Issue 53

amy-lotus“The yoga mat is a good place to turn when talk therapy and antidepressants aren’t enough. ”  I recently saw myself quoted on Facebook, a paraphrase of something I said, which is fine by me. What surprised me was the beautiful image paired with my words. It was a picture of a healthy, young, lean woman in a perfect udhva dhanurasana, the wheel pose. Attaining yoga (union, or the cessation of distractions in the mind) does not require the mastery of wheel pose or any other posture. Personally, I love practicing wheel, also known as upward facing bow pose. It’s an ancient posture, a mudra (seal), unlike many of our standing poses, which have a more recent history.  Accomplishing this practice both opens the heart and brings the head below the heart, so it is both a backbend and an inversion. As such, it is a wonderfully exhilarating pose for depression. The model in the picture likely felt uplifted emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually after the photo shoot.  But yoga and its practice is so much more than a physical asana practice, requiring a yoga mat.

I remember 84-year-old church-going Dorothy Wheeler, who ten years ago was a regular member of my class at the Tucson Racquet and Fitness Club. I wrote about Dorothy in my first book, Yoga for Depression.  Dorothy didn’t practice wheel pose nor was she able to practice with proficiency many of the other postures I led in that mixed-level class. But she let me know at the end of each session how uplifted she felt, and how blessed she felt to have yoga in her life.  Old or young, fit or physically challenged, flexible or stiff, large-bodied or lean like the model in the Facebook image–anyone can practice yoga on and off the mat.

There are breathing practices, meditations, mudras, mantras, bhavana (imagery) that can balance the body-mind, no matter what level of experience or physical challenge we may have. These mat-less practices clear your inner space, reduce your distracting thoughts (yoga citta vritti nirodhah, Patanjali, 1:2) so that, even for a moment, you have a felt sense of your own true nature—eternally and intimately connected, whole and healed.

The DVD I review below by master Kripalu Yoga teacher Megha Nancy Buttenheim is a simple, gentle practice—no wheels there! But practicing with Megha is Yoga.

Blessings on sustaining your practice through the holidays.  It will make all the difference in your life and the lives of your beloveds, those you serve, and all those you meet on your journey.

Research: Compassion can be taught

The foundation of LifeForce Yoga is the cultivation of compassion and self-awareness. Much of what we teach in LifeForce Yoga, on and off the mat, is about learning to observe whatever is arising without judgment. The development of the observing, compassionate mind, helps us self-regulate and we find that we are less reactive to life’s challenges. I truly believe that developing self-acceptance and compassion is a practice, just like rolling out a yoga mat. It is therefore gratifying to read studies that validate this assumption.

A new study by researchers at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center of the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows that adults can be trained to be more compassionate. The report, published Psychological Science, investigates whether training adults in compassion can result in greater altruistic behavior and related changes in neural systems underlying compassion.

In the study, the investigators trained young adults to engage in compassion meditation, an ancient Buddhist technique to increase caring feelings for people who are suffering. In the meditation, participants envisioned a time when someone has suffered and then practiced wishing that his or her suffering was relieved. They repeated phrases to help them focus on compassion such as, “May you be free from suffering. May you have joy and ease.”

Participants practiced with different categories of people, first starting with a loved one, someone whom they easily felt compassion for, like a friend or family member. Then, they practiced compassion for themselves and, then, a stranger. Finally, they practiced compassion for someone they actively had conflict with called the “difficult person,” such as a troublesome coworker or roommate.

The study’s lead author, Helen Weng, says, “It’s kind of like weight training. Using this systematic approach, we found that people can actually build up their compassion ‘muscle’ and respond to others’ suffering with care and a desire to help.”

Compassion training was compared to a control group that learned cognitive reappraisal, a technique where people learn to reframe their thoughts to feel less negative. Both groups listened to guided audio instructions over the Internet for 30 minutes per day for two weeks. “We wanted to investigate whether people could begin to change their emotional habits in a relatively short period of time,” says Weng.

The real test of whether compassion could be trained was to see if people would be willing to be more altruistic — even helping people they had never met. The research tested this by asking the participants to play a game in which they were given the opportunity to spend their own money to respond to someone in need (called the “Redistribution Game”). They played the game over the Internet with two anonymous players, the “Dictator” and the “Victim.” They watched as the Dictator shared an unfair amount of money (only $1 out of $10) with the Victim. They then decided how much of their own money to spend (out of $5) in order to equalize the unfair split and redistribute funds from the Dictator to the Victim.

