Today, as we completed our LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training in Tucson, one of the students, said, “not to be narcissistic, but are we the best ever training group?” This group of well-resourced yoga and health professionals was indeed amazing – heart-centered, attentive, and so generous with each other. A real international sangha (community) of like-hearted beings shared openly and supported each other through the practices and self-inquiry processes of LifeForce Yoga, becoming so much clearer through the week. I hesitated to answer at first, because I have found myself saying “this is the best group ever” to each group over the last few years – ever since the training from hell, which taught me and the faculty a hell of a lot—and the thing is, I really mean it! Each group arrives, feeling somewhat separate as individuals, and through our practice together becomes so connected to Self that they cannot NOT connect in authentic ways with each other. Every training group has its own character, and yet in recent years, there is something deeply bonding about the ways we meet and embrace each other as individuals, not separate from the whole. All I can say is: it just gets better!
In this newsletter, we look at current research, talk about new projects and training opportunities and mention two new books—one that is the funniest anatomy book I’ve ever read and it’s not just for anatomy geeks (believe me, I wouldn’t read it if it
were!) and the other is Dana Faulds’s latest book of poems arising from her practice.
- Research: Women’s Reproductive Health and Yoga – Two Studies
- Research: Breath~Body~Mind Workshop (BBMW) Improves Mood and IBD Symptoms
- Research: Yoga Beats Exercise for Psychological Health in Older Adults
- Review: MetaAnatomy: Anatomy of a Yogi by Kristin Leal
- Review: Breath of Joy: Poems, Prayers and Prose by Danna Faulds
- News: Our classic, award-winning DVDs are now available as digital downloads!
- News: Releasing New Video Blog Series featuring Amy
- News: IFS Training Opportunities
- Events: End Depression Now Telesummit
- Events Calendar
In the first of two studies that looked at the effect of yoga practice on women’s reproductive health, researchers followed healthy females between 18-20 years of age through three menstrual cycles, comparing the yoga group who practiced 35-40 minutes a day for 6 days a week with a group of young women who did not practice. The researchers looked at both groups in premenstrual and postmenstrual phases of three cycles and found that initially, women in both the yoga and control groups had higher sympathetic system activation as well as significantly higher scores of anger, depression, anxiety and decreased score of well-being in the premenstrual phase as compared to the postmenstrual phase. However, parasympathetic activity increased and there was a significant decrease in anger, depression and in yoga group as compared to control group from initial to second and third cycle in premenstrual phase. The change was significant only in depression score in postmenstrual phase. “Regular practice of yoga has beneficial effects on both phases of menstrual cycle,” say the researchers, “by bringing parasympathodominance and psychological well-being probably by balancing neuro-endocrinal axis.”
To read the full study, click here.
In a second study, the effects of 45 minutes of yoga practiced six days a week on women with perimenopausal symptoms of anxiety, irritability and mood swings were measured on a total of 30 subjects between 40 and 60 years of age. After 12 weeks, the yoga group showed significant improvement in symptoms as well as mineral changes that correclate with reduced blood pressure.
To read the full study, click here.
Kanojia S, Sharma VK, Gandhi A, Kapoor R, Kukreja A, Subramanian SK., ” Effect of yoga on autonomic functions and psychological status during both phases of menstrual cycle in young healthy females,” Clin Diagn Res. 2013 Oct;7(10):2133-9
Kumar A1, Archana E1, Pai A2, Nayak G3, Shenoy RP1, Rao A2, “Serum mineral status and climacteric symptoms in perimenopausal women before and after Yoga therapy,” Midlife Health. 2013 Oct;4(4):225-9. doi: 10.4103/0976-7800.122251.
A mind-body intervention that includes Coherent Breathing (5 breaths per minute, balanced inhalation and exhalation), gentle movement and relaxing meditation showed significant improvement in depression, anxiety, and the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in 15 pateints, as compared to the control group, an equal number of patients who received education on IBD for the same number of hours. The BBMW was instructed over 2 days and then the participants, practiced on their own at home with weekly follow-ups. At 26 weeks, IBD symptoms improved and inflammation was reduced, as indicated by a significant reduction in C-reactive protein.
The results of this study were presented in San Diego, CA, at the 78th Annual Meeting American College of Gastroenterology in October.
