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Showing 1-10 of 139 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 171 reviews
on August 8, 2015
After paying over $20 for the paperback at a book store a few years ago, it quickly became my favorite yoga book. I wanted to tie in medical and health concerns with poses and this did it. But, it was so comprehensive that it was too heavy to carry around all of the time, so I broke down 2-3 years ago and got the Kindle version at $18 (now it's much lower and a great bargain). With the Kindle version, I can do a Kindle search for any word in the entire book and it takes me right there. By doing so, I've found answers to my questions about thyroid, breathing, Ayurveda, psoas and piriformis poses and more. From one medical professional to another, THANK YOU Dr. McCall!
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on May 23, 2017
I love this book! I am only about 40% through it on my kindle so far. The author goes into all the good reasons for doing yoga. He's quite egalitarian and gives benefits for many styles of yoga. He does recommend getting a yoga therapist, if possible, to teach correct alignment for each individual body type and/or health challenge. He is a medical doctor and has studied yoga in India. He is a real enthusiast so he inspires me to do some yoga each day. I'm 66 and it's time I got serious about this to preserve my good health. I have done Iyengar-style yoga most of my adult life sporadically with teachers, and without on my own, and I KNOW it makes a difference in my health and feelings of peace and well-being. It's subtle but builds over time. I have many yoga books and I think this one is my favorite because it inspires me to do more. It is in layman's terms so very easy to understand.
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on February 14, 2015
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.
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on August 26, 2007
Dr. McCall is the medical editor of Yoga Journal and many readers are familiar with his excellent articles in that prestigious publication. In 2002, Yoga Journal asked Dr. McCall to write a book on yoga therapy, but he was already working on Yoga as Medicine for two years. The author is a board-certified specialist in internal medicine and was a practicing physician for more than 12 years in the Boston area. At the beginning, Dr. McCall says that he approached yoga "in the same spirit that I'd brought to salsa dancing and tai chi", but then, as he was deepening into his practice, he began to notice important changes in his posture, his breathing, and many other aspects of his daily life. In 2000, he decided to devote himself full-time to investigate the value of yoga as a therapeutic instrument. He has visited many yoga centres and ashrams in the United States and India, exploring, asking students and instructors about the therapeutic value of their yoga practice, and collecting valuable information that is very difficult to access.

The book consists of three parts. Part 1: "Yoga as Medicine", makes a succinct presentation of the scientific basis of yoga and its contributions to health care. Part 2: " The Practice of Yoga", has numerous tips on how to establish a safe practice, how to choose a safe yoga style, and how to select a teacher. Part 3 " Yoga Therapy in Action", has 20 chapters devoted to a large array of conditions (arthritis, asthma, back pain, cancer, depression, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and many others). Dr. McCall, with information provided by leading yoga therapists, offers a brief overview of each condition, discusses in detail the scientific evidence of the contribution made by yoga to the treatment of the condition, and concludes with a series of recommended exercises appropriate for each condition, highlighting the benefits and the contraindications of each exercise. An appendix is devoted to the prevention of yoga injuries.

This book offers an unusual view of yoga. Dr. McCall uses crisp and clear language, his book is lucid and easy to understand, and scientific proofs are fully documented. Being both a competent physician and a skilled yoga practitioner who has explored many yoga traditions, Dr. McCall has the authority to disregard false claims from both sides and insists that a correct perspective is to recognize the complementarities of both approaches. He insists that yoga therapy is not a "magic bullet", but asserts that the characteristics of such therapy (being holistic, with increased effects over time, positive side effects, requiring patient's participation, major emphasis on prevention, etc.) makes yoga therapy ideal for the treatment of some chronic problems, such as diabetes, or arthritis. Dr. McCall is not hesitant to use many of the classical yoga terms (asanas, Pranayama, nadis, etc.), but he alerts us by affirming: "If notions like chakras and prana turn you off, just think of them as metaphors. We use this kind of metaphorical thinking in the West all the time... Good metaphors can help us understand, as yogis put it, 'what is' ". Many people remember his sense of humour from the video, Yoga Unveiled, which has a section on "Yoga as Therapy"; he mentions that on one occasion he was asked: "Will smoke get in the way of yoga?" and he replied "No, but if you are a smoker, yoga might get in the way of smoking."

