Issue 5

LifeForce Yoga® for Depression News

From Amy Weintraub, MFA, E-RYT (500),

author, Yoga for Depression (Broadway Books)

Dear Friends, Colleagues & Students,

The ambrosial hours are the sweet, quiet, and still moments in the early morning before dawn when the sun is at about a 30-degree angle with the earth. This angle has a profoundly positive effect on the magnetic field of our planet and, therefore, on your energy as well.

–Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D., The End of Karma (Hay House)

Message from Amy:

How happy I am when I can begin my practice just before dawn and watch the light changing outside my window. These days, as I do my standing balancing practice in the rising light, I don’t need to turn on any devices to get the weather report. I can see folks walking to the Tucson Racquet & Fitness Club near where I live in light weight jackets or sweatshirts. And I keep my window slightly open as I practice, so fresh air is always present.

As I suggest to those gathered at my workshops, take the time in the morning to clear the space within, and don’t beat yourself up if you have too little time to roll out your mat. The simple practice of the Breath of Joy, or a round of Bellows Breath can lift your mood and clear your mind. If you’re a beginner, take baby steps. As I once heard Deborah Rogers, a gifted Arizona Yoga Teacher tell her multi-level class, “In Yoga, there are no beginners and no advanced practitioners. You’re either on the path or stepping onto it.” Welcome All!

Welcome to the 5th issue of the LifeForce Yoga® for Depression Newsletter! In this issue, I’ll review several new books relevant to yoga and mood, look at a bit of new research on the subject, provide an update on the LifeForce Yoga® Healing Retreat in Tucson , which has been approved for Continuing Education Credits for social workers and licensed counselors, and provide the current schedule of workshops and trainings for 2005 and 2006.

A special thanks to Rose Kress, RYT, for editorial assistance and computer wizardry.

In this Issue:

News

Research

Schedule of Workshops & Trainings

Reviews

NEWS: Yoga

Disaster Relief & Trauma Recovery

As reported by Patricia L. Gerbarg, MD, assistant professor in clinical psychiatry, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY, and Richard P. Brown, MD, associate professor in clinical psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians, New York, NY (He wrote the medical forward to my book YOGA FOR DEPRESSION), in the October issue of Current Psychiatry: Seventeen teachers trained in a disaster-specific yoga breathing intervention traveled South just days after Hurricane Katrina. Yoga-based trauma relief programs are a cost- effective way to rapidly relieve posttraumatic stress symptoms and depression in populations affected by disasters. Experience from the 2001 World Trade Center attacks and December 2004 tsunami show these programs can help patients of all ages, with minimal risk. Drs. Brown and Gerbarg’s article describes two programs shown to ameliorate anxiety, depression, insomnia, hyperarousal and re-experiencing (flashbacks) in survivors of war, terrorism, and natural disasters.

In previous newsletters, I’ve discussed Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. and his on-going work with in the field of trauma recovery, both as clinician and researcher. Dr. van der Kolk feels that a physical practice, such as yoga, ought to be an essential component of treatment. (To order an excellent profile of Dr. van der Kolk and his work by Mary Sykes Wylie, visit the archives of Psycho therapy Networker) As a result of his work and the many mental health professionals who have followed his lead, centers for sexual assault around the country are beginning to offer yoga classes.

To read a story about one center in Charlotte, N.C. that is offering yoga to victims of sexual assault so that they can begin to safely reconnect with their bodies, click here.

NEWS: LifeForce Yoga® Tucson Retreat & Training – January

UPDATE: CE Credit!

Good news for Mental Health Professionals! The Arizona Chapter of the NASW has approved the retreat for 19.5 Continuing Education hours.

We are nearing the deadline for registration for the January retreat & training. After December 1, registrations will be accepted on a space available basis, with a late fee.

As many of you know by now, due to an unfortunate fire, the Tucson retreat in January has been relocated to the beautiful boutique spa resort, Rex Ranch. As my teacher, Richard Miller said when I told him about the fire, “doors open, doors close, doors open.” Indeed, a beautiful archway has opened onto a vista of fountains and rose gardens and early morning birdsong, just south of Tucson. Please visit Rex Ranch on line.

During program breaks, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy sessions will be available with Jesse Lee, as well as a variety of spa treatments.

As of November 10th, we have PayPal options, so if you would like to pay by credit card, please visit the web site.

