Issue 25

Winter/2009

LifeForce Yoga

There are some wonderful new books that arrived on my desk in time for gift-giving season. Reading them this month has been a gift I’ve given myself. I’ve been reading books about Yoga and chronic pain, the neuroscience of happiness, and integrating mindfulness into pyschotherapy by new authors, most of them psychologists (and one neurologist) with Yoga and meditation practices. Reviewed below are books by Kelly McGonigal, PhD, Shauna Shapiro, PhD and Linda Carlson, PhD, Rick Hanson, PhD and Richard Mendius, MD.

And I’m delighted to welcome my Yoga colleague from Canada, pain management expert Niel Pearson, who has contributed a review about a book he feels is important for health practitioners and yoga teachers, written by an author who lives with chronic pain.

Along with reviews, you’ll find brief summaries of current research that underscores the potential benefits of applying Yoga therapeutics to a diversity of populations.

I’m happy to let you know that my new CD, LifeForce Yoga Chakra Clearing Meditation for Mood Management is available on-line as of today. More info about this album is featured in the column on the right. Included on this CD is an alternative practice for high states of anxiety and a discussion of the psychological aspects of the chakras. I’ll be leading a workshop based on the CD at the first annual Virtual Yoga Conference in February. More details about this conference will follow when we have them.

By the time you receive this we may be sold out for the LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training in Tucson (Jan 11 – 17th). If you’ve been waiting and have decided you would like to come, please call Rose right away to see if there’s still space. 520 349-2644. For details about the training, please go to training.html.

Blessings on blessing the waves rolling through the ocean of your life ~ ripples of loss and of abundance, of weakness and of strength, of grief and of joy, and of gratitude without regret this holiday season!

A warm namasté,

Amy

RESEARCH: YOGA BREATHING AND MENTAL HEALTH

Yoga Breathing, Meditation, and Longevity

Richard P. Brown and Patricia L. Gerbarg

New York Academy of Sciences

From both an historical and scientific perspective, Drs. Richard Brown and Patricia Gerbarg have written an article that underscores the effectiveness of Yogic breath work, not only for health and well being, and the traditional goal of enlightenment, but they also cite evidence for the treatment of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and for victims of mass disasters. “By inducing stress resilience,” say the authors, “breath work enables us to rapidly and compassionately relieve many forms of suffering.”

For most of the evidence, the authors examine the extensive studies that have been done on the breathing practices taught by the Art of Living Foundation, which include three-stage slow resistance breathing (Ujjayi or Victory Breath), bellows breath, chanting “om,” and Sudarshan Kriya (cyclical breathing). However, by extrapolating from the common elements within the variety of breathing practices taught in Tibetan and Yogic tradition, they are able to suggest that “the study of the separate and combined effects of yoga practices enriches our understanding of the impact of yoga practices on the self-repair and self-regulatory systems that may increase longevity, resilience, and quality of life.”

I highly recommend this article for its depth and understanding of traditionally understood outcomes as well as the scientific implications of pranayama breathing practices.

The article is now available at:

www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122580585/abstract

Here is the complete citation;

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Aug;1172:54-62.

RESEARCH: FOOD EFFECTS MOOD

According to an article in the most recent issue of in the British Journal of Psychiatry, people who eat a diet laden with processed and high-fat foods are significantly more likely to get depressed, according to new research. Nearly 3,500 people participated in the five-year study. Those who reported suffering depressive symptoms were more likely to have a high consumption of sweetened desserts, fried foods, processed meats, refined grains and high-fat dairy products. “Our results suggest that consuming fruits, vegetables and fish may afford protection against the onset of depressive symptoms,” said Dr Tasnime Akbaraly, co-author of the report and a nutritional epidemiologist.

Observing the effect of diet in my own life and the lives of my family members and students, I have drawn similar conclusions. I’ve watched people I love be propelled into manic episodes by low-carb, high protein diets, and episodes of major depression after binges on sweets and processed carbs. This is just one reason I’ve invited my friend Jack Challem, author of The Food Mood Solution, to teach with me at Kripalu in April.

www.kripalu.org

RESEARCH: ANXIETY & MORTALITY

Dutch researchers report in the current issue of the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology on a 10-year follow-up study of over 5,000 healthy women aged 46-54. Anxiety was associated with a 77% increase in mortality rate from all causes. This important finding truly underscores the importance of addressing high anxiety levels. Some anxiety is normal really. We’ve evolved to be vigilant about self-protection. But according to this study, our hyper-vigilance can kill us. Yogic practices, including various forms of meditation, relaxation and yogic sleep, can be the natural antidote, and may therefore, extend our lives, certainly making them more meaningful, while we’re still on the planet.

