Issue 7

LifeForce Yoga® for Depression Research & News

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

author, Yoga for Depression (Broadway Books)

Dear Friends, Colleagues & Students,

“The spiritual is a sense of union with the Ground of our Being, a precious sense of our connectedness. Spirituality is the glorious destination that the train of religion is bound for… When we mistake the train for the destination, we are liable to keep riding around in circles.”

–Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., , A Woman’s Journey to God

Message from Amy:

What I love about Yoga is that you don’t have to believe anything to feel yourself deeply and intimately connected to the Ground of Your Being, that vast ocean of healing energy that is eternally available to us all. Whether you call this energy Purusha or Jesus or Hashem or Allah or Prana or Chi or Self or No-Self, when you step onto your mat and begin a practice to clear the space, you invite this energy to awaken within and to pour through you from without–there is no separation.

Blessings and welcome to the 7th issue of LifeForce Yoga® for Depression News! In this issue, you’ll find a practice suggestion for accessing your own inner reservoir of peace, current research and news with a bit of commentary, reviews of a few tools—new books, CD’s, and DVD’s you may find useful in supporting your practice, and my current schedule of workshops and trainings.

In this Issue:

Practice

Research

News

Schedule of Workshops & Trainings

Reviews

Resources

PRACTICE: For Inner Peace

This is a simple practice that awakens your own inner peace. It combines a yogic breath retention (kumbhaka) with a visualization (bhavana) and a calming tone (mantra). We’ll use the mantra “shanti,” the Sanskrit word for peace. The word itself, with it’s “sh” sound and it’s “ah” sound, is soothing. Previous research has shown that long retention of the breath is calming to the sympathetic nervous system, so in this practice we’ll be holding the breath for a count of 16. If this count feels too long for you, listen to your body and release sooner than that.

Please sit in a comfortable position with your spine erect. To prepare for this practice, let’s do a contracting and releasing exercise first. Take a deep breath and tense the muscles in your face, your belly, and your buttocks. Make fists of your hands and draw your shoulders towards your ears. Hold the breath, squeezing the “to-do’s,” the judgments, the doubts—whatever is blocking the peaceful flow of energy through your system. Then let it go with a sigh. Do this several times, until you can breathe in a calm and relaxed way.

When you are breathing calmly and comfortably, bring into your mind an image or symbol for peace— maybe an image like a rose in full bloom or a still pond—whatever conjures peace in your mind. If an image doesn’t present itself, simply think the word “peace.”

When you have your image or your word, inhale for four counts, extending your arms in a circle in front of your heart. As you hold the breath for sixteen counts, imagine your image for peace cupped in your extended hands. If you wish, you may think the mantra “shanti.”

As you exhale for eight counts, say or chant “shanti” three times, drawing your image for peace into your heart by moving your hands to your heart, left hand crossed over the right.

Repeat the gesture, the breath retention, the visualization, and the mantra twelve times, and then sit for a few minutes. Is there any difference in this moment between the peace that surrounds you and the peace flowing through you?

RESEARCH/COMMENTARY

Catching up with the Yogis: a “new” Grief Therapy

In June, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study (1) that compared “complicated grief therapy” with standard interpersonal grief therapy. The rate of positive response was more than twice as high for those receiving complicated grief therapy compared to the standard therapy.

What’s interesting about this finding, from a yogic point of view, is that the standard therapy “explores the patient’s relationship with the deceased person, emphasizing disputes, role transitions, and grief.” (2) On the other hand, “complicated grief therapy,” named for what it is meant to treat (3), involves a balanced procedure the study authors call a “dual process” in which patients concentrate alternately on adjusting to the loss and restoring a satisfying life.

This is a strategy that the ancient yogis understood. As Patanjali, the earliest codifier of yoga recommends in the Yoga Sutras: Where there are negative thoughts, substitute positive ones (vitarkah badhane pratipaksa bhavanam, II.33). What the study authors call a “dual process” that incorporates elements of cognitive therapy, is actually the essence of the “nondual” intervention used for all troubling emotions that psychologist, yogi, and author Richard Miller advocates, practices, and teaches, and which I learned from him and also use in LifeForce Yoga® Sessions and in the trainings I offer.

