Yoga for Depression: A Compassionate Guide to Relieve Suffering Through Yoga

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Read an Excerpt From Chapter One

From the back cover:

More that 25 million Americans are treated with antidepressants each year, at a cost in excess of $50 billion. But the side effects of popular prescription drugs may seem nearly as depression as the symptoms they’re meant to treat. Veteran yoga instructor Amy Weintraub offers a better solution – one that taps the scientifically proven link between yoga and emotional well-being as well as the beauty of ancient approaches to inner peace.

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(Broadway Books, 2004)

Addressing a range of diagnoses, including dysthymia, anxiety-based depression, and bipolar disorder, Yoga for Depression reveals why specific postures, breathing practices, and meditation techniques can ease suffering and release life’s traumas and losses. Weintraub also reflects on her own experience with sever depression, from which she recovered through immersing herself in a daily yoga routine.

Yoga for Depression is the fist yoga book devoted exclusively to the treatment o these debilitating conditions. Amy Weintraub will help readers see their suffering and themselves in a vibrant new light.

Here’s what the experts are saying:

Yoga for Depression is a godsend: beautifully written, medically accurate, and very practical. I highly recommend it!” — Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause

“Weintraub has written… a sensitive, intelligent, painstaking exploration of the deeper psychospiritual issues that make up the complex experience of depression.… What is most impressive about this text, though, is not how much she knows but the way she conveys what she knows, the innate qualities she brings to her writing: her steadfastness in encouraging the reader, her agility at drawing on ageless yoga texts, her insights into the problems of the self and the conditions in modern society that exacerbate them.” — Phil Catalfo, Yoga Journal

“Heal yourself with Yoga For Depression. I absolutely love this book and highly recommend it.” — Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D., Author of Meditation as Medicine

“Amy Weintraub’s work is some of the most important in our world today for helping humanity understand more deeply the significance of the mind-body connection. Her insights are inspirational for yoga teachers and all readers.” — Rama Jyoti Vernon, Founder, American Yoga College

“This is a book about integrating the mind and the body, about using movement to mend oneself; in a world obsessed with psychopharmacology, reading it was a refreshing reminder that, in some cases, the tools we have to cure depression reside not in a pill, but in our own bodies, if we are willing to try.”  — Lauren Slater, author of Prozac Diary and Lying: A Metaphorical Memoir

Yoga for Depression belongs in the hands of every person who experiences depression and in the library of every therapist who works with people suffering from depression.” — Richard C. Miller, Ph.D., Co-Founder of The International Association of Yoga Therapy.

“In the compassionate voice of someone who definitely knows the territory of depression, Amy Weintraub presents Yoga science and personal stories, research results and poetry, and practice instructions that are genuinely interesting in this very readable book that is both comprehensive and totally inspiring.”  — Sylvia Boorstein, author of That’s Funny You Don’t Look Like a Buddhist and It’s Easier Than You Think: The Buddhist Way to Happiness

Yoga for Depression is an astonishingly comprehensive guide to the art and science of Yoga. Herein lies a Yogic blueprint for how to be a human being, written by a compassionate and generous teacher.”  — Stephen Cope, author of Yoga and the Quest for the True Self

“This is truly a beautifully written encyclopedia of yoga for depression. It is rare to find such a generous soul, willing to embrace all approaches to yoga, unbiased and yet having intelligent discernment and advice for those searching for help. In Yoga for Depression, Amy offers many guidelines and solutions through yoga, to both those who suffer from depression and to yoga teachers working with them.”  — Angela Farmer, internationally known master Yoga teacher

“With clarity, compassion, and the courage of a person who has lived her own story all the way through, Amy Weintraub offers readers a self-aware, self-creating path through the darker thickets of a life. Her specific, gracefully presented suggestions for joining breath, body, movement, and mind bring one of the great wisdom traditions into a newly useful context, an essential means for renewing and reawakening contemporary life.” — Jane Hirshfield, author of five books of poetry, most recently Given Sugar, Given Salt: Poems

“If you are looking for an inspiring and trustworthy guide to heal into a whole new life, look no further.” — Richard Faulds, author of Kripalu Yoga: A Guide to Practice On and Off the Mat.

“In a clear, direct and grounded approach, this brilliant and comprehensive book offers guideposts for those seeking to reclaim their birthright of joy.” — Sudhir Jonathan Foust President, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health

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What People Say

“I gained tools for working with my own depression and with my clients’ depressions.” — Robert Sgona, LCSW, RYT, psychotherapist, Yoga teacher, Camden, ME.
“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 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
“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
“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 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
“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 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
“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 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 gained perspective of who I am in the world and this will change my life significantly.” — Mary Ford, artist, Southport, CT
“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
“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 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 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 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 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 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
“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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