Issue 16

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



REVIEW: Meditate

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

Hotel:LAX Hilton

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:

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.”


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®.

Discovery 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.

Joyful Yoga

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.

Yoga Spirit

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.

Sivananda Ashram

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 Cruise

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 Moontides

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

MEDIA REVIEW by Amy Weintraub

Meditate by Pamela Miles & Steve Gorn

Pamela Miles

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

DVD Cover

“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!***


Joint Warm-ups

Centering Meditation

Breathing Exercises

Warm-up Poses

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:


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.

Taper Safely

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,

Amy Weintraub

LifeForce Yoga® Healing Institute

Tucson, Arizona

“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

About the Author

Amy Weintraub

Amy Weintraub E-RYT 500, MFA, YACEP, C-IAYT, founded the LifeForce Yoga® Healing Institute, which trains yoga and health professionals internationally, and is the author of Yoga for Depression and Yoga Skills for Therapists. The LifeForce Yoga protocol is used by health care providers worldwide. She is involved in ongoing research on the effects of yoga on mood.

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What People Say

I absolutely love this stuff! I have been using it with my clients and I am just finding it to be so incredibly helpful. There seriously something for everything. Although I am not as skilled as I hope to be someday, even at my level of training I’m finding that I am beginning to figure out what to do. It just blows my mind! - Christine Brudnicki, MS, LPC
“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
“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
“Words do not do justice to all that I learned. This workshop changed my life!” — Jen Nolan, Teacher, Cortland, NY
“I gained tools for working with my own depression and with my clients’ depressions.” — Robert Sgona, LCSW, RYT, psychotherapist, Yoga teacher, Camden, ME.
“I have gained a softer heart, more receptive mind, and tools to enrich both personal and professional aspects of my life.” – Regina Trailweaver, LICSW, clinical social worker, Hancock, VT.
“My patients can now have the same effects as many medications without having to actually take medication!” — Deborah Lubetkin, PSY.D, LFYP, West Caldwell, NJ
“This program changed my life in a significant way. It helped me connect with the spirit which is something you can’t get from psychotherapy and medication.” – G. W., artist, Pittsburgh, PA
“I have found the pranayama (breathing practices) especially easy to introduce in a clinical setting. Some people have benefited quickly in unexpected and transformative ways.” — Liz Brenner, LICSW, LFYP, Watertown, MA
“I came hoping to learn to move past some of the obstacles blocking my creativity. Over the course of this weekend, I feel I’ve gained a certain measure of faith in myself and in my ability to change. I also had some realizations that I believe will be very helpful to me. I feel encouraged. Both the content and presentation of this program were so well-thought out that I can’t think of any way to improve it.” — Andrea Gollin, writer & editor, Miami, FL
“I 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
“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.
“I have found the LFYP training to be incredibly useful in giving people specific tools to use in maintaining physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual balance, and further opening their intuitive abilities.” — Nancy Windheart, RYT-200, LFYP, Reiki Master, Animal communication teacher, Prescott, AZ
“My 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.
“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
“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.
“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 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
“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
“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
“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
“My personal practice will change, as well as my yoga classes. I have a better understanding of yoga!” — Andrea Gattuso, RYT, Yoga Teacher, Hackettstown, N.J.
“I gained perspective of who I am in the world and this will change my life significantly.” — Mary Ford, artist, Southport, CT
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