Issue 58

Two important studies in this summary of current research on yoga and mental health demand special attention.  I’m thrilled to report the outcome of a study that looks at trauma informed yoga as an intervention for treatment-resistant PTSD.   I’m also pleased to analyze here why a gentle stretching intervention likely surprised the study authors when it was shown to be more effective than a restorative yoga practice for a group suffering from a metabolic syndrome caused by stress.  There’s also a report on a study demonstrating yoga’s effectiveness for pain that indicates actual brain changes, and good news for yoga in the schools.

2014-08-09 00.09.47On a personal note, as a new grandma, currently serving the needs of my beloved daughter and her daughter in Montreal, I have had the opportunity to practice yoga in smaller doses than usual and at stranger times.  My morning practice, my sleep schedule, my dining times and diet have all been challenged by the arrival of baby Shoshana.  What a gift this has been to retreat for five weeks of deep connection, observing the love shining in my daughter’s eyes for her new baby.  It touches me deeply that she waited so long to become a much better mother than I was able to be to her.

Also in this newsletter is a review of Mussar Yoga, by guest reviewer, Alana Gest, and notifications of upcoming LifeForce Yoga workshops where I will be teaching in Ohio, North Carolina and at Kripalu Center.

Read below for Amy’s thoughts on the life and death of Robin Williams and B.K.S. Iyengar.

The big news is that you can take a portion of our LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training as an on-demand webinar series. The series fulfills the prerequisite workshop for the LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training.

News: Portion of the LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training now available as on-demand webinar series!

Due to the success of our live webinar series, we have launched a new on-demand webinar that serves as a portion of the LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training.  The course can also be taken as a refresher for previously certified LFYP’s, and as an introduction course to LifeForce Yoga.  The course is open to all!  To learn more about the webinar series visit our Online Training page.  Once you have registered, you will receive a welcome packet with instructions on how to begin this self-paced course!

Research: Yoga Effective for Women with treatment resistant PTSD

Although “Yoga as an adjunctive treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder: a randomized controlled trial,” the title of the recent article published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry modestly gives the impression that the authors demonstrate that yoga is an effective treatment when combined with psychotherapy, the study results show something much more exciting. Bessel van der Kolk, MD, a pioneer in the treatment and study of PTSD, and his colleagues at the Brookline Trauma Center, including yogi David Emerson, co-author of Trauma Sensitive Yoga, compared ten weeks of a one hour weekly trauma informed yoga class to a weekly one-hour women’s education and support group.

The primary outcome measure given to the 64 female participants was the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS). At the end of the study, 16 of 31 participants (52%) in the yoga group no longer met criteria for PTSD compared to 6 of 29 (21%) in the control group. Both groups exhibited significant decreases in PTSD symptoms during the first half of treatment, but these improvements were maintained in the yoga group, while the control group relapsed after its initial improvement.

The authors conclude that yoga significantly reduced PTSD symptoms comparable to well-researched psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacologic approaches. “Yoga,” says the authors, “may improve the functioning of traumatized individuals by helping them to tolerate physical and sensory experiences associated with fear and helplessness and to increase emotional awareness and affect tolerance.”

Research: Best Practice for Stress May Not be Restorative YogaAmy with Kat

Severe stress can cause metabolic abnormalities where cortisol levels (the fight or flight hormone) is chronically elevated. The authors of this large randomized controlled trial, recently published in Psychoneuroendocrinology, compared restorative yoga vs. gentle stretching and found that at 6 months, the stretching group had decreased cortisol at waking and bedtime compared to the restorative yoga group. The pattern of changes in stress mirrored this improvement, with the stretching group showing reductions in chronic stress severity and perseverative thoughts about their stress. The authors found significant decreases in salivary cortisol, chronic stress severity, and stress perception in the stretching group compared to the restorative yoga group.

The outcome of this study substantiates the approach of meeting the mood. In our work with people suffering from elevated stress and anxiety, we have found that gentle repetitive movement and mildly stimulating breathing at the beginning of the yoga session has a tension-releasing and mind-focusing effect. Anxious students and clients feel calmer after a mildly stimulating LifeForce Yoga practice, whereas they feel more agitated and uncomfortable if they adopt a restorative pose too soon in the session. This may seem counterintuitive, but in fact, people with anxious mood seem to do best with a practice that burns off a little steam (rajasic energy) before they slow down. This study indicates that beginning with a more active practice might better serve you and your students if anxiety is present.

