Mentors

“By attending to the mental and spiritual side of yoga, a sincere student becomes like a smoothly flowing river, irrigating and fertilizing the land around it.” — Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar, Yoga: the Path to Holistic Health

Rose Kress

ERYT-500, C-IAYT, YACEP, Director of LifeForce Yoga

Rose-newRose began practicing yoga in 1994 and teaching since 2004. Through LifeForce Yoga, she overcame a severe anxiety disorder. She focuses on the therapeutic aspects of yoga – for the body, mind and soul. Rose teaches classes and workshops throughout the Tucson area and has been blessed to teach at The Crossings in Austin, TX, at Yogaville in VA, at Kripalu in Lenox, MA, and Sivananda Ashram in The Bahamas with the LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training Program. She has also presented at a number of Yoga Festivals in Arizona. Rose integrates LifeForce Yoga techniques into therapeutic yoga for back pain, cancer, pulmonary disease, structural wellness, and yoga therapy. She studies with Rama Jyoti Vernon and has taken the Functional Yoga Therapy Training with Maria KaliMa. Rose is the Director of the LifeForce Yoga Healing Institute and teaches in the LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Trainings. Rose is also the author of 2 CDs, Mantra Chanting with Rose and Pathways to Relaxation.

Kat Larsen

Kat LarsenERYT-200, C-IAYT, Graduate Iyengar YTT-325hours, LFYP-2

Kat has been with the LifeForce Yoga Healing Institute for over ten years and mentors both yoga instructors and mental health professionals. She has been on the Assisting faculty team for the Kripalu Level I training since 2010, and has assisted numerous LifeForce Yoga workshops over the years, at Arlington Center, Cape Cod Institute, and Melbourne Australia. She loves that LifeForce Yoga practices encompass accessibility to All; that integrating the tools brings empowerment, self-regulation, and a means to meet the mood both on and off the mat.

Kat specializes in working with individuals touched by cancer and is a Certified y4c-Yoga for Cancer Instructor. She’s taught many LFY workshops at the Dempsey Center in Lewiston, ME, and presently leads a weekly Yoga for Wellness/y4c yoga class at Cancer Resource Center of Western Maine. She’s also worked with clients living with chronic pain, fatigue, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s, addiction/recovery, domestic abuse, anxiety, and depression.

Certified to teach Hatha, Vinyasa, Alignment based, Yoga Therapeutics and Restorative Yoga, Kat has over 1,000 teaching hours. She is a long-time meditator and has led meditation circles in both the Vipassana & “loving kindness” traditions. Currently, she teaches at Posabilities Yoga Studio in Norway, ME and resides in the Lakes Region with her partner, Corey. When not teaching or traveling you’ll find her hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing and spending time in nature and the mountains. Kat extends deep gratitude to her LifeForce Yoga mentors Amy Weintraub & Rose Kress.

LM_066-5 copyLinda Mackay

BS, MSW, RegSocial Worker, Certified Yoga Teacher, LFYP-2Mentor

Linda worked at The University of Waterloo for 15 years in Counselling and Psychological Services and now co-owns a private practice, The Space Within, in Stratford, Ontario. She integrates LifeForce Yoga into her clinical sessions, leads LifeForce Yoga classes for depression and anxiety, and offers LifeForce Yoga and Mindfulness based workshops. More recently Linda co-led a healing LifeForce Yoga retreat in Victoria BC with fellow Level 2 practitioner, Ocean Lum. Linda has a 20-year yoga practice, attending trainings and conferences with local and international teachers. Her personal meditation practice has been founded on mindfulness-based teachings and yoga trainings with Thich Nhat Hanh, Michael Stone, Richard Miller, Zindel Segal, and Patricia Rockman. She is certified as a Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy practitioner. She teaches an introduction to MBCT in the Professional Development Social Work Program at Wilfrid Laurier University and has developed and implemented a primary school-based program, called “Body Being” which integrates mindfulness with LifeForce Yoga. Linda has been privileged to assist or co-lead LFY trainings with Amy at The Cape Cod Institute, Leading Edge in Toronto, Pranashanti Studio in Ottawa, and for the Level 1 Training Retreat in Tucson. Linda enjoys her LFY mentoring role and also offers clinical supervision in her private practice.

