Overweight? How To Survive Your First Yoga Class

While the politically correct term for the ‘F-word’ might be big-boned, cuddly or fluffy, there’s no hiding that even beginner yoga positions can cause extreme embarrassment and frustration for people who are overweight. It’s fine to be both fat and fit, and there’s no need to shy away from yoga studios. Here’s how to get through your first yoga class in a larger body!

Why Yoga?


The average adult should get at least two-and-half-hours of moderate to intense aerobic exercise every week and yoga is the perfect way to achieve this. The hardest part of yoga is simply walking through the classroom door; you may feel dissuaded by how other people look. This is such a shame as if fact, yoga is perfect for larger people as it’s about being positive and connecting your mind with your body. It’s not about perfection or being competitive, so stop worrying about how slim other people are. Yoga is the perfect way to increase your self-esteem, so find a great center with qualified instructors and take the plunge!

The Perfect Attire

You just have to do a little Google searching to see all the anti-fat comments about what overweight girls should and shouldn’t wear. You’ve got to fight against these stereotypes but also acknowledge that you need to dress comfortably. Loose-fitting baggy T-shirts are fine as they give you the best range of motion. Cotton leggings are a good option as they let you complete moves more easily.

It’s Not About Flexibility Thing


It can be terribly awkward if your yoga teacher tried to make you adopt positions that you aren’t capable of – they simply have no idea what it’s like to have parts ‘getting in the way’ and cramping your style! What’s holding you back isn’t a lack of flexibility and you simply need to find an understanding, qualified yoga instructor who is competent at working with people of all body types and shapes. It’s great to get a personal recommendation or search online for specific plus-size classes. Find the right class and you’ll be laughing and getting your sweat on along with everyone else!

Adapt The Compact Moves

Even if you join a plus-size class, you may need to give yourself more time than others in the class to move between poses but that doesn’t mean that you have to sit them out! With many standing postures, whenever the instructor asks you to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, simply widen your stance and you’ll be more able to complete some of the pose. When you are larger, standing with your feet wider increases your stability and makes balance less of an issue. A qualified instructor will be able to guide you.

Use Yoga Straps


If any poses that require you to touch your toes, simply use yoga straps instead of sitting the pose out. It’s far more beneficial to do what you can, instead of dwelling on your body’s limitations. Thin people might not know what it’s like to have a big fold of belly fat; you need to know your own body and move parts to help you complete the poses. Don’t feel embarrassed if you’re the only one with straps, just knuckle down and you’ll have a blast!

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