Yoga as Medicine: The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing

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Product Description

The definitive book of yoga therapy, this groundbreaking work comes to you from the medical editor of the country’s premier yoga magazine, who is both a practicing yogi and a Western-trained physician.

Beginning with an overview of the history and science of yoga, Dr. McCall describes the many different techniques in the yoga tool kit; explains what yoga does and who can benefit from it (virtually everyone!); and provides lavishly illustrated and minutely detailed instructions on starting a yoga practice geared to your fitness level and your health status. Yoga as Medicine offers a wealth of practical information, including how to:

•Utilize yogic tools, including postures, breathing techniques, and meditation, for both prevention and healing of illness

•Master the art of becoming more in tune with your body

•Communicate more effectively with your doctor

•Adopt therapeutic yoga practices as either an alternative or a complement to surgery and to expensive, sometimes dangerous medications

•Practice safely

Find an instructor and a style of yoga that are right for you. With twenty chapters devoted to the work of individual master teachers, including such well-known figures as Patricia Walden, John Friend, and Rodney Yee, Yoga as Medicine shows how these experts have applied the wisdom of this ancient holistic practice to twenty different conditions, ranging from arthritis to chronic fatigue, depression, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, infertility, insomnia, multiple sclerosis, and obesity. Defining yoga as “a systematic technology to improve the body, understand the mind, and free the spirit,“ Dr. McCall shows the way to a path that can truly alter your life.

An indispensable guide for the millions who now practice yoga or would like to begin, as well as for yoga teachers, body workers, doctors, nurses, and other health professionals.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews:

  • Amazing book, a real necessity for a yoga teacher if they want to do a good job.
    I am so glad that Dr Mcall took his dedication to yoga and how it can help so many people. As a Sr. Yoga teacher, who does yoga therapy, this will be an invaluable tool for me to use and quote. It is so wonderful to have a resource written so well by an MD. It is written with such inspiration, I am so glad I bought it and every yoga teacher should have it on their studio....more info
  • A different approach
    This book is fantastic in identifying specific poses for specific health issues. It is very easy to follow even for a beginner....more info
  • Finally a Book by a MD
    It's ingrained in most people to trust medical doctors. This book, written by one, is not just praise for yoga. It's a summary of multiple medical studies and trails that showed how successful yoga can be in treating various health problems. A must read for anyone interested in yoga and especially those who, for whatever reason, are not interested!...more info
  • Awesome!
    "Yoga As Medicine" is worth every penny I spent! As Yoga beginner I was a little hesitant to jump in, but no worries here.
    One of the most important clues that made me buy this book was the forward by Dr. Oz.
    I found the book easy to understand and not too technical.
    If you are "into yoga" then this book will further you knowledge and help with you health.
    ...more info
  • The Best I've Found for Understanding Yoga
    For several years I've been searching for exactly what I've finally found in this book. Easy to understand explanations of the different types of Yoga and the correlation to western medicine. It all makes perfect sense without bias. I love it and highly recommend it, especially for anyone just starting into Yoga....more info
  • The Best Yoga Book Out There
    I thought this was going to be another yoga book with the same information that's already out there. This book is simply the best yoga book I have ever read. Dr. McCall explains the "why" of yoga and "how" it heals the body and mind in easy to understand scientific and clinical terms. A must have for anyone interested in yoga and healing....more info
  • A great addition to any practice
    I have really enjoyed this book. It provides a very thoughtful view at using yoga as a part of a long term health program. I think most of us who practice view yoga in this way, but the book helped me see that I need to consciously think about how yoga fits in and what specific components in my practice are helping me reach my goals. It also helped me to see that my "good for me" yoga may sometimes get in the way of my goals.

    The book is accessible to a large range of people, though I think it would be best for someone who has established a practice already as they will have an experience basis that will allow an appreciation of the items discussed (could be wrong, but I think I get it a lot better now than I would have before beginnig practice). But I don't think you need to be in teacher training or anything like that to benefit from it (I am not any where near that in my practice)....more info
  • Great Gift
    It was a nice book and was a well received gift. I read the other reviews and they were really detailed and helpful when purchasing this....more info
  • Good info, but chaotic organization
    I'm sure there is a lot of good information in here, but I just can't get through it because of the organization of the book. Other books are so better presented (Yoga for Arthritis and other of that author's books, for example).

