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Did You Know Yoga Can Heal Your Body? with Dr. Steffany Moonaz
Dr. Steffany Moonaz is a yoga therapist and researcher in Baltimore, MD and serves as Director of Clinical and Academic Research at the Maryland University of Integrative Health. She became curious about the importance of mind-body activities at a young age and has always had a passion and a curiosity about the healing power of mindful movement. She completed undergraduate work in biology and dance at Oberlin College, earned a MFA from University of Maryland as well as a CMA from the Laban Institute and spent eight years at Johns Hopkins University, helping to develop and evaluate a yoga program for individuals with the chronic diseases of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, which became the basis for her PhD in public health.
Along with ongoing research collaborations at the National Institutes of Health, Einstein, Sinai and Montefiore Hospitals in New York, and University of Maryland, Dr. Moonaz is working to bring yoga to people with arthritis in communities around the country, as well as educating yoga teachers and yoga therapists about the unique needs of this population. She currently leads Yoga for Arthritis teacher training programs nationwide and serves as a mentor for several emerging researchers who are working to study the effects of yoga for various health conditions.
Dr. Moonaz’s work has been covered by Time, HuffPost, the Baltimore Sun, and U.S. News and World Report. She has been invited to speak at Emory University, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Johns Hopkins Palliative Care, and the Smithsonian. Her Arthritis-Friendly Yoga DVD, produced by the Arthritis Foundation, has been their best-selling product since its release in 2013. Her book, Yoga Therapy for Arthritis: A whole-person approach to movement and lifestyle is now available on Amazon, other bookstores and on Steffany’s website: http://www.arthritis.yoga.
Things You’ll Learn From This Episode
- Yoga is not just about your practice on the mat. The word yoga means union and it is about a state of being where you are present, awake and aware. Practicing yoga can expand to how you’re nourishing your body, getting enough rest, thoughts you are allowing in as well as the actual physical yoga movements.
- Studies and research shows that having a yoga practice on the mat can positively affect your health, how you view your health (and if you have a disease) and you’re the overall quality of life.
- Take your health into your own hands and become your best advocate. A way to do this is to form a care team, which might include finding a Functional Medical Doctor, as well as other integrative healing practitioners who can help support your wellbeing.
- It’s important to know good, reliable sources of medical information, especially as it relates to autoimmune conditions like arthritis. Major universities like Harvard, Berkley, and Stanford have Public Health resources to check out. WebMD is a decent source, as is MindBodyGreen (one of my faves)
- Yoga not only effects your physical health as well as mobility, balance, flexibility, and strength but it also affects your nervous system. Pain is registered in the nervous system from the brain to whatever area of your body expeirences pain. Yoga helps to tamper your nervous system to feel less pain and stress.
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Connect with Dr. Steffany Moonaz
- Twitter: @drmoonaz
- Instagram: @smoonaz
- Facebook: @drmoonaz
- Website: arthritis.yoga
- LinkedIn: steffanymoonaz
Download our podcast interview with Dr. Steffany Moonaz here on iTunes
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