Nowadays it seems that whenever you see someone doing yoga, it’s a person that has a picture-perfect body. Every time I open my Instagram, I see people with those amazing bodies in the most perfect position, with an even better background. But I really want to point out that this is not the vast majority of the people who are doing yoga!
Who is yoga intended for?
So let’s have a look at the targeted demographic of yoga first. And for that we have to back to the past a little bit.
Thousands of years ago people were already doing yoga. But not just anyone was able to do yoga. Because of a lack of documentation it’s not sure how yoga was practiced ages ago, but we do know that there are vedas talking about yoga as far as 5000 years before Christ was born. At that time, it was assumed that students were prelimenary men and the discipline was passed on orally.
Then a little bit later on, about a couple of thousand years later, women from certain circle were allowed to start their yoga practice! Even though it was still primarely for men, the first women were getting on the mat (or whatever equivalent was available at that time). As book making was also invented, these older asanas were getting written down, and it became easier to see the differences between then and now.
And then Yoga came to the West. And somehow it was turned into a discipline that was more seen as feminine rather than it was something masculine. Fair enough, men have been doing yoga for sooooo many years, so let the ladies also benefit from this amazing discipline, right?
Nowadays though, yoga is great for just everyone, and there’s a style or teacher available for just anyone! So, even history tells us that yoga really was intended for all, and therefore, we shouldn’t look at it as an exclusive practice for certain type of people.
Why Could bigger body yoga be for me?
We all know these days that yoga has a lot of health benefits. Foremost bringing you a lot of relaxation. Which is already a huge benefit!
And I won’t be calling out on them all. There are many beneficial factors when you are doing yoga, but let’s just have a look at the ones that probably matter for us with some overweight. But I’d also like to mention that these are quite general and they might actually be beneficial for whenever you decide to do some exercise, whatever it may be.
#1 Yoga might help you get your weight under control
This is probably the biggest reason for doing yoga, and it derives from a couple of reasons. First of all, yoga is a reflectionary system. Meaning that you will start to look at your own behavioral patterns at a certain point (if this is what you are going for of course). Meaning that you might unravel certain though processes that has to do with your weight.
Just a quick side note, I’m really specifying this article for yoga and overweight people. These topics might also work with just anyone who’d like to break a certain cycle. And on top of that it also must be said that it’s not that easy to change your behaviour, so make sure that you are aware this is a slow, but steady process. With a lot of ups and down. Yeah, I know, yoga can feel like being on a rollercoaster sometimes!
Then the second reason why I wanted to add this to the article. When you are having a bigger body and you have decided to do yoga, you will notice that just doing movement might already do something to your body. Again, don’t expect miracles, but moving, whatever movement it is, can reduce certain illnesses. And thus also controling your wieght (wether it’s losing weight or just sustaining yours at the moment)
#2 Yoga can help you with acceptance
This also sounds a little bit vague, but it’s a big one as well. With the first one I was talking about how yoga can make you healthier. But this one I’m referring more to the mental level. We’ve probably all experienced it, we don’t always like our bodies. Whether we are plus-size or wearing a Small. Everyone has felt certain insecurities already.
And sometimes you can’t even do anything about it. It’s just the way it is. Therefore, you have to accept who you are. And that’s where yoga also comes in. Going to a yoga class isn’t just about the asanas or poses, it’s a whole philosophy and it’s built in such a way that you are less harsh towards yourself and others. Isn’t this just what we need in the world today?!
It’s hard to explain how this exactly works. But don’t worry, in the bigger body classes you’ll be getting enough food for your soul to reflect upon it! It also helps that it really calms you down a lot, creating a very nice environment for you to learn how to accept yourself.
#3 you are safe in a yoga space
The reason why I’m offering these yoga for bigger bodies classes, is because I wanted to create a safe space for us all to be. Not that other yoga teachers don’t do this, but in my experience I often didn’t get the right support in a yoga class because teachers weren’t aware how challenging it might actually be if you have a extra body fat carrying a long with you.
Just having a small belly already might give you the feeling that it’s harder to go into certain poses, and it actually also is. Even just breathing might already be harder for you, and then it’s nice to have a person that has been through it all as well.
Looking at social media also doesn’t help a lot and I have to mention that I’ve been lucky that I wasn’t growing up in the Instagram age and for me it was easier to go to my local yoga studio. However, I was probably to only volumptuous yoga practicioner there and it was quite confrontational in the beginning. Especially when men were losing their shirts, I was tucking in mine even more to make sure nobody would see my body.
What to expect in yoga classes for overweight people
Well, expect that you will be doing yoga!
But I think that one was rather obvious, wasn’t it?
The things I’d like to focus on in these classes are first and foremost that you are comfortable and that you’ll be able to go into the asanas (although, be aware that it might not always be possible, and that’s also the case for people who don’t have a bigger body).
The style will be a mixture of Hatha and Yin yoga. I always feel that for certain people going into Hatha poses might already be hard enough. And this way we can really focus on getting focus put into these positions by staying in them for a couple of breaths.
Yin yoga might bring less movement, but it will give you the time to settle down in a posture and it will make sure that you go deeper into relaxation.
what do you need for bigger body yoga classes
Well, the most important thing you’ll be needing for these classes is a mat and a computer. A stable internet connection might also be vital for taking the online classes of course.
What I also love to use, for whatever yoga classes I’m actually teaching: props! I love using blocks and it would be good if you have two of them! If there aren’t any around, make sure that you have a couple of books or something with a bit of height on it.
If you haven’t got a mat just yet, I’ve written a couple of articles about what to watch out for when you are in the process of purchasing one. This article will give you some tips!
Well, I think that’s about it! Of course, if you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment in the section down below! And otherwise, I hope to see you in class very soon! Bigger body classes are Every Wednesday from 20.00 – 21.00 (8.00 PM – 9.00 PM) Lisbon time. When you go to the schedule you’ll see times in your local timezone!