Issue 43

This issue has exciting research that demonstrates the effectiveness of yoga practice as compared to physical therapy for those suffering from chronic lower back pain as well as great news about yoga’s efficacy for those suffering from dementia and their caregivers. Two studies, independent of each other, look at the yoga meditation Kirtan Kriya and both find evidence of elevated mood, memory and in one case, anti-aging effects. Research in the emerging field of yoga therapeutics is vital for the inclusion of yoga in medical treatment protocols for insomnia, depression, chronic pain, and many other ailments. I’m happy to be contributing to the effort of letting you know about the most recent studies, as well as to be participating as a consultant in several studies, one at Brown University and Butler Hospital under the direction of Dr. Lisa Uebelacker, currently funded by the National Institute of Health.

I look forward to teaching the LifeForce Yoga and Addictions program with Dr. Kathy Shafer at Kripalu in Stockbridge, MA on May 18 – 20th, and I’m excited to be teaching at Esalen in Big Sur for the first time in June. Read on for news about new training formats and specialty workshops, as well as reviews of a new award-winning book about natural treatments for ADHD that include yoga by Drs. Richard Brown and Patricia Gerbarg, a new book about mindful living by Angela and Dennis Buttimer, counselor, yoga & meditation teacher team in Atlanta and CDs by the Raja Yoga Duo Michele Hebert and Dr. Mehrad Nazari.

Namasté,

Amy

In This Issue:

Research: Yoga Meditation Improves Mood and Slows Aging in Caregivers

In two separate recently published studies, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, and at the University of West Virginia and the University of Virginia found that a yoga meditation called Kirtan Kriya from the Kundalini tradition can help lower depression in caregivers of relatives with dementia and improve their cognitive functioning. The UCLA study, published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, also found that the 11-minute meditation was associated with a decrease in cellular aging from stress.

This meditation involves hand gestures called mudras and a simple four-syllable mantra that is chanted, whispered and repeated silently while pressing the thumb against each finger.

According to Dr. Helen Lavretsky, the lead investigator of the study at the UCLA, “Our study suggests a simple, low-cost yoga program can enhance coping and quality of life for the caregivers.”

For the UCLA study, the researchers recruited 49 caregivers between ages 45 and 90 who were taking care of a relative with dementia. Thirty-six of them were adult children of the person with dementia, and 13 were the spouses of the person with dementia.

The researchers separated the study participants into two groups: One was taught a 12-minute yoga routine that included a chanting meditation from the Kundalini (called Kirtan Kriya), done every day for eight weeks. The other group relaxed with eyes closed for 12 minutes a day to a relaxation CD with instrumental music.

By the end of the study period, researchers found that in the yoga group, 65 percent of people had a 50 percent better score on a depression scale, and 52 percent had a 50 percent better mental health score. Among people in the relaxation group, on the other hand, 31 percent had a better score on the depression scale and 19 percent had a better score in mental health.

In addition, the researchers found that the yoga group’s telomerase activity had improved by 43 percent, while just 3.7 percent of the relaxation group’s telomerase activity improved. Telomerase activity is important because it slows down the process of cellular aging.

Although the University of West Virginia study was a smaller pilot study, it included the Alzheimer’s patients themselves, as well as their caregivers. Five sets of patients and their caregivers participated in an 8-week meditation program and had significant benefits, leading the study’s authors to conclude that 11-minute practice twice a day may offer an acceptable and effective intervention for reducing perceived stress and improving certain domains of sleep, mood, and memory in adults with cognitive impairment and their caregivers.

Dr. Kim Innes, the lead investigator for the study published in Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine says that the participants showed significant reductions in perceived stress and blood pressure, along with improvements in sleep, mood, and even one domain of memory. “This was especially surprising to us,’ says Dr. Innes, “given the very short duration of this intervention and the very small sample size.” The research group is currently planning a larger trial to further investigate the possible health, cognitive, and psychological benefits of a simple meditation practice for those with cognitive impairment and their caregivers.