Calendar Highlights

Desert Redemptorist Center

Tucson, AZ (January 11 – 17, 2010)

LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training for Depression & Anxiety ~ Level 1

This is a certification training for yoga teachers and health professionals. Training Information: www.yogafordepression.com/training.html

Faculty Information: www.yogafordepression.com/faculty.html

Registration Information: www.yogafordepression.com/Training_Registration.html

University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ (January 16, 2010)

9th Annual Women’s Mental Health Symposium

Amy will be giving a talk on the benefits of LifeForce Yoga in a clinical setting.

www.psychiatry.arizona.edu/html/programs/wmhp/2010symposium.htm

Kripalu

Lenox, MA (January 29 – 3, 2010)

LifeForce Yoga to Manage Your Mood

During this weekend workshop, led by Amy and assisted by LifeForce Yoga Practitioners, you will learn valuable techniques to lift and balance your mood.

www.kripalu.org/presenter/28

SunTan Center

St. Petersburg, FL (February 7, 2010)

LifeForce Yoga to Manage Your Mood

10am – 5pm, Amy leads an all day LifeForce Yoga intensive where you will learn tools to lift and balance your mood.

www.yogafordepression.com/2010_St_Pete_FL.pdf

Yoga Hub

Your Home – Internationally (February 21, 2010)

Yoga Hub 1st Annual Virtual Conference

Amy will be leading a virtual workshop based on the new CD “LifeForce Yoga Chakra Clearing Meditation” called Giving the Mind a Bone: Meditations for Mood Management. Time to be announced.

To receive a special $100 savings use the coupon code AMY219.

www.yogahub.com/go2.php?c=AFF-Amyw

University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ (March 13 – 14, 2010)

Tucson Festival of Books

Amy will be giving a one hour presentation followed by a book signing, Saturday March 13, 4 – 5:30pm, Chemistry Building (on the Main Mall), Room 134, General Admission is Free.

www.tucsonfestivalofbooks.org

Divine Yoga Center

Dallas, TX (March 19 – 21, 2010)

LifeForce Yoga to Manage Your Mood

This weekend will help you cultivate the compassionate inner space that allows you to embrace life’s challenges with a peaceful mind and a courageous heart.

www.divinecenterofyoga.com/events.htm#amy-weintraub

2010 Integrative Medicine Mental Health Conference

Phoenix, AZ (March 22 – 24, 2010)

LifeForce Yoga: Empower Your Clients to Manage Their Moods

Amy will be leading a seminar on the application of Yogic techniques in clinical settings.

www.integrativemedicine.arizona.edu/events/conferences.html

Psychotherapy Networker Symposium

Washington, DC (March 25 – 28, 2010 )

Amy will be leading an all day program on Thursday: “Embracing Our Polarities-A Day of Yoga,” a clinical presentation during the conference, and will be the LifeForce Yoga® facilitator leading morning yoga and afternoon meditation.

www.psychotherapynetworker.org/symposium2010

Sivananda Ashram

Paradise Island, Nassau Bahamas (March 30 – 31, 2010)

Easter & Passover Symposium on Yoga and Sacred Healing

Amy will be leading a workshop on LifeForce Yoga during this Symposium on the effects of yoga therapy, sound healing, and mind body therapy on your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health.

www.sivanandabahamas.org/index.php?page_id=2091

Sivananda Ashram

Paradise Island, Nassau Bahamas (April 1 – 6, 2010)

LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training for Depression and Anxiety Level 1

This is a certification training for yoga teachers and health professionals. If you are not a yoga teacher or mental health professional, but have taken at least one LifeForce Yoga weekend program, please consult with Amy for permission to attend.

www.sivanandabahamas.org/index.php?page_id=2017

Yoga Flow

Tucson, AZ (April 17, 2010)

LifeForce Yoga to Manage Your Mood

1:00pm – 5:30pm, Amy will be leading an all day LifeForce Yoga intensive assisted by LifeForce Yoga Practitioners on Yogic techniques that you can use to benefit your mood.

www.yogaflowtucson.com

Kripalu

Lenox, MA (April 23 – 25, 2010)

Manage Your Mood with Food and LifeForce Yoga

Amy teaches with well-known nutrition reporter and author of the Food Mood Solution, Jack Challem,

www.foodmoodsolution.com.

www.kripalu.org/presenter/28

for Amy’s complete calendar of events:

www.yogafordepression.com/calendar.html

REVIEW: YOGA FOR PAIN RELIEF

Yoga For Pain ReliefYoga for Pain Relief: Simple Practices to Calm Your Mind & Heal Your Chronic Pain (New Harbinger Publications, 2009)

By Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D.; Foreword by Timothy McCall, M.D.