The book is a treasure of information. It contains photographs of the exercises recommended for each condition. It has a comprehensive index, a list of Sanskrit words and names for the asanas, and a comprehensive list of sources of information, including the web sites of yoga therapists and institutions. This work is the best of its kind and it is the principal source of reference for those interested in discovering the therapeutic value of yoga. On the front cover of the book you will see the opinion of Dr. Mehmet Oz, Director of the Cardiovascular Institute of the New York Presbyterian Hospital: "Read this to find out why we teach our patients YOGA".
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on April 25, 2017
Not necessarily a fault of the book, but this book wasn't what I thought it would be. It starts out with a general discussion of the benefits of yoga, and then the remainder of the chapters are specifically dedicated to using particular yoga poses/practices for specific ailments.
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on February 7, 2013
I bought this because I thought I would stop going to regular classes for a while and become a solo at my yoga practice, at home. It has a lot to offer, it really targets specific conditions and challenges that you can use yoga to aid. It also has poses you can challenge yourself with and, hopefully with some yoga background, you can practice on your own in your own time. It's so useful. Nothing on the book, I went back to my weekly class after a short time just because it turned out I missed the community of it. That's all on me. This book is a huge yoga help on a personal level, and my new understanding when I returned to class certainly didn't go unnoticed! It will change you. Like yoga itself, you just have to immerse and let go to it.
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on November 17, 2009
Different from the standard yoga books that instruct on basic or common poses and sequences, this book allows everyone to do yoga. There are poses to aid people who suffer from various health issues, from headaches to AIDS; the diversity of ages, body sizes and ethnic backgrounds reinforces the assurance that yoga can be for everybody.

Although the poses may be basic or known to those whom practice, understanding which poses assist for what health issue and the particular sequence is important to helping the problem being addressed. There is much written information, but the layout of the book makes it easy to go directly to the ailment you wish to deal with; by following the pictures one can quickly asses the poses that can help.

A great reference for yoga instructors, personal trainers, physical therapists and those that have practiced yoga. It may be a bit confusing and overwhelming for those that are beginners or have previously not tried yoga.
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on April 13, 2017
Good book - worth the money - you may find it dry at times unless you're an anatomy + physiology nerd like me, in which case, it's fascinating. I particularly like that it's very thorough and covers several different health concerns and common ailments which can be alleviated with yoga. I'm glad I bought it in paperback rather than kindle because I've already highlighted and sticky-noted it all over the place. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because I'm skeptical of some of the material. I could get down with about 90% of what I read, but I'm not too sure about how sound the science behind the rest of it really is, so there's that. Is it an absolute must-have? No. But Im happy I bought it.
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on September 21, 2014
Best book of yoga health benefits I've ever read. This one addresses different health problems by chapter and the yoga positions that can be done safely to help. There is also a lot of info about the different kinds of yoga. It was written by an MD and I was impressed that the reading was engaging, not just informative. It certainly empowers one to take control of their health regardless of their health problems; everything from arthritis, to heart health, to HIV is addressed. There's a chapter in here for everyone. I liked it so much I read the whole thing. I also gave a copy away as a gift and it was well received.
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on September 11, 2013
In his book, Dr. McCall comes across as if he is taking directly to me, as a friend that I haven't had the chance to meet.
I discovered yoga many years ago after I was diagnosed with a disc hernia. An inspired therapist created a personalized exercises program for me using a series of yoga postures. He also directed me read two books: "Do-In: Eastern massage and yoga techniques" and "Yoga - Source of Health". So, following the instructions, I started a long, challenging journey in yoga and eastern medical techniques. The result - I was able so far to avoid surgery.
"Yoga as Medicine" confirmed to me that I am on the right path. Now, retired and facing aging problems, I feel encouraged to "insert yoga into cracks of my day" adding relaxation and meditation to my daily exercises in order to control and enhance my life.
Thank you, Dr. McCall.
Cleopatra Rosioreanu
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