We strengthen the container, allowing more room for both grief and joy, when we practice yoga with an attitude of embracing it all, with awareness and without judgment. When we cultivate this kind of allowing, on the mat and off, by not only giving space to the painful, negative, unwholesome emotions we may feel, but also cultivating their opposites, we restore the balance of mind, necessary in recovering from grief and moving forward in our lives.

1 Shear K, et al. “Treatment of Complicated Grief: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” Journal of the American Medical Association (June 1, 2005) Vol. 293, No 21, pp. 2601-08.

2 “Treating complicated grief,” Harvard Mental Health Letter (February, 2006), p. 7.

3 Symptoms that are similar to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)—persistent disbelief about the death, anger and bitterness over the loss, guilty feelings about the deceased, and repeated waves of painful longing.

RESEARCH: YOGA

RX for Back Care

A study funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and reported in the December issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, showed a significant decline in back pain and in the need for pain medication among those taking a weekly yoga class for three months. The study compared aerobic exercise to yoga. The control group read a book on back care. More than three months after the weekly yoga class ended, in a follow-up, only 21% of yoga participants reported taking pain medication in the past week, compared with half of patients in the exercise group and 59% of those who received the book.

RESEARCH/FOOD SUPPLEMENTS

Two Studies Demonstrate Efficacy of DHEA

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) can be effective for midlife-onset minor and major depression, according to the results of a placebo-controlled, randomized trial published in the February issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. The study involving 23 men and 23 women took place from Jan. 4, 1996, through Aug. 31, 2002, at the National Institute of Mental Health Midlife Outpatient Clinic. Another recent study conducted by Columbia University showed a significant mood elevation among patients who were HIV positive.

Although DHEA is available at most health food stores, caution is advised. DHEA is a powerful hormone that can affect the production of testosterone as well as estrogen. Taking it without a doctor’s supervision may result in a hormone imbalance. For more information about the benefits and precautions of taking DHEA, you can read an excellent article on the web site Women to Women http://www.womentowomen.com/adrenalf atigue/dhea.asp

RESEARCH: DEPRESSION/COMMENTARY

Simpler VNS Stimulator Tested—Breathing Even Simpler

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have tested a device known as a Radio Frequency- powered Neural Stimulator (RFNS). Like the Vagus nerve Stimulator (VNS) device developed by Cybetronics and recently approved by the FDA, the RFNS stimulates the vagus nerve, which has been shown to treat both epilepsy and major depression. The RFNS requires less surgery than the original VNS and may have fewer side effects. It consists of a receiver implanted under the skin and a separate power supply placed near the skin in the neck area.

Before considering any kind of surgery, experiment with stimulating the vagus nerve naturally through the practice of yogic breathing. Sudharshan Kriya, Kapalabhati and other kriya breathing practices seem to have this stimulating effect, and studies have shown that Sudharshan Kriya is an effective treatment for depression.

For more information about yogic breathing and mood, read chapter six in Yoga for Depression or attend a LifeForce Yoga® Healing Retreat and Training workshops. htm.

For information about Sudharshan Kriya, read Chapter Seven in Yoga for Depression or visit the Art of Living web site. www.artofliving.org .

RESEARCH: YOGA

For current research summaries, including a pilot study not yet published that shows improvement in psychosocial measurements among cancer survivors, visit the International Association of Yoga Therapy website. www.iayt.org

NEWS:

Living Well With Depression and Bipolar Disorder

I’ve just read John McManamy’s soon to be released LIVING WELL WITH DEPRESSION AND BIPOLAR DISORDER in manuscript. Look for this book in the fall. It’s a necessary read for those of us who have suffered. The book is one of the most comprehensive and readable guides to the many forms of depression and bipolar disorder and their treatment that I’ve read. (See RESOURCES below for information on John’s newsletter.)

NEWS:

UPCOMING CALENDAR HIGHLIGHTS

WEEKEND RADIO

I’ll be talking with Claire Papin, radio host of “It’s All Good,” on Serius Satellite Radio, Saturday, March 11, 8:00 – 9:00 am EST & 8:00 – 9:00 pm EST, and on Sunday, March 12th at 6:00 a.m. on channel 114 . You can listen to a live stream of the broadcast at ht tp://lime.com/more/Radio_Play/index.html.

INTERNATIONAL YOGA THERAPY CONFERENCE

Bay Conference Center

Tiburon, Marin County, California.

