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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Yoga for a Healthy Mind and Body is rated 4.6 out of 5 by 116.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very helpful I have taken yoga classes and used various yoga Apps, but this course is excellent. I love how the instructor explains how to do each pose or breathing exercise in detail and why to do them. She gives really helpful tips, like on the bound angle pose to bend forward from hips first to increase the reach. I would say this course is “head and shoulders” above the other ways I have studied yoga previously!
Date published: 2019-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Yoga for a Healthy Mind and Body I bought this a few weeks ago and am enjoying it very much. The instructor Heidi Sormaz is delivers the lectures in an easy to understand manner.
Date published: 2019-04-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from healthy mind and body I did bought one month ago and was a great one. I love it, great lectures , I keep looking at their web side almost daily. recommended very highly
Date published: 2019-04-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This is a great course with an excellent instructor. I wish I had ordered it earlier.
Date published: 2019-03-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from beginners course? i have only made it thru 7 lectures so far and it seems to be very easy and relaxing. instructor is very good at explaining the pose you are going to do and does it slowly so you have time to follow along correctly. hoping the other lectures will show many more poses.
Date published: 2019-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I Love This Course! I have taken a few yoga courses, but I feel that I am getting so much more from this course because I am learning the ways to make yoga work for me - for my posture, my breathing and for helping to relieve stress. Really beginning at the beginning - learning the history of yoga, plus some of the different types. And I like the way she explains the poses - learning the why, as well as the how. Just perfect for me - money well spent!
Date published: 2018-12-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love the detailed explanations of why yoga works I've done yoga for years, but this is the first course or class that has really stressed the importance of breath-work, and then given very clear instructions on what to do. Also, the individual classes on slouching, being heart-healthy, etc. are relevant to today's world. If solutions to specific problems are what you are looking for, this is the class for you.
Date published: 2018-12-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Yoga for a Healthy Mind and Body is terrific! Heidi Sormaz is a terrific teacher and professor. Her easy manner and knowledge of yoga makes practicing yoga fun and interesting, which I never thought yoga could be. It is a great alternative for those of us who are tired of the thoughtless physical stress, of the endorphin driven gym environment and want to add a more thoughtful approach to maintaining a healthy body and mind.
Date published: 2018-10-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This is the BEST I have practiced Yoga for many years, and had many great teachers. I have learned several different forms of Yoga. This was great! She expanded my knowledge of these different forms. She had lots of good practices I can incorporate into my classes and pass the knowledge to them. I was impressed that, just like in real life, she even had a guest presenter. He really added to the course, too. One lesson had a real challenging routine to do. She made it look so easy!
Date published: 2018-08-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really great for beginners I've tried videos on yoga before, but they never laid down the framework that this course contains. I like that the instructor doesn't assume I can contort myself into a pretzel.
Date published: 2018-06-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Yoga The course is very easy to understand with excellent hands on exercises that demonstrate the benefits of yoga.
Date published: 2018-06-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Introduction or Review I bought this with the idea I would get to it in a few months. Then I listened to the first lecture and skipping further into the course made me want to get going now. Not put it off for a few months but I wanted to get going now!
Date published: 2018-04-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great course I found this informative and useful. Heidi is excellent as an instructor. I do the breathing exercises in lecture 12 and power yoga in lecture 8 daily. This has allowed me to perfect my technique. I have recommended this to many of my friends, I would like to see a second course from Heidi that gives more yoga routines.
Date published: 2018-03-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great lectures and I found this series very informative. The exercises went beyond simple instruction, and I appreciated learning about the reasoning behind the moves. The instructor was great. She provided clear lectures and gentle encouragement to beginners like me. I look forward to replaying the series.
Date published: 2018-03-30
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Yoga I have not been able to access it your add stated i could view it on ipad iphone etc. oce puchased I found out I needed a computer to download. So i was unable to download. Total loss of money for me.
Date published: 2018-03-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent overview Anyone interested in an explanation of the myriad forms of Yoga should take this course. The instructor, a PhD in Psychology, explains the terms and methods of Yoga without a reliance on Sanskrit terminology, something which can be a bit confusing. I appreciate the instructors skill in designing the course material and her involvement of others to present an overview of their Yoga methods.
Date published: 2018-03-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Informative introductory to yoga Needed to learn about yoga and the positions that can help my posture and back.
