The Harvard Medical School Guide to Yoga: 8 Weeks to Strength, Awareness, and Flexibility

The Harvard Medical School Guide to Yoga: 8 Weeks to Strength, Awareness, and Flexibility


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738219363
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Publication date: 06/27/2017
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 251,271
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Marlynn Wei, MD, JD, is a board-certified psychiatrist, certified yoga teacher, and writer. She began practicing yoga in 2008 during her residency training at Harvard Medical School and completed her 200-hour Yoga Alliance teacher certification. Dr. Wei integrates principles of yoga into her work with clients with anxiety and depression, using a holistic approach of psychotherapy, meditation, yoga, and mindfulness.

James E. Groves, MD, is a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. A psychotherapist for more than four decades, he practices psychotherapy, supervises psychiatry and psychology trainees, and offers tutorials in literature and psychiatry.

Table of Contents

Disclaimer xi

Cautions on Rapid or Forceful Yoga Breathing xi

Cautions on Hot Yoga xii

Reference List xiii

Chapter 1 Why Do Yoga? 3

Benefits of Yoga 4

Our Stories 8

How to Use This Book 11

How Can I Figure Out the Right Style of Yoga for Me? 12

How Do I Find a Yoga Teacher? 17

Chapter 2 Historical Frameworks of Yoga 19

Eight Paths of Classical Yoga 19

Historical Approaches to the Human Body 23

Chapter 3 The Modern Science of Yoga 35

The Rapid Rise of Scientific Yoga Research 36

The Problem of Stress 37

The Mind-Body Connection and Relaxation Response 39

Yoga Improves Flexibility and Balance 40

Yoga Builds Muscle and Bone Strength 40

Yoga Improves Heart Health 41

Yoga Helps with Weight Management 42

Yoga Helps You Sleep Better 43

Yoga and Brain Health 45

Yoga Changes Neurotransmitters 45

Yoga Boosts Natural Antioxidants 46

Yoga Reduces Inflammation, Strengthens Your Immune System 47

Yoga Protects Our DNA 48

Chapter 4 Build Your Foundation 53

Awareness 54

Nonjudgmental Attitude 55

The Present Moment 56

Self-Compassion 56

A Beginner's Mind 56

Intentions 57

Expectations 57

Resilience 58

Trust 58

Self-Acceptance 58

Your Personal Path 59

Chapter 5 How to Prevent Yoga Injuries 61

General Tips to Prevent Injuries 61

How to Protect Your Joints 69

What If I Have an Active Medical Condition? 72

Rare but Serious Injuries 73

Chapter 6 Breathe More, Breathe Better: Yoga Breathing (Pranayama) 77

Models of Yoga Breathing 78

Yoga Breathing Components 79

The Science of Breath 81

Cautions for Yoga Breathing 84

Seated Posture 85

Yoga Breathing Techniques 86

Common Problems with Yoga Breathing 99

Chapter 7 Roll Out Your Mat: Yoga Poses (Asanas) 103

Core Principles of Yoga Poses 104

Equipment 108

How to Get Started 109

Starting Poses 109

Warm-up Poses 115

Arm Support Poses 122

Forward Bend Poses 128

Standing Poses 137

Twisting Poses 150

Balancing Poses 158

Backbend Poses 169

Hip Opener Poses 185

Cool-Down Poses 195

Chapter 8 Deepen Your Practice: Muscle Locks (Bandhas) and Hand Expressions (Mudras) 211

Muscle Locks (Bandhas) 212

Hand Mudras 219

Chapter 9 Learn How to Meditate (Dhyana) 229

What Is Meditation? 230

Why Meditate? 230

What's the Science Behind Meditation? 233

How Do I Get Started? 234

What If I'm Too Busy to Meditate? 236

Is Meditation for Everyone? 237

Meditation Techniques 237

Chapter 10 Putting It All Together: Our 8-Week Yoga Program 255

General Structure of Yoga Pose Sequence 255

Our 8-Week Yoga Program 260

Week 1 Grounding 260

Week 2 Compassion 263

Week 3 Strength 264

Week 4 Energy 266

Week 5 Resilience 269

Week 6 Balance 270

Week 7 Stress Relief 271

Week 8 Gratitude 273

Beyond Our 8-Week Program 275

Appendix A Yoga for Specific Health Conditions 277

Physical Conditions 277

Psychological Conditions 285

Appendix B Yoga and Pregnancy 293

Acknowledgments 299

Notes 301

Index 311

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