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Plus Size Yoga: Embracing Serenity and Strength Part 2

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  • Post last modified:August 5, 2023

Recap: What We’ve Covered in Plus Size Yoga So Far

Hello, yoga enthusiasts and green-juice skeptics! Welcome back to part two of our “Plus Size Yoga: Embracing Serenity and Strength” series. Before we dive right into our yoga-tastic journey, let’s take a moment to recap what we covered in part one.

Green Juice

In our first outing, we debunked the myth that yoga is only for the ultra-flexible, green-juice-guzzling gym bunnies. We established that plus size yoga isn’t just a fleeting trend, but a revolution that’s reshaping the yoga landscape. We basked in the glow of body positivity and gave a virtual high-five to the poster people of the plus-size yoga movement.

Next, we listed the abundant perks of practicing plus size yoga, from the physical to the mental to the health bonanza. We wrapped up part one with some tips and tricks to get started with plus size yoga—finding the right class, embracing the prop life, modifying poses, and most importantly, taking it slow and steady.

So, with all that under our plus-sized belts, let’s leap right into part two of our series. Sit back, relax, and let’s journey deeper into the wonderfully inclusive world of plus size yoga. Ready? Let’s go!

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a commission should you chose to sign up for a program or make a purchase using my link

Pose Modifications for Plus Size Yoga: Flexibility in Flexibility 

One of the beauties of yoga is its adaptability. Every pose can be modified to suit different bodies, and that’s what makes yoga a practice for everyone. In plus size yoga, making modifications is not just an option—it’s a way of honoring and respecting your body. So, let’s dive into a few classic yoga poses and see how we can modify them for the plus size yogis out there.

Remember, these are just suggestions, and it’s essential to listen to your body above all. You’re the boss applesauce!

Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Downward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog

In the traditional Downward Dog pose, the body forms an inverted ‘V’ with the hands and feet on the ground and the butt in the air. It’s a fantastic pose for stretching the entire body, but it can be challenging for plus size individuals, especially those with limited upper body strength or tight hamstrings.

Modification: Place your hands on a wall, a sturdy piece of furniture, or even yoga blocks instead of the floor. This ‘Wall Dog’ version reduces the weight-bearing aspect of the pose, making it more accessible. 

Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Tree Pose
Tree Pose

Balancing poses like the Tree Pose can be a bit tricky, particularly for plus size individuals who might struggle with balance initially. The traditional Tree Pose involves standing on one foot with the other foot placed on the opposite inner thigh.

Modification: Instead of placing your foot on your inner thigh, you can rest it on your calf or even the ankle, with toes touching the floor for support. Use a wall for extra stability if needed.

Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Childs Pose
Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose is a wonderful restorative pose, but for individuals with larger bellies or chests, it might feel uncomfortable to rest the torso on the thighs.

Modification: Spread your knees wider apart to make room for your belly. You can also place a bolster or a couple of folded blankets between your thighs to support your torso. 

For more detailed modifications and visuals, check out this guide on Yoga Journal specifically tailored for plus-sized students. Remember, yoga is a personal journey, and making modifications only enhances your experience. So, go ahead and tailor these poses to your needs. After all, yoga is all about finding what feels good!

Also, check out this video 15 Minute Beginner Friendly Plus Size Yoga Class by Nourished Natasha.

15 Minute Beginner Friendly Plus Size Yoga Class, Nourished Natasha

Plus Size Yoga Essentials: All the Gear, All the Ideas

Venturing into the world of plus size yoga? Awesome! But a yogi is only as good as their gear. Okay, that’s not an ancient yoga saying, but it should be! Having the right equipment can make all the difference to your practice, especially when you’re just starting.

Now, before you have visions of maxing out your credit card, don’t worry. You don’t need to spend a fortune. Just a few key items will do the trick. So, let’s take a look at some plus size yoga essentials that you can easily add to your Amazon shopping cart.

Plus Size Yoga Mat

A good yoga mat is like a faithful dog—supportive, reliable, and there to catch you when you fall (literally). For plus-size yogis, look for a wider and thicker mat that offers extra cushioning and support. The BalanceFrom GoYoga All-Purpose Yoga Mat on Amazon is an excellent choice at ½” thickness. It’s comfortable, non-slip, and comes with a handy carrying strap (which can also double as a yoga strap, but more about that in a moment).

Yoga Blocks

Remember how we talked about yoga props being your sidekicks? Well, it’s time to meet your new best friend—yoga blocks. They help bring the ground closer to you, which is great for poses that require bending or stretching. The Gaiam Essentials Yoga Block is a crowd favorite. It’s sturdy, durable, and perfect for helping you nail those poses.

Yoga Strap

If reaching your toes seems like a distant dream, then a yoga strap is your magic carpet ride. It extends your reach and aids flexibility. The Clever Yoga Strap for Stretching is a solid choice—it’s durable, affordable, and is 10 feet long (Hint: You can wrap the extra length around your palms and wrists when the whole distance isn’t needed).

Comfortable Yoga Clothes

Comfort and mobility are key when choosing your yoga attire. And gentlemen, you’ll be happy to know that yoga isn’t all about the skin-tight leggings. There’s a wide range of yoga clothes designed with men in mind. Amazon offers some great options for plus size men’s yoga clothing that combine comfort, style, and functionality.

