Yoga for a Healthy Mind and Body

Course No. 9263
Professor Heidi Sormaz, Ph.D.
Certified Yoga Instructor
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4.6 out of 5
115 Reviews
93% of reviewers would recommend this product
Course No. 9263
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What Will You Learn?

  • numbers Practice a mini yoga session that focuses on mindful breathing, and learn asanas to incorporate into your practice.
  • numbers Learn how to use yoga to help treat common ailments, including pain relief and depression.
  • numbers Discover - and practice - styles of yoga, including Iyengar, Power, Yin, Anusara, Forrest, and Everyday yoga.

Course Overview

Nearly all of us would like less stress in our lives, a better ability to focus, improved health, and a fitness routine that we truly enjoy. You may be surprised to learn that yoga provides all of these benefits with a system of exercises that can be adapted to any age or level of fitness.

Today, millions of people practice yoga, from young to old, from the hyper-athletic to those dealing with chronic diseases. Based on extensive studies, yoga is recognized as one of the most effective activities for achieving a healthy mind and body.

While the roots of yoga go back thousands of years, yoga is a relatively new phenomenon in the West, where it has blossomed into a multitude of different styles, each addressing a specific set of issues. For example, yoga routines have been optimized for these goals, among others:

  • Calming: A practice called yin yoga gently stretches the body’s connective tissues in poses held for several minutes at a time. It is ideal for meditation.
  • Cardiovascular fitness: Power yoga is a vigorous workout, coordinated with attentive breathing that leaves you feeling both vibrant and centered.
  • Pain relief: Yoga exercises focused on breathing, stretching, and relaxing can relieve chronic pain in the lower back, arthritic joints, and other areas of the body.
  • Mental healing: Forrest yoga is one of several yoga practices that help resolve addictive behavior, eating disorders, negative thought patterns, and other self-destructive habits.

Yoga’s many poses and exercises make it endlessly interesting and emotionally rich, giving you a wealth of options for designing a practice that fits your needs. Isn’t it time to get started—not just learning about yoga but doing it?

Yoga for a Healthy Mind and Body is the ideal way to take that first step with a course that makes yoga accessible and the poses doable. These 12 half-hour lectures with acclaimed yoga teacher Dr. Heidi Sormaz will also deepen the knowledge of those already experienced in yoga. No other yoga video program offers such a comprehensive presentation of both the science and practice of the discipline.

Discover Yoga’s Many Benefits

After covering the history of yoga and its physiological effects, Dr. Sormaz takes you through a diverse set of routines, introducing the basics of hatha yoga along with the more specialized practices of Iyengar yoga, power yoga, yin yoga, Anusara yoga, and Forrest yoga. You don’t just learn how to do the poses; you learn how conscious breathing and a focus on mindfulness can open the door to yoga’s many benefits that go beyond improved physical health.

Dr. Sormaz has a Ph.D. in Psychology from Yale University and is an expert on the emotional obstacles that can be addressed by the powerful meditative component of yoga. In Yoga for a Healthy Mind and Body, you practice simple routines that make you feel and move better, and you also learn how yoga can help resolve chronic pain, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and cravings and compulsions.

A typical yoga session incorporates a wide range of intriguingly-named poses, such as warrior 1 and 2, cat/cow, side angle, mountain, and downward facing dog. Dr. Sormaz demonstrates how these and many other revitalizing exercises are the building blocks of a yoga routine that can be tailored specifically to your needs.