Kelly McGonigal has written a bible of a book for anyone suffering from chronic pain and for those who treat them. Yoga for Pain Relief is full of the insight of a yoga teacher-psychologist who has helped many ameliorate their suffering with the wisdom offered here. Drawing upon a holistic foundation of mind-body science, the author shows how the ancient philosophy and the practices of Yoga add a spiritual dimension that can address the imbalances inherent in chronic pain. McGonigal tells the stories of a number of students whose physical pain was moderated and even eliminated by the practices in this book.

The physical movements are adapted for both chair and floor and are illustrated with clear pictures and simple, easy to follow instructions. But this is far from being simply a book about asana, pranayama and meditation, all of which are covered in clear and lyrical prose. The reader is drawn by Kelly’s engaging voice, the evidence she provides and the stories she tells, to read this book from cover to cover. Included are guidelines for reflection, self-inquiry, and simple ways to approach pain with a friendly curiosity, that can not only lessen physical symptoms, but lead to greater self-awareness. The lessons provided have application to all the ways in which we suffer, including anxiety and depression.

Even Yoga teachers can be guilty of ignoring their aches and pains. Through one of the many exercises in self-inquiry, this one called “Forgiving Your Pain,” I learned to “befriend” my right hip and my pain diminished. It is clear that McGonigal is a gifted and compassionate teacher. Chapter by chapter, I found myself loving this book, this teacher, and my own body a little more.

Click here to order

Review: The Art and Science of Mindfulness

The Art and Science of MindfulnessThe Art and Science of Mindfulness: Integrating Mindfulness into Psychology and the Helping Professions

By Shauna L. Shapiro and Linda E. Carlson, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn (American Psychological Association, 2009)

“Heart and mind are the same word in Asian languages. Therefore, perhaps a more accurate translation of mindfulness …is heartfulness, which underlines the importance of including “heart” qualities in the attentional practice of mindfulness.” The Art and Science of Mindfulness has within it a treasure trove of such “ah-ha” moments for the reader. Whether you currently integrate mindfulness into your personal or professional life, this book will inspire and support your practice, both with your clients and for your own self-care. The insights arise from the hundreds of research studies referenced here, the Nondual wisdom of Buddhism, and the wisdom inherent in those who walk their talk, as the authors clearly do. In language that is both poetic and clear, Shapiro and Carlson, renowned researchers and clinically trained psychologists who direct academic programs and mindfulness trainings in the United States and Canada, outline the benefits and application of mindfulness meditation practice in a number of clinical applications.

The scope of the book is broad, including case studies, the most current scientific data on the effects of mindfulness practice on mental cognition, emotional regulation and physical wellbeing, the application of mindfulness in a multitude of therapeutic modalities for a variety of diagnostic categories, pauses for the reader’s own self-inquiry and reflection, and a walk-through of the practices themselves. The authors have developed a mindfulness model for self and others composed of three basic elements-intention, attention and attitude-and provide the tools so that the reader grasps with ease how the three “are interwoven aspects if a single cyclical process…informing and feeding back on each other.” This is a must-read for anyone who works as a healing professional with individuals and wants to support them mindfully-“by paying attention on purpose and with acceptance.” (J. Kabat Zinn, 1990, quoted in The Art and Science of Mindfulness.)

Click here to order.

Review: Buddha’s Brain

Buddha’s BrainBuddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom (New Harbinger Publications, 2009)

By Rick Hanson, Ph.D. and Richard Mendius, MD

Foreword by Daniel J, Siegel, MD

Preface by Jack Kornfield, Ph.D.

Appendix by Jan Hanson, L.Ac.

Learning from contemplatives, both lay and monastic, whose brains are now the subject of laboratory study, the authors build a case for sustaining happiness through meditative practice. Consider this: If we can get our left prefrontal cortex to light up with gamma waves the way a Tibetan monk’s brain shines in Richard Davidson’s laboratory at the University of Wisconsin, without spending a lifetime in a monastery, then following the prescriptions in the second half of this book could boost our happiness and save a lot of money on antidepressants. This is the basic premise of Buddha’s Brain, and the authors set the foundation by teaching us a bit of neuroscience 101. In fact, as a non-medically-trained reader with an avid interest in the brain, I’ve perused a number of books on brain science, and Buddha’s Brain is the best I’ve found. With excellent diagrams and simple, clear, prose the authors explain how the choices we make, not only effect our minds, but can actually change our brains.

Hanson and Mendius suggest evidence-based practices that activate and stabilize “brain states that underlie wholesome mental states.” The aim of this book is not only to stabilize wholesome mental states, through evidence-based practices, but to help the reader use brain science to “travel far and well…upon the path of awakening.” This doesn’t mean that the authors think we need to be fixed, but rather that awakening is twofold. It’s both “transforming the mind/brain (…by gradually building new neuronal structures…) and uncovering the wonderful true nature that was there all along.”