Lavretsky H, et. al., “A pilot study of yogic meditation for family dementia caregivers with depressive symptoms: effects on mental health, cognition, and telomerase activity,” International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 2012 Mar 11. doi: 10.1002/gps.3790.

Innes, KE, et.al. “The effects of meditation on perceived stress and related indices of psychological status and sympathetic activation in persons with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers: a pilot study,” Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2012;2012:927509.

Research: Gentle Iyengar Yoga Helps Older Women with Restless Legs Syndrome

In another study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine that compared an 8-week series of twice weekly 90 minute Iyengar yoga classes to an educational film program that met for the same amount of time each week, the yoga group demonstrated significantly greater improvements than controls in sleep quality and mood, and significantly greater reductions in insomnia, anxiety, perceived stress, and blood pressure.

The ten members of the control group met with a wellness educator, had an initial check-in and an integrating period of social interaction after the film. For the same amount of time, the ten members of the yoga group met with a senior Iyengar teacher. The yoga group practiced a gentle series of postures, supported by props, and designed for their age group and their beginning level of experience. Each yoga session began with a ten minute centering and breathing practice and ended with a 15-minute yoga relaxation.

The article, including the Iyengar protocol: Gentle Iyengar Yoga and Restless Leg Syndrome in Older Women

Kim E. Innes, 2 and Terry Kit Selfe, “The Effects of a Gentle Yoga Program on Sleep,Mood,and Blood Pressure in OlderWomen with Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS): A Preliminary Randomized Controlled Trial,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Research:Yoga Out Shines Physical Therapy for Back Pain Patients

Researchers at Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation (SVYASA), in Bangalore, India found that a seven-days intensive residential Yoga program reduces pain, anxiety, and depression, and improves spinal mobility in patients with chronic lower back pain (CLBP) more effectively than physiotherapy exercises. Researchers assigned 80 patients (37 female, 43 male) with CLBP to yoga and physical exercise groups. The Yoga program consisted of specific asanas and pranayamas for back pain, meditation, yogic counseling, and lectures on yoga philosophy. The control group program included physical therapy exercises for back pain, and matching counseling and education sessions. Both groups showed improvement in all measurements, but outcomes were significantly better in the yoga group. For example, while the physical therapy group experienced a 17.5% reduction in pain, the yoga group showed a 49% improvement in this area. The depression scores were also significantly different, with 47% improvement in the yoga group and a 19.9% improvement in controls.

Tekur P, Nagarathna R, Chametcha S, Hankey A, Nagendra HR, “A comprehensive yoga programs improves pain, anxiety and depression in chronic low back pain patients more than exercise: An RCT,” Complement Ther Med. 2012 Jun;20(3):107-18.

Review: Non-Drug Treatments for ADHD: New Options for Kids, Adults, and Clinicians by Dr. Brown and Dr. Gerbarg
Reviewed by Amy Weintraub

In this award-winning book, Gerbarg and Brown write as one, in a single and singular voice of compassion and understanding. They understand the frustration of parents, teachers and doctors and the pain of rejection that is common to many children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). And they offer hope in the form of treatments other than stimulant medications. They argue that because there are many causes, no one treatment is a panacea for all who suffer. Each person is unique and may benefit from a combination of approaches. “Treatments must be strategically combined and tailored to the unique needs and sensitivities of each person,” say the authors. Brown and Gerbarg discuss in detail these multiple treatments that include herbs, supplements, exercise, mind-body practices, and neurofeedback. On the way, the provide fascinating stories about the many children and adults who have been able to moderate their symptoms and lead lives of satisfying work and family life.

The book begins with a re-framing of what it means to be a person with ADHD. The authors focus on the qualities that contribute to success –“their thirst for novelty…, tremendous energy…, thinking outside the box, creativity…belief in their own talents…, willingness to take risks, courage, altruism, determination, and commitment to their own ideas and values,” and note that these very qualities can get them into trouble. Rather than tamp down or struggle to control a mind that races with ideas and a body with excess energy, the authors suggest that it be directed towards a passionate interest where increased work productivity counts or to the practice that makes an athlete or musician excel. They list scores of successful entrepreneurs, artists, writers, and politicians who likely could not sit still in class or finish a book or homework assignment. Included in the first chapter are definitions and most useful to families, tools for self-assessment and parental assessment. The chapter discusses the standard medicines and treatments, including behavioral therapy, evaluating effectiveness, limitations and unwanted effects.

