Research Studies

Research: Laughing Your Way to a Better Brain

A new study found that laughter can improve short-term memory and recall among older adults. Older adults may have age associated memory deficiencies. However,” the researchers say, positive, enjoyable, and beneficial humor therapies [can] improve these deficiencies.” Researchers at Loma Linda had a test group of healthy adults watch 20 minutes of uninterrupted humorous video….

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Yoga Beneficial for reducing Insomnia and Improving Sleep (2 Studies)

Two recently published articles reveal that yoga is beneficial for insomnia in both pre and post menopausal women. The first study, documented in the Journal of Clinical Oncology revealed the benefits of yoga on cancer survivors. Practicing yoga helped participants who have had cancer sleep better and reduce their use of sleep aids. Researchers from…

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Compassion Can Be Taught

The foundation of LifeForce Yoga is the cultivation of compassion and self-awareness. Much of what we teach in LifeForce Yoga, on and off the mat, is about learning to observe whatever is arising without judgment. The development of the observing, compassionate mind, helps us self-regulate and we find that we are less reactive to life’s…

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Yoga Improves Mood and Manages Behavior in Prison

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…

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Meditative Styles of Yoga Have Greatest Effect on Mood

In a recent study, published in the journal Depression and Anxiety in August, researchers found that the types of yoga that seemed to have the greatest effect on improving depression were meditation-based types. Meditation-based types of yoga might include various styles of hatha yoga like Kripalu, Integral, Viniyoga, restorative yoga, and of course, LifeForce Yoga….

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“Risks of Yoga”–Taking it Slow

In a recent blog centered around the current “risks of yoga” controversy, New York Times science editor and author of The Science of Yoga, William J. Broad is keeping our attention on an important issue—the possibility that hip troubles are affecting women with an active yoga practice. I agree with Broad on this issue.  I…

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The Healing Role of Sound for Anxiety & Depression

In the Yoga of sound (Nada Yoga), there are a number of tones that, according to yoga tradition, specifically activate the various energy centers in the body, stimulate the brain and “resonate and harmonize with the innate vibrations of the universe.” (Dharma Singh Khalsa, MD, Meditation as Medicine: Activate the Power of Your Natural Healing…

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Pranayama Improves Sleep and Mood in Cancer Patients

In a small but important new randomized controlled  study at the University of California’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, the practice of pranayama (yoga breathing) was linked to improved quality of life and symptoms of sleep disturbance and anxiety in patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy.  There was a dose-response relationship, which means that any increase in…

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Gentle Iyengar and LifeForce Yoga for Women with Major Depression

In a randomized and controlled, mixed-methods study conducted at the University of Virginia, Patricia Kinser and her colleagues compared an 8-week yoga intervention with an attention-control group focused on health and wellness.  While both decreased symptoms of major depression in the 27 women enrolled in the study, the yoga group had a unique trend in…

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Yoga and Breast Cancer

Within the last year, there have been a number of studies published on the benefits of yoga for breast cancer survivors. All the studies point to an improvement in quality of life (QOL). In a pilot study at the University of Pittsburgh, involving 25 survivors with low QOL, recently published in Complementary Therapy in Clinical…

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Uninostril Breathing Does Effect Hemispheric Balance

Senior Yoga Researcher Shirley Telles, PhD, and her colleagues have corroborated previous research to show that not only does breathing through one nostril effect the autonomic nervous system as established in previous studies–i.e., left nostril breathing stimulates parasympathetic activity for a calming effect while right nostril breathing stimulates sympathetic activity for a stimulating effect, but…

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Yoga and Pregnancy – Benefits to Mom and Baby

Several recent studies and two surveys of the research literature on the benefits of yoga during pregnancy all point to the same conclusion—that moms-to-be fare better, as do their newborns, when they practice yoga, especially if they are battling depression. Because of the potential side effects on their babies of antidepressant pharmaceuticals during pregnancy, women…

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What People Say

“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 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
“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 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 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
“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.
“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 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 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 gained perspective of who I am in the world and this will change my life significantly.” — Mary Ford, artist, Southport, CT
“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
“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 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 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 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 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
“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
“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
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