Research Newsletter Issue 59: Yoga and Bipolar Disorder, Yoga for MS, and reviews on Yoga resources

triangleAs we move into a season of diminishing light, those who are prone to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), up their intake of vitamin D, plug in the light box, and if they can afford the trip, begin making plans for a winter vacation in the sun.  Yoga offers us a powerful antidote to winter blues.  Inversions are great.  Even if you cannot do headstand, there are many poses that place the head beneath the heart.  Standing forward bends like Standing Yoga Mudra, are excellent.  And poses done in a high kneeling position, like seated Yoga Mudra and Rabbit, are also great for bringing the good biochemistry you’ve awakened with your practice to your brain.  While doing any of these forward bending – head beneath heart poses, use the tone, “NG” with the tip of your tongue at the dome of the hard pallet.  You will feel the vibratory effect that is likely stimulating pineal and pituitary glandes and may aid in the production of Vitamin D.  Researchers have not yet investigated these practices, but anecdotal evidence suggests that inversions with this mantra are helping people experience fewer SAD symptoms.

If you are a yoga or health professional, prone to SAD, consider taking the LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training in Tucson in January.  Or, come to The Bahamas in February for a dose of sunlight.  You don’t need to be a professional, to take our Module A LFYP Training at that location.

Below, we have research on Yoga and bipolar disorder from Brown University and Butler Hospital and new research showing yoga helped female patients with Multiple Sclerosis improve their mental and physical health.

Read reviews by me of Shema Meditation through the Chakras DVD by Robin Rothenberg, Kabalah Yoga: Awaken Your Soul and Kabalah Yoga: Mystic Flow 2 Practice DVDs by Audi Gozlan, Ph.D., and Awakening: Aspiration to Realization Through Integral Yoga a book by Swami Karunananda.

Debbie Lubetkin, PsyD, LFYP-2 reviews Freud and Yoga, Two Philosophies of the Mind Compared by D.K.V. Desikachar and Helfried Krusche.

Rose Kress, RYT-500, LFYP-2 reviews Survivors on the Yoga Mat: Stories for Those Healing from Trauma by Becky Thompson.

Breathe of JoyResearch: Yoga and Bipolar Disorder

The research team, headed by Lisa Uebelacker of Brown University and Butler Hospital that is wrapping up a major National Institute of Health funded study on depression, has just published survey data in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice that indicates yoga practice has substantially helped the majority of respondents with managing their bipolar disorder (BD). This is significant, because although there have been numerous case reports of both benefits and abreactions from people with BD, this is the first report that has surveyed a large group of yoga practitioners with bipolar disorder.

When asked, “What impact do you think yoga has on your life?” the vast majority of on-line survey responses were positive and about one in five respondents characterized yoga as “life changing.” One even said, “Yoga has saved my life. … I might not be alive today were it not for yoga.” More than 70 people with a bipolar disorder diagnosis responded. Many respondents said yoga decreased anxiety and promoted calm or provided other emotional benefits. Calm also emerged as a specific benefit for 23 survey respondents when asked how yoga affects mania symptoms. Other benefits that were mentioned repeatedly included distraction from depressive thoughts and increased clarity of thought.

On the cautionary side, five of the 70 respondents became too agitated after rapid breathing, and one depressed individual became even more depressed after a practice that was too slow and meditative.

These kind of responses are important to note, because they highlight the importance for practitioners of understanding the principles and practices involved in meeting the mood, be it overly stimulated anxious or manic (rajasic) or deeply lethargic, depressed (tamasic) and then reestablishing balance. It is vital that both yoga professionals and mental health professionals who are integrating simple yoga practices like pranayama breathing or mantra tones or hand gestures called mudras, understand the effects and contraindications of these practices for people with bipolar disorder. This is precisely why specialty yoga training programs that include an understanding of mental health are important for those serving people in recovery, with mood disorders, or with a history of trauma. It is why I founded and continue to lead the LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training with a faculty of highly skilled yoga and mental health professionals.

