Issue 51

amy-lotusI love reading new studies that corroborate what those of us who practice yoga experience directly. We know how much better we feel afterwards.  Those of us who teach see first-hand the effect of what we offer our students.  I’ll never forget the first time I taught at the juvenile detention center in Tucson.  The girls shuffled in, numb, faces flattened by following the rules, by medication, over-fed on carbs, and under appreciated.  How lit up they were when the class was over, wanting to share thoughts and feelings with me.  It was a transformational experience for me–a true knowing that I had found my dharma, my reason to be in this body at that moment in time.  I didn’t need studies to prove the effects on them or on me.  But now we have many studies. As Stephanie Shorter’s article points out, research on yoga is growing exponentially.  If anyone is contemplating a research project, please don’t hesitate to contact us for support.  We can offer you materials and consult with you on your protocol.

Read on for reviews of several new books for children and adults that can make a difference in our lives.

Research: Yoga Improves Mood and Manages Behavior in Prisonjail-yoga

Years ago, while teaching weekly yoga classes at the Juvenile Detention Center in Tucson, there seemed to be so much mood improvement that we conducted a study that was published in an early International Association of Yoga Therapists publication. Now, a large trial in the United Kingdom has shown that yoga can improve mood and mental wellbeing among prisoners, including those in juvenile detention, and may also have an effect on impulsive behavior.

The Oxford University researchers found that after a ten-week yoga course, prisoners reported improved mood, reduced stress and were better at a task related to behavior control than those who continued in their normal prison routine.

‘We found that the group that did the yoga course showed an improvement in positive mood, a decrease in stress and greater accuracy in a computer test of impulsivity and attention,’ say Dr Amy Bilderbeck and Dr Miguel Farias, who led the study. Dr Bilderbeck adds: ‘Offering yoga sessions in prisons is cheap, much cheaper than other mental health interventions. If yoga has any effect on addressing mental health problems in prisons, it could save significant amounts of public money.’

The researchers were supported in the running of the trial by the Prison Phoenix Trust, an Oxford-based charity that offers yoga classes in prisons. They approached the Oxford University psychologists about conducting such a study to assess the benefits, though the study was designed, analyzed and published independently of the Trust.

The Oxford University researchers, along with colleagues from King’s College London, the University of Surrey and Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands, report their findings in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

Prisons see rates of mental health problems that are many times higher than the general population, and high levels are often recorded of personal distress, aggression, antisocial behavior and drug and alcohol abuse among prisoners.

Inmates of a range of ages were recruited from five category B and C prisons, a women’s prison and a young offender institution, all in the West Midlands, and were randomly assigned to either a course of ten weekly yoga sessions of 90 minutes run by the Prison Phoenix Trust, or to a control group.  In sessions with the researchers before and after the yoga course, all the prisoners completed standard psychology questionnaires measuring mood, stress, impulsivity and mental wellbeing. A computer test to measure attention and the participant’s ability to control his or her responses to an on-screen cue was also used after the yoga course.

If yoga is associated with improving behavior control, as suggested by the results of the computer test, there may be implications for managing aggression, antisocial or problem behavior in prisons and on return to society, the researchers note – though this is not measured in this initial study.

Dr Bilderbeck, who practices yoga herself, cautions: ‘We’re not saying that organizing a weekly yoga session in a prison is going to suddenly turn prisons into calm and serene places, stop all aggression and reduce re-offending rates. We’re not saying that yoga will replace standard treatment of mental health conditions in prison. But what we do see are indications that this relatively cheap, simple option might have multiple benefits for prisoners’ wellbeing and possibly aid in managing the burden of mental health
problems in prisons.’

Sam Settle, director of the Prison Phoenix Trust, says: ‘Almost half of adult prisoners return to prison within a year, having created more victims of crime, so finding ways to offset the damaging effects of prison life is essential for us as a society. This research confirms what prisoners have been consistently telling the Prison Phoenix Trust for 25 years: yoga and meditation help them feel better, make better decisions and develop the capacity to think before acting – all essential in leading positive, crime-free lives once back in the community.’

