Robin Rothenberg, Yoga Therapist, and author of Restoring Prana, Chair of the Accreditation Committee for the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT)
I found Yoga on Prescription both inspirational and pragmatic! Mason and Fox generously share the scientific rationale for the creation of their 12-week Yoga4Health series and provide us a behind-the-scenes tour of this comprehensive course. They offer evidence-based practices with demonstrated efficacy. In addition, they provide collegial support to those of us who don't live in countries that currently social prescribe. I especially appreciated their encouragement for us as yoga teachers and therapists to draw upon their model and feel empowered to integrate therapeutic yoga into the main-stream medical system by creating similar programming within our own communities.
Dr Stephen Porges, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, and author of the Polyvagal Theory
In Yoga on Prescription, Paul Fox and Heather Mason provide a timely response to the mental and physical health consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. In their readable book they outline a succinct yoga intervention program that may profoundly benefit those whose health has been disrupted by the pandemic. The book provides the public health justification for their intervention, which can be efficiently implemented on the chair or the mat, as well as a plausible explanation of how yoga would enhance health. As society recovers from the pandemic, as the high percentage of survivors have persistent symptoms, we are witnessing the limitations of medical care in dealing with chronic disease. Post pandemic medical care by necessity will need to shift from the treatment of a pathogen defined disease to treatment of the chronic disorders associated with being infected. Covid long haul symptoms, like other chronic ailments, reflect a body in a chronic state of defence. Fortunately, the medical community is beginning to acknowledge the effectiveness of yoga and other strategies that incorporate movement and social connection as portals of treatment.
Shirley Telles, Director, Patanjali Research Foundation, Haridwar, India
Restoring health and successfully managing lifestyle related disorders is presented in Yoga on Prescription (The Yoga4Health Social Prescribing Protocol) by Paul Fox and Heather Mason as an informative and interesting read. This book combines traditional principles of yoga with research-based guidelines for practice and addresses a much felt need in integrative health care.
Patrick McKeown, Clinical Director, Buteyko Clinic International, author of The Breathing Cure
Yoga for better health - like the approach presented in this book - has the potential to transform the lives of millions of people through embracing functional breathing from three dimensions; biochemical, biomechanical and cadence breathing. Having a deeper understanding can impart the wisdom to open airways, improve blood circulation, increase oxygen delivery, and balance the nervous system.
James Marzolf, Senior Director, Health Sector Finance & Policy, Whole Health Institute
Worldwide healthcare is undergoing a paradigm shift driven partially by necessity stemming from the prevailing broken system but also by innovative pioneers who clearly see the virtue of fostering health instead of treating disease. They can help us envision a path forward that optimally combines both modern invention and time-tested approaches heretofore bypassed by mainstream medicine. Yoga on Prescription by Paul Fox and Health Mason is an important contribution to this process. It not only provides compelling empirical evidence but also a lucid explanation of how therapeutic yoga fits and functions within the realm of social prescribing and patient activation. Further, the degree of detail provided on actual therapeutic interventions provides a basis for practical implementation. For those interested in the real-world aspects of the health paradigm shift, this is a must read.
Goran Boll, creator of MediYoga in the Swedish public healthcare system: -
This gem of a book, which very well could prove to be one of the most important books of this decade, gives us the essence of yoga as a possible modern-day prescription for real health. As Sat Bir Khalsa puts it in the foreword, our modern acute care healthcare system model is so focused on symptom treatment, dominated by technological approaches including pharmaceuticals and surgery. In this context yoga as therapy can play an important role for genuine healing. Heather Mason and Paul Fox have done an amazing job - this book is a clear glass of water, refreshing in its simplicity!
Dr Robin Monro, founder of the UK yoga therapy profession
Bringing yoga into social prescription is a stroke of genius. Occupying the ground between specialised medicine and general wellbeing, it tackles the biggest problem facing modern healthcare - unhealthy lifestyles. The UK is ideally situated to pioneer this approach because its National Health Service reaches everyone - and within reach of nearly everyone there are yoga teachers who are competent to hold suitable yoga classes, given a little specialised training for which this is the course book. This programme is developing rapidly and has the potential to contribute significantly to the impact of yoga on modern healthcare.
Dr Helen Lavretsky, Professor of Psychiatry, UCLA
This book is written by experts, Heather Mason and Paul Fox, who developed a program "Yoga4Health" used for social prescribing for a variety of health conditions. This book is meant to be used for training of yoga and healthcare professionals who administer yoga-based interventions to patients. The book provides an excellent overview of the history of yoga practices and applications to health, as well as the recent scientific advances explaining modern understanding of the underlying mechanisms, by which yoga can improve physical and mental health. In addition, the book introduces contributions of major figures in the world of integrative medicine, their role in developing the field of yoga therapy, and their conceptualizations of the health benefits of yoga practices. This book can be used as a useful tool for teaching to appreciate the therapeutic benefits of yoga and training of healthcare practitioners and students, who want to integrate yoga therapy into their clinical practices. It might be also useful for policymakers who are interested in social prescribing and integration of yoga therapies in the healthcare for management of stress- and aging-related disorders.
Dr Avi Sharma, GP, Kilmarnock
The regular practice of yoga can be fundamental in building strong foundations, where each of us can learn to take more accountability and ownership of our health. There has never been a more important time for this with the current relentless pressures our healthcare systems are facing, particularly since the start of the global COVID pandemic. Yoga4Health, through Paul and Heather's innovation and passion, is at the forefront of bringing yoga and its wide range of benefits, safely into our healthcare systems on prescription. This evidence-based protocol targets not only prevention, but also treatment of chronic disease, while working in conjunction with modern medicine.
Dr Ruth Gilmore, Yoga Therapist, Anatomy Teacher, and author of Ask Ruth
This detailed (but at the same time eminently-readable) book is a trailblazer that describes the rapidly-developing acceptance of the use of appropriate yoga in the management of common lifestyle conditions. Such yoga-based therapy is becoming more commonly available in the NHS through a combination of post-graduate healthcare training and GP prescribing. Heather Mason and Paul Fox have combined their respective skills - the long-term advocacy of lifestyle medicine and extensive experience of yoga practice and training provision - to produce a work that will hold the attention of readers. Paul Fox's combination of years as a high-level journalist as well as yoga teacher have resulted in the book having an easy-to-read style, despite it including significant quantities of academic research data and references. Undoubtedly, this ground-breaking work will be a reference source, an inspiration and a guide for all advocates and practitioners of lifestyle medicine.
Dr Stacie CC Graham, author of Yoga as Resistance & founder of OYA Retreats
This methodical book serves as a great resource for people working in the health and wellness sector in a number of ways. It not only provides a literature overview of the growing base of research to support the profound restorative power of yoga; rather, it also illustrates the importance of not reducing yoga to a mere physical practice. As the NHS takes on its greatest transformation in decades, this book demonstrates the tremendous potential of social prescribing. Including yoga in social prescribing will make the practice more accessible to underserved communities and support their ability to take control of their own health and wellbeing. This serves as one essential step in reducing health inequities in society. As the ongoing global public health crisis has revealed, community care must be overhauled, made more inclusive, and integrated across the many dimensions of people's lives. Yoga moves in a similar way, as YIHA's students experienced, in that it becomes a lifestyle that helps practitioners approach breath, diet, and reflection with more intention which can support a holistically healthier life.