    Yoga as Medicine is sort of a collection of different "big" yoga teachers around the world and how they approach specific conditions. I just prefer a more straightforward approach of 'this is the issue, these are the facts, and here's what you can do about it.' I don't like the story/case study style that seems very limiting to me. Also, I don't like the collection style where one author is writing the overall book but referencing the information as "So and so says this" and "Gary recommends this pose for...." I find it disjointed and disorganized. I just want to read the information and learn and I don't care who said it and for whom the series was created.

    In summary, you have to do a lot of work in getting through the book. I've read some pretty huge "technical" yoga, anatomy and physiology books so I'm not afraid of the effort. I just think there are better options out there. ...more info
  • Exceptional book for integrating yoga into general health and wellness
    Dr. Timothy McCall is a Western-trained physician and medical editor of Yoga Journal. In this book, he has put together an excellent book detailing the use of yoga as part of a holistic approach towards health and wellness. While his enthusiasm about the positive benefits which can be derived from yoga is strongly persuasive, and given his medical training, he makes a real effort to lay a scientific foundation for the efficacy of yoga.

    The heart of Yoga as Medicine lies in Part 3, "Yoga Therapy in Action." In this section, Dr. McCall addresses twenty specific health conditions and concerns, ranging from Anxiety and Panic Attacks to Overweight and Obesity. For each chapter, Dr. McCall has chosen a yoga expert to present a potential approach to that condition. Many of the teachers he has selected are well-known names, including Judith Hanson Lasatar for Back Pain, Gary Kraftsow for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Rodney Yee for Headaches. In addition to the featured instructor, every chapter also includes "Other Yogic Ideas," which range from insights by other yoga instructors to supplementary yoga tools, and "A Holistic Approach," a boxed and bulleted segment which talks about combining yoga practice with various other factors in managing the conditions.

    Overall, this is an exceptional, extremely well-done book which provides a compelling argument for integrating yoga into a holistic approach towards health and wellness; highly recommended! ...more info
  • Great for teachers and health practitioners
    I'd been looking forward to getting this book and was glad I did. As a student of several different types of yoga and a prospective teacher, I found the contents to be very helpful to various types of physical ailments that one hears about, but needs more in depth information on how to assist a student with.
    The writing is clear and concise. The chapter outlines are very well organized and the index is easy to use in a hurry. Each chapter has a different physical challenge, from Migranes to HIV and they are noted with experiences from well trained teachers. The chapters give precise information on what is occuring in the body with these different maladies and the yoga postures suggested come with photographs and clear instructions for any adjustments for the student.
    I find this to be a treasure of a reference book and no doubt will refer to it many times in my teaching career....more info
  • A wonderful reference book for teachers and practitioners
    As a massage therapist and a yoga teacher I was extremely well pleased with this manual. Yoga as medicine makes a wonderful reference book to have in the studio or at home, Jam packed with excellent information from the author (a board certified Physician and yoga practitioner) and many Excellent leading yoga practitioners who each address a different chapter on subjects such as arthritis, Asthma, back pain, menopause, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, cancer and many other conditions and diseases. There are passages on how to address the individual physically, mentally, and emotionally. The author approaches healing from both western and eastern philosophies, blending the two beautifully in this brilliant book.

