Issue 9

LifeForce Yoga® for Depression Research & News

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

author, Yoga for Depression (Broadway Books)

Dear Friends, Colleagues & Students,

It is only to the extent that we expose ourselves

To that which annihilates

That we discover within ourselves

That which is indestructible.

Author Unknown

Sometimes we need to stand in the fire, facing the burning bush within, in order to know the truth of who we really are. The practices we do on the mat and on the meditation cushion allow us, with equal parts of equanimity and self-awareness, to dance like Nataraja (dancing Shiva), in the ring of fire, burning away what is no longer necessary in our lives.

How often do you find yourself clinging to relationships or ideas or old stories about your life or outmoded strategies for getting what you want? It’s the clinging that becomes the real source of the suffering. When you can observe, with compassion, those relationships, ideas, stories or strategies, you free yourself from their grip. Yoga, when practiced with attention to breath and sensation, cultivates that observing mind, so that we may find ourselves finally facing that which we fear will annihilate, only to discover that which is eternal and indestructible.

If this doesn’t sound like a prescription for happiness, well, it isn’t. And it is. What I’m talking about here are not yogic strategies for feeling good, like pranayama and kriya practices or meditation techniques. I’m talking about the darkness that may be exposed when we do these practices. Sometimes when the layers of protection in which we’ve armored ourselves begin to dissolve, we feel more—both joy and pain. Over and over with my students and in my own explorations on the mat, I have seen that if we can invite the darker emotions “in for tea” as my mentor Richard Miller would say, we can begin to free ourselves of their power over us. “When you invite your depression in for tea,” says Richard, “you will discover that you are not the depression, but the one who welcomes it in for tea.”

Ultimately, this work is a prescription for happiness. But we may first have to annihilate that which is false and no longer serving us, a sometimes painful but always rewarding process, to arrive at the eternal and indestructible truth that we are whole and perfect, just as we are. To truly believe that, as my friend Stephen Cope says, “Everything is already okay.”

Welcome to the 9th issue of LifeForce Yoga® for Depression News!

In this issue, we’ll be reporting current research and news of interest about yoga and mental health. You can see the schedule of events and workshops and trainings that I’ll be offering this fall, and I’ll tell you briefly about three books that have inspired me this summer. Please feel free to share this information with your friends, colleagues, clients and students.

NEWS: NASW-AZ approval

for LifeForce Yoga® Tucson Retreat & Training

After last year’s successful January Retreat & Training in Tucson, we were able to quickly receive NASW approval for 20 CEU’s, which means that in addition to social workers, the Arizona Licensing Board will also grant continuing education credit for counselors and other mental health professionals.

In addition, this year’s retreat offers 42 hours of direct contact instruction credit with Yoga Alliance.

Sign up for the January retreat and Training in Tucson has begun, and there are only a handful of private rooms left, although we still have plenty of doubles.

For more information, you can read the brochure on- line and sign-up that way as well by visiting www.yogafordepression.com If you have questions about the retreat, please write or call LifeForce Yoga® Program Manager, Rose Kress at rose@amyweintraub.com or 520 349-2644.

NEWS: LifeForce Yoga® Therapy

In-depth interview with Amy On-line

Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., conducted a thorough interview with me about LifeForce Yoga® and its application to those suffering from depression and/or anxiety. It appears in the current issue of Yoga Therapy in Practice, the quarterly publication of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. You can read it on line by clicking on the following link. http://www.iayt.org/publications/ytip/au g06/weintraub.htm

NEWS: Stories of Transformation

Share Your Yoga Story

I’m adding my story of how yoga changed my life to an upcoming, fundraising book meant to inspire new and experienced yogis alike, and you can too. Please visit the website for “Stories from the Yogic Heart” at http:/ /www.yogastories.net/guidelines/, and see sample stories and guidelines for how to add your transformational yoga story. You can choose a charity where you want your honorarium to go.