NEWS: Richard Miller’s Yoga Nidra book and CD Available

Yoga Nidra: The Meditative Heart of Yoga by Richard Miller, Ph.D.

By the end of November, Sounds True will begin shipping Yoga Nidra: The Meditative Heart of Yoga. I read a pre-publication version and can tell you that Richard plums the depths of what this practice can offer on every level of your existence. It can be pre- ordered on Amazon or through Richard’s office by calling Nancy: 707-876-3380.

Here’s a quote from the book:

“Yoga Nidra teaches you how to recognize and disidentify from your core negative beliefs and habit patterns, which hinder and cripple you from leading a truly contented life free from dissatisfaction and suffering. Dissatisfaction and suffering (Sanskrit: duhkha = dissatisfaction, suffering) arise when you mentally attach to expectations and outcomes that are other than what life is offering. When we accept life as it is, dissatisfaction and suffering cease, and we learn to deal with reality on its own terms, rather than through what our mind desires.

“When we accept life, we realize that every situation is paired with its perfect response of right action that when engaged, leads us to experience a sense of perfection in each moment.”

Research: Bulima and Vagus Nerve Stimulation

Brought to my attention by H. F., Boston

H.F., who has been recovering from bulima for fourteen years, wrote to tell me that she had been practicing several pranayama breathing exercises and a kriya (cleansing action) called Kapalabhati (Skull Shining) that I taught last month during a workshop (LifeForce Yoga® for Mood Management) at the Arlington Center in Arlington, MA. In her words, “I feel like I have had a breakthrough because my digestive system feels much better and I am more stable in my recovery than ever. Just as your last newsletter says, if you can stimulate the vagus nerve with breathing, why get the device implanted?”

What H.F. is referring to is the recently approved VNS (vagus nerve stimulator) I discussed in the last newsletter, which, in a study conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota Department of Psychiatry, showed positive initial results for patients with bulimia nervosa when treated with Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS). This is a device that is surgically implanted in the larnyx and was developed for epilespy patients. It has recently been approved by the FDA as a treatment for depression.

To read a report of the study click here.

The report of the study suggests that the VNS may have a pacemaker-like effect that eliminates the extreme oscillations of activity in the vagus nerve that drives bulimic behaviors. This raises the question of why yogic breathing that involves belly pumping (as does kapalabhati) would seem to be helping H.F., and others with whom I have worked, control their bulimia, since it more likely activates than reduces the oscillations. No research has been done on these yogic breathing exercises and the treatment of bulimia, but if I were to guess why H.F. and others feel better, I might wonder if the mechanism is based on the contraction and release action inherent in all yoga poses. Perhaps the temporary stimulation may be followed by a deeper state of relaxation, and more control.

RESEARCH: Yoga

Iyengar Yoga and Breast Cancer

Researchers at Washington State University in Spokane found that a basic level-I program of Iyengar Yoga meets The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommendations for increasing physical activity during and after treatment for breast cancer.

There has been some limited research into the efficacy of Yoga as a tool for breast cancer survivors. Previous research studies indicate that Yoga helps to reduce stress and anxiety levels in breast cancer survivors as well as improving overall sleep habits.

Blank, Kittel and Haberman conducted a study using Iyengar Yoga because preliminary results show that it meets the ACS’s recommendations for physical activity but also induces relaxation in participants. Poses for this study included many standing poses, chest and shoulder openers and inversions.

The results were that 75% of the women felt that they benefited from the structure and intensity level of the class. 25% of the women said that their joint aches and shoulder stiffness were relieved. 88% reported a decreased stress level, while 63% stated an improved mood with less anxiety.

Source: Blank, S.E, Kittel, J., Haberman, M.R., “Active Practice of Iyengar Yoga as an Intervention for Breast Cancer Survivors,” International Journal of Yoga Therapy, 15:51-59.

Research: Yoga

Chant and Be Happy

An eight-week pilot study of the effects of yogic chanting on respiratory function and mood in eleven mild to severely depressed particpants, indicates that chanting elevates mood and increases breath control.

At the end of the study, participants showed increased breath control as well as an increase in their expiatory output. Participants demonstrated an increase in positive statements, such as “I feel hopeful,” and a decrease in negative statements, like “I feel tired,” at the end of each chanting class.

