I encountered Amy Weintraub through her first book, Yoga for Depression, which I discovered as I prepared to teach a workshop on yoga for lifting mood. When the opportunity to meet her in person and work with her before her LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Training at the Sri Swami Satchidananda Yoga Ashram, I jumped at the chance! It was apparent to me through her book that not only did Amy have a way with words (she holds a Masters in Fine Arts in Writing and Literature) but she was clearly someone who was living her Yoga. Amy was diagnosed with depression more than thirty years ago and had the unfortunate experience of being told by her therapist that she just might always be someone with "empty pockets". Seeing her today, it is hard to imagine! She is lean and bright and full of energy and wisdom.
Amy was introduced to Hatha Yoga at Kripalu in 1988 and she attributes her recovery from depression to her daily yoga practice. And so she has dedicated her life to helping others recover from mental health issues, like depression and anxiety, through her work developing LifeForce Yoga and the LifeForce Yoga Institute. Amy travels the world teaching yoga teachers and mental health practitioners how to incorporate yoga and meditation techniques into their therapeutic, hospital and mental health practices. Amy's second book, Yoga Skills for Therapists: Effective Practices for Mood Management , introduces healing professionals to the teachings of yoga that are applicable in a clinical setting. Amy works with dozens of experts in the fields of mental health and yoga to stay current on the research on the use of yoga and meditation on mental health and publishes a newsletter with the latest research available.
We are honored to present five videos from our time with Amy including an introduction to her development of LifeForce Yoga, as well as several simple exercises that anyone can do to experience the radical effects of yoga, breath and sound on your state of mind. Try them out and let us know what your experience is with these practices, with your students and if you are a mental health practioner who incorporates yoga and meditation in your practice.