To read the article in full please click here.

J Psychiatr Res. 2013 Jul 15. pii: S0022-3956(13)00197-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2013.06.014. [Epub ahead of print] “Participation in a 10-week course of yoga improves behavioural control and decreases psychological distress in a prison population.” Bilderbeck AC, Farias M, Brazil IA, Jakobowitz S, Wikholm C.

Research: Research Roundup

Stephanie Shorter, PhD, has an article about the junction of yoga research and yoga service in which she says that yoga research has increased by 10-fold in the last few decades. To read the article in the Journal of Yoga Service, click here. It’s on page 15.

Review: Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans Recovering from Trauma by practice_guide_vyp_nobgdSuzanne Manafort & Daniel J. Libby, Ph.D.

Reviewed by Deborah E. Lubetkin, Psy.D., RYT-200, LFYP 2 & Mentor

Authors Suzanne Manafort, ERYT-500 and Daniel Libby, Ph.D. have joined forces to create an accessible yoga practice for veterans dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The 65-page manual includes 2 cd’s, “Breathe In, Breathe Out” and “Deep Relaxation: Yoga Nidra,” as well as an illustrated Practice Guide (poster) demonstrating each asana or physical posture. Based on the philosophy of Embodyoga, the Mindful Yoga Therapy practice is grounded in the principle that “support precedes action in asana and in life.” The authors emphasize the following supports throughout the program: acceptance, breath, a calm and supported spine, full body postures, navel support, and the concept of “yield” or grounding. Further, they view the role of psychotherapy as playing an additional and important role in supporting this practice to aid veterans in their recovery from post-traumatic stress (PTS).

With a gentle, understandable and non-judgmental explanation of the syndrome of Post-Traumatic Stress, the authors immediately create a container of support for veterans to learn about PTS in the privacy of their own environment. The philosophy of why yoga works is also aptly described, helping to remove any obstacles or preconceptions about yoga that beginners may hold. While the breath practices are described in the manual in detail, the instructions on the CDs are at times less clear, so it is essential to read the manual in its entirety prior to utilizing the CDs. There are also times of long silences which, for some veterans could be difficult to sustain without the safety and constancy of being anchored to someone’s voice. Finally, the yoga nidra practice could be a fuller experience, flowing through all of the koshas as in the more traditional Yoga Nidra practices. Instead, the Yoga Nidra practice is quite short in length and missing some of the essential elements that help to make the practice of Yoga Nidra so effective for veterans with PTSD. The asana practice is rich and well-illustrated, with both pictures and verbal instructions in the manual to further aid easeful transition into the postures. Once the postures and breath practices are mastered, one can just utilize the poster to move through the sequence.

Overall, the Mindful Yoga Therapy program is a wonderful beginning resource for Veterans experiencing symptoms of PTS and PTSD. It is also a portal in to the world of yoga and pranayama, creating potential for the further exploration of yoga and yogic principles in the lives of our Veterans.

Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans Recovering from Trauma is a collaborative endeavor between The Veterans Yoga Project and the Give Back Yoga Foundation.

To purchase a copy of Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans Recovering from Trauma click here.

Deborah Lubetkin is a Licensed Psychologist and Certified Kripalu Yoga teacher. In her private practice of over 18 years, Deborah creates an integrative forum for her clients to empower themselves in creating integrative treatment plans to address a wide variety of mood-related imbalances.

Review: Yoga for Children by Lisa Flynn9781440554636cvr.indd

Reviewed by Ellen Campbell, LifeForce Yoga Practitioner, Hatha Yoga Instructor and author of The Youthful Yogis Blog.

Wander through any bookstore or peruse most online bookseller sites and chances are you will find an abundance of excellent reference materials on the subject of yoga. However, uncovering a comprehensive yoga guide for children and pre-teens can be a much greater challenge… until now! Lisa Flynn’s inviting new book, Yoga for Children (published by Adams Media) offers a thorough and accessible guide to practicing yoga with kids.

