Newsletter 79: Doldrums, Dreams & Self Inquiry in a Long Tucson Summer; Research, Events, Travel

Summer storm, Tucson

The end of summer can equal a big case of the “I-don’t-wannas!” It is that feeling of lethargy, a lack of motivation to do anything. Think about those times when you have experienced “couch lock,” where you can’t seem to get off the couch. I’m not talking about depression, or hopelessness (although those might play into what is happening). I am talking about exhaustion. You have hit your limit and there is nothing more to give. Exhaustion is so common in our society today. We give and give and then we give some more. While we are in the process of giving, we are also going, doing, and stressing. We have become a world of human doings and have forgotten that we are human beings.

To end this cycle and reclaim our energy and motivation, we must pause and take inventory. Why am I giving so much? What am I doing that doesn’t need to be done? Why am I not taking time to rest? Is there an easier way to do this? There are many answers, and each is unique to you. Consider revisiting your goals and dreams in the next few days. Set aside some time to list the steps that are needed to realize those dreams.

Saguaro, resting.

At the heart of the situation is a delusion that we all suffer from, “I am not enough.” Perhaps if I gave more of my time, I would feel more whole. If people like me, then I will feel like I am enough. If I just keep going, I won’t have the time to feel alone. We chase external pleasures in the hope that stuff will drive away the feeling that we are not enough. But if that feeling is still there, then that means that the stuff we bought didn’t work. Time to buy more, do more, eat more, watch more, etc.

Only through reconnection with our innate wholeness will we finally be enough and have enough. The ancient yogis tell us that we were born whole and connected. It is through the process of living that we have disconnected, from ourselves and each other. Our yoga practice provides a pathway back to that wholeness. The first step is to identify what is constricting you right now. Welcome this constriction, invite it in for tea. Ask this constriction, “why are you here with me right now?” The answer may come in the form of words, an image, a feeling, an emotion, or a belief. Allow yourself to be open to whatever comes. Once you have received an answer, ask “what do you need from me right now?” Again, be open to the answer. When you receive the answer, give this constriction what it is asking for.

Let me share an example. August is a hard month for me. Tucson is just so hot, and I am ready for fall to begin, but I still have another month to go. I hit those summer doldrums and motivation drops to an all-time low. Instead of struggling and fighting that lack of motivation, I asked that feeling why it was here. It said, “I’m exhausted.” I asked what it needed, and the response was a rest. Together we agreed to take a long weekend. As soon as the agreement was made, motivation returned.

As ever, thank you for reading!
Rose Kress
Owner/Director, LifeForce Yoga Healing Institute

Research Spotlight: Anxiety

Effect of Yoga on Stress and Sleep

Research: Yoga decreases anxiety and improves sleep in military personnel in India.

“Most of the young men that make up the Border Security Force in India are from rural areas who are trained and then posted to the borders. They experience social isolation, desolate landscapes, severe anxiety, poor sleep,” according to researcher Shirley Telles, MBBS, Ph.D. This study looked at the benefits of yoga on self-rated sleep, anxiety, and performance in a vigilance test in a nine-day residential program.

The 722 young men participated in this study. The experienced 240 minutes of yoga each day, in the morning and the afternoon, plus lectures on stress reduction and coping with stress based on the Yoga Sūtras of Patanjali. The yoga practice included prayer, chanting, warm-ups and loosening practices, 50 minutes of yoga postures, 35 minutes of yoga breathing, and relaxation.

The participants showed a significant increase in scores in the vigilance test, a decrease in anxiety by 20%, and improved self-rated sleep. Results showed an increase in the amount of sleep at night, a decrease in the amount of time it took to fall asleep, a reduction in sleeping during the day and waking up in the night. One of the big limitations, according to the researchers, to this study was the lack of a control group, which made it hard to say if the yoga was responsible for the decreases or if it was the change in environment.

Image of the participants practicing yoga provided by Shirley Telles, MBBS, Ph.D

This study points to the changes that happen over a relatively short period of time. While we can’t say with certainty that it was the yoga that made the changes happen in this study, we can look at the growing body of evidence for the benefits of yoga on decreasing anxiety, increasing sleep, and improving focus. 240 minutes of yoga (four hours) is a lot to fit into a daily schedule, especially for those that work full-time. However, 5 to 10 minutes a few times a day is doable. Remember to practice, it is good for you!

Full Study

Effect of Yoga on Mental Well-Being and Anxiety in School Teachers

Research: Increased Mental Well-Being and Reduced State Anxiety in Teachers After Participation in a Residential Yoga Program.

