Profile: LifeForce Founder Amy Weintraub
“The Yogis believe that we become depressed because we become blocked and constricted,” says Amy Weintraub, founder of LifeForce Yoga and author of Yoga for Depression. “Yoga therapy can help clear the space and remove the constrictions-no matter what form of yoga you’re practicing.”
And Amy would know.
Back in the 80’s, Amy was seriously depressed. “I …couldn’t put two shoes in a shoe-box,” she says about her condition, “I was cognitively impaired.” A turning point came when she saw a catalog for the Kripalu center in MA, and went for a weekend retreat. Right away, after practicing yoga, she noticed the immediate feel-good effect. She waited for some time before reducing her antidepressants, but within eight or nine months of doing a daily yoga routine, she was off of them completely.
Amy noticed other benefits as well. “I look fit now,” she says, “but I didn’t back then.” She comments on how previously her shoulders slumped, her breathing was shallow, and she carried around more weight. Now, she says, she looks better than she did 15 years ago!
“What that did for me,” Amy explains, “was give me the passion to share those aspects of my healing that I could teach others, to other people who were suffering.”
And she has done just that.
With mood improvement as her focus, Amy founded the LifeForce® Yoga Healing Institute, which teaches a style of traditional yoga for depression sufferers. “Nothing that I teach in LifeForce yoga is not traditional,” Amy explains, “it’s not new age. It’s all from the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, one of the ancient sources of yoga. However I have combined tantric and classical traditions of yoga to seek out those strategies that work best for regulating mood.”
Amy has taught thousands across the country in workshops and classes. She leads professional certification trainings in LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Trainings for Depression and Anxiety and speaks at medical and psychological conferences internationally.
Amy taught and given presentations about yoga for depression at universities and medical schools, including University of Georgia’s medical school and Boston University’s clinical psychology department.
Amy is the coauthor of “LifeForce Yoga® Mood Study,” published in the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and the author of Yoga for Depression. Her evidence-based yoga techniques for managing moods is featured on her CD, ““ as well as her DVD, the award-winning “LifeForce Yoga® to Beat the Blues.”
For more information on Amy and her programs, visit: http://www.yogafordepression.com/