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Yoga for a Healthy Mind and Body

Yoga for a Healthy Mind and Body

Professor Heidi Sormaz, Ph.D.
Certified Yoga Instructor

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Priority Code


Yoga for a Healthy Mind and Body

Course No. 9263
Professor Heidi Sormaz, Ph.D.
Certified Yoga Instructor
Share This Course
4.6 out of 5
81 Reviews
92% of reviewers would recommend this series
Course No. 9263
Video Streaming Included Free

What Will You Learn?

  • Practice a mini yoga session that focuses on mindful breathing, and learn asanas to incorporate into your practice.
  • Learn how to use yoga to help treat common ailments, including pain relief and depression.
  • 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
 |  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
Video Download Includes:
  • Ability to download 12 video lectures from your digital library
  • 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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Also By This Professor


Yoga for a Healthy Mind and Body is rated 4.6 out of 5 by 81.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The best Yoga course I've seen I'm very happy I bought this DVD. Most yoga classes only focus on poses. This DVD focuses on the why of yoga, the many benefits and the most important piece, breathing. I will make more progress with this investment than I've made with bagillion other DVD's I've bought that only focus on poses.
Date published: 2017-03-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Title is a good description of content. I have viewed and practiced the first eight sessions and am well pleased. Dr. Sormaz's explanations are easy to understand. She is excellent in guiding one through the poses. I definitely recommend this course.
Date published: 2017-03-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Broadens knowledge of where Yoga comes from. Recovering from a shoulder injury during a strenuous kayak excursion, I decided to try Yoga to gain flexibility without the stress to my joints. Boy, was I surprised to find out what Yoga can do! Dr. Sormaz combines the historical background with the proper techniques that our modern culture has adapted. Breathing, posture, and feeling your body's responses to poses that are actually good for you. Introducing you to the several kinds of Yoga, she gradually builds your knowledge and confidence to perform the poses in a progressive pattern. A very worthwhile course, it'll create a new habit you can use for total health in mind and body for the rest of your life.
Date published: 2017-02-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Yoga Awesome! Very easy to follow and fun! Feel terrific!
Date published: 2017-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from yoga for a healthy mind and body very well done video. easy to follow and go at your own pace
Date published: 2017-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Yoga for a Healthy Mind and Body This course is so well done. Explains all the importance of each and every pose. Such a wide variety of poses and health benefits. I would recommend this course to every one.
Date published: 2017-01-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Yoga for a Healthy Mind and Body I am going through these lessons slowly, re-listening to each one last least twice, before going on to the next one, and doing the suggested practices on most days when I don't do a lesson. I agree with some who said that a lot of time is taken up with speaking, but the information is good and important to know. I wish it was possible to do just the guided breathing and body position portion on my second time through. I also wish that after Lesson 3, and at intervals after that, that there was a review lesson doing a guided practice using all the breathing and body position exercises used up to that point, or that at the beginning each lesson, there was a short review of exercises taught easier, as I feel that it takes a conscious effort not to forget what was learned earlier. So far I feel like I've learned exercises and body positions and their benefits. However, my understanding of Yoga was that it was a way of meditation that improved mental health by improving awareness and attention, In the first lesson Heidi mentioned an example of a yoga sutra. I liked it and was looking for more of them, but that has not been mentioned. Actually I was hoping that this course would be a way of doing Yoga independently, and it doesn't appear to be that. To me, it has seemed like just an exposure to Yoga with the purpose of seeing if users want to join a class, and to know what to look for in a class.
Date published: 2016-09-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Teaching Yoga the Right Way This is a fantastic course taught by an eminently qualified teacher. I was tempted to skip over the first five or six lessons - don't. The firsts lessons are essential background, and foundational material you will probably not get anywhere else. I have had the class for three days and and will be doing the fourth lesson today. Mike
Date published: 2016-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Yoga for a Healthy Mind and Body Highly recommend for anyone interested in learning and improving their understanding ofYoga for a healthier living. Heidi Sormaz is awesome!!!
Date published: 2016-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Practical Yoga I purchased this video for one of my nieces who teaches Yoga and was delighted about the course content, the instructor, and the examples shown. She plans to adopt some of what she learned into her own teaching.
Date published: 2016-09-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from exactly what I was looking for!!! From the very beginning of this series, I've found this to be very useful and just what I was looking for. I love the professor - she already feels like a personal friend who is very caring and wants to give me the best information for the best results possible. I look forward to doing each one and learning what each new lesson will bring to my life. I think I should have ordered this years ago, but it doesn't matter. Now is always the perfect time to improve your health and state of being. I am grateful that it has come into my life because I know I will develop new good habits and make yoga and proper breathing a way of life. I am using the digital version on my iPad and have given the DVD to my mother who I know will be able to use it to help aid in some of her health issues. It couldn't have come at a better time! I am a very happy customer! :)
Date published: 2016-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great purchase! One of the best purchases I've made. Very informative and life changing! Thank you. I will definitely purchase more courses in the future.