Being a school teacher is challenging on many levels. Teachers are responsible for education, safety, care, support, fun, etc. Often teachers bring their work home with them in the form of grading tests. It is no wonder that teachers experience anxiety and disruptions to their mental well-being.

This study compared the mental well-being and anxiety in teachers who participated in a 15-day yoga residential program versus those who continued a regular routine at home. 236 teachers participated in the study; 118 were assigned to the experimental yoga program and 118 control group continued with their normal teaching routine. The study group participated in 15 days of yoga training for six hours a day in a residential yoga center. At the end of the 15 days, the primary school teachers experience an increase in overall mental well-being and lower states of anxiety. The non-yoga control group had higher levels of anxiety.

Stress and anxiety do not discriminate. As this study demonstrates, yoga can be a great support to mental well-being by reducing our anxiety. Teachers can bring in simple yoga tools to manage stress at work and involve the kids. Try some taco or tostada shell breathing! Or perhaps “ants in the pants” – a practice of shaking the legs and the arms to get rid of extra energy. It works!


LifeForce Yoga Practice: Cooling Breaths 

Would you like some tips to really keep your cool? Recently we posted a VLOG about Shitali Pranayama, and Sitkari Pranayama, yogic cooling breaths, used to cool the body and mind. Imagine that, a breath that acts like an internal air conditioner. You have got to try it out.

Take time to practice and see for yourself how cool you really are! More information is here.

Live Online Learning: Energy Boosters

Best Practices for Managing Depression
LIVE! Wednesdays September 5th & 12th, 4pm PST/7pm EST
with Director Rose Kress

Register here for this new two-session course, and discover the best yoga practices to reduce depression, without even a yoga mat! Experience accessible and portable yoga practices to boost your energy and brighten your outlook. LifeForce Yoga tools for managing depression and low energy include sound, visualization, hand gestures, breathing practices, intention setting, and meditation.

You’ll learn:

  • To clear your mind
  • To deepen your breath
  • To wake your energy up first thing in the morning
  • To stimulate your body & mind
  • To reconnect with your whole self

More info here.

Upcoming Events:

SEP: LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training at Yogaville 

Help your students and clients focus, relax, and have greater access to their feelings. These strategies can safely release chronic physical tension and repressed emotion and are appropriate for a clinical setting. This training interweaves ancient yogic wisdom with current findings in neurobiology.

Upgrade your skills while immersing in a week of loving self-care. This experiential session is the first step to a Level 1 LifeForce Yoga Practitioner (LFYP-1) Certification. LifeForce Yoga interweaves the power of an ancient discipline with current scientific findings to help you release what’s no longer serving you—without a story attached! CEU’s available. And, it’s Yogaville in the Fall! The only thing missing is you.  Details & Registration here

OCT: LifeForce Yoga Weekend

LifeForce Yoga Enhancing Your Inner Toolbox: Creating Space for Balance
Led by Director Rose Kress, ERYT-500, C-IAYT & Merrill Black, LCSW, LFYP-2
October 12 – 14, 2018
Eastchester, New York

Open to all bodies, all levels–no mat required! Discover new awareness and insight with gentle LifeForce Yoga practices to soothe and energize. This weekend retreat is for those struggling with body-focused repetitive behaviors.

  • Experience breathing and meditation practices for addressing mood states
  • Practice postures, breathing and cleansing, visualizations, and intention
  • Enjoy a weekend of self-care to nurture your own balance
  • Take home new tools and confidence for working with depression and anxiety

Details & Registration here

JAN 2019: Annual Desert Training Retreat
Registration Now Open!

LifeForce Yoga to Manage Your Mood   Level 1
Led by Director Rose Kress, ERYT-500, C-IAYT & Trainer Randy Todd, LCSW, LFYP2
Special Guest Teachers: Amy Weintraub and Maria Mendola
January 11 – 18, 2019
Tucson, Arizona

Our annual Desert Training Retreat is now open for Registration. Discover how to treat mood disorders with a yogic protocol while remaining within your scope of practice. This incredible training, the first of its kind, gives you the tools to work with your clients from a holistic perspective. LifeForce Yoga is perfect for clinical settings; no mat is required.

Our program is accessible, adapted, and informed by current research. Lifeforce Yoga views mood issues as constrictions that keep the individual from experiencing their innate wholeness. During this state-of-the-art training, you will experience practices that dissolve the layers of constrictions to reveal your radiant self. We teach ancient yogic philosophical foundations for mental health in a practical way. Building on the tenets that suffering is temporary, and the true self is immortal, we learn to drop our labels, dive beneath our stories, and develop pathways to wholeness that honor the uniqueness of everyone.

