Issue 28


LifeForce Yoga

Greetings! There are eyes that see into eternity. A presence beyond the power and magic of shamans. Let that in. Sink to the floor, full prostration. ~Rumi I’m thinking about “presence beyond the power and magic of shamans” today, because I’ve just returned from an Ayurvedic session in Tucson with a teacher/healer who has that gift of presence. For Maria Kalima, as with all good teacher/therapist/healers, it is not about “fixing,” but rather “allowing.” (You can read more about Maria Kalima’s work below.) When we offer practices to help our students/clients clear the space within of what is constricting their hearts, their bodies, their minds, then we empower them to listen and trust the wisdom that arises from their own true nature. The best practitioners (teachers/therapists/healers), no matter where or by whom they have been trained, are those who can gently attune to their client’s/student’s/patient’s needs. Some can even attune to a group in the same way they intuitively understand and align with an individual. What this takes, I believe, is a practice that daily clears the constrictions in the practitioner’s body/mind, so that she or he meets the student/client without a preconceived agenda or the “expert’s” focus on “fixing.” The brilliance of such a practitioner is the alignment of her or his own gifts of intuition and wisdom (and this comes from a depth of training, personal practice, and meeting with many students/clients along the way) with the received wisdom of the universe, which is not seaparate from her client’s true nature. When the practitioner is clear and in alignment herself, that practice or treatment appropriate for the one with whom she is sitting will naturally arise. I look forward to seeing many of you in Colorado at Shambhala Mountain Center and meeting new friends in the historic coastal town of Lewes, Delaware at the Comfort Zone Yoga Center over the 4th of July. I’ll be on the East Coast this summer, teaching at Kripalu (the LifeForce Yoga® Practitioner Training), Omega, and in August at the Cape Cod Institute.

Join me for a retreat and or training this summer. A few days of deepening your practice will bring you months of clarity. How do I know this? I’ve just returned from my own annual dip into the cooling waters of retreat in San Rafael with Richard Miller.

Om peace, peace, peace, Amy

Research: Antidepressants can increase the Risk of Miscarriage

The results of this study done at the University of Montreal and reported May 31 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal provide one more reason to suggest a prenatal yoga class to a woman with depressed or anxious mood. In the study that included 69,742 women, those taking the drugs most often prescribed to treat depression and anxiety – including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and the older tricyclics – had a significantly higher risk of miscarriage than a matched control group of women who did not take antidepressants.

In a prenatal yoga class, a pregnant woman can not only learn to breathe and stretch in ways that are calming and mood-elevating for herself and possibly her fetus, but she establishes a community of like-minded others with similar concerns. The community of a prenatal yoga class can provide an additional means of support through the postnatal period whern there is an even higher risk for depression. A prenatal yoga class can offer an alternative to the SSRI or other antidepressant that she may not wish to take during pregnancy.

To read more about this study, click here.

Research: Mindfulness Increases Well-Being and May Boost the Body’s defense against disease

Researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center, an academic health center in Pennsylvania, found that participants in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR), which includes yoga and meditation, had a decrease in C-reactive protein, which is a marker of inflammation. Those study participants who reported an improvement in overall mental well-being also had increased activity in natural killer cells, which are known to play a key role in building a strong immune system. The study showed significant improvements in anxiety and overall distress

Read the study on line here.

Recommendation: Trauma Resource

I know that everyone is sending out Ezines and newsletters these days, and our inboxes are overflowing with “news,” much of it primarily of a marketing intent. Certainly, in this very newsletter, I let you know of upcoming LifeForce Yoga® programs and trainings as well as new book, CD & DVD releases that might help you and your students/clients better manage mood.

The newsletter I am about to recommend is no exception. Yes, the author will remind you of her upcoming appearances, but I would suggest you take note of them! I’m pointing you, seriously, to Deirdre Fay’s Safely Embodied website and newsletter. It’s one of the few I actually open, planning to skim, and then am stopped by the wisdom and authenticity of this excellent writer and clinical social worker who specializes in trauma treatment. I am always glad I took the time to read the Safely Embodied Newsletter in its entirety. If you would like to see what I mean, visit Deirdre’s site.