The book begins with an overview of the origins of yoga and then touches upon some of the significant philosophical underpinnings of this ancient tradition. Ms. Flynn offers helpful suggestions for introducing the Principles of Yoga to children of every age. Indeed, one of the many strengths of Lisa Flynn’s work is her ability to highlight the stages of childhood development and to offer talking points, breath work, poses, props and games wonderfully suited to each specific age. Lisa Flynn is the founder of “ChildLight Yoga” and “Yoga 4 Classrooms”. You can visit her website at

Yoga for Children has much to offer: succinct instruction on a variety of poses, songs, visualizations and games. Readers even learn how to mix their very own “Magic Mist!” Lisa Flynn’s book will be a welcome addition to the reading library of every adult interested in sharing the joy of yoga with children. And, thanks to the book’s friendly tone and colorful layout, it is sure to be a favorite on kids’ bookshelves as well!

To order Yoga for Children, please click here.

Review: Yoga for Emotional Trauma: Meditations and Practices for Healing Pain and Suffering by Mary and Rick NurrieStearns9781608826421_p0_v2_s260x420

The authors of Yoga for Anxiety have brought us a beautiful book of healing yoga practices for trauma survivors. Not only do they include their own inspiring stories of coming to yoga and meditation to heal, but their prose is full of anecdotes to which readers can readily relate. The NurrieStearns include selfinquiry practices, easy-to-follow guided meditations that anchor the mind with concentration techniques and breath. From the start of the book, the reader is helped to develop an attitude of self-compassion and, the practices, be they postures or simple breathing, are offered with ways to accept yourself as you begin.

In clear and readable prose, the NurrieStearns explain the brain science behind the effects of trauma and how the brain changes with yoga and meditation. My only quibble with this manual of practices, which I do consider essential reading for anyone with a history of trauma, is that the first chapter dives directly into cultivating compassion. Developing compassion for oneself is often the most challenging job for anyone with a history of abuse. The suggestion of selecting a quote or recalling a memory of someone being kind to you may not be sufficient to overcome the strong negative self-talk, self-blame and rumination that often accompanies trauma. While the authors’ suggestions are excellent, in this reviewers opinion, they would better serve the reader if they were introduced later in the book, after some of the physical and breath practices have helped clear away the mind’s distracting thoughts. After a pranayama breathing practice, for example, it is easier for most of us to catch a glimpse of who we are beyond whatever mood is visiting or whatever story we are telling ourselves about our trauma. It is in these moments of expanded awareness that the seeds of compassion can be most effectively nourished.  However, don’t neglect this book, just because I think the order might have been different.  It’s worthwhile reading for us all.

Accompanying most every suggested practice, there is a helpful section on the science of how the practice effects the body-mind. Whether you come to Yoga for Emotional Trauma for your own healing or because you serve others who suffer from the effects of trauma, keep it near you for inspiration and knowledge.

To purchase a copy of Yoga for Emotional Trauma: Meditations and Practices for Healing Pain and Suffering please click here.

News: Yoga Pilgrimage to India February 18-March 9, 2014taj-mahal

I am often asked if I would lead a trip to India. This is not going to happen anytime soon, but I am happy to tell you about my friends Dr. Mehrad Nazari and author Michele Hébert, experienced group leaders whom I trust to take you on the India journey of your life. Michele and Mehrad are master yoga teachers and have been teaching Raja Yoga and meditation for over 30 years. They have traveled throughout India many times since 1996 and studied with mystics, sages and saints including Swami Veda Bharati, Himalayan Master. During this transformative trip, receive first-hand experience of ashram living as well as an exceptional 5-star cultural tour highlighting some of India’s foremost sacred sites. For more information visit

News: A Successful Program for School Children in IsraelMadisonTitibasana2

One of the pleasures of gathering with yoga colleagues at the International Association of Yoga Therapists annual conference, the Symposium on Yoga Therapy and Research (SYTAR) is learning about impressive yoga programs that have transformed the lives of people within the communities they serve.  I learned about the Mindful Language program in the Tel-Hai School in Israel from its founder, Dr. Nimrod Sheinman, when we shared an outdoor cupola to eat our box lunch.

