Exercise! - Yoga for fat people?

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09-03-2010, 09:39 PM
I really want to do yoga...but I just can't. :(

Is there something wrong with me? I'm not flexible enough, and I don't have the strength to balance all of my weight on just one or two limbs.

Are fat people supposed to be able to do yoga?

09-03-2010, 10:09 PM
You aren't supposed to start off being able to do the poses. And some people never get into the "full" expression of a pose.

yes, fat people can do yoga. There is a fat woman in my yoga class (in addition to me) and she floats in the poses. After I was next to her in class I stopped thinking that I couldn't do yoga because I was fat.

Just go to class. Find a beginner class. Do what you can do. Most teachers will show you how to modify the poses with blocks or straps.

And there are DVDs about Yoga for Every Size or Yoga For Every Body. Something like that. But a class would be best.

09-04-2010, 12:45 AM
I have a DVD called Heavyweight Yoga by Abby Lentz.

09-04-2010, 01:59 AM
I love yoga! However, because I pushed myself too fast, I hurt my knees doing it. Also,with some of the poses where you bend over, I was told by my doctor that this can aggravate acid reflux.

What I have learned is to modify my yoga routine to fit my body. Yoga is a practice that evolves over time. So start with a routine that is comfortable for you and modify it as you gain flexibility and balance. If you take a class, don't try to keep up with the others and don't stress over not being able to do certain poses. It's important to just focus on yourself - your breathing, your own movement and quieting your mind. The rewards of doing yoga just for yourself really are amazing.

Many women in my yoga class are half my age and half my weight. They can twist themselves into pretzels and stand on their heads! If I need to close my eyes during a pose in order to focus on my own routine, that's what I do. I also modify some poses that I don't feel comfortable doing in class, even if everyone else is doing it the way the instructor says.

Please keep posting and let us know how you are doing. Good luck!

Thank you, caryesings and seagirl for suggesting the DVDs!

09-04-2010, 01:04 PM
I saw your post & it rang a bell. I was looking on the Internet for "yoga for fat people" because I'd like to try yoga but am afraid it will worsen my problems with my joints. I found an article in The New York Times but will not post the link here. If you search on The New York Times website for the title of the article ("Striking a Pose for Girth") you will find it. It is VERY interesting. It makes me wonder if there are classes like this one all over the country. Good luck.

09-04-2010, 04:51 PM
There are a lot of books and videos for modified yoga (with either overweight, or arthritis in mind).

I used to have a list, but I've lost it. I just went to amazon.com and was able to find several (it's how I compiled the first list). I just quickly found 8 - but there are a lot more. If you look in amazon's listings for the ones below, you'll find more titles in the Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought list (about half-way down the screen).

Mega Yoga (a book on plus-size yoga)

Yoga for the rest of us (several videos) by Peggy Cappy

Heavyweight Yoga: Yoga for the body you have today by Abby Lentz

HeavyWeight Yoga 2: Change the Image of Yoga ~ Abby Lentz

Yoga for Inflexible People, Judi Rice

Essential Yoga For Inflexible People Starring Maggie Rhoades

Yoga for every body

Big Yoga: A Simple Guide for Bigger Bodies by Meera Patricia Kerr

Big Yoga Beginners Hatha 1 DVD ~ Meera Patriciai Kerr

09-04-2010, 10:47 PM
Ya know, weight is only a limiting factor if your size literally becomes inhibiting (as in you can only bend so far before the old gut gets in the way for example). Being fit, flexible and strong happens at a lot of different sizes. I've known a lot of skinny little gals who couldn't keep up with me, I've been fat for a while now but I've always been active. At 217 I'm jogging 3 miles, doing 60 min of interval training, yoga, swimming, hiking, etc and I feel great doing it. I'm so flexible my chiropractor complains because sometimes I just flex instead of 'pop'. All to say I'm not special, I'm just able and so are you. The deal is anything new takes both practice and the building of new muscle and in the case of yoga and anything involving flexibility.... stretching! Your limitations aren't due to weight (or at least not weight alone) they're simply the result of making your body do something new and that happens to people at all weights. The more you do something the better you'll get as your body gets stronger and stronger.

Curiously Joyful
09-05-2010, 12:11 AM
Yes! Fat chicks can do yoga, too! I was a healthy 165 pounds when I started doing yoga, and 210 pounds when I became a certified yoga instructor five years and 2 more kids later. Now another 5 years later at almost 300 pounds, I still do some yoga, although my practice has changed significantly. It can be done...be patient with yourself, don't compare yourself to anyone else, and don't be shy about using modifications.

09-05-2010, 09:43 AM
Thanks for the info and suggestions everyone. :) Maybe the DVD I'm using is just too difficult? I'll look into some of the DVDs that were mentioned here.

09-05-2010, 10:06 AM
In my experience, yoga was one of the most accepting and fat friendly environments. I talked to the instructors before I began and they were sweet and gentle. I stayed away from a few of the afternoon classes, because that was were the hyper advanced, super fit people showed up in barely anything and stood on their head. While the advice to concentrate on yourself was very mature, I was caught up in wondering how the super tiny Lululemon stayed on :) The instructors always walked around and gave discrete words of encouragement or helped with modifications if I needed them.
Try it out- it is really satisfying and thoughtful.

09-05-2010, 06:13 PM
Yes, go for it! I started yoga after experiencing back pain from running but it is an awesome way to get into shape.
I was a little nervous about it too because I felt fat and clumsy but I googled some basic poses (you don't need to go out and buy a DVD every time) and worked it up from there. A week or two later, I felt confident enough to go to a yoga class. The balancing is tough sometimes (the dancer pose kills me) but it isn't about weight, it's about the ability to carry yourself.
Good luck!

09-05-2010, 11:53 PM
I do yoga on my wii fit and I love it. None of the poses are too hard and I love the feedback the balance board gives me. I suck at half and I'm pretty good at half. Once I am good at all I think I will 'graduate' on to some videos.