You can subscribe to her newsletter.

A Teacher’s Teacher Maria KaliMa

I am just returned from an Ayurvedic consultation and treatment with Maria KaliMa, whom I am grateful to call a neighbor and friend here in Tucson. Maria is an inspiring example of the kind of teacher/healer I spoke of in my note above who intuitively attunes and aligns with her clients. She has been teaching in the Tucson LifeForce Yoga® Practitioner Trainings since their inception in 2005, wrote a section on Ayurveda for the LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Level 1 Manual and teaches internationally as well. Adjacent to her lovely desert home (with guest rooms) is her newly renovated Ayurvedic treatment temple, complete with a body steam cloak, shirodara oil drip, a Japanese soaking tub, and the herbs and oils to assist in flushing toxins out of the body/mind during Ayurvedic massage and spa treatment.

As many of you know, I recently had foot surgery and though I am walking and dancing and practicing Yoga and hiked rigorous mountain trails in Sedona this past weekend, my feet feel sore and old and neglected and, well, grieving. I told Maria that I was leaving her treatment temple with baby’s feet. It’s a good thing I’m a yogi, so I can suck my toes tonight!

LifeForce Yoga Programs in Tucson

We are pleased to announce that we will be hosting a number of LifeForce Yoga programs in Tucson, AZ. All programs are open for registration.

The Desert Redemptorist Renewal Center does not pay taxes to the state of Arizona and does not support the recently passed AZ immigration law.

Be the Welcoming!

A LifeForce Yoga Thanksgiving Retreat

November 26th – 29th, 2011

How can we welcome and respond to all that life brings with a peaceful mind and a grateful heart? Our Yogic practices help us clear away the reactive patterns that constrict the body-mind and block the heart so that true thanksgiving can arise, no matter the circumstances. Become the agent of your own healing, as you learn to strip away the obstacles that keep you from knowing the joy that is your birthright through the mood managing techniques of LifeForce Yoga®. CEUs for Yoga Teachers and Mental Health Professionals.

LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training for Depression & Anxiety Level 1

January 15th – 22nd, 2011

Health Professionals and Yoga teachers learn Yogic practices supported by current research for managing mood. CEUs for Yoga Teachers

Restore, Renew, Remember!

A LifeForce Yoga Spring Equinox Retreat

March 17th – 21st, 2011

Reawaken the memory of your wholeness, restore your enthusiasm, and renew your commitment to living a life of compassionate self-awareness. CEUs for Yoga Teachers

Calendar Highlights

Shambhala Mountain Center

Red Feather Lakes, CO (Jun 18 – 20, 2010)

LifeForce Yoga to Manage Your Mood

This workshop will provide you with a wide variety of

powerful yet gentle natural tools to help you manage your mood.

Comfort Zone Yoga Center

Lewes, DE (Jul 2 – 4, 2010)

LifeForce Yoga to Manage Your Mood

In this inspiring workshop, you will learn and practice breathing exercises, easy postures, guided meditations, and other experiential yogic tools for managing your mood that are not often taught in regular yoga classes.


Lenox, MA (Jul 9 – 16, 2010)

LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training for Depression & Anxiety Level 1

This is a certification training for yoga teachers and health professionals. Joining Amy as faculty are Richard Brown, MD and Patricia Gerbarg, MD, authors of How to Use Herbs, Nutrients and Yoga for Mental Health Care, as well as LifeForce Yoga Practitioners -Level 2, who are highly trained yoga and/or mental health professionals.


Rhinebeck, NY (Jul 23 – 25, 2010)

LifeForce Yoga to Manage Your Mood

Amy leads us through an evidence-based practice that interweaves ancient wisdom with current research in neurobiology to help us release emotional blocks and manage our mood. We will leave feeling refreshed and renewed, with ancient strategies to revitalize our practice and manage our mood. Health professionals and yoga teachers learn techniques they can use to help their clients focus, relax, and have greater access to their feelings.