We learn that a modicum of anxiety is a default mental state for most of us. Certainly running away from large beasts was necessary for survival, or as the authors put it, for “passing on our genes.” The authors remind us that we’re programmed to remember the negative. Again, this is for survival-to avoid the painful. “We’ve evolved,” say the authors, “to pay great attention to unpleasant experiences.” Hanson and Mendius offer a three-step “Internalizing the Positive” process for balancing our brain’s preference for “registering, storing, recalling and reacting to unpleasant experiences.”

The second part of the book provides practical, easily applicable strategies for activating the parasympathetic nervous system, thereby tilting “your body, brain and mind toward inner peace and well being.” It turns out that these strategies can actually increase gray matter in areas of the brain that manage your ability to pay attention with compassionate self-awareness.

Finally, Jan Hanson supplies a useful nutritional appendix for literally feeding your brain with diet and supplements.

Buddha’s Brain offers many useful lessons that extend beyond the meditation cushion for developing and sustaining a happy brain and mind.

Click here to order.

Review: Inside Chronic Pain

Inside Chronic PainInside Chronic Pain: An Intimate and Critical Account

Lous Heshusius; David B. Morris (Foreword); Scott M. Fishman (Clinical Commentary), Cornell Press 2009.

Review by Neil Pearson, MSc, BScPT, RYT500

Inside Chronic Pain is a rare and powerful book that forces us to look deeply into the human aspects of chronic pain.

Heshusius opens the introduction with the line, “How do you put hell on paper?” This sets the tone of this inside view into the experience of injury and pain medicine within the Canadian health care system. Her isolation, loneliness and despair will be shocking to many readers. Heshusius opens to view a wider view of how our well-meaning yet misguided view of pain and people in pain can make their experiences more difficult. She also explains in detail aspects of the (unfortunately few) positive interactions with health care professionals.

Each chapter includes many research citations. Readers with experience in pain medicine will realize that Heshusius’ writing provides a keen insight into not only her pain experience, but that of many people in pain.

The book ends with a Clinical Commentary by Scott Fishman, MD. Here we are provided a clinical perspective of the field of pain medicine. Dr. Fishman is an anesthesiologist and American Pain Foundation president. He discusses how the field of medicine needs to move forward to not only treat the pain and the disease processes, but also care for the person in pain with attention to their quality of life.

I recommend this book to those working in the area of pain science and pain management, as well as the family members and care givers of the patients whom they serve. Heshusius’ writing will help us open our hearts as well as guiding us to question our beliefs and attitudes to people in pain.

Neil Pearson, MSc, BScPT, BA-BPHE, CYT, RYT500, is a physical therapist, yoga therapist and Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia. He is founding Chair of the Canadian Physiotherapy Pain Science Division, and travels internationally teaching health care professionals, people in pain and yoga teachers about pain science and pain management. Neil is about to release the first of three Yoga DVDs to help people with chronic pain – Overcome Pain with Gentle Yoga. www.lifeisnow.ca.

Click here to order.

MEDIA MENTION: Absolute Beginner Yoga (DVD)

by Joanne Spence, ERYT 500, LFYP-2

JoanneJoanne Spence, Executive Director of Yoga in the Schools, a nonprofit corporation that began bringing yoga into the Pittsburgh Public Schools several years ago and now does so nationally, has released a DVD for beginners. It’s divided into short sequences of practice that can be done individually or as an entire flow that begins and ends lying down. The video was shot at Yoga on the Square, the studio she directs in Pittsburgh’s East End, so visuals are of the poses themselves with inserts demonstrating more challenging versions. Joanne’s voice is soothing and her language is engaging and creative. A portion of the proceeds will go to Yoga in the Schools. www.absolutebeginneryoga.com

Two Training Programs of Interest!

INTERNAL FAMILY SYSTEMS

This model of psychotherapy, developed by Richard Schwartz, PhD, works beautifully with the LifeForce Yoga practices. ww.selfleadership.org

LAUGHTER YOGA

January 30-31, 2010

Gita (Jill) Fendelman, a Kripalu-certified Hatha Yoga teacher for over 30 years, who has trained with and been certified by Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of the World Laughter Movement, will be offering a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader Training, January — in Tucson, Arizona.

Here’s what Gita says about the training:

Laughter reduces stress, enhances the immune system, helps manage pain and often relieves depression. Learn the many benefits of laughter, how to make a living teaching Laughter Yoga, market your services, start and run a laughter club.

For more information about this training, or others throughout the US, visit:

www.laughteryogawithgita.com 520-777-7544

(For the past two years, Gita has been a big hit at the Tucson LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training Level 1. She’s returning to the January, 2010 training to offer a session of Laughter Yoga.)

