YOGALEAN: Poses and Recipes to Promote Weight Loss and Vitality -- for Life!, by Beth Shaw. Ballantine, 330 pp., $18.
Many yoga books written for people interested in weight loss or fitness don't deal with the spiritual side of the ancient practice. But this one does.
Beth Shaw, a yogi often featured in popular media who's president and co-founder of YogaFit training systems, has ambitions beyond teaching you poses, or asanas, though her photos and clear descriptions of them will surely help. She also explains yamas (such as "the practice of truthfulness") and niyamas ("the practice of contentment"), teaches yogic breathing ("breath of fire"), meditation, visualization and more. (Not to mention getting rid of clutter, both physical and mental.)
THE SCOOP Shaw's workouts go beyond yoga. She advocates cardio and weight training, and offers "metabolism" and "relaxation" recipes (white chili, butternut squash soup).
THE BOTTOM LINE "Getting started will be a challenge, especially if you have neglected your body for years and have let things pile up: weight, addictions, judgments, expectations, possessions," she writes. "But once you rev that engine, things will start to flow."