Issue 50: Our Golden Anniversary

amy-lotusPlease help me celebrate the Golden Anniversary of this research and review newsletter with a little Laughter Yoga: Clap your hands as you say,  “Very Good! Very good!” Now raise your arms overhead, as you say, “Yay!”  Do this a couple of times and then close your eyes and sense deeply into the tingling in your palms. Sense your fingers, your face.  The body is always present.  The mind is a time traveler, so when you take time to sense into the sensations in your palms, you become the presence you seek. There is a window through whatever mood state is visiting.

Did you smile when you practiced?  There is evidence that smiling, not to mention laughing, even if you’re faking it, changes your biochemistry, releasing feel-good hormones and raising dopamine levels.  And just about everyone enjoys this little laughter yoga break.  I’ve used it with seniors, with children, and once during a credit union board meeting in Tucson!  Teach it to your kids, your parents, your students and your clients.

In this 50th newsletter, we focus on a study that compares twenty minutes of yoga with aerobic exercise.  Turns out that yoga actually improves mental functioning while the same period of exercise does not. We also review two books. First, we’ll look at an important contribution to the the emerging field of yoga therapy, Mudras for Healing and Transformation, written by Integrative Yoga Therapy founders Joseph and Lilian Le Page.  Then we’ll review Trauma and the Twelve Steps by Jamie Marich, PhD. Her book makes a case for integrating trauma work into 12-Step Recovery and walks us through how to do it.

For your summer deep rest, renewal and relaxation, we’ll review a new series of iRest Yoga Nidra CDs by Jeanne Dillion, a yoga teacher and student of Richard Miller’s.  There’s even a couple of practices to get the kids to sleep!

I hope to meet you on the yoga path this summer!

Research: Yoga Improves Mental Functioning Better Than Aerobic Exercise

warrior-2-with-soundNumerous studies have been featured in the media about the benefits of aerobic exercise for keeping our brains functioning at optimum capacity. Exercise lifts our moods, helps grow telemeres and has been shown to help protect our memories as we age, even more than doing crossword puzzles. The current study by Neha Gothe, PhD, and her colleagues at the University of Illinois, compared a twenty minute yoga protocol that included pranayama breathing and a brief meditation to both vigorous and moderate exercise on a treadmill for the same period of time.  While there was no change in the exercise group’s ability to focus and the exercisers capacity to take in, retain and use new information, the yoga practitioners showed significant enhancements in their reaction times and accuracy on cognitive tasks after completing yoga practice.

Thirty college-age women participated in a 20-minute yoga progression of seated, standing and supine yoga postures, which included isometric contraction and relaxation of different muscle groups and regulated breathing. Finally, the yoga session ended with a meditative posture and deep breathing.  The same group of women also took part in an aerobic exercise session that included walking or jogging on a treadmill for 20 minutes, with an objective to maintain 60 to 70 percent of maximum heart rate throughout the exercise session.

Neha Gothe, who is currently a professor of kinesiology, health and sport studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, said yoga seemed to help the participants “…focus their mental resources, process information quickly, more accurately and also learn, hold and update pieces of information more effectively than after performing an aerobic exercise bout.”

This study underscores the theory in LifeForce Yoga that you don’t have to roll out a mat and practice for an hour and a half to receive the benefits of yoga.  Just clearing the space for a few minutes each day can make a tremendous difference in your ability to concentrate and your mood.  For those of you who regularly practice, here’s the twenty-minute sequence used in the study, just published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.

Order  Position name                    Duration

1 Uttanasana—Standing Forward Bend 1 minute

2 Vrikshasana—Tree Pose 1 minute

3 Trikonasana—Triangle Pose 2 minutes

4 Parivrtta Trikonasana—Reverse Triangle Pose 2 minutes

5 Adho Mukha Shvanasana—Downward Facing Dog 2 minutes

6 Ustrasana—Easy Camel Pose 2 minutes

7 Shashankasana—Hare Pose 2 minutes

8 Suryanamaskar—Salute to the Sun 4 minutes

9 Padmasana Pranayama—Deep Breathing in Lotus Pose 4 minutes

To download a pdf of the current study, click here.

