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Book review

YogaLean: Poses and Recipes to Promote Weight Loss and Vitality - for Life!


Learn how yoga, combined with healthy lifestyle choices can promote weight loss and vitality.

YogaLean: Poses and Recipes to Promote Weight Loss and Vitality—for Life!
By Beth Shaw
Ballantine Books, 2014,
352 pages, $21.00
ISBN 978-0804-17855-6

Every now and then a book comes along that surprises us by delivering beyond expectations. The subtitle of YogaLean might lead us to believe this book is about poses and low-fat recipes, but in my opinion these are mere threads that connect the pages and pull readers along while the author shares a more powerful and personal message.

First let me confess that I don’t practise yoga—but that’s never stopped me from being interested in how it works so well for many. I read this book with genuine interest, particularly as I’m now actively engaged in building (as opposed to maintaining) my health on a daily basis and wanting to explore all avenues.

YogaLean is as much about organization, self-awareness, mindset, strength, and conscious eating as it is about yoga. It’s about separating mind from body, and bringing the two together again in a thoughtful and more integrated way of being—physically, mentally, emotionally, and energetically.

Beth Shaw is the creator of YogaFit, a highly successful hatha-based training program designed to introduce yoga into the more mainstream fitness industry. Now, with YogaLean she takes the concept further—and off the mat—to create a deeper and more holistic lifestyle shift.

Shaw helps readers appreciate the challenges and rewards of developing “Lean Consciousness” as part of their yoga practice. Lean Consciousness is a way of being in which “all the decisions and choices you make move you to a state of greater health.”

I was immediately drawn in by Shaw’s calm and matter-of-fact instructions for decluttering and sorting our lives in preparation for the practice of yoga. Early on, she reminds us that “nothing feels better than good health”—a fact that is easy to lose track of amidst the demanding distractions of busy lives.

The book is filled with tools to help make the most of an existing yoga practice and to support readers who might be unsure of how to begin. In addition to photos and instructions for poses and meditation techniques, there are tips and “action items” to begin journalling, visualization, letting go, breathing, weight training, giving back, walking, and more. The eating guidelines include recipes for energy, leanness, immunity, youth, relaxation, and improved metabolism.

Lean Consciousness is a simple concept where the first step—finding the way to begin—is the biggest. YogaLean might be the key to making this happen for you.

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