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What People Say

“Amy Weintraub shows how to use yoga as a resource for psychological healing and personal growth. Her methods are grounded in ancient wisdom, informed by modern science, and eminently practical for reducing anxiety, lifting mood, and improving self-regulation. She is a master teacher, and her skills and heart are woven throughout this new classic for therapists, clients, and anyone interested in inner strength and peace.” — Rick Hanson, Ph.D. author of Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom
“Amy helped me find powerful personal images that fit perfectly into my short stories, and she helped me find a process to release my inner voice.” — Mark Heasley, Troy, Michigan
“The pieces I wrote in Amy’s workshop are the best I’ve done. She brought out my confidence in myself and the best in my writing.” — Amy Wray, Iowa City, Iowa
“Amy was just what I needed. Her values & thoughts & way of speaking stirred deep “hidden pockets” that need to be cleaned out. I’m glad I came. I know it will change my life.” — Sue Carlson, seamstress, Ayer, MA
“As a teacher of yoga, Amy Weintraub has continually reinforced my longtime belief in the strong connection of mind-body-spirit. For the past three years, I have benefited, both personally and professionally (I am a clinical social worker), from Amy's supportive and competent guidance in yoga. Because of Amy's influence, I often recommend the practice of yoga to friends and clients.” — Dory Martin, CISW, Tucson, AZ
“I have gained an incredible opening and clearing of old obstructions. I hope to return to my life and fill this opening with things I love to do and that give me joy!” — Lisa Shine, administrative assistant, Ballston Lake, NY
“It is not just Amy’s yoga classes that have added richness to my life as both a yoga student and a yoga therapist, it is more importantly how she integrates and exudes yoga into her daily life that is inspirational for me.  While I have been the beneficiary of her thoughtful, well constructed and emotionally well tuned yoga classes, I have also received her wit and wisdom through informal, "off-the-mat" interaction as well.  In both cases, I have been able to tune into myself at a deeper level and feel more successful in my practice as a result of her care-full teaching and living.” — JJ (Jesse) Lee, owner, Body & Soul Fitness Training, Reno, Nevada
“Giving my clients a strategy and permission to quiet their minds and rebalance the sympathetic nervous system has been very beneficial to them and in our work together.” — Sue Dilsworth, PhD, RYT 200, LFYP, Allendale, MI
“Amy is extensively trained in many schools of Yoga. This allows her to provide a wide variety of information from which the student can choose. Amy knows that what benefits a student is a unique ‘recipe.’ She is a loving and kind teacher. As a colleague, I love to attend her classes!” — K.H., Yoga Teacher, Tucson, AZ
“In the compassionate voice of someone who definitely knows the territory of depression, Amy Weintraub presents Yoga science and personal stories, research results and poetry, and practice instructions that are genuinely interesting in this very readable book that is both comprehensive and totally inspiring.” — Sylvia Boorstein, author of That’s Funny You Don’t Look Like a Buddhist and It’s Easier Than You Think: The Buddhist Way to Happiness
“Research now validates what yoga adepts have claimed for thousands of years: Yoga practices profoundly affect our state of heart and mind! Drawing on her wisdom and notable expertise, Amy Weintraub guides us in bringing this ancient science of healing into clinical settings. Yoga Skills for Therapists is both practical and inspiring; it will allow you to offer the precious gifts of yoga to your clients and deepen the roots of your own practice as well.” — Tara Brach, Ph.D., author of Radical Acceptance (Bantam, 2003.)
“With a specific emphasis on managing mood, Amy’s book delivers dynamic insights and yoga-based practices that she has refined over decades of first-hand experience working with clients, students, and therapists, that relax, focus, and reduce the symptoms and causes of anxiety, depression, and stress, as well as prepare the mind and body for the integrative work of psychotherapy.” — Richard Miller, Ph.D., author, Yoga Nidra: The Meditative Heart of Yoga, President, Integrative Restoration Institute.
“I learned lots of ways to reduce the anxiety and depression of my patients and myself.” – Aviva Sinvany-Nubel, PhD, APN, CNSC, RN, psychotherapist, Bridgewater, N.J.
“As a Yoga teacher, Amy Weintraub’s most outstanding quality is her kindness. I have seen her work often with very challenging students and always maintain her attitude of patience and compassion. She provides a safe and enriching class.” — Tom Beall, RYT 500, Yoga teacher, Tucson, AZ
“Amy is a treasure. Through her gentle and affirming teaching style, she helped me establish a yoga practice that has become a most satisfying and grounding aspect of my life. I was surprised by the depth of the experience and the enduring nature of the changes I enjoy through this practice.” — CA, journalist, videographer, Tucson, AZ
