Issue 6

LifeForce Yoga® for Depression News

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

author, Yoga for Depression (Broadway Books)

Dear Friends, Colleagues & Students,

When we experience only one-half of a pair of opposites, for instance grief versus joy, or shame versus potency, we remain stuck in our experience, unable to move forward.

–Richard Miller, Ph.D., Yoga Nidra: The Meditative Heart of Yoga(Sounds True)

Message from Amy:

During the winter months, it is vital that we have a practice to cultivate joy. It’s no surprise that a British psychologist has designated January 24th as the most depressing day of the year. What to do? “Where there are negative thoughts,” says Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras, “cultivate positive ones.” (II, 33) Those ancient yogis gave us strategies to do this.

For thousands of years, the Yogis have understood that we practice Yoga, on and off the mat, in order to create a container strong enough to embrace all the emotions. Equanimity arises when we can accept trauma and loss along with the abundance of blessings we are given. Yogic practices help us do that. No matter how gray the sky in Houston or Atlanta or Pittsburgh, the sky is blue from your airplane window when you are flying thirty thousand feet above the ground. In the same way, to sustain positive mental health through a bleak season, we must expand our horizons. Remember the feel of the sun on your face as you practice a Sun Salutation. Consider a chanting practice like the “Gayatri” mantra that invites the sun into your heart. And remember one of the many lessons that Yoga practice teaches— everything changes.

Welcome to the 6th issue of LifeForce Yoga® for Depression News!

In this newsletter, we’ll look at two books that help celebrate and embrace the wholeness we are. Rose Kress reviews the long awaited Kripalu Yoga by Richard Faulds and the Senior Kripalu Yoga teachers. This is a book that inspires compassionate practice on and off the mat.

Rose also reviews Richard Miller’s Yoga Nidra: The Meditative Heart of Yoga. In this new book and CD from Sounds True, Miller gives us a step-by-step guide to a Yoga Nidra practice (Yogic sleep or deep relaxation) that embraces all that life presents with equanimity and awareness. In the practice of Yoga Nidra, “whatever you are willing to be with,” says Miller, “you go beyond. Sensory impressions and habit patterns that you neither resist nor get involved in expand and pop, dissolve and disappear, like bubbles rising to the surface of a lake.”

Included in this newsletter are practice suggestions for Seasonal Affective Disorder, new research reports related to mental health and Yoga, current news items, and my schedule through 2006. If you are unable to read the schedule, please visit the calendar on my web site at: workshop s.htm.

Also, you’ll find a new way to learn. For the first time, I’ll be teaching LifeForce Yoga®: The Breath and Depression, as a three-part Tele-class, on Monday evenings in January. You can take the live class right from home by calling an 800 number. Let’s meet on the phone. For more information and to enroll, please visit http://www.yog aspirit.ca/.

In this Issue:

Practice

Research

News

Reviews

Schedule of Workshops & Trainings

Resources

PRACTICE: Seasonal Affective Disorder & Winter Blues

Several studies have shown that it is not the holiday season that brings on the blues, but the lack of sunlight, especially for the 2% of the poplulation that suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and the 20% of the population who suffer from the Winter Blues.

SAD is a recurrent depressive disorder, that is a variant of bipolar disorder, during which a person predictably becomes depressed in months with short days. It often begins in September, October and November as the winter solstice gets closer. The Winter Blues occur in January and February. People with winter blues have good days when the weather clears, whereas seasonal affective disorder doesn’t correlate with the temperature.

A Yogic prescription for both Winter Blues and SAD is to practice! Often we feel sluggish because of lack of exercise. Try an inversion every day. Even if you haven’t mastered headstand, you may benefit from the pineal gland stimulation of placing the crown of your head on the mat, below your heart. Ask a qualified Yoga instructor to teach you seated Yoga Mudra or rabbit pose (sarvangasana).

Include breathing exercises (pranayama and kriya) in your posture (asana) practice. The increased flow of oxygen to your brain will make you feel better.

