LifeForce Yoga® for Depression
News & Research
Issue: #16 Winter – 2007/2008
In This Issue
NEWS: Upcoming Events
NEWS: Symposium on Yoga Therapy and Research
RESEARCH: Surrender May be Good for Your Health
MEDIA REVIEW: Moontides
RESOURCES – LifeForce Yoga® to Beat the Blues
Namasté! I honor the light within you. As we move through the shorter days of winter, I can think no better way to keep that inner light burning than through your commitment to clear your space with practice each day. The form of your practice is less important than your intention to stay present to sensations in your body and your breath. Whether you exercise, meditate, stretch into Yoga asana or relax on your back in Yoga Nidra, staying present to sensation and breath in your practice is the doorway into a clear, calm, and focused mind. As yogis have understood for thousands of years, your body can be the portal into the deepest awareness of your own true nature.
May the awareness you cultivate in these brief moments expand throughout your days and nights.
A warm Jai Bhagwan,
Why not take advantage of the technology that can sometimes be overwhelming by asking your computer calendar to remind you once or twice a day, at the same times every day, to stop for a few minutes of pranayama breathing, a brief meditation, or a get-out-of your chair stretch? You can even put a favorite pranayama or meditation track on your computer or IPod and set it to play at these predesignated times.
NEWS: Upcoming Events in Florida & the Caribbean
New venues have been added to Amy’s Florida teaching schedule. In addition to Amy’s full weekend program at Discovery Yoga in St. Augustine, January 25th – 27th, she will be making a stop in Bonita Springs at Tess and Jackie Chiodo’s newly opened and expanded Joyful Yoga studio. Amy will offer a three-hour evening program in LifeForce Yoga®, from 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm on January 29th. Added to the March schedule is a Friday evening and all-day Saturday workshop in Tampa. Amy will be teaching LifeForce Yoga® at the beautiful new studio at The Lotus Room, on March 28th & 29th.
Between visits to Studios, Amy hopes you’ll join her, Nischala Joy Devi, Don Campbell, Dr. Masaru Emotu, Joyce Hawkes and others March 16th – 25th at the Sivananda Ashram on Paradise Island in the Bahamas for the 5th annual Easter & Passover Symposium & Celebration of Yoga and Sacred Healing.
Or join her on board the Taste of Health Cruise, sailing the Caribbean, dining on healthy, gourmet vegetarian cuisine, where along with other health, nutrition, and yoga experts like Dr. Sherry Rogers, Marilu Henner, Dr. Neal Barnard, Ann Gentry, Norio Kushi, Ohashi, and Amrit Desai, she’ll offer workshops, yoga classes, and private sessions.
For other workshops and trainings in colder climes, please see the Calendar Highlights below.
NEWS: International Association of Yoga Therapists – SYTAR
Dates:March 6-9, 2008
City:Los Angeles, California
Saturday , March 8, 2008
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Richard Miller, Ph.D. and Amy Weintraub will present: Psycho-spiritual Challenges – Depression
While depressive disorders affect over 18.8 million American adults annually, standard treatments work only 30-45% of the time. Clearly alternative treatments are needed and research suggests yoga as one such complimentary treatment as its practice affects the neurotransmitters implicated in mood disorders. For centuries yogis have been psychologists, using the laboratory of their bodyminds to understand their moods. They have handed down prescriptions for maintaining optimal mental health, as presented in such texts as Patañjali’s Yoga Sutras, Svarodaya, and the Vijñânabhairav. During this presentation, Amy and Richard will investigate the modern relevance of these prescriptions for us as Yoga therapists. We’ll explore how Yoga, including asana, pranayama, kriya, mantra, mudra, sankalpa, bhavana, yoga nidra and meditation directly addresses depressive states. We’ll examine what we can offer our students to help them understand and manage their moods. And we’ll practice Yogic strategies designed to meet and balance depressive mood states.
Amy will follow this session with a practice/workshop: LifeForce Yoga® for Mood Management
With Patanjali’s prescription for positive mental health as our foundation, our intermediate practice will include pranayama, kriya, mantra, mudra, samkalpa, bhavana, yoga nidra, meditation and asana.
Speakers The Over 30 experts presenting at SYTAR include:S. Veda Bharati, J. Chapman, N. Devi, L. Fishman, L. Kaminoff, G. Kraftsow, J. Lasater, J. LePage, R. Miller, S. Nelson, L. Payne, E. Small, M. Stiles, A. Weintraub, and R. Vernon.
Hear about front line research and exceptional best practices
Share your Yoga therapy experience with your peers
To learn more and to register, please visit: www.sytar.org
RESEARCH: Surrender May be Good for your Health
Some of us bring to the mat our strong will, our desire to go for the gold, to hold on at all costs. We may see such tenacity as a sign of strength. But yoga teaches us that true strength arises from the balance of will and surrender. On the mat, we learn the will to hold with the willingness to let go. A study involving 90 adolescent girls at the University of British Columbia has found that the tendency to hold on to unattainable goals may be indicative of future illness.