If you are a person who thinks, “I’m not flexible enough to do yoga,” then that’s exactly why you should try this course. Dr. Sormaz shows that there is a practice that will work for you and start you on your road to a healthier mind and body.
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12 lectures
 |  Average 30 minutes each
  • 1
    Western Yoga
    Explore the roots of hatha yoga, the form of yoga widely practiced in the West. Focus on the three principles of hatha yoga—breath exercises, physical postures (called asanas), and meditation—which promote a healthy mind and body. Get started with some simple yoga exercises. x
  • 2
    Yoga Begins with the Breath
    The tension we accumulate every day tightens the muscles in the upper body, making it hard to breathe. Practice a mini yoga class that highlights mindful breathing to relieve this stress. Then add three new asanas to your yoga routine: warrior 2, bound angle, and downward facing dog. x
  • 3
    Yoga and Pain Relief
    Consider some key tools used in yoga to address physical pain: attention to breath and sensation, release of chronic muscle contractions, and healthier movement patterns. Practice asanas for each of these pain reduction techniques—including a chest opener, yoga pushup, plank, and staff pose. x
  • 4
    Yoga for a Healthy Heart
    Yoga can lead to a healthier heart by providing a transition from a more sedentary lifestyle to a more active one. Trace the steps that will help you gradually build your yoga practice. Learn two new breathing exercises together with asanas that include warrior 1, knee-to-chest, and bridge. x
  • 5
    Yoga and Addictive Behavior
    Discover how yoga and attention to the body’s sensations can aid in breaking the vicious cycle of addictive behaviors. Perform patterned breathing, side bends, cat/cow, downward dog, lunges, forward fold, and reclined twist. End with savasana, the traditional closing posture in a yoga practice. x
  • 6
    Yoga for Depression and Anxiety
    Examine how mindful, moving yoga can help interrupt the physical and psychological habits that lead to depression. Focus on sun salutations, a series of movements and poses linked by one breath per move. Perform the classic sun salutation, and then Surya namaskar A and B. x
  • 7
    Iyengar Yoga
    In the first of five lectures on different styles of yoga, experience a beginner sequence of Iyengar yoga. Named for pioneer yoga teacher B. K. S. Iyengar, this practice makes extensive use of props. Practice nine essential asanas, with optional props such as a wall, chair, strap, and blocks. x
  • 8
    Power Yoga
    Transition to a more aerobic form of yoga—power vinyasa—in which a sequence of poses is strung together at an energetic pace. This is the form of yoga taught in many health clubs and gyms. Try a challenging flow, modifying the poses where appropriate for your level of fitness. x
  • 9
    Yin Yoga
    Yin yoga is a complementary practice to a yang form, such as power yoga. The goal is very simple: Assume a shape with your body, relax with gravity, and rest in stillness. Unwind with yin poses that gently stretch your connective tissues, including tendons, ligaments, and fascia. x
  • 10
    Anusara Yoga
    Explore the spiritual dimension of yoga through an Anusara practice, which combines the Iyengar system of alignment with elements of Hindu spirituality. After a Sanskrit invocation, follow a sequence of asanas that emphasizes awareness of energy flow and muscle action in your body. x
  • 11
    Forrest Yoga
    Developed by American yoga teacher Ana Forrest, Forrest yoga is known for helping people deal with emotional issues, trauma, and addiction by creating a calm and untroubled internal state. Discover a new way of tuning into your feelings, using many techniques and postures you have already learned. x
  • 12
    Everyday Yoga
    Draw on the poses and routines presented in the course to develop a personalized yoga routine that will work for you in the everyday realities of 21st-century life. Keep sight of three principles: Breathe deliberately, move in non-habitual ways, and pursue mindful awareness. x

Lecture Titles

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What's Included

What Does Each Format Include?

Video DVD
Instant Video Includes:
  • Download 12 video lectures to your computer or mobile app
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
DVD Includes:
  • 12 lectures on 2 DVDs
  • 80-page printed course guidebook
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps

What Does The Course Guidebook Include?

Video DVD
Course Guidebook Details:
  • 80-page course synopsis
  • Photos & illustrations
  • Suggested readings
  • Practices

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Your professor

Heidi Sormaz

About Your Professor

Heidi Sormaz, Ph.D.
Certified Yoga Instructor
Dr. Heidi E. Sormaz is the founder, owner, and director of Fresh Yoga LLC in New Haven, Connecticut. She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Psychology from Yale University and was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale and the University of California, Berkeley. She taught psychology at Yale, San Francisco State University, and Albertus Magnus College. Dr. Sormaz obtained the highest teaching credentials from both Forrest Yoga and Yoga...
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Reviews

Yoga for a Healthy Mind and Body is rated 4.6 out of 5 by 116.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Commitment to a Healthy Mind & Body This course is well - paced. It is even better than I imagined it could be. The focus on breathing is amazing and so necessary during the current days of a pandemic. I love that the course has no judgement of the participants... just encouragement to healthy habits. Just do it - it fulfills intent like magic! The instructor is brilliant in demonstration and explanation.
Date published: 2020-09-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This is an excellent course I have done yoga for years but am not an expert. This course explained much of the rational for Western Yoga. The instructor is very good but I would not recommend this as a course for someone who wanted an aggressive fitness program.
Date published: 2020-07-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Sampler I found the course to be an excellent survey of secular yoga practices with enough techniques and detail that my special needs daughter has been able to perfrom some of the techniques to her benefit.
Date published: 2020-05-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent presentation Detailed and very informative
Date published: 2020-04-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great course. Perfect for practicing yoga at home Ideal for this time of quarantine Excellent instructor. Very easy to follow
Date published: 2020-03-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Yoga for a Healthy Mind and Body A very good introduction to the benefits of yoga, with some instruction.
Date published: 2020-03-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Yoga really works There are some poses this aging body can't do, so I modify them slightly. Even so, the loosening up and stretching feels great and the feeling lasts. I like that the instructor explains the why and how, so each lesson so far (I haven't finished yet) is clear and easy to remember. This course would not be appropriate for audio.
Date published: 2020-03-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Like Presentation I'm 80 + and not at all limber. I've never done Yoga brfore but the first three lessons have provided me with a excellent introduction. I've tried several positions and expect I will be able to do them more successful the more I repeat attempting them.
Date published: 2020-01-26
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