Yoga is a relatively easy body-mind practice to start for those of any age. Yoga can be as simple as stretching and breathing on your mat, or it may also require more than that: studies have shown that yoga can help alleviate many health issues such as high blood pressure and anxiety disorders. Regardless of which type you prefer, there are some benefits to starting out with the basics before diving into deeper practices like Ashtanga yoga
Yoga is a great way to get in shape. It’s also a great way to relieve stress and increase mobility. However, if you’re overweight it can be difficult to start yoga. Here are some tips for beginners who want to start yoga but are overweight.
True, yoga is still mostly a white, slender, and body-abled practice. However, the days of these being regarded requirements for beginning yoga are long gone.
Jessamyn Stanley, Dianne Bondy, and Anna Guest-Jelley are just a few of the inspiring social activists who fight to promote body positivity and self-acceptance while also working to make yoga more accessible to everyone.
This essay is for you if you’re a larger-bodied person who wants to start practicing yoga but doesn’t know where to begin.
Continue reading to discover:
- Why is yoga so beneficial to plus-size people?
- In four simple steps, learn how to begin yoga if you’re overweight.
- things you’ll need for a relaxing yoga session
- Yoga alignment recommendations that will help you make your yoga practice work for you.
Is Yoga Beneficial for Overweight People?
Yes! Yoga is a great low-impact activity for persons who are overweight and find typical strength and aerobic routines difficult. Yoga is also beneficial to your brain, mental health, and body image (Check out the whole list of yoga benefits here).
The greatest aspect is that there are so many different styles of yoga that everyone can find one that suits them. Yoga styles include Vinyasa, Iyengar, Ashtanga, Jivamukti, Power Yoga, and Yin Yoga, to name a few. Some are more physically demanding or flexible, while others are more soothing and spiritual.
If you’re overweight, yoga may help you control or minimize the risk of certain health disorders that might arise as a consequence of being overweight. These are some of the conditions:
- diabetes type 2
- illness of the heart
- body aches and pains
Yoga may also help you lose weight if that is your objective. Yoga courses may help you not only become more active throughout the week, but they can also help you handle stresses that can lead to overeating and binge eating.
Even if you just practice for an hour or two a week, you will enjoy several advantages in the long run. The more you move and practice yoga, the more you will get the advantages.
Yoga is suitable for all types of people. You can perform yoga no matter who you are, what you look like, or what your talents are.
Can People Who Are Overweight Practice Hot Yoga?
Bikram yoga and hot yoga are two styles of yoga that are done in a heated environment. It’s a physically demanding yoga technique that will help you burn calories and increase flexibility. Many overweight yogis have found success in incorporating hot yoga into their fitness and weight reduction routines. Even yet, exercising in extreme heat may be dangerous, particularly if you have high blood pressure.
Talk to your doctor about whether or not a hot yoga session is good for you, and take additional steps to avoid dehydration during the class.
If you’re feeling sick, dizzy, or cramping, take regular pauses or leave the room.
4 Steps To Getting Started With Yoga If You’re Overweight
Set aside time to practice
START if you want to begin practicing yoga. This may seem corny, but it’s true.
Include your yoga practice in your to-do list, phone reminders, or Google Calendar – whichever method you choose to organize your schedule. Make a detailed plan for how much time you want to devote to your yoga practice.
There are no time limits on how long you may practice yoga. You may start with as little as 10 minutes and work your way up, modifying the duration to fit your requirements.
The appropriate yoga gear and props can set you up for success whether you start yoga at home or attend a group session.
Props are clever yoga gadgets that allow you to make postures work for you rather than forcing your body into them. Whether you’re a plus-sized yogi, a newbie, or a slender seasoned practitioner, these fundamental yoga props will come in useful.
- Mat for yoga. Although a yoga mat is not required for beginners, it will make your practice more pleasant and safe. There are several yoga mats available. If you’re not sure where to begin, check out our comprehensive guide on selecting a yoga mat. Personal choice dictates the sort of mat you choose, as well as the material and thickness. If you’ve never exercised before, I recommend beginning with a thicker 14-inch yoga mat to give your curvaceous body more padding.
- Blocks for yoga. Blocks will assist you in bringing the floor closer to you, making some positions easier to achieve. Foam, cork, and hardwood blocks are the three varieties of blocks available. Any form of block will suffice to begin your yoga practice, although I like cork blocks. They are more stable than foam blocks and less robust than wooden blocks (therefore more comfy). Check out these helpful articles on how to choose yoga blocks and how to utilize them in basic yoga postures.
- Strap. Your arms will be able to reach farther with the aid of the yoga belt. It’s beneficial for increasing range of motion and releasing tension. There are a variety of lengths to pick from (see how to choose a strap here), but I recommend an 8-10ft strap since it is more utilitarian. Also, the longer the strap, the taller you are. Blanket for yoga. Yoga blankets are just thick, adorable towels. They contribute to the comfort of your asana practice by providing an additional cushion. Here’s how to choose a nice yoga blanket.
- Chair. In your yoga practice, you may need the help of a chair at times. For your practice, use a solid chair without wheels. You may even invest in a yoga chair that is particularly intended for yoga if you’re willing to pay.