I am honored to have been a consultant on the forthcoming Brown/Butler study on unipolar depression, in which a few LifeForce Yoga practices were included.  Read the full article on the bipolar depression survey here.


modern-yogaResearch: Yoga and MS

In a study conducted by Rutgers University researchers and recently published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Yoga helped improve physical and mental health in a small population of women moderately disabled due to a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS). Fourteen women with a diagnosis of MS, ages 34 to 64, attended a yoga class designed by health care professionals with yoga training in consultation with people with MS who have taken yoga. The study subjects attended two 1.5 hour classes a week for two months and were encouraged to practice at home. The classes included yoga philosophy, breathing, postures, relaxation, meditation, tracked home practice, and assessments at 0, 9, and 16 weeks.

Full Text PDF


81VAX64T9-L._SL1500_Review: Shema Meditation through the Chakras 

By Robin Rothenberg

Internationally known yoga therapist and trainer Robin Rothenberg’s Shema Meditation through the Chakras, is simply produced and led in her home studio.Through most of this DVD, Robin speaks to us from her embrace of therapeutic yoga and her personal understanding of Judaism as a contemporary student of Torah.  While the production values of this video are basic, her passionate intention to share the symbolism and resonance of each energy center with the essence of the six Hebrew words of the Shema creates a foundation for a safe and basic brief physical practice and a meditation, accompanied by award-winning composer Nancy Rumbel’s lyrical soundscape.

To purchase a copy click here.


download (2)Review: Survivors on the Yoga Mat: Stories for Those Healing from Trauma

By Becky Thompson

Reviewed by Rose Kress ERYT-500, LFYP-2, LFYE, LifeForce Yoga Education Director

In Survivors on the Yoga Mat, author Becky Thompson weaves poetry, research, personal anecdotes, and accounts from others to detail the ways in which trauma survivors experience and approach yoga. Rather than write a lengthy book, Thompson uses short stories or vignettes to tell the story of survivors on the mat. It is easy to breeze through this book with chapters that are one to three pages in length. The shortness of each account or story does not limit the impact. Rather, the impact of each vignette is supported by it shortness; it gives the reader ample time to digest and ponder each story.

Thompson arranges her book into six sections. Each part of the book covers a different aspect of the experience of trauma on the yoga mat. From drug addiction, to an exercise regime, the first section, “Deeper than Words,” shares the stories of what brings a trauma survivor to the yoga mat. Many of the stories detail the difficulties one encounters when first stepping on the Yoga path. For the first couple of years, many people share the common experience of trouble stilling the mind, difficulty in relaxing, desire to please the teacher, etc. Thompson shares her story of thinking up excuses to leave class early because it was uncomfortable to relax or even close her eyes at the end of class.

The other sections of the book illuminate the survivor’s journey through yoga and trauma recovery. In section two, there are vignettes about what makes trauma survivors distinctive and how their trauma shapes their practice and approach to yoga. Section three is aptly titled “Hide and Seek.” There are moments, shared in the chapter titled “The Possibility of ‘Eventually,’” where one woman experiences immediate relief. After surviving a genocide in Zimbabwe, the student had been unable to sleep through the night for years. But after one session, “she slept like a baby.” The immediate relief brings the practitioner back to the mat, but there are many times where the practice seems the same and no changes can be detected. Thompson points out that consistency is key and many survivors can feel uncomfortable as “predictability can feel like something is missing, an eerie quiet before a storm.” Thus, the practice becomes an act of faith; the immediate relief provides a glimpse of a future where the survivor will not need to run from the past.

Section four, “The Color of Rothko’s Blue,” shares stories of practicing yoga over the long-term. Thompson stresses the importance of self-reflection and how the practice opens trauma survivors to other creative activities. Section five, “In the Shadow of the Temple,” illuminates the special relationship between survivors and teachers – a two-way street, where each learns from the other. Finally, section six, “Love Calls Us to the Things of This World,” expands the practice off the mat. These stories share how yoga can and is fueling social justice and change in the world. As a result of daily practice, many are called to share the transformative power of yoga with the world.