NEWS

Green Yoga

Would you like to “foster ecological consciousness, reverence and action within the yoga community”? Would you like to support the 40 Green Yoga studios and other individual yogis in their efforts to be a positive force for change in the world? Green Yoga is just two years young, but they’ve already had an impact on our community. You can help by joining as an individual member (you receive their excellent newsletter by mail and notification of events and conferences). Or, if you’re a studio, you might consider going green, along with the 40 other studios in their pilot program. The second conference on Green Yoga will take place May 18-20, 2007 in California. May 18 will focus on studios, and an extended Green Yoga Teacher Leadership Retreat will run from May 15-23. To find out more about the Green Yoga Association and to join, visit their web site: www.greenyog a.org.

RESEARCH: Yogic Breathing

Slow Pranayama Breathing and its Effects

The authors of a research paper published in Medical Hypotheses in April, 2006, propose a hypothesis that explains the physiological process of how long pranayama breathing works to decrease oxygen consumption, decrease heart rate, decrease blood pressure, as well as increase theta wave amplitude in EEG recordings, increase parasympathetic activity accompanied by the experience of alertness and reinvigoration. Voluntary slow deep breathing functionally resets the autonomic nervous system, say the authors, synchronizing neural elements in the heart, lungs, limbic system, and cortex. For more information, please see Med Hypotheses. 2006;67(3):566- 571. Epub 2006 Apr 18.

RESEARCH: Yoga and Anxiety

Yoga Intervention Reduces Anxiety

Researchers at the Integral Health Clinic (IHC) at the Department of Physiology of All India Institute of Medical Sciences were able to show significant changes, within a ten day period, in stress levels in participants in a yoga lifestyle training program. According to a study published in the Jan- March 2006 issue of the Indian Journal of Physiological Pharmacology, both state and trait anxiety were significantly reduced. Among the subjects significant improvement was seen in the anxiety levels of patients of hypertension, coronary artery disease, obesity, cervical spondylitis and those with psychiatric disorders. The training program consisted of asanas, pranayama, relaxation techniques, group support, individualized advice, and lectures and films on philosophy of yoga, the place of yoga in daily life, meditation, stress management, nutrition, and knowledge about the illness. Observations suggest that a short educational program for lifestyle modification and stress management leads to remarkable reduction in the anxiety scores within a period of 10 days.

RESEARCH

Antidepressant Treatment and Suicide Risk: Children versus Adults

In a study published in the August, 06 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, researchers at Columbia University in New York evaluated the risk of suicide among patients following discharge after hospitalization for depression.

Included were 263 children and adolescents who attempted suicide, and 8 who completed suicide. Corresponding numbers among adults were 621 and 86. Each case of attempted or completed suicide was matched to as many as five controls by age, sex, race or ethnicity, state of residence, date of hospital discharge, substance use disorder, recent suicide attempt, and recent treatment with psychotropic drugs other than antidepressants.

Results reinforce previous analyses that show increased suicide attempts and completed suicides among children and adolescents treated with antidepressant for depression. Adults do not appear to share this increased risk.

CALENDAR HIGHLIGHTS

LifeForce Yoga® to Beat the Blues – 5 Days at Kripalu

For the first time, by popular request, I will be offering LifeForce Yoga® to Beat the Blues as a 5-day program at Kripalu. There are so many practices and space-clearing processes to lift the mood, a weekend hardly seems long enough. I’ll be leading Breathe to Beat the Blues over the weekend of September 8-10, then the 5-day program from September 10-15th. CEU’s available. For information about both programs, please visit http ://www.kripalu.org/presenter/28/

Home to Rhode Island to Teach

I began teaching yoga in Newport, Rhode Island in 1991, so it’s always fun to see old friends when I teach at All That Matters in Wakefield, RI. I’ll be teaching a new program called “Brain Changing Yoga” on September 22-23, 2006, “LifeForce Yoga® for Trauma” on Sunday morning, September 24th, and a program on LifeForce Yoga® Therapy for professionals on Sunday afternoon. For information call 401-782-2126 or visit www.allthatma tters.com

Midwest LifeForce Yoga®

Do folks in Nebraska consider Grand Rapids the Midwest? In 2006, it’s the most Midwest place I’m teaching, unless you count Pittsburgh. I’ll be teaching at Expressions of Grace Yoga on October 7-9th. For more information call 616-361- 8589 or visit www .expressionsofgraceyoga.com.

