Research on Yoga as the BEST mood booster for cancer patients, and reviews of three Yoga Therapy books with chapters by Amy Weintraub
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.
In this issue, we review several new books that are important in the field of yoga and mental health. Guest LifeForce Yoga Practitioner reviewers Anne Friedenheim, Ellen Campbell, and Sherry Rubin reviewed books by Rama Jyoti Vernon, the master yoga teacher, who has finally graced us with the wisdom of her many years of study and practice, Beth Gibbs, a senior teacher trainer in the Integrative Yoga Therapy Training Program, who writes two books—one for young children, and the other a manual for those who love them, and psychologist and meditation teacher Elisha Goldstein. I am honored to review the new book by Richard Miller, who despite his years of scholarship, clinical work and the depth of his study in yoga, writes an accessible meditation manual for those who have experienced 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
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.
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.
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…
Read on for a review of another great resource for kids and their parents and educators, and for more validation for why we do what we do.
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.
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.
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.
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.