Date published: 2018-03-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Listened to 2 lectures & I really like it. Just what I was looking for. Guessing I'll give it 6 stars after I finish! Great instructor
Date published: 2018-02-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Easy to follow and understand I've done Yoga previously but thought this would help me learn more about the practice. The lectures are informative and practice easy to follow.
Date published: 2018-02-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Just OK Knowledgeable teacher. While some of the ideas are well presented, the camera work and style of oration give the impression of a late night infomercial rather than a lecture.
Date published: 2018-02-01
Date published: 2018-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Introduction to Yoga I am normally a science and history buyer, so this is my first venture into a "Lifestyle" course (and I am a pure beginner in Yoga). With that said, I highly recommend this course for beginners like me. The instructor provides clear descriptions and demonstrations; and I especially appreciated her focus on proper breathing. I am very pleased with the course.
Date published: 2017-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love this course I'm retired from a job where I was on call 24/7 and I'm happy I now have a chance to do things like yoga and Tai Chi that I couldn't do before. I love this course, it's working perfectly for me. I'm doing it along with the Essential Tai Chi course, which I also really like. I'm a beginner in both disciplines so I really needed a course that would start with the basics and work from there, which both courses do. This course is really focused on breathing. I was a little surprised how much time was spent on breathing but it turns out to be a very positive thing and I'm glad so much attention is paid to it. I'm not in anything like the shape the teacher is but I find all the postures doable, sometimes a bit modified, and all of them a bit more work than I thought. The survey of styles is interesting- I had never heard of Yin Yoga before but it is really intriguing and very helpful. I can't really think of anything about this course that I don't like. I just hope they do more like it,in a slightly more advanced focus.
Date published: 2017-11-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent! I'm now practicing yoga at home, having stopped going to classes at a local gym for the past six years. This course is excellent, and fills my needs completely. The instructor is poetry in motion!
Date published: 2017-10-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Easy to follow and informative! ! I enjoyed that the instructor made it simple enough to use it in the office and before my violin practice. I can see the difference and I want to study it more.
Date published: 2017-10-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I have enjoyed the entire video. I bought this about a month ago and love the convenience of using it on my IPad in different areas.
Date published: 2017-10-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from If you are a yogi move on ... Yes, if you are a yogi this course will be too elemental for you. I have done yoga exercises off and on for many years, but I got to them through books and dvds that were solely focused on the movements. I can't tell you how much I learned from Heidi Somaz in this course!! For example, I've always poo-pood breath practices ... just let me get down to the poses, the core of yoga. Wrong. I can't breathe properly through my nose. I wear a Breathe Right strip every night to bed just to breathe. But when Heidi showed me how to PROPERLY breathe I took breath in and out of my nose the whole exercise session. In fact, I've found I've been doing an odd thing of trying to draw breath into my nose instead of my lungs, over my vocal chords. This difference is nothing less than astonishing. And my power poses are much more supported with proper breathing. About the exercises ... what I've done differently this time is to go through EACH lesson fully engaging my heart, mind, soul and strength. I already know the poses ... but I want to come at them from a different prospective ... I want to deepen my yoga practice on several levels. I found this course, and teacher Heidi Somaz, able to give my yoga a depth and foundation I've never experienced before - time seems to stop, or slow, during my practice. I think this may become my main (but not only) form of exercise/movement for perhaps the rest of my life. By attending only to yoga as a form of exercise I didn't "see" how fully integrated this practice is for body and mind and how it deeply it works in sync WITH my body on so many levels. 1) I HIGHLY recommend this course if your are new, or fairly new to yoga. I wish I would have started with this many years ago and built a better foundation. 2) I recommend this course if you've been practicing yoga off and on and want to take it to a deeper level, both physically and mentally. But you have to have that intent and see this as an intellectual endeavor as well as a physical endeavor. I believe in that case you will find it as eye opening as I have. 3) If you're very adept at yoga I would say that this course is NOT for you, and I think your harsh criticism is very unfair.
Date published: 2017-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Yoga for a Healthy Mind and Body I love the professors lectures and her voice. Very informative.
Date published: 2017-06-05
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not what I wanted I wanted a guided yoga routine from each of the different styles, not just a few postures from each with a short lecture about that style.
Date published: 2017-05-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent course I bought this to gain the health benefits ( body, mind and soul) that I have heard yoga offers. The instructor is very thorough in giving the beginner a good start as well as instructing the experienced prractioner about the "whys" and history of this ancient art. Excellent
Date published: 2017-04-29
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