“We found that people trained in compassion were more likely to spend their own money altruistically to help someone who was treated unfairly than those who were trained in cognitive reappraisal,” Weng says.

The researchers also used fMRI to look at brain changes in the two groups and found that the people who were the most altruistic after compassion training were the ones who showed the most brain changes when viewing human suffering. They found that activity was increased in the inferior parietal cortex, a region involved in empathy and understanding others. Compassion training also increased activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the extent to which it communicated with the nucleus accumbens, brain regions involved in emotion regulation and positive emotions. This may be an indication of mood elevation.

I find that when we are guided to feel compassion for others and to ourselves (Karuna meditation) or to send loving-kindness (Metta meditation) to ourselves as well as others, even or perhaps especially to those with whom we have challenges, we end up feeling happier and more at peace.


The article was published by Psychological Science.  To read the full article please click here.


Research: Kripalu Research Grant

The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health announces: The Samuel B. Hanser Visionary Award for Yoga Research.  Letters of Intent due by February 15, 2014

Kripalu’s Institute for Extraordinary Living is thrilled to announce the establishment of the Samuel B. Hanser Visionary Award to advance innovations in yoga research. This is the first grant targeted specifically to support yoga research, furthering the goal of making yoga more accessible and accepted throughout society as a means for creating health and well-being.

The award honors the spirit and vision of the late Samuel B. Hanser, a healer who believed that every person holds the wisdom and power to lead a happy and healthy life. After Sam’s death at the age of 28, his family created a Memorial Trust in his name, and have now established the Hanser Award in collaboration with the Institute for Extraordinary Living (IEL).

The Hanser Award will be given to a dedicated and creative professional whose work directly contributes to Kripalu’s mission to empower people and communities to realize their full potential through the transformative wisdom and practice of yoga.

Letters of intent are due by February 15, 2014, with detailed proposals to be submitted later in the process. An inaugural award of up to $10,000 will be presented in September.

For application details and further information, please click here.



Review: Yoga Therapy for Children with Autism and Special Needs by Louise Goldbergimages

Reviewed by Ellen Campbell.  Ellen Campbell teaches yoga to children and adults in Tucson, Arizona. She is a LifeForceYoga Level I practitioner and author of the Youthful Yogis Blog.

It is often easy in our fast paced, media rich culture to associate yoga with bustling studios, fashionable sportswear, and fit and flexible bodies such as we see on the covers of most health and yoga magazines. However, in her new book, Yoga Therapy for Children with Autism and Special Needs, Louise Goldberg reminds us that yoga is so much more than a glossy cover story or a speedy set of sun salutes.

Yoga Therapy for Children with Autism and Special Needs offers readers what Goldberg calls “a curriculum for calm”: a road map, if you will, for the successful integration of yoga into the lives of children with special needs. The author draws upon her 30 years of yoga therapy experience to create a rich and nuanced work that will inspire teachers, therapists and parents alike. It is a book that can be appreciated by experienced practitioners as well as by individuals who are just beginning to explore the benefits of yoga therapy for children.

Yoga Therapy for Children with Autism and Special Needs makes a point of distinguishing the difference between yoga classes and yoga therapy, noting the highly individualized nature of yoga therapy and the idea that in yoga therapy “the child’s responsiveness is the measure of success, rather than achievement of a specific pose.” Ms. Goldberg is honest about the joys, as well as the challenges, of working with children with special needs (Down Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD, to name a few.) Her “Ten Golden Rules of Teaching” offer tools for success when working with children and include: “See the whole child”; “Make yoga therapy fun”; and “Take nothing personally!” The author also underscores the importance of “creating a sacred space” for children with special needs. She prefaces this theme with a chapter entitled Stress and the Brain, a segment of the book that I will personally be referring back to time and again.

