Training Faculty

LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training

Director: Rose Kress

Rose-newERYT-500, C-IAYT, LFYP-2, YACEP, Mentor, Director of the LifeForce Yoga Healing Institute

Rose began practicing yoga in 1994 and teaching since 2004. In that time she has focused on the therapeutic aspects of yoga – for the body, mind and soul. Rose teaches classes and workshops throughout the Tucson area and has been blessed to teach at The Crossings in Austin, TX, at Yogaville in VA, at Kripalu in Lenox, MA, and Sivananda Ashram in The Bahamas with the LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training Program. She has also presented at a number of Yoga Festivals in Arizona. Rose integrates LifeForce Yoga techniques into therapeutic yoga for back pain, cancer, pulmonary disease, structural wellness, and yoga therapy. She studies with Rama Jyoti Vernon and has taken the Functional Yoga Therapy Training with Maria KaliMa. Rose is the Dierctor of the LifeForce Yoga Healing Institute and teaches in LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Trainings. Rose is also the author of 2 CDs, Mantra Chanting with Rose and Pathways to Relaxation.

Amy Weintraub

AmyMFA, ERYT-500, CIAYT, YACEP, Founder of the LifeForce Yoga Healing Institute

Amy’s NEW Website

Amy is the author of Yoga for Depression (Broadway Books, 2004) and Yoga Skills for Therapists: Effective Practices for Mood Management (W.W. Norton, 2012), has been a pioneer in the field of yoga and mental health for over twenty years. She offers the LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training for Depression and Anxiety to health and yoga professionals and offers workshops for every day practitioners. The LifeForce Yoga protocol is being used in residential treatment centers, hospitals and by health care providers around the world and is featured on the LifeForce Yoga CD Series and the first DVD home Yoga practice series for mood management, the award-winning LifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues, Level 1 & Level 2. She is an invited speaker at conferences internationally and is involved in ongoing research on the effects of yoga on mood. She edits a bi-monthly newsletter that includes current research, news and media reviews on Yoga and mental health.

Kat Larsen

Assisting Faculty for LFYP Trainings at Kripalu

Kat LarsenERYT-200, C-IAYT, LFYP-2Mentor, y4c, Reiki I

Kat is a Graduate of the Iyengar Teacher training and is certified to teach LifeForce Yoga, Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, and y4c(Yoga4Cancer). She is a Mentor and Assisting Faculty at the LifeForce Yoga Healing Institute, a Certified Yoga Therapist with the International Association of Yoga Therapists, member of Yoga Alliance and Iyengar Yoga National Association of US.

Kat integrates LifeForce Yoga teachings by inviting the Student/client to meet their Mood in the present moment. She inspires students to listen to their bodies, move compassionately, and bring awareness to what arises. Kat incorporates LFY practices into her classes and sessions with individuals, which bring a sense of wellbeing and confidence to her clients/students both on and off the mat.

She has worked extensively with Individuals touched by Cancer and currently teaches at the Cancer Resource Center of Western Maine, and guest teacher at the Dempsey Center, for those impacted by cancer. Kat’s past teachings include years working with women In recovery from addictions with Women’s Hope Program at the Shattuck Hospital in Boston. She has worked privately with individuals healing from Cancer, Crohn’s, Fibromyalgia, and those living with Anxiety and Depression.

Kat has assisted Amy at numerous workshops including, Kripalu Yoga & Health Center, Arlington Center- Boston, Cape Cod Institute, and Melbourne, Victoria Australia. She has led meditation circles & classes in the Vipassana & Metta/loving kindness traditions. Kat resides in the Lakes Region of Maine with partner Corey. She teaches classes & workshops at Posabilities Yoga Studio located in Norway, Maine. When not teaching you’ll find her hiking in White Mountains of NH.