“Amy is a beautiful gift in my life! Her yoga offers a powerful blend of the practical and mystical. She has developed yogic solutions to many chronic health problems, and to many of the ways we habitually get stuck in our bodies and minds. Amy's yoga keeps me grounded and healthy, like the earth under my feet.” — Mary Driscoll, freelance writer and Ph.D., Southwest Institute for Research on Women, University of Arizona
“I feel profoundly transformed, both physically and emotionally. The connection between mind, body and spirit was clearly evident to me, but revealed to me through this workshop as an integrally vital link to overall health.” — Nadine Richardson, program manager at rehab agency, Monroe, CT
“I am indebted to Amy's Yoga instruction for teaching the part of me that had trouble letting go. My wife died almost two years ago, and I am now free of grief and other destructive thought-patterns. Since practicing Yoga with Amy, my meditation practice has gone to new dimensions.” — John deCoville, systems analyst, Tucson, AZ
“I had the pleasure of experiencing several private yoga sessions with Amy Weintraub, which were for me the most profoundly healing yoga experiences I’ve had.  Amy has the gift of not only being very skillful in helping me feel supported and "held" in yoga postures physically, but, also, the ability to use words to bring me more deeply into my own inner experience. I found myself releasing emotions that had been held in my body for a long time.  After the sessions, I had the experience of being much more at home within myself and much more present to my own inner experience. This was particularly important for me since I am a body-centered therapist who specializes in helping people get in touch with emotions held in the unconscious. Amy’s work is very important in a world where so little attention is given to one’s own inner experience. I’m grateful for having had the opportunity to experience the power of yoga with Amy.” — L.F. 44, Rosen Method Bodyworker Practitioner, Florence, MA
“I gained perspective of who I am in the world and this will change my life significantly.” — Mary Ford, artist, Southport, CT
“I had been on antidepressant medication for three years and had just been diagnosed with fibro myalgia when I began to work with Amy. She designed a sequence of postures and breathing exercises for me that I could practice at home. After four months, I was feeling much better, and after six months, I was able to stop antidepressants entirely. I still have low moods from time to time, but I know they will pass. Yoga has changed my life.” — C.L., 37, massage therapist, Sarasota, FL.
“Weintraub has written…a sensitive, intelligent, painstaking exploration of the deeper psychospiritual issues that make up the complex experience of depression.” — Phil Catalfo, Yoga Journal
“My experience in Amy’s classes for the past four years has been uplifting and powerful. I have found that the techniques she shares are powerfully effective for dispelling the dark clouds of negativity and hopelessness. But more than that, Amy brings us the ability to easily access the inner world where healing and self-understanding reside.” — Cynthia Athina Kemp Scherer, author, The Alchemy of the Desert and The Art and Technique of Using Flower Essences, Tucson, AZ
“Yoga Skills for Therapists brilliantly opens a door to the physical and spiritual layers of a client - one that therapists and counselors have been waiting to walk through. Its chapters unfold a unique and inspiring blend of ancient traditions and contemporary concerns. From a place of genuine respect, integrity and intention, Amy offers easily applied foundational yogic practices to enrich the therapeutic experience for both client and practitioner.” – Elissa Cobb, MA. Director of Programs, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy
“I began a fantasy during the meditation exercise... almost as if I’d been there. It’s now an on-going work of fiction.” — Serian Strauss, Tanzania
“I utilize the LFY techniques in both a class room setting and one-on-one environment. The skills have infused my teachings with compassion, mindfulness, and awareness.” — Kat Larsen, CYT, LFYP
“In this book, Amy Weintraub directly addresses the core of depression: the problem of Being itself, in the finest tradition of Yoga. Yoga for Depression is an astonishingly comprehensive guide to the art and science of Yoga. Herein lies a Yogic blueprint for how to be a human being, written by a compassionate and generous teacher.” — Stephen Cope, author of Yoga and the Quest for the True Self and The Wisdom of Yoga: A Seeker’s Guide to Extraordinary Living. Director of the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living
“I gained tools for working with my own depression and with my clients’ depressions.” — Robert Sgona, LCSW, RYT, psychotherapist, Yoga teacher, Camden, ME.
“I have been reminded that I am not on this path alone, that others are sharing the journey that sometimes seems so difficult. I have also been reminded of the importance of daily practice and I will do that. The whole program has been an incredible experience for me. Thank you!” — Lorraine Plauth, retired teacher, Voorheesville, NY
“Amy offers many guidelines and solutions through yoga, to both those who suffer from depression and to yoga teachers working with them.” — Angela Farmer, internationally known master Yoga teacher