The study’s authors state that “In as little as one hour of chanting, in addition to reporting increased mood, participants’ thoughts about themselves noticeably improved.”

Source: Kenny, M., Bernier, R., DeMartini, C., “Chant and Be Happy: The Effects of Chanting on Respitory Function and General Well-Being in Individuals Diagnosed with Depression,” International Journal of Yoga Therapy, 2005, 15:61-64.

CALENDAR

Highlights:

In November, I’ll be teaching at the Yoga Sanctuary in Las Vegas for the first time, then back to Austin to teach LifeForce Yoga® to Beat the Blues at the Crossings, a beautiful spa and healing retreat center. On Sunday, November 20th, at the Crossings, I’ll be addressing a meeting of the Texas Yoga Teacher’s Association.

And don’t forget to save money and insure your place by registering for the LifeForce Yoga® Healing Retreat & Training by December 1.Click here.

LifeForce Yoga® Workshop & Training Schedule

DATE

TIME

EVENT

Las Vegas, NV

November 11 – 13, 2005

LifeForce Yoga® for Mood Management, Sherry Goldstein’s Yoga Sanctuary, 702 240-7666

Austin, TX

November 18 – 20, 2005

Yoga to Beat the Blues, The Crossings, 877-944- 3003

Tucson, AZ

January 7 – 12th, 2006

NEW! First LifeForce Yoga® Healing Intensive (CE credits available) in Tucson. [click here to go to the brochure.] Info: Rose Kress – 520 349-2644.

Lenox, MA

February 24 – 26, 2006

Yoga to Beat the Blues, Kripalu Center, 800-741- 7353

Austin, TX

March 3-5, 2006

LifeForce Yoga® to Beat the Blues, The Crossings, 877 944-3003

Washington, DC

March 16 – 20th, 2006

< b>Psychotherapy Networker Symposium – Amy will lead a Pre-Conference Day-Long Workshop, Clinical presentation: Yoga as Complementary Treatment for Mood Disorders, Morning Yoga & Afternoon Integration practice.

Washington, DC

March 19th, 2006

1:30 – 5:30 PM

LifeForce Yoga® to Beat the Blues, Spiral FLIGHT, 1826 Wisconsin Avenue, NW 202.965.1645, www.spiralflightyoga.co m

Columbus, Ohio

April 28, 2006

7:30–9:30PM

LifeForce Yoga® for Depression and Anxiety—Intro, Yoga on High, 1081 North High St., www.yogaonhigh.com, 614 291-4444.

Columbus, Ohio

April 28 – 30th, 2006

Fri: 7:30– 9:30PM;

Sat: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM;

2:00 – 5:00 PM; Sun: 9:30AM – 1:00 PM

LifeForce Yoga® for Depression and Anxiety, Yoga on High, 1081 North High St., www.yogaonhigh.com, 614 291-4444.

Austin, TX

May 21 – 26, 2006

LifeForce Yoga® to Beat the Blues, The Crossings, 877 944-3003 CEU’s available

Watsonville, CA

June 2 – 4th, 2006.

June 2 – 6th, 2006

LifeForce Yoga® to Beat the Blues! Mount Madonna Center

(408) 847- 0406

Lenox, MA

July 2 – 7, 2006

LifeForce Yoga® Training for Depression & Anxiety, Kripalu Center, 800-741- 7353

Rhinebeck, NY

July 7 — 9th, 2006

Yoga to Beat the Blues, Omega Institute, 800-944- 1001

Rhinebeck, NY

July 10 — 14th, 2006

LifeForce Yoga® to Beat the Blues, Omega Institute, 800-944- 1001

Lenox, MA

September 8–10, 2006

Breathe to Beat the Blues, Kripalu Center, 800-741- 7353

Lenox, MA

September 10–15, 2006

LifeForce Yoga® to Beat the Blues, Kripalu Center, 800-741- 7353

New York, NY

September 15–17, 2006

Presenter, Omega Institute Yoga Conference, 800-944-1001

Austin, TX

November 3-5, 2006

Yoga to Beat the Blues, The Crossings, 877-944-3003

REVIEWS

THE END OF KARMA: 40 Days to Perfect Peace, Tranquility, and Joy by Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D.