Research: Good News for Yoga-based School Programs


A study, recently published in the Journal of Applied School Psychology used TLS (Transformative Life Skills), a dynamic or movement-based mindfulness practice that consists of yoga postures, breath regulation, and meditation. The study, “Effectiveness of a School-Based Yoga Program on Adolescent Mental Health Stress Coping Strategies, and Attitudes Toward Violence: Findings from a High-Risk Sample,” was led by Jennifer L. Frank, PhD, at the Prevention Research Center at Pennsylvania State University. Participants included 49 students attending an alternative education school in an urban inner-city school district. Results indicated that students who participated in the Transformative Life Skills program demonstrated significant reductions in anxiety, depression, and global psychological distress. Significant reductions in rumination, intrusive thoughts, physical arousal, and emotional arousal were reported as well. The results of this study are highly significant. Dr. Frank said, “A particularly important finding of relevance to this population was the strong and significant reductions we found in youth report of revenge motivation and hostility.”
Although this program is yoga based, by naming it TLS, the developers, headed by Bidyut Bose at Niroga Institute in Oakland, California, seem to have avoided the backlash from some groups who object to yoga on religious grounds.

The article is available online:

Research: Yoga shown to increase brain-derived neurotophic factor (BDNF)

In a randomized controlled trial published in Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the study’s authors compared levels of back pain, flexibility, serotonin levels and BDNF levels in women with chronic low back pain after 12 weeks of yoga, 3 times per week with those in a control group. After the 12-week intervention, as compared to the control group, pain went down in the yoga group, flexibility went up, BDNF was elevated and serotonin remained the same. (Serotonin went down in the control group, as did BDNF).

This is significant, not only because the premenopausal women who practiced yoga felt better, but because elevating BDNF is a clear indicator of positive brain changes, including telomere growth, which speaks to increased neuroplasticity. This brain change may be responsible for an increased ability in the yoga group to tolerate discomfort.

Review: Mussar Yoga by Dr. Edith Brotman51ShehBhAFL

Reviewed by Alena Gerst, LCSW, RYT, LFYP-1. Alena blends her training as a licensed clinical social worker and yoga teacher in hospitals and in private practice. She completed therapeutic yoga training at Beth Israel Medical Center’s Department of Integrative Medicine, and is a certified LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Level 1. She provides outpatient psychotherapy for women with disabilities at NYU Langone Medical Center/Hospital for Joint Diseases, and is the author of A Wellness Handbook for the Performing Artist: The Performer’s Essential Guide to Staying Healthy in Body, Mind, and Spirit (Balboa Press, Hay House). Her yoga practice is inspired by the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar. She lives in New York City.

In Mussar Yoga, Dr. Edith Brotman, founder of Kavvanah/Mussar Yoga, shares her belief in the transformative powers of yoga combined with the Jewish teachings of Mussar

I initially settled in to read Mussar Yoga as I do most other books, at the end of the day, as a way to relax and unwind. I wasn’t past the first page of the introduction before I was hunting for a pen to underline text. More time passed and I realized I had only read the first several paragraphs, as Brotman wastes no time in inspiring her readers (students) to read less, ponder more.

While yoga has become a common and well-known practice around the world, Mussar (pronounced moos-AHR), is a little known tradition, even among Jewish communities. Brotman introduces Mussar by letting the reader briefly into her own life as a woman whose Jewish experience has largely involved communal traditions and collective ritual.

In Judaism, Mussar is the Jewish practice of self-study, “a Jewish form of ethical self-inquiry,” addressing the needs and potential of the individual. For Brotman, a devoted yoga teacher, the study of Mussar was the missing piece to her otherwise communal experience of Judaism. A practice of blending intelligence and heart through the contemplation of thirteen traits outlined in Mussar became a means of profound self-examination.

Brotman writes of Mussar teachers over the centuries developing meditations, visualizations and chanting practices, but a discipline involving the body is nowhere to be found in the teachings. In Mussar Yoga, she deftly connects the two practices as a bridge between the physical and spiritual work of yoga, and the self-reflection of Mussar.