There are lots of yoga-based and mindfulness-based school programs in the US, but none that I’m aware of is so well constructed that one hour a week can make such a difference in a child’s academic achievement, self-awareness, and compassion towards self and others. The results of the Mindful Language program have been so impressive that Richard Davidson, the researcher known for his brain imaging studies of Tibetan monks and other meditators and his colleagues from the University of Wisconsin came to observe the program.  This article, originally written in Hebrew, was translated into English and is downloadable here:

The article describes the program and its benefits to the Tel-Hai School.  Here’s a brief excerpt from the article:

The “Mindful Language” program managed to integrate these principles [Nondual] and to adapt them to kids and to the school framework. When the children are lying down relaxed, or as Shalem defines it “When the body is soft like a well cooked spaghetti”, Shalem guides them to count their breaths, to pay attention to their inner sensations and to notice the position of their body in space. “Imagine the throat is like an elevator, from which we can go down to the heart”, says Shalem, and asks them: “What is happening down there now? What is happening in your throat? What is it like in the area of your shoulders? And what’s happening around your heart?” The children are instructed to notice what part of their body asks for touch, and to reach it with their warm palms. Afterwards, they place their warm hands on their eyes, “Invite your eyes to rest, and feel confident in the class”. Then, they place their hands on their ears, “Listen to the inner sea”. They are invited to position their hands on their heart region, and to explore how they feel right now. “What kind of expression does the face of your heart have today?” Shalem asks them…

…In the course of the lesson, they will also be instructed to stand up “like a mountain”, to feel tall and grounded “like a tree”, and to move with awareness according to various visual images. The class ends with a body scan and guided imagery accompanied by music. …

…Dr. Nimrod Sheinman explains: “Through the mindfulness and imagery practices, the kids develop attention and awareness skills. They learn to notice their inner world, including the pleasant and unpleasant sensations and feelings. Consciously and unconsciously, they learn to take a “Mindful Pause” and to contain their discomforts rather than automatically react
to them….”

If you’re interested in this program feel free to write the founding director, Nimrod at

News: LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training in Tucson Early Bird

Join us in Tucson, January 12 – 19, 2014, for the LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training – Level 1, for yoga teachers, therapists and other mental health professionals. Participants will experience evidence-based practices for mood management. Each day begins with an early morning practice of yoga, meditation, breathing practices and chanting. The day continues with two 3 hour sessions with a midday break to enjoy the warm Arizona desert or get a message.
Registration details

News: LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training in Three Modules

The LFYP training is also available in three modules. Module A will be taking place at Sivananda Ashram in The Bahamas February 6 – 10, 2014. Module A is experiential and open to all. Participants will experience all aspects of LifeForce Yoga in a retreat setting on the beach.
Module B is online learning. You will participate in five webinars designed to give you a foundation in LifeForce Yoga. The topics covered are: Creating the Safe Container, Mantra & Mudra, Pranayama, and Trauma. Module B is scheduled for October, 2013 and may be taken before Module A.

Events Calendar

Click the link above to browse our upcoming workshops and training opportunities!



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

“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
“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 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
“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
“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
“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 gained tools for working with my own depression and with my clients’ depressions.” — Robert Sgona, LCSW, RYT, psychotherapist, Yoga teacher, Camden, ME.
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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 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 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 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.
“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
“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
“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
“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 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
“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
“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.)
“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 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 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
“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
“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.
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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 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
“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 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.
“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
“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 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
“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.
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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 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.
“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
“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 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.
“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 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
“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
“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 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
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