“My life is already changed! I will use the tools I learned in my own practice and in my work. I feel safe and seen.” — Susan Andrea Weiner, MA, teacher/expressive arts facilitator, El Cerrito, CA.
“In this well-written and well-researched book Amy Weintraub provides therapists with simple, easy-to-apply but powerful, breathing, meditation, and hand gesture techniques that do not require a mat or body postures. Therapists can easily incorporate these techniques into their practices without otherwise having to change what they do, and clients can use them on their own. Thank you Amy for giving us access to this ancient healing wisdom.” — Richard C. Schwartz, Ph.D., developer, Internal Family Systems Therapy, author, Introduction to the Internal Family Systems Model
“I typically live in a state of future hope and past fear, both totally about stress. When I practice yoga, my life begins again. I look out of new eyes that are a lot more about life and self-esteem. Amy is the best yoga teacher I have had.” — Jaqui Gee, massage therapist, Tucson, AZ
“This program changed my life in a significant way. It helped me connect with the spirit which is something you can’t get from psychotherapy and medication.” – G. W., artist, Pittsburgh, PA
“My personal practice will change, as well as my yoga classes. I have a better understanding of yoga!” — Andrea Gattuso, RYT, Yoga Teacher, Hackettstown, N.J.
“I have found the pranayama (breathing practices) especially easy to introduce in a clinical setting. Some people have benefited quickly in unexpected and transformative ways.” — Liz Brenner, LICSW, LFYP, Watertown, MA
“I have realized how to go deeper into myself and find what is blocking me. I now can focus and clear my mind. Keep Amy! She is fantastic. She enabled me to release and find where I need to go.” — Kathy Myers, homemaker, State College, PA.
“Suffering from depression and chronic fatigue syndrome, I've tried medications, supplements, and many forms of traditional and nontraditional therapies without beneficial effects. While taking yoga classes with Amy at Kripalu, I noticed a definite shift in my consciousness, a reduction in stress, and an improvement in my well-being. Amy's classes have helped me to love and appreciate myself. Amy is an outstanding yoga teacher and in dealing with the fatigue and depression I experience, participation in her classes has been a real gift to my yoga practice and me.” — E. M., teacher, Lenox, MA
“I’ve worked with Amy’s Yogic sets for the last two years and they have literally transformed my emotional state. Amy takes me, step-by-step, through postures and breathing exercises that straighten out my emotional tangles. Practicing Yoga has positively affected my whole world.” — S.S., retired computer engineer, Cambridge, MA
“A client who returned said, "When I came before, you helped me understand and get where I wanted to go. Now you show me yoga practices I use to help myself understand and get where I want to go.” — Sherry Rubin, LCSW, BCD, LFYP, Downingtown, PA
“Amy’s 7 AM yoga class was a journey from darkness to light.  On each morning of practice the route is different.  She embodies the compassion that she writes about so well.” — JS, 48, biologist and writer, Tucson, AZ
“I came hoping to learn to move past some of the obstacles blocking my creativity. Over the course of this weekend, I feel I’ve gained a certain measure of faith in myself and in my ability to change. I also had some realizations that I believe will be very helpful to me. I feel encouraged. Both the content and presentation of this program were so well-thought out that I can’t think of any way to improve it.” — Andrea Gollin, writer & editor, Miami, FL
“Amy has a wonderful, powerful presence. Her energy radiated to the entire group. I feel better able to be who I am and to be compassionate toward myself in a new, loving, way.” — Suzanne Phelps-Weir, editor, Boston, MA
“This workshop has changed so much — my self-image and my life. My own heart’s desire is 100% clear. I gained tools to help myself and others to live life fully.” — Marcia Siegel, Yoga teacher, therapist, Carlsbad, CA.
“As a ‘regular’ in Amy’s 7 AM Mon/Wed/Fri. yoga class, I felt a strong attachment to Amy and her Yoga practice.  I have been with her for 2 1/2 years and I am 82 years old.  A few months back I had the flu and missed two classes; she came to my house to check on me.  I could not believe she did this with her busy schedule.  This is a testimonial to her caring for the individual.  Amy is very special to me and keeps me going.” — D.W., retired nurse, Tucson, AZ
“This is a book about integrating the mind and the body, about using movement to mend oneself; in a world obsessed with psychopharmacology, reading it was a refreshing reminder that, in some cases, the tools we have to cure depression reside not in a pill, but in our own bodies, if we are willing to try.” — Lauren Slater, author of Prozac Diary and Lying: A Metaphorical Memoir
“Amy’s teaching is enthusiastic and loving.  She guides me gently, harmoniously and confidently to a mindful state and encourages me to find my own strengths and edges.  With well-chosen language and carefully executed examples, she reminds me of my own inner healing knowledge.” — Penelope Simmons, artist, founder of Odyssey Storytelling, Tucson, AZ