Review: Trauma and the Twelve Steps: A Complete Guide to Enhancing Recovery
by Jamie Marich, PhD

9793744In her first job, as a young addictions counselor, author Jamie Marich was told “not to complicate matters” by addressing the history of trauma that she was beginning to observe in her clients. This book, both inspiring and useful to professionals, sponsors and people in recovery, is a response to her persistent questioning of the “one size fits all” approach often favored in twelve-step recovery programs. “Rigid adherence of the disease model of addiction and near-fundamentalist adherence to Twelve-Step philosophies can hurt more clients than they can help,” says Marich. Although she incorporates the twelve-step approach in addictions treatment, where she feels it is rigid and risks causing harm, she offers an adjunct model. This model includes building a safe container in the therapeutic relationship, providing self-soothing tools like breathing exercises and relaxation techniques, and when the client has sufficient sobriety, addressing the trauma in a body-oriented modality like the bilateral stimulation inherent in EMDR.

In particular, Marich advocates a trauma-sensitive approach to steps four and five. She finds the self-assessment of taking a moral inventory in step four and then admitting our wrongs when applied without trauma-sensitivity in step five can further injure an individual in recovery with a history of trauma who is already carrying a heavy sense of shame. Most victims of sexual trauma blame themselves, taking on responsibility for their abuse. Steps four and five can further perpetuate feelings of unworthiness, and, as Marich points out in a case study, this can be the place when working the steps that well-intentioned individuals consistently relapse. When you believe you are responsible for the abuse, the moral inventory is too painful to bear.

Marich provides an easy user’s overview of the psycho-neuro-biology involved in trauma. In the chapter called “Trauma 101,” she makes it clear that emotional wounds need to be treated and that when left untreated, just like a physical wound, they only get worse. We self-medicate to diminish the pain.

There is much to recommend this book for those in recovery and for professionals working in the addictions field. The narrative is rich with stories about clients in recovery, written from the passionate point of view of one who knows the territory and has become a leader in the field. Marich includes relevant research, theory, case studies, along with numerous mind-body resources, and exercises and self-inquiry questions for both individuals in recovery and the professionals who serve them.

Review: iRest® – Yoga Nidra for Kids At Bedtime and Quiet Time (CD)
by Jeanne Dillion


Jeanne Dillion, is the diirector of a therapeutic yoga studio in Boise, Idaho, a Certified Yoga Therapist and a Certified iRest® Teacher, who has studied with psychologist and yogi Richard Miller.  Dillion offers yoga nidra (deep yoga relaxation) iRest practices on her website for adults. However unique to the iRest yoga nidra genre, are her practices for children. What parent or grandparent wouldn’t appreciate a gentle way to ease the active child into a calmer frame of mind or a good night’s sleep?  The 20 minute practice moves through the iRest protocol and includes awareness of sensation, breath, and a joyful dip into bliss– “a great big heart of love that’s inside and outside and all around you”–before sending the practicing child off to sleep–“My body and mind are sleeping now, all through the night.”  The practice prepares the child for sleep, and for waking up in the morning feeling rested, remembering the “special, happy, peaceful, true part of me that is always here.” Dillion guides the practice with the child comfortably tucked in, under the covers, with total permission to fall asleep.  Adults can certainly do this practice, too, but would need to modify the breath count, as Dillion appropriately leads the breath faster for children’s smaller lung capacity.

iRest_yoga_nidra_for_kids_smallIn the ten minute iRest called “Green Grassy Meadow,” Dillion uses guided imagery–the meadow, an eleven step golden staircase in which she leads the listener down, one step at a time on each exhalation.  At the bottom of the stairs is a scene of animals by a pond.  The variety of images, along with a specific question to the listening child, “Do you see other animals in or around the pond”? would likely keep the listening child alert through most of the practice.  Towards the end of the track, the sun is setting and all the animals are going to sleep.  Dillion cues the listening child to sense her own tired feeling and to settle in for a rest.  This CD is a gift for both parents and children. Try it together at the end of a busy day!  You can order the CD by mail from Dillion’s website or download the mp3.

Review: Mudras for Healing
by Joseph & Lilian Le Page240

Joseph and Lilian Le Page have released their long-awaited mudra book, a labor of intense exploration and love, based on the traditions of Tantric and Hatha Yoga and their own deep practice. Mudras for Healing is the culminating compendium of 108 hasta mudras (hand gestures) , their specific health and spiritual benefits, their contradictions, and meditations and affirmations that put them to best use. The book will take its place as a classic in the yoga literature, as a resource for yoga students, therapists and educators interested in the therapeutic application of yoga. In fact, in this reader’s opinion, Yoga Mudras for Healing has the potential to change the face of the way most yoga is practiced in the West from its emphasis on what in India is referred to as “physical culture,” to a practice that has as its aim a fully realized life.

