This is a three-day self-inquiry practice that allows you to clear your inner space of whatever is limiting your clear seeing. Day One After a practice of gentle movement (asana), breath (pranayama) with attention to all that is arising—sensation, thoughts, feelings—take a moment to write this question at the top of a blank page: What…
Amy was interviewed for an article in the latest issue of Yoga Journal. Amy discusses the connection between yoga and trauma and how trauma can manifest in our bodies even when we think we have let it go. The article then highlights the stories of six individuals who used their yoga practice to overcome trauma…
I am proud to see that LifeForce Yoga Practitioners like Dr. Patricia Kinser at Virginia Commonwealth University and colleagues like Dr. Sat Bir Khalsa at Brigham and Women’s Hospital Harvard University and the International Association of Yoga Therapists are taking the lead in this research, and that my colleagues at Kripalu and elsewhere have developed effective secular yoga protocols for class room settings.
In addition to the research reviewed below, I also love reading and reviewing new books and CDs about yoga and mental health, and it was a thrill to resonate so deeply with Dr. Bessel van der Kolk’s new book, The Body Keeps the Score. LifeForce Yoga Director of Education Rose Kress reviews Dr. Lisa Ferentz’s new trauma survivors’ workbook and a new CD by Jeanne Dillion
I want to unfold. Let no place in me hold itself closed, For where I am closed, I am false. I want to stay clear in your sight. Ranier Maria Rilke When an incident disturbs our peace of mind, we have choices. We’ve all had experiences where we’ve felt unjustly attacked or betrayed. We can…
The world has recently lost two bearers of light—actor Robin Williams, age 63, and yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar, age 95. Both men dedicated their lives to raising the level of joy in the world – their lives, deaths, and lasting effect on the world reflect that. But they did it differently. Robin Williams brought us…
As we grieve the loss of this precious being who brought us so much joy, it is important to remember that depression is treatable. We feel empowered when we use a practice to manage a dark mood, but often mental health treatment is needed too. There’s no shame in that. If you need medication to…
“My beloved Child, Break your heart no longer. Each time you judge yourself, you break your own heart.” -Swami Kripalu/Vidya Carolyn Dell’uomo How many hundreds of yoga classes did I teach, quoting my teacher at the end of each class, before my heart’s mind understood those words? Why did saying them to my students still…
Amy talks with Karen Claffey, the director of Integrated Health 4 You about her own experience of depression and the practices she now teaches medical and yoga professionals to help clients and students self-regulate and balance their moods. In the course of the conversation, Amy explains the importance of the language the yoga therapist uses to…
In 1955, Albert Einstein expressed the wisdom beneath the delusion of our separateness, what the seers and sages of the East have understood for thousands of years—that we are eternally and intimately connected by compassion. “A human being,” said Einstein, “experiences himself… as something separate from the rest – a kind of optical illusion of…
One of my favorite practices for initiating my own meditation practice is Bee Breath, but it has many applications for achieving and sustaining a balanced emotional and mental state. Try this practice, if you or your students and clients suffer from anxiety, ADHD, or OCD. You will find it will cut through the tangle of…
In Yoga, we call an image or vision that inspires us a “bhavana.” This guided bhavana exercise for calm strength, also uses pranayama yoga breathing and a mantra. You may wish to use it as a way to foster a sense of empowerment or to maintain steadiness through a difficult time. We’ll be using a…
Years ago, while teaching weekly yoga classes at the Juvenile Detention Center in Tucson, there seemed to be so much mood improvement that we conducted a study that was published in an early International Association of Yoga Therapists publication. Now, a large trial in the United Kingdom has shown that yoga can improve mood and…
“I gained tools for working with my own depression and with my clients’ depressions.” — Robert Sgona, LCSW, RYT, psychotherapist, Yoga teacher, Camden, ME.
“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 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
“Words do not do justice to all that I learned. This workshop changed my life!” — Jen Nolan, Teacher, Cortland, NY
“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 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 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 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
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 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 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 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
“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 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.
“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.
“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 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 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
“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 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
“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