How Can Overweight People Practice Yoga?

Yes, overweight people can benefit by doing yoga.

Yoga Fitness Tips for Overweight People

The great thing about yoga is it can be practiced by anyone – even if you are overweight. Yes, all the photos you see of people doing yoga are thin, fit and trim, but that for the most part is a marketing hype to sell yoga products and clothes because thin sells. However, there are stylish yet functional yoga clothes for the 36% of the people obese; sometimes you just have to look harder and do more research to find them.

Once you have the clothes you’re going to where and your mat, it’s time to join a class. The hardest part will be walking into the class for the first time. Yes, you might be the only overweight person there, but you should stand proud that you’re taking action and are at least willing to give it a try. The only one that will hold you back from doing yoga is you. The rest of your classmates could care less how you look as all of you are there for the same reason – to reap the benefits – like improved fitness, greater flexibility, reduced blood pressure, less stress, and yes weight loss and an improved self-image.

Best Type of Yoga for Overweight People

There are many different types of yoga. Because plus-size yogis may not be able to do many of the poses, or they may have to modify how they do some postures, one type of yoga is better suited for them – Iyengar. Lyengar yoga uses props like blankets, blocks, straps, harnesses and incline boards. These props make it easier to do some poses.

Helpful Tips for the Overweight Yogi

As a plus-size person, these tips will help you get the most out of yoga:

Create a good stable base. Spread your feet until they are a comfortable distance apart. While many of the standing poses recommend shoulder-width apart, if it is more stable for you to go wider, then do so.

Make yourself comfortable. You know your body better than anyone, so if a body part gets in the way while doing a pose, move it out of the way.

Use props. While you may not be able to touch your hands to your toes when doing the Standing Half Forward Bend pose, you can use a yoga strap and do the pose the modified way. If you have not used props before, ask your instructor to show you the best way to use the ones you need.

Learn to love yourself. Many overweight people have a low self-esteem. Because yoga is non-competitive, use it as an opportunity to connect with just yourself – body, mind and soul. Not only will you reap the physical benefits of yoga, but you’ll find peace with yourself and learn to accept yourself for who you are – you.

In most classes, you’ll find your classmates don’t care who you are, what you look like, or if you can’t do certain poses. All of you are there for the same thing – yoga. The only person holding you back is you. Find a class and get with it!