RESEARCH: Mantra Chanting for Stress Reduction

Efficacy of frequent mantram repetition on stress, quality of life, and spiritual well-being in veterans: a pilot study.

Authors: Bormann, J.E., Smith, T.L., Becker, S., Gershwin, M., Pada, L., Grudzinski, A.H., & Nurmi, E.A. Source: Journal of Holistic Nursing, 23 (4), 395-414. December 2005. Contact: Jill.Bormann@med.va.gov

Researchers at San Diego State University’s Veterans’ Healthcare System examined the benefits of a mantram meditation on perceived stress, anxiety, anger, symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), quality of life, and spiritual well- being.

A central goal of this study was to consider an intervention that specifically addresses spirituality and spiritual coping. The authors note that many stress-reduction interventions offer strategies for relaxation, emotional coping, and cognitive change, but fail to address spiritual concerns.

62 outpatient veterans (90% men, with a mean age of 62) participated in the full study, which consisted of a 5-week, 90-min per week intervention, with pre-intervention and post-intervention self- report measures of stress, anxiety, anger, quality of life, and spiritual well-being.

The intervention included 5 classes:1) How to Choose a Mantram, 2) How to Use and Track Mantram Practice, 3) Developing One-Pointed Attention, 4) Slowing Down, and 5) Putting It All Together. Participants choose a mantram from a recommended list that included several major spiritual traditions. Below are a few examples from that list:

Buddhist: Om Mani Padme Hum (Ohm Mah-nee Pod-may Hume), an invocation to the jewel (Self) in the lotus of the heart Christian: Kyrie Eleison (Kir-ee-ay Ee-lay-ee-sone), Lord have mercy, or the Lord is risen. Hindu: Rama (Rah-mah), eternal joy within. Jewish: Shalom, Peace Muslim: Bismallah Ir-rahman Ir-rahim (Beesemah-lah ir- rah-mun ir-rah-heem), in the name of Allah, the merciful, the compassionate Native American: O Wakan Tanka Oh, Great Spirit

Participants were taught how to use their mantram in everyday life and activities, rather than as practice limited to seated meditation. Participants reported an average of 8.7 (SD=7.32) daily mantram sessions. Results: Participants reported significant improvements in all outcomes: stress, anxiety, anger, quality of life, and spiritual well-being. The largest improvements were in anxiety and spiritual well-being. Additional analyses suggest that greater frequency of mantram practice is associated with greater improvements. The authors recommend continued study and application of mantram in health care settings.

[Excerpted from the International Association of Yoga Therapists Newsletter]

RESEARCH: Combining Meditation and Massage

A randomized controlled trial of meditation and massage effects on quality of life in people with late-stage disease: a pilot study.

Authors: Williams, A.L., Selwyn, P.A., Liberti, L., Molde, S., Njike, V.Y., McCorkle, R., Zelterman, D., & Katz, D.L. Source: Journal of Palliative Medicine, 5, 939-52. October 2005. Contact: Send reprint requests to David L. Katz, MD, MPH, katzdl@pol.net

The combination of meditation and massage was shown to be an effective way to improve the physical and spiritual well-being of AIDS patients in longterm care. Researchers at the Yale Prevention Research Center conducted a randomized, controlled pilot study of Metta meditation (lovingkindness), with and without massage, to investigate the independent and synergistic effects on quality of life among patients with AIDS.

Both the meditation-only and massage-only groups maintained or improved function, while the standard-care control group showed a decline. Only the combined intervention group (meditation plus massage) showed significant improvements in well-being at the 8-week follow-up. In particular, the combined intervention group showed improvement in function, interpersonal well- being, and spiritual well-being. These benefits seemed to persist at the longest follow-up (68 weeks). Both the meditation-only and massage-only groups maintained or improved function, while the standard-care control group showed a decline.