In her chapter on stress and the brain, as well as in the subsequent chapter on relaxation, Goldberg offers an overview of the body’s response to the environment via the nervous system. She reminds us that school settings–often noisy and highly stimulating environments–can easily trigger the fight or flight response in children, especially those with sensory challenges or an inability to self-sooth. Here is where “creating a sacred space” becomes so important; Goldberg underscores that yoga therapists must attune to a child’s environment–adjusting the temperature and the lighting, choosing music (or not) and even becoming aware of the tone of their own voice and the expression on their face–in order to support feelings of safety and security in the child. The author notes that periods of transition, as well as changes in routine, can be particularly stressful for children with special needs. She suggests visual aides, transitional cues and the creation of a set routine in order to reduce anxiety in children who may be distracted or overwhelmed by sensory stimulation. Finally, Ms. Goldberg gives concrete examples of ways all individuals can remove undue stress from the body’s systems. Postural adjustments, breath work, ocular pressure and—for some—gentle inversions and/or flexion of the cervical spine are just a few of the techniques Ms. Goldberg suggests to “stimulate vagal motor neurons, slowing the heart” thus supporting the body to relax.

While there is much to appreciate about Yoga Therapy for Children with Autism and Special Needs, it is in chapter fifteen that parents, teachers and therapists truly receive a great gift: Louise Goldberg lays out a “Catalog of Postures”, offering descriptions of approximately sixty positions that can be adjusted to the needs of any child or group of children. The list begins with simple therapeutic hand positions, moves onto breath work, seated poses, twists, partner poses and standing postures for strength and balance. The benefits of each posture are listed, and contraindications and adaptations for special needs are provided. Goldberg also offers nine different posture routines of varying intensity and then gives us routines specifically designed for a school setting: a posture routine for small spaces, a routine for after lunch, and a routine for test anxiety, just to name a few.

Finally, readers are provided with a list of postures and lessons for specific needs including: eye-hand coordination, vagal nerve stimulation, language development and poses for enhancing social interaction. Yoga Therapy for Children with Autism and Special Needs concludes with games, songs, mudras and partner poses for children to enjoy. The appendix offers readers useful yoga therapy resources including a parent questionnaire, a teacher assessment form, a student questionnaire and an extensive list of training resources.

Reading through Louise Goldberg’s Yoga Therapy for Children with Autism and Special Needs, one does indeed feel as though they are receiving a gift: it is the gift of information and insight–precious knowledge that can expand and evolve as educators move forward in their work with children.

I highly recommend this book and I thank Louise Goldberg for sharing her expertise and experience with us. A “curriculum for calm” is something that we can all benefit from, and Ms. Goldberg helps us to make this curriculum a reality.


To purchase a copy of Yoga Therapy for Children with Autism and Special Needs please click here.


Review: Introduction to Yoga and Meditation with Meghadvdcover_web

Megha Nancy Buttenheim and I found our way to Kripalu Yoga, the practice that in the late 80’s saved my life and enabled me to slowly, with medical supervision, titrate off anti-depressant medication. Megha was already teaching at Kripalu when I arrived and was a teacher whose joy and compassion inspired my own practice. Many of you may know her as the founder of Let Your Yoga Dance, and have experienced her exuberant yoga dance at noon classes at Kripalu Center for more than twenty years.

This is her first DVD, and it is one I can imagine growing old with. It is bar-none the best beginner gentle yoga DVD practice I have ever experienced, because not only is there a practice where modifications are shown throughout, but there are teaching segments that educate the participant, providing a strong and confident foundation to the novice, before she or he begins the actual practice session. Megha is thorough and clear in her explanation and demonstration of the use of props. She carefully describes and demonstrates how to support the participant in maintaining a seated position for meditation. She slowly demonstrates two of the most basic and , to my mind, life-changing breathing practices. Participants are guided through a thorough understanding of the seven movements of the spine, essential to hydrating and keeping the spine flexible. There are two teaching meditations—a mindful attention to the breath and the Buddhist practice of Metta (loving-kindness).

The 60 minute Sequence of poses that follows the teaching segments includes a centering meditation, warm-ups, standing poses, a gentle backbend in a prone position, gentle twists and an inversion, all practiced and demonstrated with options for modifications and props. The posture section is followed by a guided relaxation that includes polarity breathing, a practice that draws breath in and exhales the breath out through opposite parts of the body. Megha leads a brief seated meditation to close the practice that includes both breath awareness and Metta practice.

As a yoga teacher for 23 years, I know that it is often more challenging to teach a beginning yoga class, especially for people who may have physical challenges that make modifications necessary. It is an art to make everyone, no matter what their limitations, feel welcomed and accepted just as they are. Megha’s great gift as a teacher is to offer a true experience of yoga-union to the participants in the class, regardless of their level of experience or need to modify.

