Yoga Tips for Plus Sized Beginners

Getting Started

So you want to try your hand at yoga but don't know where to start? Look no further! Here is a quick general guide to get you moving in the right direction!  

1) Purchase a Yoga mat that fits your needs. There is a plethora of options out there so choose wisely. A “good” yoga mat doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive, although it can be. The most important thing is that it fits your specific needs!  For example, yoga mats constructed of TVE materials are considered to be of better quality than the cheaper (and thinner) EVA or PVC versions, but you may just prefer the feel of a cheaper mat. There are eco-friendly ones for conscientious yogis and latex-free options for those who have allergies to the common rubber-based mats. For some, a texturized mat is where they find their happy place. These are just a few of the options you'll find when you're searching for your perfect yoga mat!

2) Find your space! You won't just require a quiet spot for you to get your yoga on, but also a quiet time. Yoga is a relaxing series of movements which take concentration and dedication so be sure that you won’t be interrupted. Pick your happy place and demand that you get your quiet time if you live with others. Starting out, even just ten minutes can make you feel the wonders of yoga! If it is hard to chisel out 10 minutes in the middle of your day consider doing it A) as soon as you wake up B) in your bedroom right before your shower or C) before bed once your house has calmed down. Your health is important, so find the time to really focus on it!

3) Review your workout fully before proceeding. Whatever form your workout comes in it is important to understand what you'll be doing before you begin. YouTube has many great teachers of yoga to check out, and it is free. Maybe you've rented a video or bought a book to help get your workout going. Whatever the case may be, check out the workout and make sure you’re confident in your ability to complete it before you begin. Nothing is worse than the frustration of playing catch-up to the guru when you’re trying to keep up during a follow along video! Some yoga poses will be beyond your ability level in the beginning and some will make you feel right at home. It is important to find a workout which will challenge you without alienating you once it gets going. There are so many yoga movements which can be modified for different fitness levels, so get to know the modifications before the workout. For example, you can use chairs or hand bricks to steady yourself when switching to or holding positions which focus on balance. You’ll want to know when you’ll need these nearby to complete a pose.

4) Go for it! Do a yoga workout! Even if it is ten minutes every other day for a week, you will feel the difference in your body quickly. A great way to start out is by doing limbering exercises to relax the body. After that, you may want to add a 10 minute session of basic sequenced poses which challenge you. Remember, you don’t have to be an expert in yoga to practice it. With the information highway at your fingertips you have an endless supply of yoga possibilities. As you will find, there is no perfect sequence. Yoga is easily personalized which is perfect for building strength and confidence. Here are some of my favorite positions for plus sized yoga.

  1. Mountain Pose
  2. Halfway Lift
  3. Forward Fold
  4. Down Dog
  5. Plank
  6. Up Dog
  7. Crescent Moon
  8. Warrior 2

In my personal experience these are moves which are possible for a plus sized yogi to complete without much prior knowledge. Depending on your fitness level and body type, you may choose to do some, none, or all of these within your workout. The true key go to yoga for the beginner is to go into your workout with confidence and knowledge that you CAN do it at any size. Maybe you’ll need modifications to begin with, but if you stick with it, you’ll soon be Downward Doggin’ like a pro!