There are times in our lives when we need to compartmentalize to get through a stressful time. We tell ourselves that we will “deal with this later.” Or we may not acknowledge the feeling or the feared task, but instead we numb out. Our default numbing-out strategy might be an old unhealthy addictive pattern or…
Every March, for the past ten years, I’ve lead practices on and off the mat at the Psychotherapy Networker Symposium, a mind-expanding four days of workshops, keynotes, dancing and schmoozing with old friends in Washington, DC. Many of the therapists in our breakout sessions have gone on to become LifeForce Yoga Practitioners and now integrate…
Today’s post is by Megha Nancy Buttenheim, M.A. E-RYT 500, Founding Director of Let Your Yoga Dance®. She is a 28-year senior teacher at Kripalu Center, and Faculty for the Certification in Positive Psychology with Tal Ben-Shahar. In an abbreviated version of a seven-part blog series, Megha teaches two of her seven tools for finding Grace…
Whether in the physical body or the emotional body, where there is discomfort, tension, constriction, breathe into it, allow yourself to feel it fully. There may be an image there, a color, a word or words or there may not. And then explore it’s opposite. Where in the body are you feeling comfortable, even radiant?.There…
In this issue, we write about a study that attends to the subtler effects of meditation, asking how brain science can answer the question of how detachment and empathy might both be benefits of the practice. We also report on another prenatal yoga study coming from Brown University and Butler Hospital with encouraging news for pregnant women suffering from depression.
Live from Paradise Island in the Bahamas–LifeForce Yoga Module A! Rose Kress, Kathy Shafer, I and 19 Module A Participants began the course this morning with a puja to Ganesh, releasing whatever was blocking our hearts and minds from a deeper connection to radiant well being–Self. We practiced together, and then after brunch set a…
In the East, aligning oneself with a teacher has long been a venerated devotional path towards realizing one’s full potential. The word “guru” means “from darkness to light.” Devotion to a guru, it is believed, can awaken the heart, moving the devotee from the darkness of ignorance (avidya) to the light of knowledge and love,…
Amy gave the keynote at this year’s annual Kripalu Yoga Teachers Association conference about healing trauma. A colleague Deirdre Fay has edited the address on her blog into highlights that included all of the experiential pieces to try at home. Please enjoy!
Deborah E. Lubetkin, Psy.D. is a Licensed Psychologist in Montclair, NJ. She is also a Kripalu Yoga teacher (RYT-200), and a Certified LifeForce Yoga ® Practitioner and mentor. Deborah’s work integrates psychotherapy with LifeForce Yoga and Eastern Philosophy. Last month I traveled to Ofakim, Israel, a small town in the South of Israel just 28…
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 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
“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
“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
“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 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 gained tools for working with my own depression and with my clients’ depressions.” — Robert Sgona, LCSW, RYT, psychotherapist, Yoga teacher, Camden, ME.
“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 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 gained perspective of who I am in the world and this will change my life significantly.” — Mary Ford, artist, Southport, CT
“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.
“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 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 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.
“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
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
“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 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 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 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 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 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.