Although shot simply in a beautiful studio space, production values are high on this Trudy Manion Production. Yoga teachers will benefit from studying this DVD, so that they can offer not only the modifications, but the compassion and wisdom that Megha provides. And of course, if you need to adapt and modify to meet your own body’s needs, then this is the practice for you. Did you notice that throughout this review, I used the word “participant” rather than “viewer”? That’s because, although my own level of practice is more vigorous, not for a moment did I feel I was not practicing yoga, as Megha guided me with clarity and compassion through this DVD. I felt that she was right there in the room with me and felt her big heart smiling.


To purchase a copy of Introduction to Yoga and Meditation with Megha please visit:


News: O Magazine features Jacquelyn Jackson, Janice Gates and Amy Weintrauboprahjimmy2_zps8c67fb3b

The December 2013 Issue of O Magazine features an article “The Yoga Prescription: The ancient practice goes from gym class to doctor’s orders” about Jacquelyn Jackson and her battle with depression after witnessing the shooting of her boss congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in 2011. A large part of her treatment included LifeForce Yoga sessions with Founder Amy Weintraub.

For Jackson, one-on-one yoga appointments with Amy Weintraub, a pioneer in the field and author of Yoga for Depression, proved transformative. In their first session, Jackson “was practically hyperventilating with anxiety;’ says Weintraub, who created a program that included “stairstep” breathing, building up to deeper and deeper breaths. “What the yoga did was provide a slow, gradual path to help her manage her moods and not immediately react when grief arose.” After just a few sessions, Jackson no longer used medication to help her sleep at night. “Working with Amy was like doing emotional Rota-Rootering;’ she says. “I had so much stress in my body, and she was able to help dislodge it and clear it out.”

To read the full article please click here.


News: Amy’s feature article in Yoga Therapy TodayWinterYTT_cover

“The Two-Way Street: Integrating Yoga into Mental Healthcare and Mood Management into Yoga Therapy”.  Amy has written an article on what has become a subject of debate in the yoga therapy community—how much training in yoga mental health professionals need to offer clinically appropriate yoga practices like pranayama breathing and meditation in psychotherapeutic treatment and how much training in mental health yoga professionals (teachers, therapists) need to offer yoga practices to special populations suffering from mood disorders, trauma and addictions. In this article she outlines a teachable set of skills for yoga therapists and psychotherapists who work with people with mood imbalances that specialty training programs for mental health and yoga professionals can provide.

To read the article, click here.

Article Source: Yoga Therapy Today
Publisher:  International Association of Yoga Therapists


Events: Upcoming LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training OpportunitiesBreathe of Joy

Tucson, AZ – Level 1 Residential, January 12 – 19th, 2014.  Click here for more information.

Paradise, Island, Sivananda Ashram Residential Module A February 6 – 10th, 2014.  Click here for more information.

About the Modular Level 1 LFYP Training

Train to become a LifeForce Yoga Practitioner with Amy Weintraub and a faculty of Yoga and Mental Health Professionals. Learn an evidence-based yoga protocol appropriate in yoga classes, yoga therapeutic and health care settings. CEUs.


Events Calendar

View our latest schedule 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.

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What People Say

“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.
“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
“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’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 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 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 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
“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.
“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
“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
“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
“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 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
“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
“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
“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 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 gained perspective of who I am in the world and this will change my life significantly.” — Mary Ford, artist, Southport, CT
“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
“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 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
“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
“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
“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.)
“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 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
“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.
“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
“My personal practice will change, as well as my yoga classes. I have a better understanding of yoga!” — Andrea Gattuso, RYT, Yoga Teacher, Hackettstown, N.J.
“I 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
“Words do not do justice to all that I learned. This workshop changed my life!” — Jen Nolan, Teacher, Cortland, NY
“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
“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 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
“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 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
“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 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
“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 gained tools for working with my own depression and with my clients’ depressions.” — Robert Sgona, LCSW, RYT, psychotherapist, Yoga teacher, Camden, ME.
“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
“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 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.
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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 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
“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
“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.
“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
“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
“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 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.
“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 have gained an incredible opening and clearing of old obstructions. I hope to return to my life and fill this opening with things I love to do and that give me joy!” — Lisa Shine, administrative assistant, Ballston Lake, NY
“Yoga Skills for Therapists 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
“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 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
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