Yoga for Depression – A Healing Journey with Amy Weintraub

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In this podcast, I had the pleasure of speaking with special guest Amy Weintraub of LifeForce Yoga. She and I discuss the scientifically proven benefits of Yoga for depression, anxiety, other disorders and general well-being. Not only does she take us on her own personal journey, she discusses why Yoga therapy can be beneficial for people of all walks of life.

About Amy Weintraub

Amy Weintraub, MFA, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT, YACEP, founder of the LifeForce Yoga Healing Institute, 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 everyday 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 co-edits a bi-monthly newsletter that includes current research, news and media reviews on Yoga and mental health.

Amy leads workshops and professional trainings at academic and psychology conferences internationally at such venues as the Boston University Graduate School of Psychology, the University of Arizona Medical School, the Psychotherapy Networker Symposium, the Integrative Mental Health Conference, the Cape Cod Institute, Kripalu Center, Omega Institute, Sivananda Ashram, Yogaville, Esalen, Patanjali University in Haridwar, India and Yoga studios throughout the United States. Amy is also a regular contributor on the Goddesses in America blog.

Amy’s recovery from depression began more than thirty years ago on her meditation cushion, but it wasn’t until she began a daily Hatha Yoga practice in 1988 after her first visit to Kripalu Center that her mood stabilized. In addition to her Hatha Yoga studies in the US and India, Amy has been trained in Advaita Vedanta Nondualism, iRest Yoga Nidra, psychology and Internal Family Systems Therapy. Richard Miller is her mentor.

She is blessed to collaborate and teach with James Gordon, MD, author of Unstuck, Drs. Patricia Gerbarg, MD and Richard Brown, MD, authors of How to Use Herbs, Nutrients and Yoga for Mental Health Care, the senior research scientist in the field, Dr. Shirley Telles, MBBS, PhD, Director of the Indian Council of Medical Research, Center for Advanced Research in Yoga & Neurophysiology, Richard Schwartz, PhD, founder of Internal Family Systems Therapy, addictions specialist, Dr. Kathy Shafer, Functional Yoga Therapy Trainer, Maria Kali Ma, senior Kripalu Yoga teacher and trainer Rudy Pierce, and many other esteemed Yoga and mental health professionals. Joy continues to unfold through the compassionate self-awareness that is the foundation of her Yoga practice and her teaching style.

Amy has won numerous literary prizes for her short fiction, including national prizes from Writer’s Digest Magazine, explorations and Wind. Her novel-in-progress, and her film documentaries have received awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, San Francisco State University, and many other national competitions. She also edits books on spiritual psychology, including the much-praised Yoga and the Quest for the True Self by Stephen Cope (Bantam). She holds the Master of Fine Arts degree in Writing and Literature from the Bennington Writing Seminars, Bennington College and currently lives in Tucson.

0:34 Introducing Amy Weintraub

3:47 Amy's view of Oneness

  • Sources of suffering
  • Benefits of Yoga practices

6:24 Amy's life journey

  • Bonding and trauma issues
  • A gift born of trauma
  • How Yoga helped

13:19 A creative childhood

  • Benefits in adulthood

19:14 A healing journey

  • An initial lack of self-awareness
  • Helpful therapies
  • Yoga for depression

23:46 How Yoga therapy works

  • A Yoga for every body
  • Considering breath and breathing patterns

28:24 LifeForce Yoga

  • Making Yoga fully accessible

31:31 A brief Yoga practice

  • Mantras that are not deity related
  • Sound mantras

37:49 Amy's resources

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