Psychotherapy Networker Symposium West

San Francisco, October 19-22, 2006

Keynoters include Mary Pipher, Dan Siegel, Jean Houston, Susan Johnson, & Sam Keen. Scheduled throughout the weekend are more than 70 workshops with other luminaries in the field of psychotherapy. I will be presenting an all-day pre-conference workshop on October 19th, and teaching morning yoga and afternoon meditation every day throughout the Symposium. www.p sychotherapynetworker.org

Texas LifeForce Yoga® to Beat the Blues

I love to teach at The Crossings in the Texas Hill Country, near Austin. I’ll be there again for a weekend program on November 3 – 5th. For more information call 877-944-3003 or visit www.thecrossingsaustin.com.

LifeForce Yoga® in Phoenix

I’ll be back in Arizona, teaching a LifeForce Yoga® workshop in Phoenix at Yoga Youphoria on Saturday, November 11th. For more information call 480 706- 5400 or visit www.www.yogayou phoria.com.

Pittsburgh LifeForce Yoga® Weekend in November

I’ll be back in Pittsburgh, where I spent my childhood, visiting family and friends and celebrating Thanksgiving. Schoolhouse Yoga is one of my favorite places to teach, and I’ll do so again November 17th – 19th. Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning are for all levels, including beginners. Sunday afternoon is a LifeForce Yoga® Therapy workshop for mental health professionals and yoga teachers. For more information, visit www.schoolhouseyoga.com/workshops

REVIEWS

THE WISDOM OF YOGA: A Seekers Guide to Extraordinary Living by Stephen Cope (Bantam Books, 2006).

The 3rd century Indian sage Patanjali penned The Yoga Sutras, a sophisticated understanding of human psychological development and spiritual potential that was most likely the culmination of wisdom transmitted orally between teacher and student for thousands of years. Patanjali may have been the first cognitive therapist. He understood that in confronting reality directly—“a persistant, direct and authentic investigation of the experience of being human,” as Stephen Cope explains it—we have the potential to see more clearly through the fog of ignorance and to remain fully awake human beings. Although there have been many valuable commentaries of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras in the centuries since their composition, including Chip Hartranft’s, the English translation of which Cope quotes in full in an appendix at the end of this book, there is nothing quite like The Wisdom of Yoga: A Seekers Guide to Extraordinary Living. Here the focus is not on Patanjali’s text, but every idea is informed by it.

As an early editor of this work, I had the opportunity to read its evolution, draft by draft. At each sitting with his manuscript, I found new inspiration. Cope’s in-house Bantam Books editor worked with him on the final version, stripping away the inessential, so the book is infinitely readable, lucid, and inspiring.

In the Prologue, we are introduced to six contemporary seekers, including Cope himself, with whom we will travel as each one struggles with the human affliction that prevents her or him from full awakening. Throughout the book, Cope interweaves a deep understanding of Western psychology and Eastern wisdom, even as he entertains with stories that bring his characters to life in the reader’s mind. As we read how these contemporary seekers face the challenges of lives plagued by seemingly insatiable needs, we begin to understand The Yoga Sutras at the deepest, most experiential level. “Secondhand answers have no power in them,” says Cope in the Prologue. The skillful use of sometimes disturbing stories that dig deep for psychological and spiritual truth, may rock the foundations of our perceived realities. In so doing, The Wisdom of Yoga comes closer to a firsthand experience of these ancient wisdom teachings than any ordinary commentary on The Yoga Sutras.

The Wisdom of Yoga is an accessible twenty- first century classic, destined to join the centuries- long dialogue about the wisdom teachings contained in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.