    What I really love is that each illness, condition or disease is divided into sections and addressed by different leading practitioners and Philosophers. All sections have a sequence to follow with good clear black and white photos (even portrait photos of the different authors of each chapter and short Bio's), advice, tips, contraindications, breathing techniques, visualizations and scientific and yogic perspectives and statistics.
    AAdil Palkhivala writes about High blood pressure in Chapter 20. Roger Cole (my personal hero (unbeknown to him), I eat up all his anatomy articles on yoga)writes about how to deal with Insomnia in chapter 23. Judith Hanson lassater writes about Back Pain in Chapter 11. Richard Freeman writes the section on overeweight and obesity chapter 27. Elise Browning Miller covers Menopause in Chapter 25. Nischalla Joy Devi discusses heart disease. Rodney Yee talks about headaches in chapter 18. Gary Kraftsow's contribution is about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. There are many more contributors, Shakta Shanti Kaur Khalsa, John Friend,Michael Lee, Sam Dworkis and many others.
    I think this is definitely a book every yoga teacher should own and any Massage therapist who is serious about empowering their clients to help themselves on the path to healing, educating them and guiding them to to make healthy lifestyle changes. Get this book!
    ...more info
  • A no nonsense approach to yoga
    For someone like me that isn't into all the esoteric jargon involved in yoga, this book was perfect for me. Written by a western MD, it has practical, everyday suggestions for incorporating yoga into your daily routine. Highly recommend!...more info
  • Must have if you are serious about Yoga
    I have been practicing Yoga for many years and see the difference that it has made for me. This book really qualifies the benfits that I have seen personally and it has helped to structure poses for my specific requirements. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who wants to deepen their understanding and practice of Yoga. ...more info
  • Elizabeth Essenfeld
    Elizabeth Essenfeld says: This book is very informative. Offers many alternatives to tradional medicines for all sorts of illnesses and ailments....more info
  • An Introduction to the Benefits of Yoga
    My sister in law recommended this book to me, she enjoyed it so much. I have taken yoga classes at my health club for the past 18 months as a way to stay flexible and active. I find that I loved taken the classes but each instructor had her own methods, level of difficulty, school of yoga, etc. I had no knowledge of the history behind yoga, the overall health benefits and different teaching style. This book is a great introduction, written for the layman but also written to help people with particular health problems that may benefit from certain postures. It's a must have for your yoga library. This book should be an addition to your other books, DVD's and other study materials. I find that I still need to attend classes to really benefit from yoga plus have a collection of yoga DVD/Video to alternate practices when I cannot get to a class. I use the book more as a reference now that I have read it than a guide for my practices....more info
  • Great info
    I enjoyed this book and found that it had a lot of good modifictions for health restrictions and had some great info....more info
  • very useful, with simple sequences for all people
    This book is very useful, the sequences of postures are very simple and for all kinds of people, and that is fundamental, because not all the sick people are experts in yoga postures. I bought "Light on Yoga" too, and is an excellent complement, because at the end of the book it has many advanced sequences for deseases that not everyone can do....more info
  • Excellent Yoga reference book
    This is a good all around Yoga book with descriptions on various types of Yoga and how it relates to the use in helping with various illnesses. Even if you don't have a particular illness described in the book, the book offers benefits of Yoga and ideas to use that will help in keeping with a healthy life style. I use it as a reference guide and I came away with new ideas on how to incorporate Yoga and meditation in my life....more info
  • A complete yoga medical text in almost 600 pages
    This book is really the complete text on how to use yoga for almost any major ailment. The author, MD Dr. McCall (also the medical editor for Yoga Journal), writes from a scientific perspective. He quotes and footnotes his volume extensively, and merges science with ancient wisdom in 568 pages.

    The book opens with an overview of what yoga is and is not, discusses briefly the various forms you can follow (ashtanga, iyengar, etc), and moves quickly into the physical and mental ailments yoga has been observed to help.

    Yoga models of various body types illustrate the most helpful poses for anxiety, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, IBS, MS, HIV, headaches, stress, depression, menopause, back aches, cancer, insomnia, infertility, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue, carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia, arthritis and asthma.

    Contraindications for each condition are provided, along with research notes, holistic approaches to treatment and tons of yoga exercise options (with black and white photos).

    Quotes and passages from such well-known yoga instructors as Rodney Yee and Patricia Walden are incorporated into each section as well.

    An important chapter in the back cautions practicing yogis to avoid new injuries through incorrect postural alignment and overeager stretching.

    I appreciated reading the author's summary at the end about how our society could benefit from incorporating yoga therapy into mainstream medicine. I agree we should be teaching yoga in schools, to the aged in nursing homes, to the chronically ill, and in community centers everywhere. He suggests doctors and nurses themselves should practice yoga, both to lessen the stress in their professions, and also to be able to see first-hand the health benefits of yoga as both preventative and restorative medicine.

    Overall, this isn't a sit-down-and-read book, although flipping through it is enjoyable. It's a fantastic reference source to keep in your yoga or medical library. Anyone can benefit from this information - we all get headaches, back aches, stress and anxiety. We all all know people with asthma or incipient heart disease who might be helped by sharing this information.

    Highly recommended!...more info
  • Valuable reference
    As a yoga instructor, I am always looking for new reference material to help me become a better teacher. This book is indispensible. It focuses on many of the problem areas that students in my classes have approached me about. It is clearly written, and easy to understand. The photographs and drawings are helpful, and the anatomical and physiological information is thoroughly presented....more info
  • great book!!!
    this book is wonderful! an essential for any yogi. it has wonderful detailed information and good quality pictures. deals with how to do yoga when you have a headache to what helps with cancer patients. i love how this book adds a medical side to yoga. my mother is a nurse and not a fan of yoga, so having a book like this helps validate how wonderful and useful yoga is! anyone can benefit from adding yoga to their lives!!!...more info


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