Is there such a thing as yoga for overweight beginners?

Obesity is a condition that is quite rampant across the globe. Many people are dealing with the issues of being overweight which mostly stemmed from an unhealthy lifestyle. In fact, according to a 2017 National Population Health Survey conducted in Singapore, 8.9% of adult Singaporeans aged 18 to 59 years old are experiencing the case of being of obesity. Due to this, various government agencies are implementing programs that promote engaging in physical activities, maintaining a healthy diet, and other means of combatting the condition of being overweight.

Is being overweight really that bad? Health-wise, yes! If you are obese and do not make an effort to eat nutritious foods and exercise regularly, you are more likely to develop serious health-related issues such as heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancers. It’s hard not to eat the things you love to eat, but if you really want to live a long, healthy, and happy life, it’s incredibly important for you to nourish your body. How do we do that?

Start by eating right, developing a sense of self-discipline, and working out! You may be too preoccupied with work or school to even think about adding exercise to your list of tasks to do each week. Or, it’s possible that you are way too exhausted or lazy to even lift a finger? Exercising is a great way to keep your body in shape and to get rid of all that excess fat and calories. There are so many types of workout to choose from, but how will you know which ones you should try out?

How about yoga?

Don’t sound so surprised! Yoga may seem different from other types of workouts such as Crossfit, aerobics, and others due to its more slow-paced and relaxing nature. Do not be deceived by yoga’s calm demeanor because it’s much more than that. The method of getting into various challenging positions to strengthen your body, increase its flexibility, and tone all your muscles is a great way to get you into the right shape. Furthermore, yoga is also a mentally and spiritually-healing form of workout. It will motivate you to live a better lifestyle and be more mindful of what you eat, thus already helping you resolve the issue of being overweight.

Just to be clear, all types of bodies are beautiful no matter what shape or size. However, we must always remember to take care of our physique in order for us to have more chances to enjoy the fruits of life.

Can you do yoga if you are overweight?

Is it really possible to practice yoga if you are overweight? Last time we checked, yoga involves doing a lot of complicated positions that deal with proper balance such as headstands and the tree pose. Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but you can do yoga even while overweight! Yoga is the most accessible and inclusive form of workout that is optimal for people of all ages, shapes, and sizes. Even if you are a plus size, you can definitely try joining a yoga class.

A thorough guide on how to do yoga for overweight beginners

A lot of people have been practicing yoga these days. It has been staying true to its reputation of being an effective personal form of workout. It surely provides the benefits that every individual needs when it comes to his physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. One positive effect of yoga, in particular, is its ability to contribute to weight loss. Yoga alone cannot help you burn fats and calories in a short span of time, but if you do practice it consistently along with other forms of physical activity and with a well-maintained balanced diet, it is going to be a powerful tool in your quest to weight loss.

However, yoga is a very broad type of workout. It has many types and variations so you have to carefully choose the best yoga classes for you. If you are ever feeling overwhelmed, you can always reach out to a yoga instructor for assistance. Also, we prepared some helpful factors to consider as you start your yoga journey. Check them out so you can begin your yoga practice smoothly and successfully.

Establish your intent and motivation

Joining a yoga class is not parallel to deciding to eat ice cream for a day. Engaging in yoga practice is a serious commitment that is usually pushed by an underlying intent. Do you want to get into yoga because you want to lose weight? Do you want to be in better shape? Do you want to reduce the stress and anxiety that you feel from your work?

Whatever the reason may be, it’s important to have something to motivate you as you try out a new activity. Your motivation will serve as the very thing that will push you to finish what you started. Losing weight is one good goal to establish since a lot of people do refer to it as the main reason why they work out. With yoga, you can say goodbye to those belly fats and flabby arms and legs. Deciding to yoga is basically like deciding to live more healthily and positively! If you want to know more, visit a yoga studio in Singapore.

Listen to your body

Doing yoga poses has this certain ability to make us feel more connected to our bodies. Whenever you practice yoga, carefully listen to what your body wants to tell you. Be sensitive towards what you really feel. Know the distinction between your body saying “yes, this soreness is making me stronger” from “nope, I can no longer endure any of this”. By paying attention to what your body says and feels, you will know your limits. Yoga does not require you to push your body too far. Learn at a pace you are most comfortable with, even if your goal is to get rid of those excess body fats as soon as possible.

Choose the best yoga class for you

Yoga has lots of types, styles, and variations. You have to pick the one that resonates the most with your needs. There are different styles of yoga such as:

  • Vinyasa Yoga – A more vigorous and powerful type of yoga
  • Hatha Yoga – a more slow-paced style of yoga where you can rest in between poses
  • Hot yoga – doing a series of 26 poses in a heated yoga studio or room
  • Ashtanga – a self-practice type of yoga that is great for beginners

There are many more yoga types that have not been mentioned but are equally as important. But in fact, Kripalu yoga and Viniyoga are noted to be some of the best types of yoga suited for overweight beginners. Both yoga classes involve gentle and slow-paced learning of yoga wherein the yoga instructor is closely guiding every student and monitoring their progress. There are options for you to join group yoga classes or private ones if you are not confident enough to learn with other yoga students yet. You can also do yoga from home by watching yoga instructors on videos.

A yoga instructor to guide you

It’s important to find a qualified yoga teacher that is versatile in guiding different types of yoga students. There are teachers that only know how to manage one type of student. If you find one that is great at showing you the reins, it will much easier for you to move forward in your yoga journey. The experience will be more meaningful and effective if you have an expert who can properly assist you.

Join a supportive group

Yoga is both a personal and a social form of practice. With that said, it is important to surround yourself with a supportive group of people, especially when they have the same experience as you. Being able to share your progress as a beginner in yoga will make you feel more free and confident to achieve your goal, which, in this case, is to lose some weight. There are tons of support groups out there that you can be a part of.

Frequently Asked Questions

As mentioned above, the recommended types of yoga for overweight beginners are Kripalu yoga and Viniyoga. Both involve a learning pace suitable to the capability of plus size yoga students that are still navigating their way through the world of yoga.

It has been proven that yoga contributes to the burning of abdominal fat. Restorative yoga is a good practice to start for plus size beginners, especially since it is harder for them to move around vigorously due to the heavier weight that they’re carrying. Yoga for weight loss will allow you to stretch more and learn to be more flexible, thus helping you get rid of the excess fats in your body.

Since weight loss is very important for plus size yoga students, you can try doing these type of other exercises as well. You cannot just totally rely on practicing yoga alone, especially if you want to achieve fitness at a faster rate. The following exercises are recommended to combat obesity:

  • Walking
  • Water aerobics
  • Stationery or Recumbent Bikes

About the Author​

Lynette is fully dedicated to the support and empowerment of the growing community of committed yoga students and teachers. As one of the Lead Instructors for Yoga Teacher Training, she is here to share tips on how to grow your profile as a yoga teacher or build a yoga business either physically or digitally.

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