Issue 44

In addition to an update of current research and news that includes a free guided meditation for anxiety, I want to tell you about a recent health scare I’ve had. I think it is important to share with you, because pre-diabetes has actually become a silent national epidemic. According to Dr. John Douillard, pre-diabetes (80 – 100) puts us at a 40% greater risk for heart disease and stroke. I can’t say he saved my life, but I believe Dr. John Douillard at has extended it. In preparation for panchakarma, a deep Ayurvedic cleanse, in Boulder this month, Dr. John asked me to test my blood sugar for a week. What I found was a roller coaster of readings from way too low to a little too high. After 5 days of eating a mono-diet of kichardi, herbs and daily bliss treatments, I was happy to go home with near normal levels and a plan for keeping them that way! He outlines that plan here.

I look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones on the East Coast.  If you’re new to LifeForce Yoga or want a refresher, I’ll be leading LifeForce Yoga to Manage Your Mood at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY, July 20 – 22.

a warm namasté,

Amy Weintraub

News: New Free LifeForce Yoga Meditation for Anxiety

SInce LifeForce Yoga includes both mood elevating and calming, releasing practices, I am offering a free sample practice for calming and grounding. It’s ideal for those times when you feel overly anxious or disconnected from your sense of Self. You can visit the new LifeForce Yoga and Anxiety page on the website to listen to a free meditation.

Research: Pranayama improves sleep and mood in cancer patients.

In a small but important new randomized controlled  study at the University of California’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, the practice of pranayama (yoga breathing) was linked to improved quality of life and symptoms of sleep disturbance and anxiety in patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy.  There was a dose-response relationship, which means that any increase in practice at home during the course of the four weekly classes, resulted in more mood and quality of life improvement.

J Altern Complement Med. 2012 May;18(5):473-9. Epub 2012 Apr 23.

Research: Chinese meditation changes the brain

Researchers at the University of Oregon reviewed previous research and found that a form of active meditation that includes body posture adjustment, breathing practice, guided imagery, and mindfulness training accompanied by a music background known as integrative body-mind training (IBMT) improved the region of the brain that regulates behavior in 11 hours of training in just four weeks. “This dynamic pattern of white matter change involving the anterior cingulate cortex, a part of the brain network related to self-regulation, could provide a means for intervention to improve or prevent mental disorders.” Participants were coached in following the meditation instructions on a CD for twenty minutes a day. According to the study’s authors, the coaches are necessary in order to learn the technique. “They provide a relaxed atmosphere and give proper feedback for effective practice.”

Study author Michael Posner from the University of Oregon said, “We did confirm the exact locations of the white-matter changes that we had found previously. And now we show that both myelination and axon density are improving.” As compared to controls, who practiced a relaxation, students undergoing IBMT also reported improvements in mood, experiencing reduced levels of anger, depression, anxiety and fatigue. They also had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, the researchers said.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jun 26;109(26):10570-4. Epub 2012 Jun 11

News: New Format Option for the LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training

We’ve just introduced a new format for taking the LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training. Three residential retreat style trainings are still available, but the new option includes three sections for certification, the first two of which can be taken independently of certification as an LFYP. The first section is a 5-day experiential retreat in the Bahamas at the Sivananda Ashram, which will be held in February 7 – 11th, 2013, the second section is an online long-distance learning component, and the third section is long-distance Mentoring with a LifeForce Yoga Mentor. This format is ideal for international trainees.

News: New LifeForce Yoga Training for Anxiety and Depression (level 1 & level 2) on the East Coast

We’ve been listening to your requests and have added both a Level One and a Level Two LFYP residential training on the East Coast. You will now be able to be certified in three different residential locations in the USA: Tucson, Kripalu Center, and at the Satchidananda Ashram at Yogaville in Buckingham, Virginia. If you’re not interested in full certification, consider the shorter 15-hour CEC training at the Cape Cod Institute.

News: First LifeForce Yoga 200-hour Teacher Training

The other big news is that for the first time, senior Kripalu Yoga Teacher Trainer, Rudy Pierce, MA, E-RYT 500, known to many as “the gentle yogi,” and I will be directing a Yoga Alliance approved 200-hour residential LifeForce Yoga Teacher Training in Tucson. Functional Yoga Therapist and Ayurveda Specialist Maria Kali Ma, RN, MS, E-RYT 500, will be a guest teacher in the training, along with LifeForce Yoga Program Manager Rose Kress, RYT 500, LFYP-2, and Kripalu teachers Jami Macarty, MFA, ACE-PT, E-RYT 500, LFYP-2, and Tom Beall, MA, E-RYT 500. The two 12-day residential sessions to complete the 200-hr training will be Nov 30 – Dec 12th, 2013 and Feb 22 – Mar 6, 2014.