Becky Thompson has written a beautiful guidebook through the experience of recovering from trauma on the yoga mat. Survivors will find support for their challenges and successes on the mat as well as a witness to their experience. Yoga teachers will find this book supportive in working with students and clients as it provides accounts of how survivors feel disconnected and uncomfortable in their bodies. Yoga teachers can use this insight to modify language while instructing and to create an atmosphere of permission.

Rose began practicing yoga more than 15 years ago and has been teaching since 2004. In that time she has focused on the therapeutic aspects of yoga – for the body, mind and soul. Rose teaches class and workshops throughout the Tucson area and has been blessed to teach classes at The Crossings in Austin, TX, at Kripalu in Lenox, MA and at the Flagstaff Yoga Festival and Bisbee Yoga Expo under the guidance of her teacher, Amy Weintraub. Rose has also studied with Rama Jyoti Vernon and has taken the Functional Yoga Therapy Training with Maria KaliMa. Rose is the Program Manager of the LifeForce Yoga Healing Institute and travels with Amy to assist her in LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Trainings.


31tAPoRl3GLReview: Kabalah Yoga: Awaken Your Soul and Kabalah Yoga: Mystic Flow

2 Practice DVDs by Audi Gozlan, Ph.D.

If you are a Vinyasa (flow) Yoga practitioner, no matter if you have a religious affiliation or not, you will find Canadian Audi Gozlan’s two videos astonishingly beautiful and an inspiring guidance for your flow yoga practice.  Even if you don’t practice flow yoga, there is much to enliven and motivate your practice here.

In the first, Kabalah Yoga: Awaken Your Soul, Audi takes us on his own journey of discovery. He describes in the introduction how, as a student of Kabalah, when he began to practice yoga postures, he felt his own body taking the shape of the Hebrew letters.   Audi is also a painter, and his artistic vision informs this gorgeous video, shot in the Judean Desert, east of Jerusalem.  During the practice, after leading warm-ups and a flow of postures, Audi invites the viewer to choose your own personal word or phrase from the eleven he presents, and guides you to flow into that.  Examples of Hebrew words/phrases that correlate with the Hebrew letters themselves and the yoga poses are Anochi—I am; Aish—fire; Adam Chad—in me there is one; and Chai—alive.

51Wq0muLw8L._AA160_In Kabalah Yoga: Mystic Flow, stunningly captured in HD at the Mediterranean Sea in Israel, Audi Gozlan offers a Vinyasa (flow) practice that moves through the chakras—the energy centers within and beyond the body.  In this practice, Audi aligns the chakras with the Kabalist concept of the Sefirot, the ten creative forces (bright light/sphere) that intervene between the infinite and our created world.  On this DVD, there are nine pre-selected yoga flows, each of which is approximately 40 minutes long and begins with a meditation.  As the meditation begins, we see a beautiful montage of Audi wrapping tefillin, the leather straps worn by religious Jewish men in morning prayer to remind them to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.” Within the DVD are many ways to customize your flow to align with your own energy, abilities and the chakras with which you are working.  Audi’s guidance inspires an inward looking and contemplative posture practice.  In his talk, he begins with the importance of breath awareness, and brings in the spiritual aspects of ruach and prana. He compares the 5 levels of existence and awareness in Kabalistic terms with the Sanskrit understanding of the koshas.  He discusses the qualities of the soul and the need to polish the treasure of your soul to bring out the beauty from within.    His discussion is graphically enlivened by beautiful animated imagery and subtitles.

