Issue 54


January 2014 Tucson LFYP Training
January 2014 Tucson LFYP Training

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

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.


Research: Breath~Body~Mind Workshop (BBMW) Improves Mood and IBD Symptoms

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

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.


Research: Yoga Beats Exercise for Psychological Health in Older Adults

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.


REVIEW: MetaAnatomy: Anatomy of a Yogi by Kristin Leal41VGqkWfO3L._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_

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.


Review: Breath of Joy: Poems, Prayers and Prose by Danna Faulds41RWvJJkE0L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

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
from inside.

To order a copy, please write the author at


News: Our classic, award-winning DVDs are now available as digital downloads!dvd-level-2-coverdvd-level-1-cover

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.


News: Releasing New Video Series featuring Amy2014-01-14_1927 (2)

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.


News: IFS Training Opportunities

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.


Events: End Depression Now Telesummit

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!


Events Calendar

Click here to view our upcoming LifeForce Yoga 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 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 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.
“This workshop has changed so much — my self-image and my life. My own heart’s desire is 100% clear. I gained tools to help myself and others to live life fully.” — Marcia Siegel, Yoga teacher, therapist, Carlsbad, CA.
“I 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
“I gained perspective of who I am in the world and this will change my life significantly.” — Mary Ford, artist, Southport, CT
“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 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
“Giving my clients a strategy and permission to quiet their minds and rebalance the sympathetic nervous system has been very beneficial to them and in our work together.” — Sue Dilsworth, PhD, RYT 200, LFYP, Allendale, MI
“I have gained an incredible opening and clearing of old obstructions. I hope to return to my life and fill this opening with things I love to do and that give me joy!” — Lisa Shine, administrative assistant, Ballston Lake, NY
“I 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 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
“Yoga Skills for Therapists is the ideal resource for those who want to bring yoga practices into psychotherapy or healthcare. Weintraub, a leader in the field of yoga therapy, offers evidence-based, easy-to-introduce strategies for managing anxiety, improving mood, and relieving suffering. Helpful clinical insights and case examples emphasize safety, trust, and skillful adaptation to the individual, making it easy to apply the wisdom of yoga effectively in the therapeutic context.” — Kelly McGonigal, PhD, author, Yoga for Pain Relief, Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Yoga Therapy
“I 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
“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
“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 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 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
“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 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
“This program changed my life in a significant way. It helped me connect with the spirit which is something you can’t get from psychotherapy and medication.” – G. W., artist, Pittsburgh, PA
I absolutely love this stuff! I have been using it with my clients and I am just finding it to be so incredibly helpful. There seriously something for everything. Although I am not as skilled as I hope to be someday, even at my level of training I’m finding that I am beginning to figure out what to do. It just blows my mind! - Christine Brudnicki, MS, LPC
“Words do not do justice to all that I learned. This workshop changed my life!” — Jen Nolan, Teacher, Cortland, NY
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