According to an article in the December 07/January 08 issue of Scientific American Mind, “Girls who said they never gave up had more quickly increasing levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) as compared to girls who were moderately good at letting go. High levels of CRP often precede the development of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.”
CALENDAR HIGHLIGHTS: Winter& Spring
Desert Redemptorist Renewal Center
Tucson, AZ (January 5-12, 2008)
LifeForce Yoga® Practitioner Training & Retreat
Join Amy in the Tucson Mountains for a 7 day retreat and training. Those taking the training will receive a Level One LifeForce Yoga® Practitioner Certification. Everyone will receive the life changing benefits of LifeForce Yoga®.
St. Augustine, FL (January 25-27, 2008)
LifeForce Yoga® Weekend
You’ll learn strategies that can help alleviate both depression and anxiety and methods to safely release chronically held tension and repressed emotion in the physical and emotional body.
Bonita Springs, FL (January 29, 2008)
LifeForce Yoga® to Manage Your Mood
Amy will lead an evening introduction to LifeForce Yoga® where you can learn how yoga can elevate and balance your mood.
Lenox, MA (February 2 – 4, 2008)
LifeForce Yoga® to Beat the Blues
Join Amy at Kripalu for a weekend designed to lift the blues. You learn techniques that stip away the obstacles that keep you from knowing the joy that is your birthright.
Tucson, AZ (February 13, 2008)
Phoenix, AZ (February 28, 2008)
Scottsdale, AZ (February 29, 2008)
Yoga Tools for Clinical Settings: Empower Your Clients to Manage Their Moods Seminar
Amy leads a seminar on using yogic techniques in clinical settings can help mental health clients improve their moods.
Bisbee Yoga Expo
Bisbee, AZ (February 16-18, 2008)
Bisbee Yoga Expo
Amy will be leading LifeForce Yoga® Chakra Clearing Meditation as well as an all day intensive following the Expo.
Your Home (February 26, 2008) 9pm EST, 6pm PST
Free Openline: Yoga to Support Optimal Mental Health
Ask Amy anything you would like to know about using yoga for optimal mental health.
Los Angeles, CA (March 6-9, 2008)
Symposium on Yoga Therapy and Research
Along with Richard Miller, founder of the Center of Timeless Being, Amy will be speaking on the psycho-spiritual challenge of depression, and leading a LifeForce Yoga® Mood Managment session on Saturday.
Psychotherapy Networker Symposium
Washington, D.C. (March 12-16, 2008)
Psychotherapy Networker Symposium
Amy is the LifeForce Yoga® Facilitatro leading morning yoga, afternoon meditation and workshops.
Williow Street Yoga
Takoma Park, MD (March 16, 2008)
LifeForce Yoga® to Manage Your Mood
Amy will guide a practice of emotion-regulating pranayama, kriyas, and mantras, mood-lifting meditations and guided visualizations, and yoga asanas suitable for all levels.
Paradise Island, Bahamas (March 18-25, 2008)
Easter Symposium: Yoga and Sacred Healing
Amy will be leading workshops and classes during this week-long symposium in the Bahamas.
The Lotus Room
Tampa, FL (March 28-29, 2008)
LifeForce Yoga® to Manage Your Mood
Learn ancient yogic techniques, like pranayama, meditation, mudra and mantra to lift your mood.
Carribbean Ocean (March 30 – April 6, 2008)
A Taste of Health Cruise
Amy leads yoga classes and workshops on this Carribbean Cruise geared toward healthy living.
Chicago Yoga Center
Chigago, IL (April 11-13, 2008)
LifeForce Yoga® Workshop
Amy brings LifeForce Yoga® to the windy city for this weekend workshop on balancing the mood.
Lenox, MA (April 14-18, 2008)
Kripalu Symposium on Yoga Therapeutics: Chronic Pain
Amy leads a workshop on LifeForce Yoga® Strategies for Chronic Pain and Depression.
For Amy’s full teaching schedule, please visit
MEDIA REVIEW: Moontides, a CD Yoga Practice with Megha Nancy Buttenheim.
Megha, a senior Kripalu teacher and Kripalu YogaDance & DansKinetics trainer, leads this graceful practice, inspired by the lunar cycles in a woman’s life. In 1987, she and three other Kripalu teachers living in the ashram created Chandra Namaskar, a lovely sequence of poses they named the Moon Salutation. The sequence that Megha leads on this CD flows from ardha chandrasana/Half-Moon Pose through standing and squatting poses that stretch and strengthen both sides of the body, including the Victory Goddess, which Megha calls “Devi-asana,” and back to Half-Moon again. On this CD, Megha presents an easy-to-follow modified version that’s easier on the knees, as well as the classical version.
Included in the liner notes are both written instructions and pictures of both versions, as well as the words and translation of the opening prayer.
The Moon Salute is the cornerstone, and the tracks that surround it are equally superb in providing the practitioner with a strong and peaceful foundation to the rest of the day or evening. In fact, unlike most practices, this CD is a perfect end to a busy day.