Whether you are interested in Kabalah or in Vinyasa Yoga, practicing with either or both of these illuminating DVDs, so passionately produced by an artist and scholar, can transform your yoga practice, physically and spiritually.


download (1)Review: Awakening: Aspiration to Realization Through Integral Yoga

By: Swami Karunananda

These days, yoga is all about therapeutics.  It is often stripped of its esoteric elements, cleaned up to present to patients on hospital wards, clients in clinical settings, and people who wouldn’t be caught dead in a yoga studio. Not that this is a terrible thing. It really isn’t.  What it means is that those people who would balk at the idea of practicing yoga can have access, through their health care provider or their minister or life coach, to ancient practices, some of which now have good research to prove their efficacy.  Even yoga-phobes can learn practices that can help them back from the edges of imbalance to a place of healing, of balance, of homeostasis, of wholeness.  Health insurance companies are beginning to study yoga, because they see the cost of treating diabetes or heart disease or depression plummets with the addition of yoga therapy.  And with the medicalization of yoga, the patients themselves never have to know that what has helped them is actually an ancient practice, once passed from master to student for thousands of years.

The planet needs these healing practices. Individual people need these healing practices. If taking the Eastern philosophical references out of their presentation to a Western audience touches more peoples’ lives, then let’s do that.—“If they won’t drink the Kool-Aid,” I heard the beloved adaptive yoga teacher trainer and author of the magnificent memoir Waking, Matthew Sanford say, “water it down.”  Yes.  I and other yoga therapists have learned to make practices accessible to Westerners who will not, would not practice yoga.  But, and this is a huge “but.”  We cannot let the origins of these practices, processes and their philosophical foundation fade out of the consciousness of those who wish to delve deeper.  To adapt and modify for a psychiatric population or a specialized group—whether it be those in recovery from addictions or with a chronic or degenerative illness—we, as yoga professionals need to remain inspired.  We need to go back to the fountain to drink from the well of our teachers and our teachers’ teachers.

And so enter this beautiful book by Swami Karunananda, a disciple of Sri Swami Satchidananda, the founder of Integral Yoga.  Within its pages we have personal stories and the transmission of her keen understanding of her Guru’s teachings.  It is a book to return to, over and over again, to be inspired by, to quote from, to read on your mat and to keep by your bedside. It’s a testament to the power of relationship to heal.

In offering the reader the wisdom of yoga, Swami Karunananda stands on the foundation of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras as illuminated by her teacher.  For example, after discussing Patanjali’s assurance that one practice, mantra japa (repetition), can ease a range of physical, mental and spiritual obstacles, which she discusses from both ancient philosophical and current scientific understanding, she says, “Just like we use sound vibrations to clean items like jewels, teeth or even kidney stones, mantras clean our entire system—physical and mental.”   Later, she simplifies what Swami Satchidananda has taught her.  “A mantra is like soap; it cleanses the body and mind. It is like fire; it burns all the impurities.  Repetition of the mantra will make the mind strong, clear and collected.”

There is so much richness in this book.  Whether the author is talking about meditation, self-inquiry, repeating the stories of her own Guru, her own failures and triumphs, or the laws of karma, there is great wisdom within these pages to keep a seeker on her path.

To order a copy of Awakening: Aspiration to Realization Through Integral Yoga click here.


downloadReview: Freud and Yoga, Two Philosophies of the Mind Compared

By D.K.V. Desikachar and Helfried Krusche

Reviewed by Deborah Lubetkin, Psy.D.,  RYT-200,  LFY Mentor

In this dyadic interchange between the renowned yoga master D.K.V. Desikachar and German Psychoanalyst Helfried Krusche, the parallels between the yoga student-teacher relationship and the analyst–analysand relationship are visited throughout an in-depth interview. Dr. Krusche is also a trained yoga instructor, and frequent lecturer on the topic of Yoga & Psychoanalysis.  Both Desikachar and Krusche begin this journey with the idea that both models “come to life through dialogue.”  Throughout the interview, Desikachar leads the reader through an approach to understanding the mind based on principles from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.  Kruche’s perspective is rooted in the model of classical psychoanalysis.  A psychoanalytic perspective is one that explores the psyche based on each individual’s relationship between self and inner and outer world.