The chapter on brain science is clear and accessible to lay readers—“just a taste of the science soup”—but enough to clue the reader to the current research that informs the authors’ approach. In the chapter on herbs, we learn not only what might be effective but for whom each individual herb might be of greatest use. Included is a section on the Indian science of Ayurveda that includes herbal treatments and self-applied pressure point therapy (marma). Here, the authors interview an expert on the subject and include his successful treatment approach for a 14-year-old boy with severe ADHD. Included in this chapter is a section on the benefits and safe administration of the hormone melatonin, important for sleep, the production of which can be disrupted in those with ADHD. Brain function can be enhanced by a class of natural substances called nootropics, and the authors outline these as well. Included in the chapter is a helpful chart that explains use, dosage, effects, side effects and recommended vendors.

The chapter on diet, vitamins and nutrients that can be an effective component of treatment includes foods and additives to avoid that can send a child with ADHD from rambunctious to out of control.

The chapter on mind-body practices shares anecdotal evidence from the authors’ practice and from yoga therapist and LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Joy Bennett’s work of the effectiveness of yoga and yoga breathing in helping children and adults with ADHD focus and relax. The author’s take us through a class Joy leads for boys with severe learning and behavioral problems, in which she uses breath, movement and chakra tones, as well as cues to feel “the sparkle in your hands” and other direct body sensation to help the boys attune to their bodies, increasing interoception (how the mind listens to the body) and self-regulation. This chapter not only suggests specific mind-body practices that have been shown to be helpful, but recommends ways you can introduce yoga into schools that have not in so far been receptive to its inclusion.

Every chapter has a compendium of valuable resources and the last chapter provides doctors, parents, educators and those who suspect they may have ADHD with inspiring tools to manage symptoms and channel that excess energy into the power to achieve their goals. If you know someone with ADHD or someone who lives with him or her, the gift of this book could change their lives. In today’s news: Non-Drug Treatments for ADHD just won the Independent Publishers Gold First Place award in the Psychology/Mental Health category. Congratulations Drs. Gerbarg and Brown!

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Review: Calm: Choosing to Live Mindfully by Angela Buttimer and Dennis Buttimer
Reviewed by Rose Kress

Life, work, and duty all seem to conspire to call us away from our daily practice, and we often succumb. We easily forget that 5—10—20 minutes every day is better than an hour or two a week. Calm is a wonderful reminder that less can be more. The authors point out in the introduction that they have purposefully left the chapters short so that readers can fit the practices into their hectic lives.

The Buttimers are students of Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist Zen Master who is well known for his accessible teachings on mindfulness. The authors honor their teacher’s legacy with a book filled with accessible daily practices. Each chapter is a teaching in mindfulness that is concise, starts with an inspirational quote, and ends with Self-Reflection questions and a practice. A wonderful example of the simplicity of the practices is the first chapter, “Today is a New Day.” The authors give a short teaching on the opportunity of beginning again, each morning and then move on to illustrate the teaching with several anecdotes. The chapter ends with the practice of waking up and saying to yourself “today is a new day.”

We often work really hard at making things complicated for ourselves, thinking that the more complex something is the better it is. In reality, simplicity can be quite profound and change our lives in big ways. The practice of mindfulness is simple, often difficult in execution, but with guides like the Buttimers’, attaining and sustaining mindfulness accessible.

To order your copy: allthingsintegrative.com/online-store/calm-mindfulness-book/

Media Mention: Michele Hébert & Mehrad Nazari, Ph.D

Flute Melodies to Open the Heart by William Hébert
Michele Herbert has shared the gift of her father’s simple and soothing flute in this collection. Accompanied by a pianist, this CD includes peaceful songs from Satie, Debussy, Bach and Mozart as well as others. These songs will indeed open your heart.