Brotman breaks down the practice of Mussar yoga into a thirteen chapter journey, each of  which includes a physical yoga practice, written exercises, readings, and deep contemplation surrounding each of the thirteen traits in Mussar. The teachings of each full week is devoted to the following traits: Truth, courage, humility, order, non-judgement, zeal, simplicity, equanimity, generosity, silence, gratitude, loving-kindness, and trust.

While Brotman carefully outlines each asana (pose) used in Mussar yoga, including pictures and thorough instructions for alignment, she recommends readers have at least a beginner level of experience practicing yoga. She also encourages readers to consider embarking on the Mussar yoga path either alone or with a group, as there are benefits and drawbacks to both.

Mussar Yoga is not just for yogis, or people of the Jewish faith. The book is a thoughtful, engaging, and deeply spiritual guide for anyone who is looking to live a more fulfilling life. This practice requires courage, humility, and patience. I cannot imagine a better teacher to introduce the marriage of these two ancient paths to self-inquiry through the teachings of Mussar yoga than Edith Brotman, in this very inspiring book.  Click here to purchase a copy of Mussar Yoga.

In Memoriam: Robin Williams and Iyengar – Legacies of Joy

The world has recently lost two bearers of light—actor Robin Williams, age 63, and yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar, age 95. Both men dedicated their lives to raising the level of joy in the world – their lives, deaths, and lasting effect on the world reflect that. But they did it differently.

Robin Williams brought us laughter, a way to cope with our disappointments, as well as to survive his own. But outside of public appearance, he sadly did not have a way to seize and find joy in the day. Iyengar offered not only himself, but the world, a way to face our most difficult days.

Solace in a Role robin_williams_picture_wallpaper

We all have ways of self-medicating—soothing ourselves when the anxiety becomes intolerable, or simply bringing balance to a system that has become imbalanced. According to what we’ve been reading in the media, Robin Williams self-medicated with substances that numbed the pain of living in his world. But his healthier self-medication was the art of performing. In the moments when he could see himself reflected in the happiness he brought to others, when he was totally absorbed in the role he was playing, he was immune to the darker patterns of his thoughts and beliefs. And as his audience, we too could forget our bleak moods or our victim story in the moments he entertained us. When we laughed with him or at his antics, we were enraptured in moments of joy that no grief or shame could penetrate. But when the performance was over, boom. He was back in his own dark spiral of thoughts and emotions. And so were we.

The yoga practice that Mr. Iyengar introduced to the West showed us another way out of our pain, a way to self-medicate that did not end when the laughter died off. He showed us that by clearing our inner space physically, emotionally and mentally through a yoga practice, we could begin to sustain balance in our lives. Yoga is not a panacea for pain, but current research is showing its beneficial effect on mood and all manner of debilitating conditions. Yoga, especially a practice that includes attention to sensation and breath, teaches us how to live with what is arising, even when it’s painful.

Mind-Body BalanceAA-Guruji2014

Mr. Iyengar died at 95. Although I was never his student, I did study with several teachers who were. And I had the great privilege of sitting on stage with him at a conference in India when he was 92, where he spoke with a thrilling vitality and an astonishing compassion for his younger self.

Whether we practice Iyengar Yoga or our practice is culled from other traditions or schools, we offer gratitude to Mr. Iyengar, who, through his commitment to teach fine teachers, offered us a way to find and sustain the joy through our daily practice. And we offer gratitude to Robin Williams who not only made us laugh but has also shone light on the devastating effects of depression. May more people seek treatment for their depression and may that treatment include yoga.

For LifeForce Yoga practices to cope with depression and anxiety, click here.

To find a LifeForce Yoga Practitioner in your area click here.

Upcoming EventsSONY DSC

Body-Mind Over Mood: Empowering Self-Regulation with LifeForce Yoga

September 19-21st
Asheville Yoga Center – Asheville, NC

October 10-12th
Yoga on High – Columbus, OH

LifeForce Yoga to Manage Your Mood

September 26-28th
Kripalu Center – Stockbridge, MA

October 17-19th
Yogaville – Buckingham, VA

One thought on “Issue 58”

  1. Bonnie says:

    Warm congratulations on your grandaughter’s entry into life -I can feel your exhiliration! And thanks Amy for another informative newsletter and for your thoughtful words on Robin Williams and Mr Iyengar. I was not able to click on the links at the end though.

Comments are closed.


What People Say

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