The Do’s and Don’ts When Teaching Yoga for Bigger Bodies

In the world of yoga, the word “excess” is a term that is still widely used today, and for good reason. “Bigger bodies” in yoga are synonymous with the word “excess”, which can also be used to describe other things, like weight, calories, or anything added to the body that isn’t natural. Much of the time it’s a good thing to be “bigger”, but yoga is about being “small” rather than “big” and should be an opportunity for us to reimagine what it means to be a body that is both strong and beautiful.

Yoga is an amazing way to shape the body, increase your flexibility and strength, and calm the mind. However, if you are looking to gain weight and muscle mass, then you need to learn how to teach it properly.

Yoga is an excellent way to get in shape, but there are often more important things to consider than getting an extra six pack. Yoga is a very sensitive movement practice that can be used to help people with emotional issues, rather than just physical ones. This is why it’s important to remember the reasons why people practice yoga.. Read more about moderate yoga for bigger bodies and let us know what you think.

Yoga asana, or physical posture practice, is both difficult and gratifying. Yoga asana, on the other hand, may be frightening and restrictive for many full-bodied practitioners like me.

Even though I’ve been practicing yoga for more than 40 years and teaching for almost two decades, I still get nervous when I first go into a public yoga session. New teachers who don’t know how to deal with a body that looks like mine often stare at me with judgment, fear, and anger.

But what if we created yoga places that were more welcoming and accessible? How can we make our public yoga sessions accessible to people of all shapes, sizes, and abilities?

In the yoga community, there is a lot of body shaming.

Body shaming has clearly made its way onto our yoga mats. The beauty, diet, and fitness industries are all engaged in convincing us that we aren’t good enough the way we are and that we need to alter our bodies in order to be accepted. Yoga, on the other hand, teaches us that we are fine exactly the way we are.

Ahimsa, which means “do no damage,” is one of the fundamental principles of yoga. We must avoid passing judgment in order to incorporate the ideals of ahimsa in our conduct. Fatphobia and preconceived ideas about bodies other than our own have a negative impact on our ability to practice ahimsa on our mats. It’s critical that we leave our judgements at the door when we arrive at our mats.

Our yoga practices should promote inner self-reflection rather than external self-hatred.

Through an embodied spiritual connection and personal development, yoga teaches us oneness. Yoga provides a path to deeper knowledge, allowing us to love mankind and our own skin at the same time. External diet and fitness culture norms and practices may stymie our progress on the road to self-love.

We further limit the ability to promote self-love in people who need it the most when we remove non-conforming bodies from this practice.

Do’s and Don’ts of Teaching Yoga to People with Larger Bodies

Big and plentiful bodies are capable of a wide range of activities, so it’s essential not to make assumptions about what they can or can’t accomplish on the mat. When I arrive at a yoga session, I am often encouraged to “do what I can” and that “there’s always Child’s pose!”

These phrases are code meaning “I have no idea how to deal with your body type or special talents, and I don’t want to be bothered or change my class to suit you.” Teachers may learn how to make yoga poses more accessible with further training in programs like Yoga for All and Accessible Yoga. We may begin to encourage all individuals to explore the ideas of self-love within the framework of yoga by modifying asana in more accessible and inclusive ways.

Are you ready to make your yoga sessions more inclusive of people of all shapes, sizes, and abilities? The Do’s and Don’ts of Accessible Yoga Practices are listed below.

DON’T ASSUME that able-bodied practitioners need or want your assistance.

Inquire about how you can best serve your pupils, and then make them know that you are ready to assist them if and when they need it. Abundant bodies may be fit and flexible without the need for extra assistance from their teachers.


On their mats, some students may feel frightened or self-conscious. They may get irritated if you draw attention to them. Although private personal words of encouragement may be beneficial, singling out individuals and cheering them on can be humiliating.

DO NOT provide diet advice or share weight-loss success tales from yoga.

Some individuals, believe it or not, are not attempting to lose weight. Our yoga mats and yoga courses should give us serenity and acceptance, since pop culture already bombards us with diet and weight reduction advice. On the mat, a harmful diet culture has no place. Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is to mind your own business.

Here are some items I recommend:

Props should be normalized.

Even if they don’t need one, make sure everyone in the class has a prop. Provide asana alternatives with and without props so that students may tailor their practices to their own requirements.

Teach in a gradual manner.

Allow students to experiment with alternative postures (modifications, props, etc.) and encourage them to attempt different phases of asana.

DO utilize affirmative language and affirmative statements.

Instead of stating “If you can’t…” or “I invite you to try…” while making changes and alterations, say “If you can…” or “I welcome you to try…”

DO keep in mind that this is an open-ended exercise.

Introduce yourself to your pupils with a smile and a “please.” Reassure your pupils that you’re there to assist them and that enrolling in your class was a wise choice. Let them know it’s OK to have a good time while exercising their bodies and breathing deeply. Allow your pupils to take their time, opt out of postures that are uncomfortable, try other choices, and seek assistance as needed.

Yoga provides us with a way to get a better knowledge of ourselves and others. Patience, compassion, contemplation, and connection are all required on this journey. It all begins with teachers and communities that are willing to serve one another in a manner that promotes inclusion and togetherness. After all, yoga is all about bringing people together.

I will be teaching yoga for everyone and for everyone, I always recommend and suggest (because I am always in my own way) you to take the yoga mat and move from your 200 pound weight to 300 pound weight. I have been teaching yoga for 15 years and I have always made people think that I am an expert, but I am not an expert. I have been an apprentice for a very long time. I have my master’s degree and a Ph.D. I have been teaching yoga for 15 years and it has nothing to do with my education. I have been an apprentice for a very long time.. Read more about yoga for round bodies and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I teach yoga to big bodies?

Yoga is a practice that can be done by anyone, regardless of size. It is important to make sure you are in good physical condition before beginning yoga, as it will help you maintain the poses and avoid injury.

What should you not do in a yoga class?

Do not do anything that is not explicitly stated in the yoga class.

Can yoga instructors be fat?

Yes, yoga instructors can be fat.

Related Tags

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • yoga for fat people
  • yoga for bigger bodies
  • modified yoga poses for overweight
  • fat yoga teacher training
  • yoga for beginners