Research Newsletter

Research Newsletter Issue 60: Pranayama breathing, long term effects of yoga on mood, yoga in schools

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

Research Newsletter Issue 59: Yoga and Bipolar Disorder, Yoga for MS, and reviews on Yoga resources

Below, we have research on Yoga and bipolar disorder from Brown University and Butler Hospital and new research showing yoga helped female patients with Multiple Sclerosis improve their mental and physical health.
Read reviews by me of Shema Meditation through the Chakras DVD by Robin Rothenberg, Kabalah Yoga: Awaken Your Soul and Kabalah Yoga: Mystic Flow 2 Practice DVDs by Audi Gozlan, Ph.D., and Awakening: Aspiration to Realization Through Integral Yoga a book by Swami Karunananda.
Debbie Lubetkin, PsyD, LFYP-2 reviews Freud and Yoga, Two Philosophies of the Mind Compared by D.K.V. Desikachar and Helfried Krusche.
Rose Kress, RYT-500, LFYP-2 reviews Survivors on the Yoga Mat: Stories for Those Healing from Trauma by Becky Thomas.

Issue 58

Two important studies in this summary of current research on yoga and mental health demand special attention. I’m thrilled to report the outcome of a study that looks at trauma informed yoga as an intervention for treatment-resistant PTSD. I’m also pleased to analyze here why a gentle stretching intervention likely surprised the study authors when it was shown to be more effective than a restorative yoga practice for a group suffering from a metabolic syndrome caused by stress. There’s also a report on a study demonstrating yoga’s effectiveness for pain that indicates actual brain changes, and good news for yoga in the schools.

Issue 57: Summer Reading Issue

Ahhhhhh! Here we are, summer at last. No research this time. Just a couple of book recommendations as you settle into the hammock. If you’re feeling stressed, despite the good weather, make time for leisure every day, even if you’re not on vacation. How about a few minutes for a pranayama breathing practice outside, or…

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Issue 55 – Promise of Spring

This issue features reviews on new studies on the effects of yoga on your brain, the benefits of yoga for women recovering from breast cancer, a review of a new film that asks the deeper questions and features celebrity yoga teachers, and a review of a new book for educators and parents that uses yoga-based practices and philosophy to support children’s growth and development into compassionate and self-aware human beings.

Issue 54

In this newsletter, we look at current research, talk about new projects and training opportunities and mention two new books—one that is the funniest anatomy book I’ve ever read and it’s not just for anatomy geeks (believe me, I wouldn’t read it if it were!) and the other is Dana Faulds’s latest book of poems arising from her practice.

Issue 53

In this issue we look at a recent research study about teaching compassion. I also review two new books Yoga Therapy for Children with Autism and Special Needs by Louise Goldberg and Introduction to Yoga and Meditation with Megha.

Issue 52

It has been two months since I published this research and news report from LifeForce Yoga. In that time, there have been some terrific studies that show the benefits of a meditative style of yoga for breast cancer survivors, for insomnia, and for general improvement in mood. I’ve also had the opportunity to read Dr. Lauren Rubenstein’s wonderful new book for kids and those who love them called Visiting Feelings.

Issue 51

In this issue is new research about yoga improving mood in prisoners and reviews of several new books for children and adults that can make a difference in our lives.

Issue 50: Our Golden Anniversary

We review a new study that compares twenty minutes of yoga with aerobic exercise. Read reviews of two books. MUDRAS FOR HEALING AND TRANSFORMATION by Joseph and Lilian Le Page, and TRAUMA AND THE TWELVE STEPS by Jamie Marich, PhD, along a new series of iRest Yoga Nidra CD for children by Jeanne DIllion.

Issue 49: Boston Bombings Reflection

This issue includes new research on women with major depression and the effects of yoga by LifeForce Yoga Practitioner, Dr. Patricia Kinser and her colleagues, reviews of a new book on mudras (hand gestures) and a new gentle yoga CD that includes elements of LifeForce Yoga.

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What People Say

“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.
“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 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
“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 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.
“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 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 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
“Words do not do justice to all that I learned. This workshop changed my life!” — Jen Nolan, Teacher, Cortland, 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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
“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 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 gained perspective of who I am in the world and this will change my life significantly.” — Mary Ford, artist, Southport, CT
“I gained tools for working with my own depression and with my clients’ depressions.” — Robert Sgona, LCSW, RYT, psychotherapist, Yoga teacher, Camden, ME.
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