Based on a beautiful translation of the Japji Sahib, a classic text written 500 years ago by the first great Sikh master, Guru Nanak, Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D., gives us forty days of contemplations and practices to cleanse the spirit and release karma. This is an inspiring book to read, short chapter by chapter each morning, as a way to “always remember God.” The End of Karma, says Khalsa, “is designed to help you have that experience of feeling God within your being every day of your life.”

If you find yourself uncomfortable, as I sometimes did, with remembering God as a personal, and, in particular, a gendered deity, you might translate Khalsa’s words back to Guru Nanak’s, who most often uses “Divine Spirit.”

When I first received this lovely book to review, I was skeptical about the subtitle–the 40 Days claim. However, after following this prescription, along with my regular yoga and meditation practice each morning, I am more consistently reminded of the truth of my being. But, as Khalsa suggests towards the end of the book, don’t stop after 40 days. To clear the space for the energy of the divine to flow through and to begin to recognize that you are not separate from that energy, the practice (whatever it is, and it most certainly can include the re-reading of the chapters in this book) must continue on a daily basis. To find out more about The End of Karma, visit DrDharma.com .

REVIEW

SELF-AWAKENING YOGA: The Expansion of Consciousness Through the Body’s Own Wisdom by Don Stapleton, Ph.D.

Master yoga teacher, Don Stapleton, Ph.D., writes a book that inspires and teaches Hatha Yoga from the inside out. He returns, again and again, to the spirit of inquiry and creativity modeled in the origins of Yoga. This is a book that encourages experimentation and self-inquiry over a formula of daily practice. His own practice has evolved from a “direct listening to the body,” which, given the mind’s habit of ranging through time, is the most direct way of moving into the present moment where consciousness may begin to expand.

Stapleton’s Self-Awakening Yoga is designed to awaken the witness consciousness within us, a “discriminative wisdom” that allows us to respond to life and all its challenges with equanimity and greater self-awareness. In order to awaken the witness, rather than strict practices, he provides a series of inquires. These inquiries not only develop an expanded consciousness as we practice, but empower the student to own and explore each movement, each breath, rather than to automatically repeat a rote sequence of poses. This brings the authority back to the practitioner.

Stapleton is very clear that the authority for an individual’s practice rests within each of us. Although he acknowledges that there is always a “Simon Says” stage of learning, in which, in order to learn alignment and safety in a pose, one must give over authority to an instructor. He says, “It is essential to bring the locus of authority back inside your own world to reality check: Is what I’m hearing true for me? Does this work for me? What is missing here?”

The Witness is developed on the mat through a process Stapleton calls the “As Is” priniciple: Awareness of Sensation through Internal Scanning. “The priniciple of accepting yourself,” he says, “and your experience as you are is fundamental to developing witness consciousness.”

Throughout the book Stapleton offers practices he calls “Explorations,” with clear instructions and photographs, as well as practices that integrate the knowledge we’ve gained by directly listening to the body. Included with the book is an hour-length audio CD, which offers four separate inquiries into aspects of self, through a deep body-listening. For more information about Self-Awakening Yoga and Don Stapleton’s Nosara Yoga Institute, visit nosarayoga. com

Other Resources:

International Association of Yoga Therapists: www.iayt.org

This organization maintains a vast database of Yoga research, a library, publishes a yearly journal, and a tri-annual newsletter with current research and articles. In addition, IAYT maintains a searchable online member database, which folks can use to locate a Yoga therapist/teacher in their local area. (They currently do not do any verification of training and experience.) If you are a health professional, a Yoga teacher or therapist or have an interest in Yoga therapeutics, I highly encourage you to become a member.

Yoga for Depression

To learn move about Yoga for Depression (Broadway Books)

To listen to Amy’s audio practice CD, Breathe to Beat the Blues

Blessings on recovering and maintaining your positive mental health!

Amy

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What People Say

“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 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
“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.
“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 gained perspective of who I am in the world and this will change my life significantly.” — Mary Ford, artist, Southport, CT
“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
“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 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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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 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 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.
“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
“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
“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 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
“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.
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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.
“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
“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.
“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’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
“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 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
“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 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
“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
“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 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
“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
“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
“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 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
“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
“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
“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
“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 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
“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.)
“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 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
“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
“Words do not do justice to all that I learned. This workshop changed my life!” — Jen Nolan, Teacher, Cortland, NY
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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 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
“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
“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
“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
“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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