Yoga – its been around for yonks and hundreds of thousands of people swear by it, but the traditional image of a yogi is a skinny individual with minimal curves, so how does the plus size women start?
Starting a yoga practice is difficult for anyone, so how do you make the leap from talking about it to actually doing? Yoga studios can sometimes feel like a private club with different sounds, smells (the incense) and language (Sanskrit). Add the dimension that the yoga instructor seems to be able to kiss her bum with her own mouth and many women (plus size or not) shudder at the idea.
So what do you need to do to get past these “blockers” and begin your yoga journey?
1. Pick the right yoga teacher: Find a yoga instructor who is either plus size, curvy, or has years of experience to help provide variations on poses to get around the curves of your body. For example childs pose which is one of the foundation exercises in yoga to relax and stretch your spine can be difficult for those carrying love handles on their tummies. Finding a yoga teacher is like finding a therapist they need to “get” you.
2. Start the right yoga: Yoga involves a lot of generally slow rhythmic moves that work on breathing, strength and resistance work. There are forms of yoga like Bikram and Ashtanga that are fairly intense, so as a beginner stick to Hatha and slow Vinyasa styles until your fitness and flexibility have developed.
3. Get the right gear: Yoga doesn’t result in a lot of rubbing, so you won’t have to worry about chafing. However, as you are gene3rally trying to twist your body it is advisable to have fitted tops and bottoms (although less important for the bottoms). Yoga involves headstands and all sorts of weird and wonderful poses that mean at times you will be upside down so a tight fitting top works so you don’t have to worry about it falling down all the time. For some suggested styles, see our yoga clothing, yoga pants and yoga tops.
4. Commit and relax: Some people are blessed with a natural flexibility. Whether you are one of these people or not, the benefits of doing yoga are without question. So be patient and kind to yourself and make a commitment to yourself to keep at it. You won’t feel the benefits after one or two classes so commit to at least 12 weeks and make a decision afterwards.
See more on the benefits of yoga