Firstly, let’s talk about pants. The adidas Men’s Essentials Warm-up Slim Tapered 3-Stripes Tracksuit Bottoms are a top pick. They’re lightweight, breathable, and offer the loose comfort you need to transition through poses with ease. Plus, they come with zippered pockets—because who doesn’t love pockets?

As for the top, you want something that’s not too baggy to get in your way but also not too tight to restrict your movement. The BASSDASH Long Sleeve T-Shirt is an excellent choice. It’s moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and allows full range of movement. It also comes in a variety of colors to suit your style.

So guys, with these yoga gear essentials, you’ll be well-equipped to dive headfirst into your plus size yoga journey. Comfort and style can coexist in yoga, and with the right attire, you’ll be ready to tackle any pose that comes your way!

Virtual Gurus: Plus Size Yoga YouTube Channels

YouTube Banner

The beauty of yoga today is that it can be practiced anywhere, anytime, and by anyone, thanks to the magic of online classes. In the spirit of inclusivity, let’s showcase some fantastic YouTube channels that embrace diversity in the yoga community. We’ve picked out a female instructor, a male instructor, and a specifically plus-size instructor—all champions of accessible and enjoyable yoga.

Yoga with Adriene

Yoga with Adriene from Adriene Mishler is your friendly online yoga guide. While her channel isn’t targeted specifically at plus size yogis, her mantra “Find What Feels Good” resonates with yoga practitioners of all sizes and shapes. With her vast collection of beginner-friendly sequences and modifications, she empowers you to make the practice your own.

Breathe and Flow

Breathe and Flow brings a dynamic male energy to the online yoga world. This channel is passionate about making yoga approachable for everyone, regardless of body type or fitness level. The workouts range from beginner to advanced, and offers different modifications to make sure everyone can participate.

Body Positive Yoga

Amber Karnes, the founder of Body Positive Yoga, is a leading figure in the world of plus size yoga. Being a plus size yogi herself, she provides a relatable and comforting presence. Her videos are full of useful modifications, easy-to-follow sequences, and messages of body positivity.

These channels cater to everyone—the beginners, the advanced yogis, the early morning stretchers, and the after-work unwinders. So pull out your mats and start exploring these fantastic resources on your plus size yoga journey. Remember, it’s not about how you look; it’s about how you feel!

Connect With Your Plus Size Yoga Tribe: Social Media Communities

Social Media Image

Finding your tribe can make the journey into yoga even more rewarding, especially when you’re venturing into the world of plus size yoga. We’ve already explored YouTube channels for plus size yoga; now let’s delve into the wide world of social media to find communities that resonate with your journey.

Instagram

The ‘gram is not just a platform for fitness influencers flaunting their six-packs and designer yoga outfits. There’s an inspiring community of plus size yogis, including many male practitioners, who are flipping the script on what a yogi “should” look like. Follow hashtags like #PlusSizeYoga and #BigGuyYoga to find these trailblazers. Check out accounts like @bigguyoga, a regular guy like you and me who showcases his yoga journey.

Facebook

Facebook hosts a wealth of groups where plus size yogis of all genders gather. Groups such as Plus Size Yoga and Yoga for Men Community foster an environment where you can ask questions, share experiences, and feel a sense of camaraderie.

Reddit

For those who like a bit more anonymity, Reddit offers discussion boards for plus size yoga practitioners. In the subreddit r/PlusSize and r/Yoga, you can find threads about yoga for larger bodies, offering tips, advice, and words of encouragement.

Getting involved with these online communities can offer you the support, inspiration, and sense of belonging that can make your plus size yoga journey all the more enriching. It’s not about bending yourself into a pretzel—it’s about finding a space where you feel comfortable to explore, learn, and grow. So go ahead, find your tribe, and embrace this exciting journey together!

Smashing Stereotypes: Plus Size Men and Yoga

Let’s get real for a moment: the perception of yoga being the domain of slim, ultra-flexible women in trendy leggings is outdated. Yoga is for everyone. Period. And that, my friend, includes plus size men.

It’s high time we smashed the stereotype that yoga isn’t for big guys. Just as much as it’s about flexibility and strength, yoga is also about breath, balance, and mental resilience. These are not gender-specific or size-specific—they’re human-specific.

Prominent Plus Size Male Yogis

If you need a little convincing, look no further than these inspiring yogis. Take, for example, Michael Hayes, the founder of Buddha Body Yoga. This studio offers yoga specifically tailored for larger bodies, and Michael himself is a shining example of how size doesn’t define your ability to embrace and excel in yoga.

Benefits for Plus Size Men

Yoga offers incredible benefits for plus size men. Improved flexibility can be a game-changer for easing joint and back pain, which are common concerns for larger men. The strength-building aspect of yoga can enhance muscle tone and posture. Moreover, the focus on mindful breathing and the meditative aspect of yoga can be a powerful tool for stress relief.

Yoga = Body Positivity

Embracing yoga as a plus size man also means embracing body positivity. It means defying societal norms about who ‘should’ practice yoga, and it means acknowledging that health and wellness come in all shapes and sizes. Remember, every body is a yoga body.

So, guys, it’s time to roll out those mats, pull on your comfy yoga gear, and start experiencing the benefits of yoga. Whether you’re seeking better flexibility, stronger muscles, mental clarity, or a community of like-minded individuals, yoga has it all. Let’s redefine what a yogi looks like together!

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