These results suggest that meditation and touch therapy complement each other in end-of-life and advanced-illness care. This is an important idea for both individual yoga therapists, who may be able to supplement instruction with manual/touch therapies or collaborate with other therapists, and for program development at hospitals, hospice centers, and other healing centers.

[Excerpted from the International Association of Yoga Therapists Newsletter]

RESEARCH: Yoga

Evidence for Yoga as a Treatment for Depression

The Journal of Affective Disorders has published a review of five studies that measured the effect of Yoga practice on depression between January and June of 2004. For the first time, this review looked only at Yoga interventions that included pranayama breathing and relaxation. Three of the studies included breathing practices and relaxation only. Neither meditation-only nor the well- known mindfulness-based stress reduction program, which includes many practice components in addition to Yoga, were included. All five randomized control trials reported positive outcomes for populations with mild to severe depression. No adverse effects were reported with the exception of fatigue and breathlessness in participants in one study.

Authors: Pilkington, K., Kirkwood, G., Rampes, H., & Richardson, J. Research Council for Complementary Medicine, London, UK

NEWS: Teenage Major Depression on the Rise

According to Government statistics, nearly one in ten American teenagers experienced major depression last year. The results also show that depressed youths are more likely to smoke, drink alcohol or abuse drugs. The survey showed that fewer than half received treatment for depression.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says the survey reveals 9 percent of teens were depressed and older teens are more at risk.

About 12 percent of youth aged 16 or 17 faced severe depression in 2004, compared with about 5 percent of those 12 or 13 years old. Among those age 14 or 15, 9 percent experienced a major episode.

Excerpted from All Headline News, Andrea Moore, reporter Washington, D.C. (AHN) – According to Government statistics, nearly one in ten American teenagers experienced major depression last year. The results also show that depressed youths are more likely to smoke, drink alcohol or abuse drugs. The survey showed that fewer than half received treatment for depression. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says the survey reveals 9 percent of teens were depressed and older teens are more at risk. About 12 percent of youth aged 16 or 17 faced severe depression in 2004, compared with about 5 percent of those 12 or 13 years old. Among those age 14 or 15, 9 percent experienced a major episode.

NEWS: Update on the VNS Stimulator

As reported in previous newsletters, several months ago, the US Food and Drug Administration, finally approved the implantation of the Vagus Nerve Stimulator developed and sold by Cyberonics as a treatment for depression. There has been a cautious response to this device among the psychiatric establishment. Insurance companies are slowly coming on-board. According to Cyberonics, sixty-two are agreeing to reimburse patients for their costs, and 250 surgeons and 2,000 psychiatrists have been trained in its use.

It has been shown that certain yogic breathing— kriyas, Sudharshan Kriya in particular–likely stimulate the vagus nerve. Before opting for the expensive implantation ($15,000 for the device; $25,000 for the surgery), try learning and practicing one of these kriyas. To find out about learning Sudharshan Kriya, contact the Art of Living Foundation. http://www.art ofliving.org/

News: LifeForce Yoga® Tele-Class in January

LifeForce Yoga® Breathing for Depression

Tele-classes are a live 60-minute telephone lecture that includes a question period. They are a convenient way to receive knowledge from the comfort of your home, office or studio. All you need is a phone. Register and you also receive a recorded version of the class.

Dates: Mondays, January 16, 23, 30

Cost: $24.95 CDN for one class

$44.95 CDN for two classes

$67.00 CDN for all three classes

Times: 9:00 pm EST / 6:00 pm PST

We will discuss

•the current research on depression

•Yogic Breathing: Pranayama and Kriya and their use and precautions in working with mood

•the effect of alternate nostril and single nostril techniques on mood, their application and their contraindications

•practice alternate nostril and single nostril techniques for elevating mood

NEWS

Live Radio Call-in Show on Yoga for Depression

I’ll be talking to Jennifer Louden, host of LOUDENCLEAR, on Martha Stewart Living Radio, Sirius Channel 112, on Sunday, January 22nd at 8:10 Pacific/12:10 pm EST time. You can join the conversation by calling 1- 866-675-6675.