Deborah E. Lubetkin

Therapist on Staff for LFYP Trainings at Kripalu

Psy.D., LFYP-2, RYT-200, C-IAYT, LifeForce Yoga Mentoring Director

Deb is a Licensed Psychologist with a private practice in NJ for over 20 years. She became certified as a LifeForce Yoga practitioner, Level 1 in 2009, returning to complete her Level 2 certification in 2011.  Deborah was then certified in 2013 as a Kripalu Yoga Teacher.  Deborah’s private practice incorporates Eastern philosophy with the challenges of Western living to create a forum for her clients to develop an integrative plan to address a wide variety of mood related imbalances.    In addition to integrating Psychotherapy with LifeForce Yoga in individual sessions both on and off the mat, Deborah runs groups and workshops in her community around the theme of “Balancing Mood with LifeForce Yoga.” She also teaches a weekly LifeForce Yoga class at a local studio, and volunteers with a program called Yoga Connections teaching LifeForce Yoga classes in Israel for one week each year.  Integrating LifeForce Yoga and Kripalu Yoga into her life and my psychotherapy practice has created remarkable shifts in the way that she moves through a session with a client, in the way clients move through the process of therapy, and in the way Deb moves through her life.

Allie Middleton

Therapist on Staff for LFYP Trainings at Soul of Yoga


Allie has been practicing yoga and meditation for 40 years. After a diverse business career leading innovative start-ups in New York City, she began to commit her life and work to energy healing practices.  As a wilderness trainer, she traveled the world teaching individuals and teams undergoing change to learn and practice deeply integrative and harmonizing ways of living while pursuing their heart’s desire. Knowing that clinical expertise would help her serve others in their personal transformation, she pursued graduate clinical education, taught at the graduate level and became a licensed clinical social worker and master coach and trainer in Neuro Linguistic Programming. In addition to being a mental health first responder to the 9/11 disaster, she served as the clinical director of a community mental health agency and brought yoga and expressive arts into 12 programs. She worked to develop yoga programming for staff and clients at the New York Office of Mental Health and in peer-run programs, using LifeForce Yoga combined with embodied presence practices from the Presencing Institute. Now, she teaches widely and supports emerging leaders in health care as well as business with mind-body integration coaching and mind-body program development. She blends LifeForce Yoga with other mind-body integration practices in public and private psychiatric rehabilitation settings and is an experienced leader, advocate and conference presenter on the integration of mindfulness and yoga into health care reform. Allie integrates LifeForce Yoga into her leadership development coaching in business settings and in her coaching practice and trainings globally. Allie maintains a private yoga therapy practice and teaches LifeForce Yoga internationally at conferences and retreats. She and her husband live in the Hudson River Valley in New York and enjoy traveling to sacred sites, near and far.

Kathryn C. Shafer

Therapist on Staff for LFYP Trainings at Sivananda Ashram

KathyPh.D., LCSW, ACSW, CAP, E-500RYT, CPT, LFYP-2

Dr. Kathy is a licensed psychotherapist, author, educator, consultant, and certified yoga teacher, LifeForce Yoga Practitioner, certified play therapist, and certified addiction professional. For 30 years in her private practice, her clinical work and research has focused on the diverse and special needs all age groups impacted by the addictions, trauma, mood disorders, pain management, parenting, and relationships. Her career has won her the reputation of solid scholarship and as the “go to” therapist/consultant. Dr. Kathy is internationally renowned as a dynamic speaker and conference presenter.
As a LifeForce Yoga Practitioner, Dr. Kathy incorporates the use of sound (mantra), movement (asana), imagery (bhavana), and intention (sankalpa) to assist clients in mood management and daily self-care. Controlling allergies, chronic asthma, ACOA issues, and herself a trauma survivor, her daily practice of LifeForce Yoga helps Dr. Kathy remain resilient and strong in her own life, while attending to the needs of those who seek her services.

Rickie Simpson

Therapist on Staff for LFYP Trainings at YogavilleRickie Simpson

PhD, E-RYT-200, LFYP-2

Dr. Simpson is a Board Certified Psychiatric-Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist specializing in individual, couples, group and family therapy. She integrates complementary methodologies and techniques to offer a highly personalized faith-consistent approach tailored to each client. She holds certifications as an Imago Relationship Therapist, a LifeForce Yoga Practitioner 2/Mentor and is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher at the 200-hour level (E-RYT-200) with the Yoga Alliance.  She belongs to the International Association of Practitioners of Encountered-centered Couples Therapy and maintains a board certification as a Professional Christian Counselor. Dr. Simpson is also one of the primary international investigators for evaluating the efficacy of Encountered-centered Couples Therapy. She maintains a private practice in Manassas, Virginia and is on the faculty of Stratford University teaching Nursing Research and Psychiatric Nursing.