Though each perspective has clear cultural and philosophical differences, the authors’ intention is to draw profound parallels between these two relationships.  Because the relationship between analyst and analysand and the classical yoga master/student relationship are vertical with a clear hierarchy, Desikachar and Kruche emphasize throughout this dialogue that the analyst and the yoga master must take great care to be sure that the commitment to the patient/student supersedes the teacher’s goals or ego.  Ideally, the single-pointed focus of the yoga teacher on the student’s growth allows the student to learn fully from the feelings and thoughts that arise during the process, much like in psychotherapy where the analyst creates a “blank slate” for the patient to bring forth all thoughts and emotions essential for healing.  Both relationships rely on the safety, commitment, and consistency in the relationship.  This emphasis on relationship was intriguing, making this a book that provokes deeper self-inquiry and exploration.  As a reader who is both a psychologist and yoga teacher, this is what I most enjoyed. At times, the search for a parallel process or experience in psychoanalysis to “match” a sutra seemed forced. Yet the reader feels the authors’ passion and joy throughout their dialogue.

For LifeForce Yoga Practitioners or anyone integrating the complementary processes of yoga and psychotherapy, this is a thoughtful and thought-provoking read, click here to purchase a copy.

Deborah E. Lubetkin, Psy.D. is a Licensed Psychologist in Montclair, NJ.  She is also a Kripalu Yoga teacher (RYT-200), and a Certified LifeForce Yoga ® Practitioner and mentor.  Deborah’s work integrates psychotherapy with LifeForce Yoga and Eastern Philosophy.


9781138816169News: Special promotion code for forthcoming book Yoga Therapy

Pre-order a copy of Yoga Therapy, the forthcoming book, edited by Ellen Horowitz Ph.D. , LFYP, which features a chapter about yoga and mental health written by Amy Weintraub.   20% discount for LifeForce Yoga subscribers using code IRK71.



What People Say

“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 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 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 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
“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 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
“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
“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
“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 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’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
“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
“Amy is a wonderful instructor. She is a vital and vibrant person and she kept the program flowing. Her voice was very soothing and nurturing and she created an open, safe and sacred space.” — Mary Lou Tillinger, massage therapist/rural carrier, Plainfield, CT
“Amy 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 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 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
“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
“My personal practice will change, as well as my yoga classes. I have a better understanding of yoga!” — Andrea Gattuso, RYT, Yoga Teacher, Hackettstown, N.J.
“I gained tools for working with my own depression and with my clients’ depressions.” — Robert Sgona, LCSW, RYT, psychotherapist, Yoga teacher, Camden, ME.
“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
“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 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
“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
“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.
“Heal yourself with Yoga For Depression. I absolutely love this book and highly recommend it.” — Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D. Author of Meditation as Medicine
“Amy 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
“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
“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
“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 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.
“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
“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
“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 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 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
“In this book, Amy Weintraub directly addresses the core of depression: the problem of Being itself, in the finest tradition of Yoga. Yoga for Depression is an astonishingly comprehensive guide to the art and science of Yoga. Herein lies a Yogic blueprint for how to be a human being, written by a compassionate and generous teacher.” — Stephen Cope, author of Yoga and the Quest for the True Self and The Wisdom of Yoga: A Seeker’s Guide to Extraordinary Living. Director of the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living
“I 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
“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.)
“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 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
“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.
“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
“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
“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 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
“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 gained perspective of who I am in the world and this will change my life significantly.” — Mary Ford, artist, Southport, CT
“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
“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.
“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 teaching is enthusiastic and loving.  She guides me gently, harmoniously and confidently to a mindful state and encourages me to find my own strengths and edges.  With well-chosen language and carefully executed examples, she reminds me of my own inner healing knowledge.” — Penelope Simmons, artist, founder of Odyssey Storytelling, Tucson, AZ
“I have found the pranayama (breathing practices) especially easy to introduce in a clinical setting. Some people have benefited quickly in unexpected and transformative ways.” — Liz Brenner, LICSW, LFYP, Watertown, MA
“I 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
“Giving my clients a strategy and permission to quiet their minds and rebalance the sympathetic nervous system has been very beneficial to them and in our work together.” — Sue Dilsworth, PhD, RYT 200, LFYP, Allendale, MI
“Amy 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
“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
“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.
“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 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
“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.
“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
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