“I have gained a softer heart, more receptive mind, and tools to enrich both personal and professional aspects of my life.” – Regina Trailweaver, LICSW, clinical social worker, Hancock, VT.
“In my private sessions with Amy, I learn, expand and heal, and I leave more vivid in every way. I rely on some of the exercises she teaches, throughout the day, to reenergize and rebalance.” — L.D., writer, Tucson, AZ
“A psychotherapist might spend many years studying yoga and still not achieve anything near this elegant, practical, powerful integration. The instruction — while emerging from a 4000-year-oldtradition some consider esoteric — is immediately useful for treating abroad range of mental health disorders, even for therapists with no other background in yoga. As a bonus, the book seamlessly weaves in indispensable related tools, such as imagery, self-suggestion, and mindfulness meditation. It is a fabulous resource.” — Donna Eden & David Feinstein, Ph.D., Co-authors, Energy Medicine and The Promise of Energy Psychology
“I have found the LFYP training to be incredibly useful in giving people specific tools to use in maintaining physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual balance, and further opening their intuitive abilities.” — Nancy Windheart, RYT-200, LFYP, Reiki Master, Animal communication teacher, Prescott, AZ
“Amy Weintraub's talent as a yoga instructor is surpassed only by her ability to inspire compassion and depth in each of her student's practice.” — LuAnn Haley, attorney, Tucson, AZ
“Words do not do justice to all that I learned. This workshop changed my life!” — Jen Nolan, Teacher, Cortland, NY
“I have tried a number of antidepressants and therapy to treat my chronic depression. When I began working privately with Amy, something shifted, and I saw that I could live from a place bigger and brighter than my depression. At first, I just felt better for a few hours after our work together. But after several months, I am feeling that those positive feelings — more energy, more optimistic, more flexible — are taking me through the days in between our sessions.” — KW, technical writer, Tucson, AZ
“I integrate strategies like mantra tones and pranayama, but above all I invite myself and those I teach to cultivate svadhyaya, to practice self-observation without judgment.” — Barbara Sherman, RYT 200, LFYP, Tucson, AZ
“This workshop helped me rededicate my energies and begin to work through some of the blocks I’ve felt creatively.” — Steve Mark, college professor, New Haven, CT
“Heal yourself with Yoga For Depression. I absolutely love this book and highly recommend it.” — Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D. Author of Meditation as Medicine
“Amy Weintraub’s work is some of the most important in our world today for helping humanity understand more deeply the significance of the mind-body connection. Her insights are inspirational for yoga teachers and all readers. Her in-depth understanding of her subject is an important basis for personal, as well as societal transformation.” — Rama Jyoti Vernon, Founder, American Yoga College, co-founder Yoga Journal
“My patients can now have the same effects as many medications without having to actually take medication!” — Deborah Lubetkin, PSY.D, LFYP, West Caldwell, NJ
“Amy is a wonderful instructor. She is a vital and vibrant person and she kept the program flowing. Her voice was very soothing and nurturing and she created an open, safe and sacred space.” — Mary Lou Tillinger, massage therapist/rural carrier, Plainfield, CT
“Amy’s gentle and caring presence blends beautifully with her skillful Yoga teaching talents.  I have enjoyed attending Amy’s unique class offerings for the past 4 years now.  As a practitioner and teacher of Yoga, I find that her style of teaching creates a safe place for me to deepen my own Yoga practice, free from the competitive "striving" attitudes found all too often in Yoga classes.  I have appreciated Amy’s strong focus on acceptance and presence and always leave her classes feeling happier, lighter and more centered in my true self.” — Janine Walter, Oriental Bodywork Therapist and Teacher, Tucson, AZ
“As a musician living with multiple spinal deformities, I have participated in many yoga classes lead by Amy Weintraub. I see Amy’s classes as very fluid, well-structured arrangements of poses, breathing exercises and vocalizations. Amy manages to pace her sessions and her voice at just the right tempo as to add focus and confidence to the students’ efforts. The systematic progression of movements in Amy’s classes naturally engages the student to go further and further within, tapping into the wellspring of their potential.” — Léo Gosseli, musician, Prescott, AZ
“Yoga Skills for Therapists is the ideal resource for those who want to bring yoga practices into psychotherapy or healthcare. Weintraub, a leader in the field of yoga therapy, offers evidence-based, easy-to-introduce strategies for managing anxiety, improving mood, and relieving suffering. Helpful clinical insights and case examples emphasize safety, trust, and skillful adaptation to the individual, making it easy to apply the wisdom of yoga effectively in the therapeutic context.” — Kelly McGonigal, PhD, author, Yoga for Pain Relief, Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Yoga Therapy
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