I’ll be teaching in the San Francisco Bay Area in May (5/12 & 13) at ‘Yoga for Health, the International Yoga Therapy Conference’, that Antonio Sausys, a yoga therapist from Uruguay is organizing.

This is how Antonio describes what we will be doing: The conference is a three-day opportunity to get in touch with some of the most important voices of Yoga Therapy as they convene, for the first time in the United States, to share their knowledge of the healing potential of yoga. These experts will show you how to improve your health with yoga – from relieving everyday discomforts and ailments like common colds, carpal tunnel syndrome and lower back pain, to treating chronic illnesses like AIDS and Cancer and emotional conditions such as Depression, Anxiety and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. For more information, please visit the web site at http ://www.yogatherapyconference.com/

MOUNT MADONNA CENTER

I’ll also be teaching in California again, June 2 – 6th, at the Mount Madonna Center. Please visit their site for a full description of the program. http://www.mountmadonna.org/live/WEI-6- 2.html

PSYCHOTHERAPY NETWORKER SYMPOSIUM

March 16th – 19th, Washington, D.C.

I look forward to seeing many old friends at this juicy conference! Once again, I’ll be the LifeForce Facilitator, teaching yoga and meditation throughout the conference and leading a pre-conference workshop. http://www.psychotherapynetworker.org/l ife-force-yoga.html

CALENDAR

Highlights

DATE

TIME

EVENT

Your Home

March 11 & 12, 2006

Sat: 8:00-9:00AM EST 8:00 – 9:00 PM EST Sun: 6:00 – 7:00AM EST It’s All Good – Radio with Claire Papin; Serius Satellite Radio channel 114—Or listen to the show’s live stream on the web http://lime.com/more/Radio_Play/index.html</ title=http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=e9dj8sbab.0.6vwwqtbab.j9cnhzaab.1442&p=http%3A%2F%2Flime.com%2Fmore%2FRadio_Play%2Findex.html font>

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.

San Francisco Bay Area

May 12 – 14th, 2006 Y oga for Health – International Yoga Therapy Conference, Bay Conference Center, Tiburon, Lecture: Patanjali’s Prescription for Positive Mental Health, Workshop: LifeForce Yoga® for Depression & Anxiety Marin County, California. http ://www.yogatherapyconference.com/

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

San Francisco, CA

October 19th – 22nd, 2006

Psychotherapy Networker Symposium West – Amy will lead a Pre-Conference Day-Long Workshop, Morning Yoga & Afternoon Integration practice. www.psychotherapynetworker.org

Austin, TX

November 3-5, 2006 Yoga to Beat the Blues, The Crossings,</ u> 877-944-3003

Tucson, AZ

January 6 – 11th, 2007 LifeForce Yoga® Healing Intensive (CE credits available) in Tucson. Cclick here to go to the brochure

Info: Rose Kress – 520 349- 2644.

Los Angeles, CA

January 12 – 21st, 2007 IAYT International Yoga Therapy Symposium, LAX Hilton, www.iayt.org

REVIEWS

Two Mindful Eating CD’s by Jean Fain, Reviewed by Rose Kress, RYT

Eat to Live & Lose Weight – A Hypnosis CD

In her introduction, Jean Fain discusses the importance of eating a healthy and balanced diet, including those carbs that we are all trying to avoid, and eating smaller amounts more often. It’s refreshing to hear her speak of a return to the balanced diet approach rather than denying ourselves food. The hypnosis section of the CD begins with what we yoga practitioners would consider a soothing and well-led shavasana. Relaxing at deeper and deeper levels, I floated off to a wonderfully restful and safe place, with neither thoughts nor expectations. I opened my eyes to the sensation of feeling completely energized. I got up, passed the chocolate bar over for the healthier banana, and was out the door for a quick walk.

Mindful Eating CD

On this CD, Jean Fain begins with a short discussion of the techniques of mindfulness meditation. The techniques utilized are rooted in the Mindfulness Meditation techniques developed by John Kabat-Zinn and in lessons on food intake regulation by Jean Coustaleur. In the second section of the CD, Jean leads a breath awareness exercise that I found calming. Section three is a loving body scan. Jean guides us to remain aware and mindful, reminding us to be non-judgmental about our body and what we are experiencing. After practicing with this CD, I felt calm, relaxed, and ready to deal with my “to-dos” in an easy manner.

