How to Start Yoga When You're Bigger Bodied
Starting a yoga practice can be intimidating for anyone - you're ready to enjoy the benefits of yoga, but how do you jump into actually doing it? Yoga studios can seem like private clubs where you need to know the secret handshake and password before you can join.
Add to this the popular image of the yogi: young, lithe, and twisted like a sticky spandex pretzel. What if this image looks little like you? If you have a larger body, overcoming the mental and physical obstacles to trying yoga for the first time can be even more challenging.
Why do yoga?
Any physical activity will improve your mobility and your overall health. Doing yoga reduces stress, improves flexibility, and increases muscle tone and strength. People with larger bodies often have joint pain problems; Yoga can help by improving the alignment of the body to reduce stress on the joints, allowing the structure to support more of the body weight.
Yoga also develops balance, which helps you feel grounded and increases longevity. Yoga helps bring the mind-body connection to the fore, which can improve self-image and body acceptance. More importantly, yoga can help you feel better by improving your fitness and elevating your mood.
How to start doing yoga
The best way to learn yoga is with a qualified teacher in a yoga class. Specialized classes for older students are becoming more popular, but they can't be found everywhere. As the yoga establishment recognizes a need, more teachers are being trained in adaptations for older students.
If you're not ready for a group class, consider booking some private yoga sessions. This can be a great way to learn basic poses and gain the confidence to use props effectively before joining group practice. Becoming an expert in yoga is the best way to make sure you feel at ease.
If these options are not available to you, you will probably have the most positive experience of your first yoga classes in a light Hatha practice for beginners. Kripalu, Viniyoga, and Integral are also good options, if available, because teachers are trained to work with different abilities and body types. The yoga chair is also a possibility for people with reduced mobility.
Abby Lentz, founder of Heavyweight Yoga in Austin, Texas, suggests speaking with the teacher before her first yoga class to make sure she is comfortable and that the teacher is prepared to offer modifications and accessories as needed.
Accessories will be your best yoga friends. Wearing them does not mean that you are inferior. That means you are smart. If you try an unfriendly type of yoga, find another class. The same goes for any teacher who advises against the use of accessories.
Yoga and slimming
To lose weight, you must limit your caloric intake and, at the same time, exercise regularly that will increase your heart rate.
If weight loss is your main goal, there are more effective methods than yoga. With that said, yoga is a wonderful way to increase inner peace and self-esteem as you embark on a journey to your best self (whatever size you feel healthiest at).
We hope you enjoy watching this video about Yoga for Bigger Bodies
Source: The Yoga Room (Round Rock, TX)
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