Yoga is for everybody. It doesn’t care about your dress size, what you had for a “cheat meal” or whether you fit into last year’s skinny jeans. It cares about your breath. It wants to know your intention. It values mindfulness and self-growth and how your enlightened existence opens doors for the entire world. Here’s our guide to yoga for bigger bodies, full of tips and top plus size yoga poses.
Those of us with bigger bodies bring plenty of positive energy to the mat (maybe more!), which is why in this post we’ll highlight a list of asanas that allow fuller figured yogis the chance to really shine. Practicing these poses helps connect the mind to the body, regardless of its shape or size.
Cat Cow Tilts (Bitilasana to Marjaryasana Flow)
Flowing through Cat Cow tilts is a great way to warm up the spine with a stable, Table Top base. Keep your eyes closed and link each movement to a breath as you ease your way into the practice.
Modified Side Plank (Vasisthasana)
A Modified Side Plank is a surefire way to engage the core with a little bit of support from the floor. Pulling up and out of the obliques with one shin resting on the mat, this pose offers a natural progression to more challenging core engagement. When it comes to yoga for plus size beginners, this pose is a great way to work your way up to more challenging asanas. Stay in the modified version for a few sessions, and eventually you’ll find that you can stack your legs on top of each other, removing the supporting shin and firing up the abdomen with isometric holding!
Low Crescent Lunge Pose (Anjaneyasana)
A deep psoas and hip flexor stretch, Low Crescent Lunge is a more stable version of the traditional Crescent Lunge. Yoga for bigger bodies (or any body size) is all about being mindful of how your body is responding to the poses and transitions. In this pose, your center of gravity is closer to the ground, allowing for a sturdy base. For a bonus pose, flow back and forth from Low Crescent Lunge to Half Split pose to extend the stretch all the way up to the hamstrings.
Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
Triangle pose is the definition of expansion. It commands you to take up space while eliminating the weight bearing that’s often present in bent-knee poses like Warrior 1, Warrior 2 and Crescent Lunge. Triangle pose allows for a deep stretch of the abdominal area and an emphasis on LIFT.
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
What would an empowering yoga practice be without a little bit of back bending? Bridge pose strengthens the legs and glutes and simultaneously opens the low back. This strength will come in handy during future practices! Pro tip: alternate leg lifts for an extra glute challenge. Again, be mindful of your body as you try out harder poses, and if something’s too challenging, just go back to the easier version. Keep practicing, and you’ll build the strength and flexibility in no time.
Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana)
Cow Face pose brings an intense stretch to the hips as it strengthens the spine and the abdominals. This is a great pose when it comes to yoga for bigger bodies, as it does not much too much stress on the body. It helps to decompress the low back, particularly when you bend forward. Practice this pose with closed eyes and massage the pressure points in your feet for a bona fide bliss break!
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