Both CD’s have been added to my own weight loss program. You might consider putting them on the top of your list of tools for successful weight loss by visiting www.jeanfain.com.

—-Rose Kress, RYT, President, Arizona Yoga Association

REVIEW

30 Essential Yoga Poses, by Judith Lasater; reviewed by Rose Kress, RYT

30 Essential Yoga Poses: for Beginning Students and Their Teachers (Rodmell Press) is one essential yoga book! Whether you are just starting out on your yoga journey or have been teaching for years, this book should be on your bookshelf. Judith begins with a short discussion of yoga philosophy, leaving the very intense and sometimes inaccessible philosophic discourse to those who take a more scholarly approach. She focuses her attention on what you need to know about yoga, whether you are a student or a teacher, in a way that is refreshing and easy to comprehend.

Part II discusses the student–teacher relationship, including choosing your teacher, the ethics involved in the relationship, and transitioning from being a student to a teacher.

In the posture section, each pose has a picture, its name in English and Sanskrit, where it should be practiced in relation to other poses, cautions, props that might be useful, step by step instructions, and ways you might wish to explore the pose more deeply. Judith adds a section for variations of the pose with accompanying pictures. Each pose includes information for teachers that explains the primary focus of the posture and the basic adjustment a student may need while holding the pose.

The section devoted to sequencing poses, includes practice suggestions to meet your intention, whether it be to increase energy or foster relaxation. There are even sequence suggestions for busy days when you don’t have time to complete a full practice.

The glossary includes definitions of anatomical terms that are most often used in yoga class.

For more information on Judith and her work, please visit her web site, www.judithlasa ter.com

REVIEW

Joyful Yoga Practice CD

Who needs a variety of camera angles and editing techniques, when you have two experienced yogins practicing a synchronized flow of poses on a beautiful beach at sunset with seabirds drifting through the frame? Tess and Jackie Chiodo, a mother and daughter team of yoga teachers, have produced a simple, flowing one-hour practice, without long holds, that builds physical energy and calms the mind. Tess demonstrates the practice at a beginning level, modifying warm-ups and postures, while daughter Jackie demonstrates an intermediate execution of the poses.

The flow starts in a supine position with basic Yogic Three-part breathing, and the viewer is guided to set an intention for her practice. Jackie, who narrates the voice-over for the yoga session, suggests that you pay attention to the sensations in your body and your breath throughout the practice. The warm-ups begin with some quick repetitions of good back-care basics and hip openers like wind relieving pose (pavana muktasana), gentle twists, and leg stretches. The team guides you to a seated position for neck and shoulder stretches, and then takes time in table position for spinal flexions.

The standing poses begin with an invigorating series of sun salutations. Moderately challenging postures follow, but they are not held long. While the instructions are clear, there aren’t a lot of alignment details here, so beginners should work with a qualified yoga teacher to learn the poses before jumping into this practice.

The practice is well-sequenced, moving from standing to floor poses that include pigeon, gentle back-bending, forward bending and a twist. The practice concludes with a short guided relaxation in corpse pose, followed by a few moments of meditation. Original Native flute music by Byron Rodriguez adds to the relaxing effect of this practice.

For beginning and intermediate students who have a basic understanding of the postures, this is a simple, accessible sequence of poses that guides your attention to breath and body sensations. Following Tess and Jackie through this hour-long practice will restore your energy and calm your mind. www.joyfulyoga.c om

REVIEW

Healing Night: The Science and Spirit of Sleeping, Dreaming, and Awakening by Rubin Naiman, Ph.D.

Psychologist Rubin Naiman takes an integrative spiritual approach to dealing with sleep and awakening. Not surprising, since he is a sleep and dream medicine specialist and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Arizona’s Program in Integrative Medicine, directed by Andrew Weil. Healing Night: The Science and Spirit of Sleeping, Dreaming, and Awakening is is a lyrical book, written with humor, passion and poetry. In some ways it’s a dream-like reverie on sleep. Take for example the way in which he introduces us to the notion that since Edison invented the light bulb (and he describes Edison as an anxiety-ridden insomniac) we have been overdosed on artificial light. “We mitigate our fear of darkness through the excessive use of evening light, effectively extending daytime’s custody over us deep into the night and seriously eroding our night consciousness….Like a frightened child, the planet sleeps with its lights on.”