LETTING GO OF THE PERSON YOU USED TO BE: Lessons on Change, Loss, and Spiritual Transformation by Lama Surya Das (Broadway Books, 2003)

As always, the author of Awakening the Buddha Within, the classic best-selling book on living an awakened life, brings your life and mine into bas relief against the wisdom teachings of Tibetan Buddhism. Even those long on a spiritual path will find new twists and turns that open the heart and free the mind to receive lessons in leading a happier life. There is much wisdom here, beginning and ending with love. The reader taking her first baby steps onto the path, as well the seasoned yogi or meditator, will identify with Lama Surya Das’s stories of personal loss and letting go. A brilliant storyteller and lucid writer, Das offers an engaging narrative that helps heal, even as it entertains. Each Chapter suggests a practice to assist the reader on the road to letting go and “healing our wounded hearts.”

He shares his own small losses that seemed big at the time, like, when just back from India, he lost most of his clothes and his favorite saffron shirt in a Woodstock Laundromat one Saturday night, while he was down the road chanting.

He tells the story of a deep love lost, unmanifest in the world but fully alive in the heart. From this personal tale of the loss of an important relationship, he says, “I learned how to hold on tight when you can, and to let go light when you must.”

There are stories about the painful letting go in divorce and death and lessons about meeting grief and loss, without numbing out. Das looks at the hardest questions—how to stay open and trusting when you’ve been betrayed; how to be a hero in the midst of fear. “Heroes aren’t afraid of being afraid,” he says. “They don’t run from their fears.” And he reminds us that “Generosity of spirit is part of heroism; holding yourself back can impose all varieties of mind-made limitations.”

Das quotes from his teachers, from the Buddha, and from the holders of wisdom in every religion and culture—Schopenhauer, Teresa of Avila, Jewish and Christian mystics, and from ordinary people—his students, his friends and his colleagues.

When, by the end, Das tells us to “Meet each day like a renewed life,” we are more than willing to follow his lead. We trust him, because he has shared so much of his own journey to daily renewal.

NONVIOLENT COMMUNICATION: A Language of Life by Marshall B Rosenberg (Puddledancer Press, 2003) In the circles in which I travel, there has lately been a buzz about the benefits of nonviolent communication, called by its practitioners, NVC. One of the most conscious businesses I know, Yoga on High in Columbus, Ohio, was founded seven years ago by three women who continue to operate it and remain true spiritual friends, as they manage personnel and schedules and planning for future development with the use of NVC. Their success caught my attention when I taught there in April, so I bought Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall B. Rosenberg.

Rosenberg is a clinical psychologist who travels throughout the world mediating conflict. His book is full of anecdotes about teachers and students and principals and communities and families at war with each other, who learn to communicate with greater compassion. During his years as a clinician, he studied the words we use to get what we want. He found that often those words are tinged by judgment or demand. From his studies, he cognized an approach to using language that “leads us to give from the heart, connecting us with ourselves and with each other in a way that allows our natural compassion to flourish.”

Through antecdote and exercises, Rosenberg instructs us in the four principles of NVC: 1) observe without evaluating 2) express true feeling 3) take responsibility for the feeling 4) form a specific request, using positive language. He demonstrates how these four steps help us receive what we are truly asking for from another. Most of us would like to be more conscious and compassionate in our relationships, and we have learned the value of making “I” statements and of not blaming. However NVC takes this consciousness several steps further. Rosenberg quotes the 20th Century Indian sage Krishnamurti, “Observing without evaluating is the highest form of human intelligence.” Yes, and it may be the hardest. It is true spiritual practice. I can’t tell you if it works, because it’s not a practice that can be done alone on the yoga mat. I hope to find NVC partners willing to practice with me.

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

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)

Blessings on recovering and maintaining your positive mental health!