Date published: 2016-09-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good introduction to yoga Let me say upfront that I have never done yoga before purchasing this course. As a matter of fact, I purchased it as I wanted to learn more about it. I think that this course does that for me. There is a bit of talking with each lecture but I found that it was very relevant to understanding what the instructor was about to show the class. The instructor herself is very good and I think explains clearly all of the concepts. For me, the only negative for the course is that I have found it to be a little difficult to use the course as part of a standard routine as you must have a tablet or computer to do so and if you are a novice like me, it is hard to watch and try the poses. Bottom line: if you are new to yoga and want to learn about the course, I highly recommend it.
Date published: 2016-08-14
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Yoga for a Healthy MInd and Body I am on lesson 4 and very frustrated with the course. Too much time spent talking about why I should do yoga. Having bought the series, I already decided to try yoga. Would like more time actually doing the exercises. So far have watched for nearly 100 minutes, and have only done about 10 minutes of exercises.
Date published: 2016-08-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Yoga For a Healthy Body and MInd Instructor friendly and inviting. Course material and instructions easy to follow...even for an old guy like me....Love it
Date published: 2016-08-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from too much yabbing You need to arrange the material so postures are together so I can work out and not just listen. Very hard for me to get a work out this way. The info provided however is quite interesting
Date published: 2016-08-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simple amazing! I bought this in conjunction with other mindfulness and meditation books. This course could not have been done any better. It's supper easy to follow and it gives an in depth explanation of all there is to know about practicing yoga at home. Dr. Sormaz made the course enjoyable and worth my time and money. I liked so much, I even stared waking up at 5:00am to practice before I get to wok. I feel happy and energized. Best thing I ever did for my health!
Date published: 2016-07-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent overview & intro course/ one suggestion We are enjoying this yoga course very much. There is quite a lot of information and background presented as well as poses. The only suggestion we would have to improve this course would be to have a "glossary" after each session (much like the Spanish course). This "glossary" could include an instructor showing the breathing exercises and poses that were included in that session. I know they are included in the booklet but a visual would make practicing much easier.
Date published: 2016-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent course! Heidi Sormaz, the instructor, explains in good detail what the benefits of Yoga are and provides many Yoga poses to deal with all kinds of pain relief, a healthy heart, stress, and overall well being. I appreciate learning about all the different forms of Yoga and being able to practice them via this video course. I am so happy to have this course!
Date published: 2016-06-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Yoga for a Healthy Mind and Body Just started the course and love it! Not so Yog-aish it turns me off. Instructor wonderful! Can't wait to finish it and learn all I can!
Date published: 2016-06-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Yoga for a Healthy Mind and Body I have been taking yoga classes for awhile not really understanding about the breathing and poses. This course goes into the why's and the correct way to breath and the proper pose positions. It has been enlightening and I get more from my yoga class now. I highly recommend this course for everyone.
Date published: 2016-06-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from BEST Yoga Class Yet This course was excellent. I took several yoga classes in the past. I thought I knew it until I took this course. Yoga instructors should take this.
Date published: 2016-05-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Completely Wonderful! Authentic, useful, clear, amazingly helpful! I would recommend this to anyone with an interest in improving their health and well-being. Thank you so much. Worth so much more than what I paid for it. I'm so glad I bought it! Thank you Heidi for sharing your knowledge and talent.
Date published: 2016-04-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Changed My Life! The lecture on Forest Yoga and muscle memory was an "AHA" moment for me. A piano teacher for 20 years, I've talked a lot about muscle memory with my students. However it never occurred to me that muscle memory could have a negative side. Using Forest Yoga from this DVD I am re-training my neck muscles and the muscle memory from an old whiplash/auto injury. I'm having less frequent muscle tension headaches and feeling much more relaxed in my neck and shoulders. Thank you Heidi Sormaz for this encouraging and empowering set of lectures!
Date published: 2016-02-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from DVD problems Good Content, DVD have bad spots so must stream to get what is missed.
Date published: 2016-01-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great value I have not finished the course. So far I can do most of it I am 79
Date published: 2016-01-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This is my first purchase and I am well pleased. It is something all can do. I haven't finished the course yet.
Date published: 2016-01-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding! I was so eager to get this course and start it. I used to do yoga way back in my 30's and it made me feel so good. Now in my 60's with balance problems due to disease, I will be using it to feel uplifted and positive plus all the physical benefits.
Date published: 2016-01-29
Rated 2 out of 5 by from narrow exposure on pain management .. Professor very slow, which put me to sleep ! Not sure if I'll keep this. Need to take another observation before making a final decision.
Date published: 2016-01-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Yoga For A Healthy Mind & Body This is an excellent course. I have an autoimmune disease that manifests itself with both extreme fatigue and muscle pain. Yoga has become a huge part of my wellness plan. Heidi's course has been so informative and helpful. I recommend it to anyone.
Date published: 2016-01-29
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