Randy Todd

Therapist on Staff for LFYP Trainings in Tucson, AZ

Randy ToddLCSW, MSW, LFYP-2, RYT-200

Randy is a trauma therapist assigned to the PTSD Treatment Team at the Southern Arizona VA Health Care Systems (SAVAHCS) in Tucson, Arizona. He is trained in cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, hypnotherapy, EMDR, acceptance and commitment therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, cognitive processing therapy, and prolonged exposure therapy. Randy facilitates a weekly LifeForce Yoga group for clients and a weekly yoga nidra practice for mental health professionals at SAVAHCS.

Randy’s professional career has spanned 35 years. He has worked in community mental health and substance abuse programs, corrections, private practice, and as an adjunct faculty teaching MSW students. Randy has been responsible for directing outpatient treatment programs, day treatment and day rehabilitation programs, an emergency crisis services program, an acute inpatient psychiatric treatment program, managing a rural mental health clinic, and a case management and clinical services program for persons diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. He has volunteered facilitating community groups for HIV/AIDS and serving on various boards of a community LGBT organization, a community domestic violence agency, a chamber of commerce and a homeowners association.

Randy has been in a relationship with his life partner for the past 35 year; they were legally married in Iowa 5 years ago. Their family consists of two four-year-old yellow labs. In addition to yoga, Randy enjoys reading, running, cycling, mountain biking, and hiking. He has been a regular participant in the annual El Tour de Tucson cycling event.


Sue Dilsworth

PhD, RYT-500, LFYP-2, Certified Yoga Therapist

SueSue is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Certified Yoga Therapist working in the Greater Grand Rapids area. Sue has worked as a psychologist in university settings, non-profit agencies and private practice for the past 12 years. Sue has trained extensively with Amy Weintraub  and has served as a faculty member for the LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training Level 1. Sue received her Yoga Therapy (300-hour) certification from Inner Peace Therapy program. She incorporates the LifeForce Yoga philosophy along with Iyengar principles in her yoga practice. Clinically, Sue is a holistic health practitioner that establishes treatment protocols that are specifically designed to meet individual needs. Sue supports and encourages her clients to open their hearts to new opportunities and grow as they move through their personal journey. Sue is the owner of Heart’s Journey Wellness Center in Allendale, MI.

Ann Friedenheim


Ann FriedenheimAnn has been practicing as a psychotherapist and group facilitator since 1986 when she acquired her master’s degree in counseling psychology. Ann currently is the clinical supervisor at Confront, Inc., the outpatient program of Treatment Trends, Inc. In addition to supervising the counseling staff at this agency, Ann provides therapeutic services to children, adolescents and adults who are affected by addiction, sexual abuse and domestic violence. Since obtaining her 200 hour yoga teacher training at Kripalu, Ann has been incorporating LifeForce Yoga into her work as a clinician, providing a safe container for recovery. She shares LifeForce Yoga individually, in group classes and in co-occurring group therapy.

Linda Mackay

BA, MSW, RegS.W., LFYP-2

LM_066-5 copyLinda  is a Registered Social Worker who has been working at the University of Waterloo’s Counseling and Psychological Services for over twelve years. There she offers individual and group therapy to students, staff and faculty and includes LifeForce Yoga. She has presented in both national and regional conferences on topics including Willpower, Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma and Mindfulness. Her areas of professional training and interest are in mind/body research and practices. She has a 20 year yoga practice, a personal meditation practice and is trained in mindfulness based therapies. Linda actively integrates LifeForce Yoga into her individual and group therapy sessions. She frequently partners with fellow LFY trained yoga instructor Heather Barnes, offering workshops for depression and anxiety.

