Practitioner Profile – Amy Weintraub: Yoga for Mental Wellness
MFA, ERYT 500, C-IAYT, YACEP
Founder of the LifeForce Yoga Healing Institute, Author of Yoga for Depression
Amy is the founder of the LifeForce Yoga Healing Institute, the author of Yoga for Depression (Broadway Books) and Yoga Skills for Therapists: Effective Practices for Mood Management (W.W. Norton) and numerous articles and book chapters. Amy is involved in ongoing research on the impact of yoga on mood. The LFY evidence-based yoga protocol for managing mood is used in health care settings globally and is featured in an award-winning library of evidence-based yoga and meditation CDs and DVDs for mood management.
According to Amy, why Yoga works to improve mental health:
Since the early 1990’s the field of research into the effect of yoga practice—postures, breathing exercises, and various forms of yoga meditation—on anxiety, depression and recovery from trauma has expanded exponentially. The practice of the physical postures is greatly enhanced by the inclusion of yoga breathing, the use of guided imagery, affirmation, hand gestures called mudras and universal sounds called mantras. Any school of yoga that includes all or most of these elements of yoga can be beneficial for balancing your mood. LifeForce Yoga is intentionally designed to work with and manage mood. The practices support students and clients in self-regulation, and many of the yoga techniques can be done in a chair, in bed, and do not require a yoga mat. Most practices are evidence-based and have been adapted for clinical settings. The strength of these practices is that they adapt to individual needs, beliefs, and values and are therefore used in healthcare settings worldwide. Developed by Amy, herself, the practices are rooted in traditional active meditation and self-inquiry that embrace the polarities in our lives. LifeForce Yoga interweaves the power of an ancient discipline with current scientific findings to help you release what’s no longer serving you—without a story attached!
Amy’s Resource Recommendations:
Yoga For Depression, the first book on yoga and mental health, and a best-selling classic.
Yoga Skills For Therapists – 52 practices appropriate in yoga and medical settings with pictures, case studies in clinical settings, and how to lead them.
yogafordepression.com– the website with many resources, including free downloads of practices, award-winning audio-visual products for home practice, how to find a qualified LifeForce Yoga Practitioner in your area, research on yoga and mental health, trainings for yoga and medical professionals, and workshops for all levels of practitioners, including those new to yoga.