Cape Cod Institute

Eastham, MA (Aug 16 – 20, 2010)

LifeForce Yoga®: Empower Your Clients to Manage Their Moods This workshop is designed for all level of mental health and Yoga practitioners, including beginners. Every day will include easy and accessible movement, yogic breathing, and meditation or guided relaxation. Along with didactic components and practice, the format will include emotional process from a Yogic perspective in dyads and small groups.

for Amy’s complete calendar of events:

Recommendation: Three new CDs from Richard Miller Richard Miller

Most of you know that the psychologist Yogi, Richard Miller, PhD, is one of my teacher/mentors. His book, Yoga Nidra: The Meditative Heart of Yoga and his CDs continue to inspire me and many of my students. So while on retreat with him in San Rafael last

month, I picked up his three newest CDs.

Awakening to Your True Nature: The Final Teachings

Final teachings-well, that does sound a bit grand, so as much as I love Richard Miller, as a friend and teacher, I was a bit skeptical. However, this lecture, which describes his subtle and in some ways uniquely original understanding of the Kosha model (if you don’t know what this means, then this talk is probably not for you), was one of the most interesting listening experiences I’ve ever had without the physical presence of the teacher. I began listening while unpacking my suitcase after the annual Santa Sabina “Ease of Being” Retreat. The packing had to stop as listening took over and I entered, with Richard, a deeper meditative state where speaker and listener were not separate. I played it again, lying down this time, and found myself in a true Yoga Nidra-awake and aware, and yet on all other levels deeply at rest.

Resting in Stillness

Also new to the Nondual canon from Richard Miller is a recent Integrative Restoration iRest Yoga Nidra CD that includes a 20-minute and a 33-minute experience of this ten-step guided meditation. The seven-minute introduction explains the psychological benefits of this meditative practice. The 20-minute version is not of the best recording quality but this does not affect the superb iRest experience.

Sounds of Silence

Richard has also recorded chants that are dear to him. It’s not exactly a chant along, because in addition to his singing, which is clear and strong, he takes time to translate, interpret and comment upon the meaning of each chant. Included here are my personal favorites, The Gayatri Mantra, the Dawn Chant, and Atma Hridaye, as well as other beloved Chants to the Divine.

To purchase theses CDs, please visit:

Recommendation: Patience: A Little Book of Inner Strength

by Eknath Easwaran

Eknath Easwaran PatienceSince his death in 1999, The Nilgiri Press continues to release the writings of this great teacher and author who founded the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation in 1961. On the Blue Mountain Center’s web site. There are many beautiful translations and commentaries of the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita as well as books on meditation, biographies of spiritual teachers of ahimsa (nonviolence), and inspirationally instructive books on living a fuller, more authentic life.

This little book falls into the latter category. Culled from talks and writings throughout his life, the stories inspire patience and forgiveness. Many of the sweetest lessons come from his grandmother (difficult people are “a lash in the eye”), and from Gandhi, and some even arise while watching his little dog Muka at play.

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 been reminded that I am not on this path alone, that others are sharing the journey that sometimes seems so difficult. I have also been reminded of the importance of daily practice and I will do that. The whole program has been an incredible experience for me. Thank you!” — Lorraine Plauth, retired teacher, Voorheesville, NY
“I have 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 gained perspective of who I am in the world and this will change my life significantly.” — Mary Ford, artist, Southport, 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
“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 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 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 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
“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
“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 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
“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
“Words do not do justice to all that I learned. This workshop changed my life!” — Jen Nolan, Teacher, Cortland, NY
“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
“This workshop helped me rededicate my energies and begin to work through some of the blocks I’ve felt creatively.” — Steve Mark, college professor, New Haven, CT
“I 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 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 gained tools for working with my own depression and with my clients’ depressions.” — Robert Sgona, LCSW, RYT, psychotherapist, Yoga teacher, Camden, ME.
“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
“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.
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