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Yoga and overweight?

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Old 02-16-2012, 12:36 PM   #1
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Question Yoga and overweight?

Hi everyone,

I'm considering taking yoga classes because my perception is that it is gentle exercise that might have stress relieving benefits.

However, I want to make sure that Yoga is actually what I think it is. I've read some on the internet, but am coming here for personal experiences and I have a few questions.

Can I learn to do yoga successfully if I'm overweight?
I have severe, chronic plantar fasciitis, can I still do yoga?
Aching joints are an issue for me, can yoga help with this or will it exacerbate the issue?
What do you like about doing yoga?
Any tips you might have? Anything I'm not thinking of?

Thanks so much for your replies! I know you guys give the best advice!
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:02 PM   #2
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Yoga is okay, but I heard Birkham (hot) yoga is really good for joint pains.
I know my hips hurt when I stretch and just doing three days straight of hot yoga I didn't feel that dreadful pain anymore when I did the stretching. It cleanses your body well from toxics because you sweat it out too. Hot yoga is also good if you arthritis, joint pain, constant headaches etc...I would look into that more than regular yoga. Also yes you can still do it when your over weight even if you can't touch your toes and aren't very flexible.
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:52 PM   #3
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Adding on to what MiZTaCCen said, there is Birkham Yoga which is the same poses each class and each class is 90 minutes long. However, there is also hot yoga. Hot yoga studios provide many different types of yoga in heated rooms. These sessions can be anywhere from 30 minutes to 90 minutes, but the average is about 65 I believe. I prefer hot yoga due to the different class lengths (sometimes you just can't commit to a 90 minute class), and I also prefer that there are different types of yoga and not just the same 26 poses each time. In most studios, I think the hot yoga temperatures run the same as they would at a Birkham studio
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:03 PM   #4
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I have heard yoga can be really good for the joints. If you really are struggling with achy and painful joints, swimming and swim aerobics are probably some of the best things for your joints!

In terms of stress, Yoga is a great way for people to reground themselves (it focuses on the mind body connection).

It doesn't really matter your weight, in the yoga classes at my gym there are people of all sizes who go. Some positions might be more difficult but there are always modifications that the instructors can help you with.

For me, yoga is a way to relax. It definitely works muscles that I don't really work while doing other exercises but, it is still a relaxing exercise.

I guess what I am trying to say is, Yoga is great but I really depends on what you are looking for. I don't think your weight or joints will be a problem BUT make sure you let the instructor know what joints ache prior to the class (if you are taking a class). That is important because the instructor will know what moves will exacerbate the joint pain and will be able to give you specific guidelines to modify so as not to further hurt yourself!

Good luck and if you decide to do Yoga, I really hope you enjoy it!!!!
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:42 PM   #5
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Hi Beth, you can definitely do yoga with the extra weight. Yoga increased body and breath awareness and is a great addition to your day. What types of yoga studios do you have around you? Your best bet is Iyengar -the classes are more static, teaching you proper alignment and Iyengar-certified teachers go through a rigorous training. Otherwise, look for Integral or Kripalu for a mindful practice that will be a great introduction into the practice. Check out their websites to get an idea of how they approach yoga. Start out with a more gentle approach - you're more likely to enjoy building up to a more rigorous practice - if you wish. Good Luck and Enjoy!
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Old 02-16-2012, 06:19 PM   #6
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You're smaller than I am and I do yoga and have been since I was 215. I am into power/ashtanga yoga because that's what's in the P90X program where I learned it but there are lots of yoga styles. I had chronic back pain prior to starting yoga and my back pain resolved itself because of the yoga. If I don't do it, my back pain comes back. If I do it, my back pain goes away.

I'd recommend researching different styles of yoga and pick a type that matches your workout style and goals and give it a shot. And if anything feels wrong, I don't think you should feel badly about modifying the move (perhaps by using something for support) or skipping it until you're ready for it.

Definitely get a mat and one or two yoga blocks. I use a belt for a strap to assist me on some of the stretches but they make straps just for yoga too.
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:00 PM   #7
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I started doing yoga on and off at my high weight. I carry most of my weight in my stomach, so there are a lot of poses I can't do fully because my belly is in the way. I just do the best I can. I also have plantar fasciitis - it hasn't been and issue. I have bad knees too - ACL surgery on 1 knee, and chondromalacia in the other.

I have the DVD's from Namaste Yoga - it used to be on FitTV. I think the narrator is very good at explaining what to do. I've been doing it 2-4 times a week since New Year, and I'm really enjoying it now. I just bought a Biggest Loser yoga DVD, but haven't tried it yet. I'm hoping that will be a little more intense for variety.

Definitely give it a try! Try a class, or maybe rent a video before you buy one.
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