Best Yoga Poses for plus size women
Following on from the great response we got from our previous article: “Yoga for plus size beginners” I thought I would put together some poses that are well suited to those carrying a bit of extra love :)
Firstly, as we have stressed before, finding the correct yoga teacher is like finding the right therapist – they have to “get” you AND they have to understand your body. Yoga teachers go through intensive training to learn about the human body and can guide you to ensure that the yoga poses are provided with variations to ensure you don’t hurt any existing aches, pains or injuries.
Whilst all poses require some form of variation for the beginner, if you are carrying extra love handles you are also carrying extra weight which puts pressure on your joints. It would then make sense for plus size women to, in the beginning at least, restrict yoga poses to those that give you enough support i.e.: standing poses where you have both legs on the ground and there is even distribution of weight or chair yoga poses or yoga poses on a mat.
As each body is so unique there is no set of “perfect” yoga poses for plus size women, but if I was a beginner I would go with the following poses (in the same order) as they are gentle, yet are challenging:
Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend Pose) : Sit on the ground with your legs forward and straight and slowly reach for your toes. This is a great stretch for your back and the behind side of your legs (ie your hamstrings, glutes and calves). Take it slow and breathe into the posture. ie Inhale and on a slow exhale slowly lean forwards. Do at least 10 slow breaths in this pose.
Adho Mukha Svanasana – (D
ownward facing Dog Pose) : Although a stretch again for the back of your body, downward facing dog eventually becomes a recovery / relaxing pose (hard to believe when you start out but trust me you get there if you persist). It also requires some arm strength and will build up your arms and back muscles. This position can be hard on your wrists so if you have weak wrists get wrist supports or bring a towel for extra padding to place under your hands. Do at least 10 slow breaths in this posture.
- Ardha bhujangasana (Sphinx pose) : This pose can be very challenging for those who sit for most of the day so ease into it gently. It's also super important for the same reason. Remember to let go of tightening your glutes and relax into the pose. The image to the right is an advanced variation, whereas beginners pshinx is to have your elbows touching the ground. Don't try to force anything. Remain in this pose for 5-10 slow breaths.
Marjaryasana - (Cat-Cow pose) : This is a counter pose to use after Sphinx pose (or other back bends). It's great to relax the spine and is a chance to easily engage your core muscles on the breathe out. The more you work your core, the better your posture will be and this can also relieve pain in your lower back. Do 3-4 cat-cow combinations to get your release.
If you are trying these at home remember it is ok to feel a stretch, but never force a stretch, especially in your hamstrings.
p.s: All models are dressed in Female For Life gear (obviously) :)