Think yoga is only for no-meat-eating skinny women who look like they’ve never seen fried chicken in years? Think again. The number of those who are bigger than the norm and practice yoga is growing. With yoga studios popping up all over the country that cater specifically to plus size, it’s a growing business. Which is great, considering yoga has so many health benefits. But, plus-sized yogis face unique challenges when starting a yoga practice. Here, some plus-sized women and men share their experiences practicing yoga:
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How To Start Yoga If You’re Plus Size
1. Don’t let your size hold you back from doing challenging poses. It’s a mistake to automatically assume that you cannot do certain poses because of your size and as a result, not even attempt them. I’ve had some very large students who did amazing inversions and other advanced poses. As previously mentioned, most poses can be modified for almost any body.
2. Find an instructor you feel comfortable with. While you can learn yoga at home through webcasts, books and DVDs, I tend to think an instructor is essential because s/he can correctly show you how to achieve proper alignment as well as how to correctly use props and modify.
3. Focus on what you can do versus what everybody else can do. You are your own person. Nobody can be you and you shouldn’t try to be anyone else either. Do your poses the best way possible. And if you have a good instructor, he/she will tell you the same thing. It’s in the movement, not in being perfect.
“The first class I went to I felt judged and out of place; I was even told I did not “fit”… then I found a class where I was impressed at the difference I felt in my body in just the first week. My flexibility, core strength and balance have all improved steadily. The instructor provides individual attention and modifies poses to make sure each participant is comfortable and able to perform the poses safely. All sizes and ages are welcome; I feel at ease having an instructor who meets us where we are and builds from there based on individual needs. Try classes that offer one on one, if you need to build up confidence before joining a group. I almost forget I am “plus size” and I should mention I have lost 13 pounds in 3 months since starting the class.”