- Yoga clothing for those who are overweight. Are you unsure what to wear to yoga if you’re overweight? When it comes to yoga gear, comfort and ease of movement are paramount.
I recommend wearing tight-fitting yoga trousers or shorts. However, as long as the bottoms are cuffed, stretchy wide-leg trousers or joggers would suffice. You won’t have to adjust your bottoms every time you move your legs up this way.
Female yogis should also ensure that their sports bra is supportive and does not chafe. Pair your sports bra with a flowing shirt for more coverage.
Choose a form-fitting shirt or tank top that won’t ride up in Downward Facing Dog and Standing Folds if you’re a male yogi.
Pay special attention to the material of your garments if you’re an enormous yogi going to hot yoga. Wearing 100% cotton yoga shirts and bottoms is not recommended since they will absorb perspiration and become heavy. A technical moisture-wicking fabric will keep you dry while also assisting your body in cooling down. When things get hot and sticky, a hot yoga towel may help preserve your mat from perspiration and provide additional traction.
Plus-size yoga clothing is available from a variety of manufacturers. Girlfriend Collective, Athleta, Lululemon, and Fabletics have all made plus-size yoga gear recommendations.
Compressive High-Rise Leggings by Girlfriend Collective
Plum Dylan Tank Bra by Girlfriend Collective
CLOUDLIGHT MUSCLE TANK by Athleta
SALUTATION TEXTURED JOGGER by Athleta
LULULEMON ALIGNTM HIGH-RISE PANT WITH POCKETS 25″ LULULEMON ALIGNTM HIGH-RISE PANT WITH POCKETS 25″
Nulu by Lululemon Cool Racerback Tank Top
Laila Wrap Top by Fabletics
Make Your Own Yoga Routine
Now it’s time to put your skills to the test!
Learn the fundamentals of yoga postures and breathing (you can check out the must-know yoga poses here).
Here are some beginner-friendly yoga positions to attempt if you’re overweight:
- Pose of a mountain (Tadasana)
- Pose of a tree (Vrikshasana)
- Downward Dog is a variation of Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
- Easy Pose in a Seated Position (Sukhasana)
- Cat vs. Cow (Chakravakasana)
- Baby is doing well (Ananda Balasana)
- Hand to Big Toe Reclining (Supta Padangusthasana)
- cadaver (Savasana)
Make your yoga practice unique to you. Your yoga practice should provide you both enjoyment and relief. Rather than adding to your mental or physical stress, it should be the time you set apart for yourself to let go of anxieties.
This implies you don’t have to do starting postures just because someone told you to or all of the yoga poses you’ve mastered. If you feel like you’re pushing your body into an asana, it’s probably not going to help you. Plus, with a little experience and trying, you’ll most likely discover a more comfortable option.
Keep an open mind.
Curiosity is what allows us to develop and flourish as people. It’s also what allows us to go deeper into our yoga practice and get the most benefits from it.
If you’re new to yoga, start by being interested while on your mat. In each posture, ask yourself questions about how your body is feeling and what it requires.
While on the mat, Anna Guest-Jelley, author of Curvy Yoga, advises asking oneself the following questions:
- What’s going on with my foot (or any other body component, possibly one that you don’t always notice or that is a focal point of the pose)?
- I’m not sure how I’m breathing here.
- What might I do to increase my level of comfort by 10%?
- What can I do to stabilize, lengthen, or strengthen (depending on the pose)?
- Where can I unwind?
- What narrative am I now telling myself about my body? What about this stance?
- What does my body need right now? What can I do to accommodate that demand?
- What does my body want right now? What can I do to fulfill that desire?
For Overweight People, Here Are Four Important Yoga Tips
All yogis, whether overweight or not, have the same underlying posture in yoga positions. Don’t be afraid to “bend the rules” in order to make asana practice more comfortable for you.
You will discover the tweaks that work best for your body with time and practice. However, there are four key yoga guidelines to help you get started with yoga as quickly as possible.
- Keep your feet as wide as possible. Traditionally, several yoga positions, such as Mountain and Chair, are taught with the feet together. While it may help for some overweight individuals, widening your stance will undoubtedly make you feel more solid and balanced. Standing forward folds that compress the belly are likewise more accessible and pleasant when your feet are broader. Stepping from Downward Facing Dog follows the similar concept. To create room for your belly, step outside your hand rather than attempting to bring your knee toward your chest and stepping in between your hands.
- Adjust the location of your belly button. If you can’t get into a side bend because your tummy feels constricted, try moving it to the center first and then into the pose. You might also try repositioning your belly in front folds to see what happens. Before folding, you may elevate your tummy off your hips or gently push it into your body.
- For upside-down positions, wrap a strap across your chest. If you’re having trouble practicing Bridge because your chest is choking you, consider securing the additional skin with a strap. Find a strap that wraps over your shoulder blades and grab the ends with your hands.
- Play about with the alignment. Don’t be afraid to try different yoga postures to see what works best for you. Try performing Savasana on your side rather than your back, for example. In balancing positions and head down poses like Downward Facing Dog, use a wall. If you’re having trouble with the kneeling positions, try sitting variants.
If you’re overweight, you may have a hard time finding a yoga class that will teach you properly. Luckily there are online videos and classes to help. Reference: fat girl yoga online.