The Inner Practices of Yoga – Volume 1 by Michele Hébert
This CD begins with an introduction from Michele Herbert and then moves through Relaxation, Alternate Nostril Breath, Meditation and ends with a calming instrumental track. Michele’s instructions are easy to follow and she gives modifications where needed – perfect for beginners.

The Inner Practices of Yoga SELF HEALING – Volume 2 by Michele Hébert

Michele Hébert guides you through a series of Raja Yoga practices to balance the chakras and access the healing intelligence that resides within.

The Inner Practices of Yoga – Volume 3 by Mehrad Nazari, Ph.D

Dr. Nazari begins with an introduction of yoga nidra – a practice of “connecting with our supreme self.“ The first practice is a yoga nidra with subtle and non-distracting music in the background. The other nidra practice is without music. Both practices are a little over 30 minutes long and are both quite soothing.

All four CDs can be order through Hebert and Nazari’s website: rajayogis.net/products/list

News: New Format Option for the LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training

We’ve just introduced a new format for taking the LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training. Three residential retreat style trainings are still available, but the new option includes three sections for certification, the first two of which can be taken independently of certification as an LFYP. The first section is a 5-day experiential retreat in the Bahamas at the Sivananda Ashram, which will be held in February 7 – 11th, 2013, the second section is an on-line long-distance learning component, and the third section is long-distance Mentoring with a LifeForce Yoga Mentor. This format is ideal for international trainees.
yogafordepression.com/practitioner-training/

News: New LifeForce Yoga Training for Anxiety and Depression (level 1 & level 2) on the East Coast

We’ve been listening to your requests and have added both a Level One and a Level Two LFYP residential training on the East Coast. You will now be able to be certified in three different residential locations in the USA: Tucson, Kripalu Center, and at the Satchidananda Ashram at Yogaville in Buckingham, Virginia. If you’re not interested in full certification, consider the shorter 15-hour CEC training at the Cape Cod Institute.

News: First LifeForce Yoga 200-hour Teacher Training

The other big news is that for the first time, senior Kripalu Yoga Teacher Trainer, Rudy Pierce, MA, E-RYT 500, known to many as “the gentle yogi,” and I will be directing a Yoga Alliance approved 200-hour residential LifeForce Yoga Teacher Training in Tucson. We hope to have more details and registration information up on the website by May 15th. Functional Yoga Therapist and Ayurveda Specialist Maria Kali Ma, RN, MS, E-RYT 500, will be a guest teacher in the training, along with LifeForce Yoga Program Manager Rose Kress, RYT 500, LFYP-2, and Kripalu teachers Jami Macarty, MFA, ACE-PT, E-RYT 500, LFYP-2, and Tom Beall, MA, E-RYT 500. The two 12-day residential sessions to complete the 200-hr training will be Nov 30 – Dec 12th, 2013 and Feb 22 – Mar 6, 2014.
yogafordepression.com/200-hour-lfy-yoga-teacher-training/

News: Drs. Richard Brown and Patricia Gerbarg -Trainings

Not have the psychopharmacist/psychiatrist team of Dr. Brown & Dr. Gerbarg authored two new books (one of which is reviewed below) that provide alternatives to medicine for much of what ails us, but they are also offering a their mind Breath~Body~Mind Teacher Training Certificate Course at Kripalu August 19-24. I am honored to have them as guest teachers in the LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training For Anxiety and Depression offered to yoga and health professionals at Kripalu, July 6 – 13th.

News: Interview with Amy in the Huffington Post

Eva Norlyk Smith, PhD, interviewed me about using yoga practices in medical settings.
huffingtonpost.com/eva-norlyk-smith-phd/yoga-depression_b_1412506.html

To order Yoga Skills for Therapists: Effective Tools for Mood Management with a 20% discount, us this code: OAW 1955

News: New Yoga Blog for Children

LifeForce Yoga practitioner Ellen Campbell has created a fun place on the internet for children of all ages. http://youthfulyogis.blogspot.com/ offers kids instruction on poses, plus yoga-related games and general information about the origins of yoga. Encourage your kids to submit their original artwork and Ellen will post it on the blog. Youthful Yogis is actually great for adults as well, since lots of practitioners are looking for ways to share yoga with the children in their lives. And if you teach yoga to children, Youthful Yogis will be a daily source of inspiration.