Laura OrthLaura Orth

LICSW, LFYP-2

Laura is a clinical social worker with 28 years providing individual and family psychotherapy. Trained in LifeForce Yoga, Internal Family Systems, and as a Kripalu yoga teacher, she has been integrating yoga and mindfulness skills into her psychotherapy practice for several years. An LFY mentor, she teaches relaxation classes at Southboro Medical Group, where she is a counseling provider. Laura is a compassionate and enthusiastic teacher who enjoys the interplay of ancient and modern traditions.

jo2Joanne Spence

E-RYT 200, LFYP-2

Joanne has been teaching yoga fulltime for 14 years. She has combined LifeForce Yoga with her clinical social work background and works as the first yoga therapist at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, one of the largest inpatient psychiatric hospitals in the US. Joanne is also member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists.  In 2004, she founded Yoga in Schools (YIS) as a way to reach school children and teachers to help them nurture their own well-being through yoga. Since then, Yoga in Schools has become a leader in the field of school yoga, reaching over 20,000 children and 1,000 teachers with sustainable wellness programs.  Joanne teaches and presents across the US at conferences and retreat centers including Kripalu, Omega and the Garrison Institute.

Professional PictureRickie Simpson

PhD, E-RYT-200, LFYP-2, C-IAYT

Dr. Simpson is a Board Certified Psychiatric-Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist specializing in individual, couples, group and family therapy. She integrates complementary methodologies and techniques to offer a highly personalized faith-consistent approach tailored to each client. She holds certifications as an Imago Relationship Therapist, a LifeForce Yoga Practitioner 2/Mentor and is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher at the 200-hour level (E-RYT-200) with the Yoga Alliance.  She belongs to the International Association of Practitioners of Encountered-centered Couples Therapy and maintains a board certification as a Professional Christian Counselor. Dr. Simpson is also one of the primary international investigators for evaluating the efficacy of Encountered-centered Couples Therapy. She maintains a private practice in Manassas, Virginia and is on the faculty of Stratford University teaching Nursing Research and Psychiatric Nursing.

Randy Todd

LCSW, MSW, LFYP-2, CYT200

Randy is a trauma therapist assigned to the PTSD Treatment Team at the Southern Arizona VA Health Care Systems (SAVAHCS) in Tucson, Arizona. He is trained in cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, hypnotherapy, EMDR, acceptance and commitment therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, cognitive processing therapy, and prolonged exposure therapy. Randy facilitates a weekly LifeForce Yoga group for clients and a weekly yoga nidra practice for mental health professionals at SAVAHCS.

Randy’s professional career has spanned 35 years. He has worked in community mental health and substance abuse programs, corrections, private practice, and as an adjunct faculty teaching MSW students. Randy has been responsible for directing outpatient treatment programs, day treatment and day rehabilitation programs, an emergency crisis services program, an acute inpatient psychiatric treatment program, managing a rural mental health clinic, and a case management and clinical services program for persons diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. He has volunteered to facilitate community groups for HIV/AIDS and served on various community boards; an LGBT organization, a domestic violence agency, the chamber of commerce and a homeowners association.

Randy has been in a relationship with his life partner for the past 35 years; they were legally married in Iowa 5 years ago. Their family consists of two four-year-old yellow labs. In addition to yoga, Randy enjoys reading, running, cycling, mountain biking, and hiking. He has been a regular participant in the annual El Tour de Tucson cycling event.

Kathleen Williams

PhD, LPC, LFYP-2, RYT-200

Kathleen is a private practitioner in New Jersey, specializing in Trauma and Addictions. She has been serving adolescents, adults, and groups independently since 1996. In addition to her therapeutic endeavors, Kathleen provides consultation and supervision in her community. She is currently contracted with a private school where she trains clinical staff and teachers alike to become more trauma-informed in their work with students.

In addition to her role as a clinician, Kathleen specializes in EMDR (Eye-Movement Desensitization Re-Processing) and holds a 200 hr. Yoga
Teacher Certification from Kripalu.

Prior to these roles, Kathleen worked in a University setting for many years and also taught both undergrad and graduate levels for twenty years.

Kathleen very much looks forward to helping new LifeForce Yoga students find a place of comfort in expressing themselves as healers by utilizing these skills in their respective occupations as helpers.

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What People Say

“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
“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
“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
“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 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 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 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
“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
“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 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
“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
“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 gained an incredible opening and clearing of old obstructions. I hope to return to my life and fill this opening with things I love to do and that give me joy!” — Lisa Shine, administrative assistant, Ballston Lake, NY
“I have 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.
“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 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
“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
“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.
“I learned lots of ways to reduce the anxiety and depression of my patients and myself.” – Aviva Sinvany-Nubel, PhD, APN, CNSC, RN, psychotherapist, Bridgewater, N.J.
I 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
“I gained tools for working with my own depression and with my clients’ depressions.” — Robert Sgona, LCSW, RYT, psychotherapist, Yoga teacher, Camden, ME.
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