Given that those who suffer from insomnia for a year have an 80% chance of developing depression, this is an important book for people who struggle to get a good night’s sleep that includes a good night’s dreaming, as well as for the medical, mental health, and yoga professionals who work with them.

Many of us wake up in the middle of the night, and immediately worry that we won’t get back to sleep, and that worry can keep the wheels churning. But Naiman tells us to relax because waking up in the middle of the night is normal. He cites research that indicates that when we sleep with the rhythm of natural light, going to bed soon after dark and rising at dawn, as did our forbearers, we have a natural four-hour cycle, staying awake for as long as an hour before drifting off again.

Along with the lyricism come solid research and numerous life style suggestions and healing practices to help us sleep peacefully, dream lucidly, and awaken refreshed.

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

Cart

What People Say

“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 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 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
“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 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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“Words do not do justice to all that I learned. This workshop changed my life!” — Jen Nolan, Teacher, Cortland, NY
“As a Yoga teacher, Amy Weintraub’s most outstanding quality is her kindness. I have seen her work often with very challenging students and always maintain her attitude of patience and compassion. She provides a safe and enriching class.” — Tom Beall, RYT 500, Yoga teacher, Tucson, AZ
“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
“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 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 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
“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
“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 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
“With a specific emphasis on managing mood, Amy’s book delivers dynamic insights and yoga-based practices that she has refined over decades of first-hand experience working with clients, students, and therapists, that relax, focus, and reduce the symptoms and causes of anxiety, depression, and stress, as well as prepare the mind and body for the integrative work of psychotherapy.” — Richard Miller, Ph.D., author, Yoga Nidra: The Meditative Heart of Yoga, President, Integrative Restoration Institute.
“I 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
“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
“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’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
“I gained tools for working with my own depression and with my clients’ depressions.” — Robert Sgona, LCSW, RYT, psychotherapist, Yoga teacher, Camden, ME.
“Amy was just what I needed. Her values & thoughts & way of speaking stirred deep “hidden pockets” that need to be cleaned out. I’m glad I came. I know it will change my life.” — Sue Carlson, seamstress, Ayer, MA
“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.
“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 have gained a softer heart, more receptive mind, and tools to enrich both personal and professional aspects of my life.” – Regina Trailweaver, LICSW, clinical social worker, Hancock, VT.
“I 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
“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
“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 had been on antidepressant medication for three years and had just been diagnosed with fibro myalgia when I began to work with Amy. She designed a sequence of postures and breathing exercises for me that I could practice at home. After four months, I was feeling much better, and after six months, I was able to stop antidepressants entirely. I still have low moods from time to time, but I know they will pass. Yoga has changed my life.” — C.L., 37, massage therapist, Sarasota, FL.
“I have 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
“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
“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 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.
“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.
“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 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
“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 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
“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
“Amy helped me find powerful personal images that fit perfectly into my short stories, and she helped me find a process to release my inner voice.” — Mark Heasley, Troy, Michigan
“I utilize the LFY techniques in both a class room setting and one-on-one environment. The skills have infused my teachings with compassion, mindfulness, and awareness.” — Kat Larsen, CYT, LFYP
“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 gained perspective of who I am in the world and this will change my life significantly.” — Mary Ford, artist, Southport, 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
“Amy Weintraub's talent as a yoga instructor is surpassed only by her ability to inspire compassion and depth in each of her student's practice.” — LuAnn Haley, attorney, Tucson, AZ
“Amy is a 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
“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 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 workshop helped me rededicate my energies and begin to work through some of the blocks I’ve felt creatively.” — Steve Mark, college professor, New Haven, CT
“As a musician living with multiple spinal deformities, I have participated in many yoga classes lead by Amy Weintraub. I see Amy’s classes as very fluid, well-structured arrangements of poses, breathing exercises and vocalizations. Amy manages to pace her sessions and her voice at just the right tempo as to add focus and confidence to the students’ efforts. The systematic progression of movements in Amy’s classes naturally engages the student to go further and further within, tapping into the wellspring of their potential.” — Léo Gosseli, musician, Prescott, AZ
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
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