To learn more about the intervention and the Breath~Body~Mind Training, developed by Richard P. Brown and Patricia Gerbarg, MD, visit http://haveahealthymind.com/index.html
Vinita Jacobs MD, Patricia Gerbarg MD, Laurie Stevens MD, Brian Bosworth MD, Richard P. Brown MD, Fatiha Chabouni MD, Ersilia M. DeFilippis, Ryan Warren, Michael Harbus, Paul J. Christos DrPH, Ellen Scherl MD, “The Effect of Breathing, Movement, and Meditation on Psychological and Physical Symptoms and Inflammatory Biomarkers in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Randomized Controlled Trial,” Poster, 10/14/2013.
In a controlled study, 98 older adults in two Florida nursing homes were randomly assigned to either a chair yoga, a chair exercise or a control group. When measured after six weeks, yoga participants improved more than both exercise and control participants in anger, anxiety, depression, well-being, general self-efficacy, and self-efficacy for daily living.
To read the full study, click here.
Bonura KB, Tenenbaum G., “Effects of Yoga on Psychological Health in Older Adults,” J Phys Act Health. 2013 Dec 20.
You don’t have to be a yoga-teacher-anatomy-geek to laugh your way through Kristin Leal’s MetaAnatomy, even as you learn the body systems’ basics in this brief, well-written and well-illustrated new book. Even her chapter titles tickle the mind—”Do You Come to this Joint Often? The Characters in a Synovial Joint” and “You’ve Got Some Nerve: The Elegant Nervous System” are just two examples. In addition to the humor, Leal includes quotes from Patanjali, the Upanishads, Eastern sages, Western dancers, pop singers, along with literary lights from Herman Melville to Mary Oliver.
If you’re like me and think you have no head for science, you will be teased into a deeper understanding of bones, joints, spine, nervous system and even your own yoga practice. There’s an inspiring section on some of my favorite Yoga Sutras that inform the way she teaches and practices, and her chapter on the breath is spot on. Leal teaches internationally and has developed her own anatomy training, as well as yoga teacher training programs. With a long background in the healing arts (massage and other healing modalities since 1995), she’s an expert with a passion for exploring “the dynamic beauty and poetry of who you are.” To purchase a copy of MetaAnatomy please click here.
In her sixth book of poems, Dana Faulds explores moments of joy and also not-joy, the times, when feelings of separation make her feel like a fraud. Even as she acknowledges feelings of disconnection, she is able to witness and step back and in that moment, and sometimes follow the thread back to “the Great Perfection.” Where some poets use image to subtly address an idea, Dana’s poems and prose are more concept driven, sometimes using image to make a point. There are inspirational poems here, as in her earlier books, that speak to that deep connection, and might find their way into your yoga class or as a way to jump start your own meditation. “The Light You Need,” is such a poem. Enjoy!
The Light You Need
Hold the small self lightly
as the vast Self opens wide.
Abide in the whole truth
as the deathless, dancing
love song of the universe
plays through you.
In the end, it doesn’t matter
if your moon is full or
waning; the light you need
to navigate even the darkest
night emanates freely
To order a copy, please write the author at email@example.com.
We are very happy to announce that our award-winning LifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues DVD series is now available as a digital download! To purchase a copy and begin your practice immediately please click here. You also have the option to digitally rent the DVDs as well which is an exciting feature.
We released our first video in a new video blog series titled Conversations with Amy Weintraub shot by geo geller. We will be releasing one segment a week. We hope you enjoy these open, unedited, discussions with Amy – we are very excited about this new project! To watch the first video, “How Yoga Saved My Life” please click here.
Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a modality of therapy I feel is aligned with the foundation of LifeForce Yoga. Like LifeForce Yoga, IFS approach sees the client’s true nature, her wholeness beyond the mood or the story. After I saw founder Dr. Richard Schwartz speak at the Psychotherapy Networker Symposium a few years ago and then read his books, I began my own IFS journey, both as a client and an IFS practitioner. I highly endorse these trainings for yoga and mental health professionals and for those wishing a clearer heart and greater Self-awareness. There are two retreat style trainings on either US coast and three 6-weekend trainings that begin soon. To find the IFS training that works for you and your schedule, click here.
Over 40 Experts Reveal The Real World Solutions For Ending Depression and How To Create A Life Of Lasting Happiness. Amy’s interview with host Craig Meriwether will be available the week of March 3-9, 2014. The interview will also be available as a download as well. Register today!
Click here to view our upcoming LifeForce Yoga workshops and trainings!