While any form of physical activity will help to burn calories and thus support weight loss efforts, some exercises are gentler on the body than others. Yoga is an effective and enjoyable way to burn calories, increase muscle mass (which in turn burns more calories) and enhance stretching, which is important for keeping joints limber and preventing injury. If yoga classes seem too intimidating, read up on the practice of yoga and begin doing poses on your own. You may consider renting or buying a yoga DVD as well. Then, once you feel comfortable, look around for a yoga studio in your area. You are sure to feel the benefits – both physical and mental – that yoga provides.
Dr. Weil typically recommends that a person new to yoga splurge on a one-to-one session with a yoga therapist to better identify goals and limitations; then you can enter a class and know which postures you should avoid.