Calendar Highlights

May 10

Tucson, AZ
Yoga Skills book-signing and Talk
5:30 – 6:45pm, Amy will offer simple yoga practices to manage your mood–no mat required! Free in the Rillito Room of the Tucson Racquet and Fitness Club. 4001 N Country Club Rd. Entrance to Rillito Room is free.

May 16 – May 19

Phoenix (Goodyear), AZ
FACES Conference: The Art & Science of Mindfulness – A Revolution of the Heart
featuring Jack Kornfield, Ph.D. & Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. Amy will offer an all-day pre-conference workshop on May 16th: Yoga Skills for Mood Management (No Mat Required).
http://facesconferences.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=13

May 18 – May 20

Stockbridge, MA
LifeForce Yoga and Addictions
LifeForce Yoga Meets the Hungry Ghost with addictions specialist Dr. Kathy Shafer www.funtherapist.com, 800-741-7353
yogafordepression.com/events/lifeforce-yoga-and-addictions/

Jun 22 – Jun 24

Big Sur, CA
LifeForce Yoga to Manage Your Mood
Esalen, 888-837-2536
LifeForce Yoga® interweaves the power of an ancient discipline with current scientific findings to help you release what’s no longer serving you—without a story attached!
yogafordepression.com/events/lifeforce-yoga-manage-your-mood/

Jul 6 – Jul 13

Stockbridge, MA
LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training For Depression & Anxiety – Level 1
Kripalu Center, 800-741-7353. This is a certification training for yoga teachers and health professionals. Joining Amy as faculty are Patricia Gerbarg, MD and Richard Brown, MD, authors of How to Use Herbs, Nutrients and Yoga for Mental Health Care and LifeForce Yoga Practitioners -Level 2, who are highly trained yoga and/or mental health professionals.
kripalu.org/program/view/LFYD-121

Jul 15 – Jul 16

Stoney Creek, ON, Canada
LifeForce Yoga: Effective Practices for Mood Management
Heaven Studio, 888.465.2726
In this inspiring workshop, you will learn and practice breathing exercises, easy postures, guided meditations, and other effective yoga practices not regularly taught in yoga class for managing mood.
heavenstudio.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=54

Jul 20 – Jul 22

Rhinebeck, NY
LifeForce Yoga to Manage Your Mood
Omega Institute, 877-944-2002. In this inspiring workshop, you will learn and practice breathing exercises, easy postures, guided meditations, and other experiential yogic tools for managing your mood.
yogafordepression.com/events/lifeforce-yoga-manage-your-mood/

Jul 22 – Jul 27

Rhinebeck, NY
LifeForce Yoga & Internal Family Systems with Dick Schwartz, Ph.D.
for the first time Internal Family Systems (IFS) creator Dick Schwartz, Ph.D., and Amy who is trained as a Level 2 IFS practitioner are teaming up to offer a week of working with all your parts and yoga for your mood. Omega Institute, 877-944-2002.
yogafordepression.com/events/lifeforce-yoga-meets-your-internal-family-system/

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What People Say

“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
“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
“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
“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 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
“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
“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
“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
“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.
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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 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
“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.
“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.
“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
“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’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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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 patients can now have the same effects as many medications without having to actually take medication!” — Deborah Lubetkin, PSY.D, LFYP, West Caldwell, NJ
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“I gained perspective of who I am in the world and this will change my life significantly.” — Mary Ford, artist, Southport, CT
“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 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
“I gained tools for working with my own depression and with my clients’ depressions.” — Robert Sgona, LCSW, RYT, psychotherapist, Yoga teacher, Camden, ME.
“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
“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
“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.
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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 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
“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.)
“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 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.
“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
“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.
“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
“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
“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
“Words do not do justice to all that I learned. This workshop changed my life!” — Jen Nolan, Teacher, Cortland, NY
“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 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 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.
“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
“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
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