You have heard and read all the stories about yoga and its benefits, but perhaps you are a little bigger than the yoga models you see. Unfortunately, all of the yoga advertisements use thin bodied individuals that do not really represent the large majority of yogis.
The fact is that no matter what size your body is, yoga is full of benefits for both the young and old alike. It has been shown to improve flexibility and balance, as well as increase strength and build stamina. In addition, many who have stress or anxiety disorders, have found that yoga helps to calm the “storm.”
Yes, yoga is a physical exercise, but one that becomes a lifestyle practice for many that begin. It allows you to not only train your body, but your mind as well. Yes, even for someone that is plus sized!
Many individuals that are plus sized, begin their exercise regimen with yoga, due to the fact that it is calming and easier to do than most traditional exercise. When you first begin, you may not be able to do every pose, but with some modifications you can participate fully. Before long, you will no longer need those modifications and will be feeling great.
Here are a few modifications, tips and tricks that you can try while you practice your yoga:
- Take it easy at first! Remember, poses don’t have to be perfect. Learn to listen to your body during each pose. If you feel that you need to modify the pose slightly to benefit you, do so. Most yoga teachers will show several variations of the pose so you can find the one that works best for you.
- Do a little research before choosing your yoga class and teacher. As mentioned before, the majority of yogis are not the toned, thinned models you see in advertisements, so don’t believe the hype! The normal yogi is an average sized person. There are many yoga studios that offer classes for beginners, plus sized individuals, and those that need a little extra encouragement. Find the class and teacher that makes you comfortable and is willing to work with you – it’s out there.
- It is ok if you need to skip a pose. Many have the false illusion that they must complete every pose to receive the benefits of yoga. This is simply not true. If you discover a pose that is uncomfortable for you, do another. Eventually, you will feel stronger and be able to complete that pose.
- Props are your best friend in yoga! Do not be afraid to use blocks, blankets, straps, and bolsters. If you cannot reach the floor while doing a standing pose, use a block to raise the floor to your level. If you are stretching and cannot reach your toes, use a strap to help you achieve the full stretch.
Yoga is for everyone. Do not shy away from a truly great experience because of your size. Embrace it and work with it. You will be so glad you did.
Please note: Always consult your physician before starting any new exercise routines that may conflict with existing health conditions
By Tammy Moorehead, CHHP for the 50 Plus Report