News: Interview with Amy in the Huffington Post

Eva Norlyk Smith, PhD, interviewed me about using yoga practices in medical settings.

To order Yoga Skills for Therapists: Effective Tools for Mood Management with a 20% discount, us this code: OAW 1955

Calendar Highlights

Jul 6 – Jul 13
Stockbridge, MA
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 Patricia Gerbarg, MD and Richard Brown, MD, authors of How to Use Herbs, Nutrients and Yoga for Mental Health Care and LifeForce Yoga Practitioners -Level 2, who are highly trained yoga and/or mental health professionals. Kripalu Center, 800-741-7353.

Jul 15 – Jul 16
Stoney Creek, ON, Canada
LifeForce Yoga: Effective Practices for Mood Management
In this inspiring workshop, you will learn and practice breathing exercises, easy postures, guided meditations, and other effective yoga practices not regularly taught in yoga class for managing mood. Heaven Studio, 888-465-2726.

Jul 20 – Jul 22
Rhinebeck, NY
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. Omega Institute, 877-944-2002.

Jul 22 – 27
Rhinebeck, NY
Yoga for All Your Parts
In this week of learning and practicing gentle yoga and the Internal Family Systems model, you discover a detailed map of your psyche that includes all your parts, or subpersonalities, and their inner conflicts, and form healing relationships with each of them. Omega Institute, 877-944-2002

Jul 30 – Aug 3
Eastham, MA
LifeForce Yoga: Empower Your Clients to Manage Their Mood
Empower your clients to manage their mood through the wisdom of Yoga. Learn evidence-based practices appropriate for a clinical setting. No mat required! Cape Cod Institute, 888-394-9293 CEUs for mental health professionals, nurses, yoga teachers.

Sep 21 – Sep 23
Princeton, NJ
I Am Bliss and So Are You Be more than your mood with Yoga.
Learn timeless Yoga practices not regularly taught in classes to access your wholeness. Princeton Center for Yoga and Health, 609-924-7294.  CEUs for Yoga Teachers.

Sep 28 – Sep 30
Buckingham, VA
LifeForce Yoga: I Am Bliss and So Are You
Enjoy yoga practices to release whatever blocks you from remembering who you truly are. Improve your mood and welcome ease into your life. Satchidananda Ashram, Yogaville, 800-858-9642 CEUs for Yoga Teachers.

Oct 4 – Oct 7
Providence, RI
Internal Family Systems Annual Conference
Amy will be leading LifeForce Yoga morning classes, afternoon meditations, and teaching a meditation workshop at the annual Internal Family Systems Conference. CEUs for health professionals and yoga teachers.

Oct 7
Swansea, MA
LifeForce Yoga for Depression & Anxiety
Learn and practice breathing exercises, easy postures, guided meditations, and other effective, evidence-based, mood regulating yoga practices not regularly taught in yoga class. Empower yourself and those you serve! CEUs for Yoga Teachers.
1:00 – 5:30 pm, Joyful Breath Yoga Studio, 401-290-7697

Oct 8
Boston, MA
Awakening Your Clients’ Inner Pharmacy
Workshop for Professionals – Yogic Strategies to Improve Mood, Soothe Anxiety and Reduce Trauma Reactivity appropriate for a clinical setting – with Liz Brenner. LICSW, LFYP-2 & Laura Orth, LICSW, LFYP-2. CEUs for mental health professionals and Yoga Teachers.

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.

Leave a comment.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up for our Research Newsletter


What People Say

“I feel profoundly transformed, both physically and emotionally. The connection between mind, body and spirit was clearly evident to me, but revealed to me through this workshop as an integrally vital link to overall health.” — Nadine Richardson, program manager at rehab agency, Monroe, CT
“I have 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
“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
“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 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
“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 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 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
“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 gained tools for working with my own depression and with my clients’ depressions.” — Robert Sgona, LCSW, RYT, psychotherapist, Yoga teacher, Camden, ME.
“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 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
“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
“A client who returned said, "When I came before, you helped me understand and get where I wanted to go. Now you show me yoga practices I use to help myself understand and get where I want to go.” — Sherry Rubin, LCSW, BCD, LFYP, Downingtown, PA
“I 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 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.
“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 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.
“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
“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
“Words do not do justice to all that I learned. This workshop changed my life!” — Jen Nolan, Teacher, Cortland, NY
“I gained perspective of who I am in the world and this will change my life significantly.” — Mary Ford, artist, Southport, CT
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
Scroll to Top