The book takes its clear organization from the kosha model, the five sheaths that define the dimensions of our human existence, from the physical body through the bliss body (the experience of our eternal and intimate true nature as divine). The authors investigate each kosha to discuss the systems by which we analyze and treat our imbalances. For example, in the Annamaya kosha dimension (physical dimension) there are nineteen mudras for specific health challenges, 6 to balance the five elements, and four for Ayurvedic healing.

The Le Page’s made all the right choices in creating this book. Each section of chapters relating to its kosha begins with an illuminating introduction that combines historical reference, tradition and practice. Each mudra is given a two-page spread. The illustrations by Sergio Rezek and Carlos Eduardo Barbosa are stunningly beautiful and precise. The authors and illustrators have created a symbol system that gives quick access to the essential information. One look at the symbols on the first page of each mudra section tells you which of the twelve physical systems may be balanced, in which direction the mudra directs the energy (vayus), which chakra is likely to be balanced, and which Ayurvedic dosha is affected. There is a clear graphic that depicts on a scale of 0 to 10 the level of energy the mudra is meant to stimulate or calm. In equally clear prose, the Le Page’s discuss the core quality of each mudra and where the hand gesture directs the breath in the body. In the interpretive text, the Le Page’s list the benefits and other mudras with similar effects. Practice instructions accompany the harmonious and detailed drawings. The second page of each mudra section offers a guided meditation that concludes with an affirmation invoking the mudra’s core quality.

Every element of this book is well-considered, including the appendices that illustrate mudras for the primary yoga postures, the principle pranayama and the most common mantras. Yoga therapist and physical therapist Matthew Taylor, PhD, ERYT-500, contributes an article suggesting directions that research may take in order to validate the effects that tradition assigns each mudra.

Mudras for Healing is a book to keep by your yoga mat or cushion so that you can integrate and expand your practice of asana (postures), pranayama (breathing) and meditation practice with mudras. It’s a book to take on retreat to explore the deeper dimensions of your own spirit and awaken all aspects of your being. And finally, it’s a book to keep on your shelf as reference as you work with your own imbalances and health challenges and to share with those you serve. There are a few books I carry with me everywhere. Mudras for Healing is now one of them.  To order your copy please click here.

News: LifeForce Yoga Launches New Blog

In late May we launched the LifeForce Yoga blog which includes research, reviews, free practices, and guest blogs from other yoga and mental health professionals.  Please make sure to visit the blog to catch up on our latest posts!

Events Calendar

Click above to review our updated Calendar of workshops and trainings!

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.

2 thoughts on “Issue 50: Our Golden Anniversary”

  1. I started practicing Ashtanga in March 07. I was overweight (94 kilo), unfit and certainly not flexible. I’ve never been to an Ashtanga or any other yoga class (I’ve since been to a shala twice). I’ve learnt from books and videos and blog comments. I’m now 78 kilo, feel fitter, stronger and much more flexible. This blog originally dealt with my obsession with achieving the Jump back ( later dropbacks, kapo, karandavasana 3rd series etc). In June 09 I found Srivatsa Ramaswami’s Complete book of Vinyasa Yoga and spent the next year working out here how best to combine it with my Ashtanga practice. I attended Ramaswami’s 200 hour Vinyasa Krama TT course in July 10 and now have a Vinyasa Yoga at Home Practice Book available on Kindle that lays out Ramaswami’s Sequences and subroutines. After trying to balance the two styles of practice for the last couple years, I’ve recently begun to explore the ‘Original’ Ashtanga Vinyasa Krama in Krishnamachray’ s Yoga Makaranda and Yogasanagalu and to find a consistency in his early and later teaching.

  2. Elizabeth Evans says:

    Always something wonderful to read what you’ve sent us! You are such an inspiration! I printed up the PDF for the study on yoga vs aerobics and am anxious to read it! Much love, Elizabeth

Comments are closed.

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What People Say

“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
“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 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
“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 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 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
“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
“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
“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.
“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
“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
“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 gained tools for working with my own depression and with my clients’ depressions.” — Robert Sgona, LCSW, RYT, psychotherapist, Yoga teacher, Camden, ME.
“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 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
“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
“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 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
“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 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
“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
“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
“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
“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.
“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
“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
“I gained perspective of who I am in the world and this will change my life significantly.” — Mary Ford, artist, Southport, CT
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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.
“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
“Words do not do justice to all that I learned. This workshop changed my life!” — Jen Nolan, Teacher, Cortland, NY
“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
“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
“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
“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’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 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 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 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
“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
“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
“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
“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.)
“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
“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 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
“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 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
“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.
“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
“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.
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