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Yoga for a Healthy Mind and Body

Show us your best downward dog, your winning cat and cow pose, and all the other animals, with this series on the ancient tradition of yoga.
Yoga for a Healthy Mind and Body is rated 4.6 out of 5 by 127.
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Rated 1 out of 5 by from Good course, bad company! After I purchased this course and went to download it I discovered that it was a course I had purchased previously. I emailed support twice about a refund since I obviously didn’t want to pay for the same course twice. Never received a response. That speaks volumes of this company’s ethics.
Date published: 2022-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Instructor is delightful. Easy to follow instructions. She is thorough in explaining how to perform a movement.
Date published: 2022-09-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Be careful - especially if you are inflexible. The teacher is very advanced and if you are inflexible like me, you find yourself trying to do things your body is not ready for. I managed to hurt my back pretty badly with the move where you put the yoga block under the sacrum. I guess I didn't position the block quite right and something in my back cracked and I was in a lot of pain. I'm still in pretty much daily pain since then. I hope it gets better. Been three weeks now.
Date published: 2021-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good class - be careful if you are inflexible I enjoyed this class very much, however the teacher is very advanced. I tweaked my back pretty badly trying to do the pose with the yoga block under my sacrum. If you are inflexible maybe consider a more beginner class.
Date published: 2021-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from fun to watch. I haven't actually done any of the yoga stuff yet. But it was fun to watch. I'll probably just do the real easy stuff. But just watching it made me feel more peaceful. Thanks Heidi!
Date published: 2021-08-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding content I’ve purchased several courses and I am continually impressed with the quality of content. Thanks to everyone at Great Courses!!!!
Date published: 2021-07-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Course I have dabbled in yoga on and off over the years. This was a great way to get reintroduced and to learn some of the history and reasoning and science behind yoga. I particularly liked how the lecturer explained how yoga has evolved and is practiced commonly in the modern U.S. I also liked the second half of the lectures that explained a different type of yoga per lecture and had a mini practice so that you could try them out.
Date published: 2021-06-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Yoga Begins with Breathing Practical course. Easy to follow the instructor! I did not realize how breathing adds to our ability to handle life in general. The core to addressing life is learning how to breath and breathing takes the negativity out of life. UI will learn this course.
Date published: 2021-04-04
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Learn yoga from an expert instructor who teaches you the poses, the science behind them, and the amazing benefits of this ancient tradition.


Heidi Sormaz

Yoga can have a transformative effect on your body and mind, helping you move from disease to ease in the ways that you breathe, move, and think.


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 Alliance.

In her academic work, Dr. Sormaz is an expert on the influence of arousal and attention on performance, the effects of anxiety on thinking, stress management, and performance in pressure situations. Her publications include the book Performance under Pressure: Managing Stress in the Workplace, published by HRD Press, and the article "Meditation Can Reduce Habitual Responding," published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. Dr. Sormaz was awarded the Flora Stone Mather Alumnae Award from Case Western Reserve University and the Wilhelm Wundt Award at the Northeast Ohio Undergraduate Psychology Research Conference.

In addition to teaching yoga in her own studio, she has presented workshops and teacher trainings at conferences and studios across the United States, including Kripalu and the Esalen Institute. Yoga Journal featured Dr. Sormaz on its list of "teachers who are shaping yoga's future" from across America.

By This Expert

Yoga for a Healthy Mind and Body
Overcome Your Overthinking
Yoga for a Healthy Mind and Body


Western Yoga

01: 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....

34 min
Yoga Begins with the Breath

02: 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.

27 min
Yoga and Pain Relief

03: 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.

27 min
Yoga for a Healthy Heart

04: 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.

29 min
Yoga and Addictive Behavior

05: 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.

34 min
Yoga for Depression and Anxiety

06: 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.

29 min
Iyengar Yoga

07: 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....

31 min
Power Yoga

08: 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.

29 min
Yin Yoga

09: 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.

27 min
Anusara Yoga

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.

32 min
Forrest Yoga

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.

34 min
Everyday Yoga

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....

34 min

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