Laura OrthLaura Orth


Laura is a clinical social worker with 28 years providing individual and family psychotherapy. Trained in LifeForce Yoga, Internal Family Systems, and as a Kripalu yoga teacher, she has been integrating yoga and mindfulness skills into her psychotherapy practice for several years. A LFY mentor, she teaches relaxation classes at Southboro Medical Group, where she is a counseling provider. Laura is a compassionate and enthusiastic teacher who enjoys the interplay of ancient and modern traditions.

Sherry Rubin

Sherry RubinLCSW, ERYT-200, LFYP-2

Sherry is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (1976) in Chester County, PA, and a Registered Yoga Teacher (1999). She offers psychotherapy, LifeForce Yoga and Yoga Nidra to individuals, groups and through professional trainings. Her extensive experience includes working in school settings, child welfare, a drug and alcohol treatment center, a community service agency and private practice. She co-created and co-founded a non-profit adolescent mentoring program for girls which she ran from 1997-2009. She co-authored the book, Girls Star: Building Confidence, Courage and Community in Adolescent Girls, and the Training Manual that guides the program. Sherry trained with Amy Weintraub starting in 2004, and as faculty member of the LifeForce Yoga Training Institute, has assisted Amy since 2007. She has also done Level I and II training in iRest Yoga Nidra with Richard Miller. Sherry works holistically, combining the wisdom of West and East, seeing people through their strengths and helping them to uncover the wholeness and well-being always present within.

jo2Joanne Spence

E-RYT 200, LFYP-2

Joanne has been teaching yoga fulltime for 14 years. She has combined LifeForce Yoga with her clinical social work background and works as the first yoga therapist at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, one of the largest inpatient psychiatric hospitals in the US. Joanne is also member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists.  In 2004, she founded Yoga in Schools (YIS) as a way to reach school children and teachers to help them nurture their own well-being through yoga. Since then, Yoga in Schools has become a leader in the field of school yoga, reaching over 20,000 children and 1,000 teachers with sustainable wellness programs.  Joanne teaches and presents across the US at conferences and retreat centers including Kripalu, Omega and the Garrison Institute.

Guest Faculty: Maria KaliMa

Maria_Yoni_Mudra_1MA, RN, ERYT-500

Maria received her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing and Masters in Community Health; taught Nursing Sciences at the College level, as well as Anatomy & Physiology – all the while focusing on holistic aspects of health and wellbeing.  She has rooted her study of Yoga in a more inclusive format, honoring all of the great teachings of yoga and its insights; finding commonality and a resonance of Truth within all of them. In addition, Maria has extensively studied Trauma Release, Feldenkrais Technique, Kinesiology, Homeopathy, Nutrition & Native American Herbology.   With this background as her base, Maria received her formal yoga certifications from Ananda Yoga, Mount Madonna Ashtanga Yoga, Mukunda Stile’s Structural Yoga Therapy, and LePage’s Integrative Yoga Therapy.  She uses her training and experience in the concepts of yoga combined with the structural aspects of the body, and it’s subtle emotional held patterning to work with clients from a functional perspective.  Maria has also studied richly in the field of Ayurveda with her main teachers being Dr. Vasant Lad, Dr. Robert Svoboda, Dr. Sareeta Shresta, Dr. Carl Rogue & Dr. Paul Dugliss.  She has combined the Yoga and Ayurvedic teachings into her private Yoga & Ayurvedic Therapeutics consultation practice; a seasonal Worldwide Ayurvedic cleanse, and a formal school, called Functional Yoga Therapy. In addition, Maria holds Faculty positions with Integrative Yoga Therapy, Inner Peace Yoga Therapy, and LifeForce Yoga Therapy.  Maria’s motto is:  “The real yoga begins when we step off the mat.”

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What People Say

“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.
“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
“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 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 gained perspective of who I am in the world and this will change my life significantly.” — Mary Ford, artist, Southport, 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 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 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 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 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
“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
“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
“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 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
“I gained tools for working with my own depression and with my clients’ depressions.” — Robert Sgona, LCSW, RYT, psychotherapist, Yoga teacher, Camden, ME.
“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 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 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 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 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 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
“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
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