Amy

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What People Say

“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
“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
“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
“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 have realized how to go deeper into myself and find what is blocking me. I now can focus and clear my mind. Keep Amy! She is fantastic. She enabled me to release and find where I need to go.” — Kathy Myers, homemaker, State College, PA.
“This workshop 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.
“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
“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 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.
“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
“Yoga Skills for Therapists brilliantly opens a door to the physical and spiritual layers of a client - one that therapists and counselors have been waiting to walk through. Its chapters unfold a unique and inspiring blend of ancient traditions and contemporary concerns. From a place of genuine respect, integrity and intention, Amy offers easily applied foundational yogic practices to enrich the therapeutic experience for both client and practitioner.” – Elissa Cobb, MA. Director of Programs, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy
“Amy 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’ve worked with Amy’s Yogic sets for the last two years and they have literally transformed my emotional state. Amy takes me, step-by-step, through postures and breathing exercises that straighten out my emotional tangles. Practicing Yoga has positively affected my whole world.” — S.S., retired computer engineer, Cambridge, MA
“I 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
“I gained perspective of who I am in the world and this will change my life significantly.” — Mary Ford, artist, Southport, CT
“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 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’s gentle and caring presence blends beautifully with her skillful Yoga teaching talents.  I have enjoyed attending Amy’s unique class offerings for the past 4 years now.  As a practitioner and teacher of Yoga, I find that her style of teaching creates a safe place for me to deepen my own Yoga practice, free from the competitive "striving" attitudes found all too often in Yoga classes.  I have appreciated Amy’s strong focus on acceptance and presence and always leave her classes feeling happier, lighter and more centered in my true self.” — Janine Walter, Oriental Bodywork Therapist and Teacher, Tucson, AZ
“Amy’s 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 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 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
“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
“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
“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 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 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 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
“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 is extensively trained in many schools of Yoga. This allows her to provide a wide variety of information from which the student can choose. Amy knows that what benefits a student is a unique ‘recipe.’ She is a loving and kind teacher. As a colleague, I love to attend her classes!” — K.H., Yoga Teacher, Tucson, AZ
“Amy 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 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
“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 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
“Words do not do justice to all that I learned. This workshop changed my life!” — Jen Nolan, Teacher, Cortland, NY
“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 is a wonderful instructor. She is a vital and vibrant person and she kept the program flowing. Her voice was very soothing and nurturing and she created an open, safe and sacred space.” — Mary Lou Tillinger, massage therapist/rural carrier, Plainfield, CT
“I have found the LFYP training to be incredibly useful in giving people specific tools to use in maintaining physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual balance, and further opening their intuitive abilities.” — Nancy Windheart, RYT-200, LFYP, Reiki Master, Animal communication teacher, Prescott, AZ
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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 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
“A client who returned said, "When I came before, you helped me understand and get where I wanted to go. Now you show me yoga practices I use to help myself understand and get where I want to go.” — Sherry Rubin, LCSW, BCD, LFYP, Downingtown, PA
“As a 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
“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.
“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.
“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 gained tools for working with my own depression and with my clients’ depressions.” — Robert Sgona, LCSW, RYT, psychotherapist, Yoga teacher, Camden, ME.
“Amy is a beautiful gift in my life! Her yoga offers a powerful blend of the practical and mystical. She has developed yogic solutions to many chronic health problems, and to many of the ways we habitually get stuck in our bodies and minds. Amy's yoga keeps me grounded and healthy, like the earth under my feet.” — Mary Driscoll, freelance writer and Ph.D., Southwest Institute for Research on Women, University of Arizona
“I 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
“As a musician living with multiple spinal deformities, I have participated in many yoga classes lead by Amy Weintraub. I see Amy’s classes as very fluid, well-structured arrangements of poses, breathing exercises and vocalizations. Amy manages to pace her sessions and her voice at just the right tempo as to add focus and confidence to the students’ efforts. The systematic progression of movements in Amy’s classes naturally engages the student to go further and further within, tapping into the wellspring of their potential.” — Léo Gosseli, musician, Prescott, AZ
“Amy 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 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 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 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 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
“I have found the pranayama (breathing practices) especially easy to introduce in a clinical setting. Some people have benefited quickly in unexpected and transformative ways.” — Liz Brenner, LICSW, LFYP, Watertown, MA
“Weintraub has written…a sensitive, intelligent, painstaking exploration of the deeper psychospiritual issues that make up the complex experience of depression.” — Phil Catalfo, Yoga Journal
“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 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
“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
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