“Can overweight folks do yoga? It seems to be for the thin and flexible.”
In one form or another, the sentiment above is one of the most common ones expressed to me ever since I started doing yoga.
And I simply cannot say it enough: YOGA IS FOR EVERY BODY.
Repeat after me: YOGA IS FOR EVERY BODY.
It doesn’t matter whether you can touch your toes or even see them. It does not matter how old you are. It does not matter if you are pregnant or not. It does not matter if you are tall or short. Everyone can practice yoga – regardless of shape or size or gender or religious belief.
As an overweight person will there be poses you can’t do or have more difficulty doing? Yes, of course! There are poses I can’t do simply because my arms are short. That doesn’t mean I can’t or shouldn’t do yoga – only that modifications have to be made. [Note: My friends and I joke about “death by boobs” in certain poses (looking at you, HALASANA aka Plow Pose).] We are all so anatomically varied that yoga poses are expressed differently by every body. It’s not wrong – just different.
Fortunately, teachers are trained and prepared to teach yoga to students of all shapes, sizes, and differing levels of ability. So that should not be an issue when you walk into a yoga class. I won’t pretend that every yoga class is a judgment-free haven – I have heard horror stories. But rest assured, those classes do exist and it’s important to keep looking until you find a class you can comfortably practice in. Why? Because yoga is good for you and if you enjoy it, nothing should stop you from practicing – especially a misperception of WHO should/can do yoga.
If it helps, there are many plus-sized yoga classes in the DC Metro Area. Find and take the class where you will feel the most secure and at ease. If you would like to see a class like that at Third Space Wellness, please let us know at email@example.com.
The good news is that yoga has become incredibly popular in the United States so there are more options in the types of yoga you can take. So don’t feel discouraged. There is a yoga home for every person.
However, if you are still intimidated to jump into a class, start with a one-on-one session with a yoga teacher. That way you can address specific issues you would like to deal with, ask many questions, and work at your own pace. This is one of the reasons we offer these sessions at Third Space. You can send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information.
Now go out there and do some yoga!