Held in Southern Arizona, our flagship training is exceptional. Not only will you experience the life-changing effects of LifeForce Yoga, you’ll enjoy 70-degree days when most of the country is plunged in the depths of winter darkness! Watch the sunrise as you practice yoga, feel its warmth on your skin as you meditate, and enjoy the light as you take an afternoon hike in the desert. Are we biased? Just a bit. Tucson is a pretty unique place. Reserve Your Spot Today!

Our Winter Retreat offers you training, and the opportunity to release and unwind your mind while filling yourself with ease, self-care, and real methods for optimum mental health. The personal experience of these tools gives you greater insight as well as the ability to share what you have learned with others. Together, we can de-stigmatize mental health issues while inspiring and empowering others to be free from suffering. There is no better time than NOW to start your journey with LifeForce Yoga.

More Information About the LifeForce Yoga Training

MAR: New York. Module A Training. 

Yoga for Mood Management Module A: Experiential
with Kathleen Williams, Ph.D, LFYP-2 & Merrill Black, LCSW, LFYP-2
March 8 – 10 & 22 – 24 (Training runs over two weekends)
For the first time a Module A that takes place over 2 weekends. This is the perfect training for working professionals that do not want to take time off work. You will experience all of the aspects of the LifeForce Yoga 5-day program over two separate weekends.

Registration coming next week, so mark your calendar!

MAY: Bahamas. Module A Training.

LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training: Yoga for Mood Management Module A
with Director Rose Kress, ERYT-500, C-IAYT & Alyce Wellons, LCSW, LFYP2
May 20 – 24, 2019
Sivananda Ashram, Bahamas

One of our favorite annual trainings is held in the beautiful Bahamas! Take time for YOU at the Sivananda Ashram — Our 5-day Intensive is tailored for clinical professionals and yoga practitioners; all are welcome and CEU’s are available. You’ll have plenty of self-care time, and you’ll:

  • Discover breathing & meditation practices for anxiety-based depression
  • Take home skills & confidence to increase your clients’ self-awareness, acceptance, esteem, and coping ability
  • Design one-on-one yoga sessions for depression, PTSD, bipolar disorder
  • Experience vibrant LifeForce Yoga techniques for you & your clients
  • Enjoy a self-care immersion: a reset for you, thus a reset for your clients & students
  • Practice bhavanamantraasanamudra, meditation, therapeutic holding, and non-dual self-inquiry kriyapranayamasankalpa

Find out more about LFYP Training and Certification here. To register for Module A Training in the Bahamas, click here.

FEB 2020: Retreat. India. (Yes, India!)

with Rose Kress, ERYT-500, C-IAYT & Bhagwati Mistry, LFYP1
LifeForce Yoga travel is afoot! You’ve been asking, now we’re answering! Join us for our inaugural retreat to Gujarat for 10 days of travel, sights, yoga, culture, and connection! Experience the sacred beauty of India using LifeForce Yoga tools to delve into the experience. Bhagwati, a native of Gujarat, India, will lead our travels through the region with the insight and connections that only a local can provide. We’ll visit temples, including the Swami Kripalu temple, the beach, take a lion safari, and of course shopping! Each morning Rose will lead a LifeForce Yoga Sadhana practice that includes meditation and intention-setting for the day’s excursion. Bhagwati will lead an afternoon meditation practice specific to the setting. This is an up close and personal trip — a 5-Star experience at a 3-Star cost. Mark your calendars and save your pennies, registration and details coming in December.

Private Consultations

Feeling stressed and constricted? Get clarity on your life and your path with a one-on-one consultation with Rose Kress, Owner/Director of LifeForce Yoga Healing Institute. Contact

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.

One thought on “Newsletter 79: Doldrums, Dreams & Self Inquiry in a Long Tucson Summer; Research, Events, Travel”

  1. Gigi Cottrell says:

    Wow wow wow wow

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What People Say

“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 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 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 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
“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 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
“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
“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
“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 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 gained perspective of who I am in the world and this will change my life significantly.” — Mary Ford, artist, Southport, CT
“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.
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.
“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
“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 patients can now have the same effects as many medications without having to actually take medication!” — Deborah Lubetkin, PSY.D, LFYP, West Caldwell, NJ
“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 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
“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.
“Words do not do justice to all that I learned. This workshop changed my life!” — Jen Nolan, Teacher, Cortland, NY
“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
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