properly integrate your own body as the teacher into an adjustment (to keep a healthy back, how to adjust people bigger than you etc)


Yoga Module Two: Yoga for Everybody

  • Learn how to use anatomy to modify poses for different body types

  • Practical application of anatomy in yoga


Business Beside the Mat

  • Ethics and self care practices for teachers and healers


Yoga Off the Mat

  • Brainstorming ways to bring healing to communities in need


About the Instructors

Ambyr D’Amato, E-RYT 500

Ambyr D'Amato loves to laugh, teach, sing, and learn. She desires to offer a sense of inclusivity in her alignment-based classes as well as an offering to design poses to compliment different body types.

Ambyr has been a massage therapist since 2002, teaching yoga since 2005, and enjoys leading yoga teacher trainings, anatomy workshops, and retreats all over the world. She has been featured in Yoga Journal, Yoga International, Miami New Times, on the cover of Kripalu’s yoga catalog, and on the Find out more about her yoga or music at


Ralph De La Rosa

Ralph is a psychotherapist, meditation instructor, and the author of a forthcoming book about working with trauma in meditation (Shambhala Publications, 2018). He is a mentor to trainees in MNDFL's meditation teacher training program, and a regular contributor to Susan Piver's online community, The Daily Dharma Gathering His work has been featured in Elephant Journal, GQ, SELF, Women's Health, MindBodyGreen, Bustle, Wanderlust, Embodied Philosophy, TimeOut NY, AFAR, and New York Yoga + Life Magazine.

Ralph is a summa cum laude graduate of Fordham University's Graduate School of Social Services. He specializes in helping people to safely access the depths of their emotional lives in order to work directly (and quickly) to resolve the source of their troubles. He is trained in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT), and his work incorporates psychoanalytic, somatic, and mindfulness-based approaches.

In 2008, Ralph started Rebel Heart Meditation, a weekly class that blends meditation, psychology, and neuroscience to form discussion about the transformative potential of our messy modern lives. He is a certified yoga instructor, having also trained in Breathwork and Reiki.

Ralph began practicing meditation in 1996 and has taught meditation since 2008. He was a student of Amma's for16 years and has studied Buddhism since 2005. He is currently a student within both the Shambhala and Dharma Ocean lineages of Tibetan Buddhism.

Ralph lives in Brooklyn with his two cats, Emma Goldman and Henry.

Free streaming meditations at