REVIEWS

Kripalu Yoga: A Guide to Practice on and Off the Mat. Richard Faulds & Senior Teachers of Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health

This highly anticipated release holds the spirit of Kripalu within its 418 pages. Written by Faulds and the Senior Teachers, the book aims to give the reader an in depth look at all of the practices of Kripalu yoga – not just postures and breath work – and it succeeds. Despite the amount of contributors, the work flows beautifully while Faulds manages to keep the tone and feel of Kripalu contained within the text. Readers will be pleasantly surprised to find the words of their favorite teachers quoted throughout the pages. Another wonderful addition is the testimonials of teachers and practitioners, which give the book a very personal feel. A large section of the work is devoted to Yoga & Health where the authors discuss adapting poses to deal with physical limitations as well as using certain postures to heal those “problem areas,” making this section more therapeutic in nature. More than just testimonials and postures, the work contains information on the classical and philosophical roots of yoga. There are also many exercise inserts where the reader can begin to experience and participate in what they are reading. As a special treat for those of you that have visited Kripalu, you will find the pages filled with many familiar faces.

Rose Kress, RYT, President, Arizona Yoga Association

To Order: www.k ripalu.org

REVIEWS

Yoga Nidra: The Meditative Heart of Yoga. Richard Miller, Ph.D. – CD & Book

This is a book you’ll enjoy holding in your hands. It’s a beautiful book to hold and to read. In it, Richard Miller shares his personal experience of Yoga Nidra. He describes a meditative practice that not only leads to profound relaxation, but to the resolution of trauma, the release of chronic stress and the neutralization and overcoming of anxiety, fears, anger and depression. As he instructs it, the practice works to train the mind. “Yoga Nidra,” he says, “invites your innate intelligence and intrinsic clarity to rise to the surface of your conscious mind, allowing you to uncover and access the wisdom resources of your higher levels of consciousness.” While experiencing Yoga Nidra, we are guided into an approximation of sleep yet asked to remain aware thus training ourselves to “live consciously as witnessing Presence that is always awake and full of equanimity.” This is not just a practice to gain deeper relaxation; rather it is an experience in finding a state of higher consciousness in our everyday lives so that we can lead a more peaceful and balanced existence. The book, designed to extend your understanding of the experience of the practice on the CD, gives a history, contains many lovely quotes, and also includes worksheets to aid your practice. The CD provides the experience in 2 separate practices, broken into sections, followed by a full practice, coming in at just over 35 minutes of blissful relaxation guided by Richard’s soft, caring and very present voice.

Rose Kress, RYT, President, Arizona Yoga Association

To order: www.nondual.com

CALENDAR

Highlights:

DATE

TIME

EVENT

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.

Your Home

Mondays Jan.16, 23, 30, 2006 &n bsp; < /span>

9:00 PM EST

6:00 PM PST LifeForce Yoga® Breathing for Depression, 3-Part Tele-class Series. For description and registration, visit www.YogaSpirit.ca</ font>

Your Home

Sunday, Jan. 22, 2006

11:00 AM EST

8:00 AM PST Live Interview with call-in questions, “Louden Clear” on Martha Stewart Living Radio, Sirius Channel 112. CALL IN 1-866-675- 6675

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 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

Tucson, AZ

April 7 – 9th, 2006 LifeFor ce Yoga morning session, Triangle of Empowerment Conference, www.thein nerconnection.org 520 322- 7689.

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< /font>, 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< /font>, 614 291-4444.

