Newsletter 74: Research on Yoga for Depression & for Nursing Students, Practice to Cultivate Peace, Review of Eat Wheat

Ahhh, Summer! Right now, we have a group of trainees in the midst of their 40 Day Challenges. This means they have committed to practicing LifeForce Yoga techniques for 40 consecutive days. Every morning, as I log on to Facebook to update and post, my newsfeed is filled with pictures of yoga mats, books, nature pictures, quotes, and practices from this amazing group. Every morning, as I read through, I am moved beyond words, beyond thought, to a place of profound awe. The beauty of their practices touches me at a deeply.

A month ago, when we embarked on the seven-day training at Kripalu, I was nervous, excited, and a little anxious. Like everyone, my confidence ebbs and flows; I was in an ebb. As the trainings begin, I feel the mantle of responsibility and safety descend. Here is a group of individuals that is trusting me, Amy, and the assistants. LifeForce Yoga is “feel your feelings” work. This is not something that I take lightly.

And last month’s training was beautiful! Participants trusted us enough to feel their feelings, to not like practices, to ask questions, and to ask for help when they needed it. As each of them moved through their own process, integration of the techniques happened. The students come together in a sweet and supportive community. As the Director of the trainings, I could not have asked for more. As someone who was present during the training, I feel blessed to have witnessed such an awesome experience.

Every morning, as I start my day and see the postings from this amazing group, I am inspired. When I am tired of sitting in front of the computer and working, those pictures keep me going. They are a constant reminder of why I do what I do. I could not ask for a more precious gift.

Research: The Efficacy of Yoga as a Form of Treatment for Depression

This research reviewed 23 different interventions, published between 2001 and May of 2016, using yoga to improve depressive symptoms. The research sample sizes were small, ranging from 14 – 136 participants. The majority of the studies were six weeks or longer. The styles of yoga were varied with the most common being Hatha Yoga. Despite the limitations the researchers concluded that yoga interventions were effective in reducing depression. This is good news, as it means that whatever yoga you have access to will reduce your symptoms of depression. In LifeForce Yoga, we recommend that the practice of yoga be at least four to five times a week. If you do not have access to daily yoga classes, you can do daily yoga with us using the Free Mood Management Practices option.

Read the abstract for this article here.

Research: Yoga and Nursing Students

Nursing students experience high levels of stress in meeting professional demands. Researchers in India performed a randomized Wait List Control trial with 100 students from the Kempegowda Institute of Nursing. The students were split into two groups, with one group receiving yoga and the other placed on a wait list. Researchers looked at mindfulness, self-compassion, resilience, satisfaction with life, empathy, and perceived stress. After eight weeks the yoga group showed a significant increase in self-compassion and mindfulness as compared with the wait list group. There were improvements in resilience, satisfaction in life and perceived stress, but the results were not statistically significant.

Read the abstract for this article here.

Cultivating Peace with Breath, Hand Gesture, Sound, and Imagery

With 2500 nerve receptors per square inch, the hands are very sensitive and are an opportunity to bring the mind to a focal point. This practice uses a hand gesture, called a mudra in Yoga. Ushas Mudra, or the hand gesture of the dawn, helps us to open ourselves to new possibilities. As a hand gesture it supports us in greeting our day with a sense of mystery and curiosity. When combined with sound, breath, and imagery for peace, we are cultivating new pathways to peace in our lives.

Read More & Practice with Rose

Online Course:
Hand Gestures to Manage Your Mood: LifeForce Yoga Mudra

Led by Rose Kress, ERYT-500, LFYP-2, C-IAYT, YACEP, Director of LifeForce Yoga
Cost: $90 (whole series), $30 per webinar
Dates: Wednesdays, August 2, 9, 16, & 23
Times: 4:00 – 5:15pm PST / 7:00 – 8:15pm EST

Hand gestures, called mudras, can change the breath and energy states. They are a yoga practice that is portable and mudras can be practiced anywhere, anytime. Every individual receives the effect of the mudra in a similar way, while subtle differences may be present. These hand gestures have a long tradition of practice within yoga and Buddhism. Mudras exist within Western culture, too, such as the peace sign, the OK sign, and even that hand gesture that we use when driving to signal anger and aggression.

In this powerful four-week online program, experience the influence of mudras on your mood state. Each week has a different theme with 4 – 5 different mudras. These mudras are categorized for ease of teaching. However, you may find a mudra to be profound when you do not expect it.

Webinar series will be recorded for viewing and available for purchase when the series is complete.

Register here

LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training — Level 1
Yogaville, Buckingham, VA
September 10-17, 2017

This training is an opportunity to dive into LifeForce Yoga like never before. You will learn how to integrate evidence-based yoga techniques, other than posture, into yoga classes, clinical settings, groups, etc. The setting of Yogaville offers you the opportunity to retreat & renew through LifeForce Yoga techniques while learn how to bring these tools to those that you serve. You will feel lighter, brighter, and filled with enthusiasm for your home practice of self-care.
Days begin with an early morning guided yoga, meditation, and chanting practice, followed by a silent breakfast. Daily sessions include evidence-based experiential techniques, demonstrations, and practicing in partners. A 160 page manual with pictures, explanations, and scripts is included. This year’s program is co-led by Amy Weintraub & Rose Kress, with Rickie Simpson.

Reserve your spot today!

Sunrise Yoga during the Training in Tucson

Can’t join us in Yogaville? The Level 1 Training in Tucson, AZ is now open for registration! January 21 – 28, 2018. Winter in Tucson includes highs in the 70s and plenty of sunshine. Days include a two and a half hour break for lunch so you can enjoy the sunshine with hiking and outdoor breathing practices. Stay a couple of days later and you will get to enjoy the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show; stock up on crystals, singing bowls, gems, trinkets, gifts and other fun stuff. All accommodations include a private bathroom.

>>>> Early Bird Registration expires September 15! 

Register Now and Save!

Review: Eat Wheat: A Scientific and Clinically-Proven Approach to Safely Bringing Wheat and Dairy Back Into Your Diet, by John Douillard

Reviewed by Rose Kress

What is a book about eating bread doing on a website for managing your mood? Some research has shown that eating wheat helps to combat depression. You might be asking, “how can that be? When I eat wheat, I feel so sluggish and tired.” And so, we come to the heart of why this book belongs on the shelf of someone suffering from depression and anxiety. It is not wheat that is causing the problem, rather it is our relationship to wheat.

Eat Wheat is about reclaiming healthy digestion and a healthy life. Dr. Douillard is an Ayurvedic Practitioner. The word Ayurveda means “the science of life,” and is a model living in harmony with the world around you. One of Dr. Douillard’s many talents is to make a complex system like Ayurveda interesting, fun, and accessible. What you will find in Eat Wheat, is an introduction that is easy to understand with tools to implement in your daily life for healthier living. Read full review…

Purchase here.


About the Author

Rose Kress

Rose Kress ERYT-500, C-IAYT, YACEP, Owner/Director of the LifeForce Yoga Healing Institute, and author of Awakening Your Inner Radiance with LifeForce Yoga. She directs retreats and training programs on using LifeForce Yoga to manage your mood.

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What People Say

“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
“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 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 gained perspective of who I am in the world and this will change my life significantly.” — Mary Ford, artist, Southport, CT
“I gained tools for working with my own depression and with my clients’ depressions.” — Robert Sgona, LCSW, RYT, psychotherapist, Yoga teacher, Camden, ME.
“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 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
“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
“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 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
“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 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
“Words do not do justice to all that I learned. This workshop changed my life!” — Jen Nolan, Teacher, Cortland, NY
“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 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 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
“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
“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.
“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
“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
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