Megha begins practice with a chanted prayer, playing harmonium and chanting the Student/Teacher Mantra. Singing along is a good way to center yourself for what follows. The next track features approximately thirteen minutes of warm-ups that include the six movements of the spine, practiced in a seated position and a calming Full Moon Breath.
Track four at 26:28 is the Moon Salutation itself and may be repeated. The final meditation track is nearly twenty-six minutes, includes three different fully guided meditations, and ends with Metta/Loving Kindness Meditation.
The tracks can be played separately or together for a graceful flow that honors your body’s limits and its strengths. Megha’s CD, like the popular yoga and dance classes she has been teaching at Kripalu since 1985, is compassionate and inspiring. Her commitment to “living softly on the planet” is manifest in her tithing 10 percent of the proceeds of this reasonably prices CD to Earth Justice.
Music is by Mark Kelso and Todd Norian.
To order, visit www.letyouryogadance.org
MEDIA REVIEW by Amy Weintraub
Meditate by Pamela Miles & Steve Gorn
Pamela Miles has worked in integrative health care for 45 years. She’s a Reiki Master, whose excellent book we reviewed in Newsletter #15. Steve Gorn is a master of the Indian bansuri flute. The new CD contains 9 tracks, beginning with basic instructions. Gorn’s bamboo flute interludes, accompanied by the meditative drone of the fretless tamboura are woven throughout.
“Meditation,” says Miles in the welcoming first track, “brushes the tangles out of the mind, rejuvenates the mind, and makes it shine.” She likens the mind to a “subtle organ that needs care” and suggests that you approach the practice with confidence. People feel they fail, she says, only when they have an impossible vision of what meditation is.
Miles spends time helping new meditators explore sitting postures that might work best for their bodies, and then introduces a simple and accessible breath observation practice to begin the meditation experience.
Although consistency matters, and Miles recommends sitting to meditate every day, at the same time, you might consider keeping the CD on your listening device, perhaps even your computer, and taking brief meditation breaks. Track 4, “Observing the Natural Breath,” for example, is only 3:44, and might just focus your energy so that you feel more productive as you return to your work. Don’t forget, at those busy, challenging times, when we most often tell ourselves we don’t have time
to meditate, is when we need meditation most!
RESOURCES – LifeForce Yoga® DVD
“LifeForce Yoga® to Beat the Blues is a blending of art, science, research and Amy’s years of dedication to mastering the practice of Yoga. This is a DVD that I will enjoy, and continue to learn from, for years to come.” – Richard Miller, PhD – President, The Center of Timeless Being; author, Yoga Nidra: The Meditative Heart of Yoga
“No matter what your mood, Amy’s unique LifeForce Yoga® program will bring you balance and joy. I loved this practice!” – Lilias Folan, PBS Host; author, Lilias! Yoga Gets Better with Age
· 75 minute video (DVD) practice, led by Amy Weintraub
· 12 Programmable Chapters shot in HD
· Original music by William Chapman + Music from Krishna Das, MJ Bindu Delekta
· Includes a Study Guide booklet
· Shot on-location in Tucson, AZ by Emmy- award winning Director of Photography, Dan Duncan.
***Winner of 4 Bronze Telly Awards!***
Cultivating Will: Standing Poses
Will and Willingness: Backbending Poses
Will and Surrender: Forward Bends and Twists
Surrender: Yoga Nidra
This unique DVD showcases the integrative practice of LifeForce Yoga® designed especially for mood management. Invite Amy into your home to lead you through comprehensive breathing techniques, toning, and postures to awaken your physical energy and calm your busy mind.
Shot on location in Tucson, Arizona, Amy invites practitioners into the loving embrace of the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Kwan Yin, “she who hears the cries of the world.” In the sacred space Amy creates, students begin to feel and safely experience their bodies and their emotions. The practice culminates with yoga nidra, or deep relaxation, in which participants integrate the experience and return to full wakefulness feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
For more information and to order, please visit Amy’s web site: www.yogafordepression.com
iREST YOGA NIDRA Tools for deepening your awareness from the Center of Timeless Being by Richard Miller, Ph.D.
Free Weekly Yoga Sutra of Pantajali with commentary by Nischala Joy Devi
Starting September 1st, The author of “The Secret Power of Yoga” is offering a free weekly, positive-heart felt Yoga Sutra of Pantajali with commentary, via email.
Lynn Michaels, who is concerned about the side effects of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants, the SSRIs, has founded a nonprofit organization and website to educate consumers on the potential dangers of antidepressants. The site safe & natural alternatives to SSRIs, including Yoga.
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. You can subscribe by emailing
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 vicinity. (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 encourage you to become a member.
A warm Jai Bhagwan,
LifeForce Yoga® Healing Institute
“Amy Weintraub’s work is some of the most important in our world today for helping humanity understand more deeply the significane of the mind-body connection. 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
“Amy Weintraub’s Yoga for Depression belongs in the hands of every person who expereinces depression and in the library of every therapist who works with people suffereing from depression.” – Richard C. Miller, PhD, author of Yoga Nidra: The Meditative Heart of Yoga and founding editor of The International Journal of Yoga Therapy