Austin, TX

May 21 – 26, 2006 LifeForce Healing & Retreat Training, 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 http://www.mountmadonna.org/live/WEI- 6-2.html

Lenox, MA

July 2 – 7, 2006 LifeForce Yoga® Training for Depression & Anxiety, Kripalu Center, 800-741- 7353

Rhinebeck, NY

July 7 — 9th, 2006 Breathe 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,</ u> 877-944-3003

RESOURCES

McMan’s Depression and Bipolar Weekly

In his excellent on-line newsletter, editor/writer John McManamy reports on current research, particularly related to pharmaceuticals. However, he also keeps readers in the know about complementary treatments, new books and other resources. John is working on a book about bipolar disorder. You can subscribe by emailing mcman@mcmanweb.com and put “Subscribe” in the heading and your email address in the body. www.mcmanweb.com

RESOURCES

International Association of Yoga Therapists

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. www.iayt.org

RESOURCES

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

Cart

What People Say

“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
“As a teacher of yoga, Amy Weintraub has continually reinforced my longtime belief in the strong connection of mind-body-spirit. For the past three years, I have benefited, both personally and professionally (I am a clinical social worker), from Amy's supportive and competent guidance in yoga. Because of Amy's influence, I often recommend the practice of yoga to friends and clients.” — Dory Martin, CISW, Tucson, AZ
“I gained tools for working with my own depression and with my clients’ depressions.” — Robert Sgona, LCSW, RYT, psychotherapist, Yoga teacher, Camden, ME.
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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 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
“Yoga Skills for Therapists brilliantly opens a door to the physical and spiritual layers of a client - one that therapists and counselors have been waiting to walk through. Its chapters unfold a unique and inspiring blend of ancient traditions and contemporary concerns. From a place of genuine respect, integrity and intention, Amy offers easily applied foundational yogic practices to enrich the therapeutic experience for both client and practitioner.” – Elissa Cobb, MA. Director of Programs, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy
“I began a fantasy during the meditation exercise... almost as if I’d been there. It’s now an on-going work of fiction.” — Serian Strauss, Tanzania
“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
“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
“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.
“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
“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 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 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
“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
“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.
“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
“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 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 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 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 gained perspective of who I am in the world and this will change my life significantly.” — Mary Ford, artist, Southport, CT
“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
“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’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
“Words do not do justice to all that I learned. This workshop changed my life!” — Jen Nolan, Teacher, Cortland, NY
“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
“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
“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 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 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
“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
“Suffering from depression and chronic fatigue syndrome, I've tried medications, supplements, and many forms of traditional and nontraditional therapies without beneficial effects. While taking yoga classes with Amy at Kripalu, I noticed a definite shift in my consciousness, a reduction in stress, and an improvement in my well-being. Amy's classes have helped me to love and appreciate myself. Amy is an outstanding yoga teacher and in dealing with the fatigue and depression I experience, participation in her classes has been a real gift to my yoga practice and me.” — E. M., teacher, Lenox, MA
“I 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.
“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 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 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
“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 life is already changed! I will use the tools I learned in my own practice and in my work. I feel safe and seen.” — Susan Andrea Weiner, MA, teacher/expressive arts facilitator, El Cerrito, CA.
“Amy 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 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 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 Weintraub shows how to use yoga as a resource for psychological healing and personal growth. Her methods are grounded in ancient wisdom, informed by modern science, and eminently practical for reducing anxiety, lifting mood, and improving self-regulation. She is a master teacher, and her skills and heart are woven throughout this new classic for therapists, clients, and anyone interested in inner strength and peace.” — Rick Hanson, Ph.D. author of Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom
“Amy 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
“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 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 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’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
“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.)
“Amy’s teaching is enthusiastic and loving.  She guides me gently, harmoniously and confidently to a mindful state and encourages me to find my own strengths and edges.  With well-chosen language and carefully executed examples, she reminds me of my own inner healing knowledge.” — Penelope Simmons, artist, founder of Odyssey Storytelling, Tucson, AZ
“Amy 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 have been reminded that I am not on this path alone, that others are sharing the journey that sometimes seems so difficult. I have also been reminded of the importance of daily practice and I will do that. The whole program has been an incredible experience for me. Thank you!” — Lorraine Plauth, retired teacher, Voorheesville, NY
“I 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
“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 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 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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