Practicing Yoga in a plus size body (in partnership with NikeWomen)
This is my second post in partnership with Nike Women (check out my first one here) and in this piece I wanted to talk about why exercise and well being doesn’t always have to mean sweat pouring cardio. Mental health is also as important as physical health and I think we often forget that. This post will be a focus on how I personally found a way to incorporate both of these issue through the practice of Yoga and finding time to slow down, breathe and be. I personally found this in yoga.
YOGA IS FOR EVERY BODY
Now before I get into this fully I need to state that actually, when it comes to Yoga I’m not that good. in fact I find it quite difficult but I wanted to share with you why I have continued to persist and push myself in trying yoga both at home and in studio based classes. The first time I tried a class at my gym I was the biggest person in the room, by far actually and at first I was a little uneasy. At the start of the class I called the Yogi over and explained that it was my first ever class and that I was nervous because of my weight and how much I could actually do. To my surprise he was so, incredibly helpful and understanding, he told me to take my time and go at the pace which suited me and encouraged me to focus on what I could do and not what I couldn't .
There were a few moves that I found challenging, particularly getting into the Sun Salutation pose, and instead of quitting I just chose to do something else. At the end of the class the Yogi even took time out to work on that pose with me, and offered a more comfortable way to do it. What really touched me and made me want to continue was when I kept bringing up my size he told me that my size had nothing to do with Yoga and that I should stop focusing on what I can't do and instead on what I can.
Since that point I have continued to enjoy and practice Yoga both in a studio setting and also frequently at home following YouTube tutorials. I truly believe that it is a form of exercise that can provide benefits to anyone, so much so that I managed to find 4 reasons on why I think you should give it a go.
1. You learn the art of breathing
As part of Yoga practice you are taught to connect and consciously focus on breathing, at the start the instructor encourages you take in big, deep breaths.
Breathing is the most important thing we do in our bodies. When we breathe correctly and purposely this can contribute to the reduction in stress and that is something I think all of us can benefit from. Life is so hectic that sometimes just being and sitting still feels like an impossible task. With yoga you get that, even if you can’t follow specific moves or stretch into positions you are trying. You can just breathe and believe me when I tell you, you still end feeling wonderful and relaxed.
2. You can adjust moves to suit your body shape
As mentioned above I had this pre-conceived notion that only flexible or slim people could really do yoga and that’s just simply not true. Many of the core yoga moves can be adjusted to suit different body shapes. There are a number of online classes that cater to larger bodies. I know that Jessamyn and Dana Falsetti who are both incredibly powerful, plus size women have developed classes specifically designed for a range of bodies and abilities.
3. You really feel like you have worked out
There is a misconception that Yoga is just easy. Whilst yoga practice can be gentle and relaxing it doesn’t mean that it isn’t an exercise that works out your body or requires strength and stability. By the end of a yoga session without a doubt I am pouring with sweat, and the next day I really feel that satisfying muscle ache. It is another exercise like boxing that makes me feel strong and powerful.
I have learnt so much for practicing Yoga, even when I am doing it from the comfort of my living room floor. For once I feel relaxed and okay with the fact that I am doing the best that I can and that in itself is good enough. My mental health wholeheartedly improves after I take time out to practice even if that means just stretching for 10 minutes when I don't have enough time to fully commit to a class. If I could pass on any advise with trying Yoga is just do it (Nike Pun not intentional ;))
Seriously, just give it a go, your body is more wondrous and powerful than you might think.
SHOP NIKE PLUS SIZE APPAREL
I am wearing size 3x in this top and I am glad that I sized up, I love for my tops and sweaters to have an oversized feel
These are perfect tights for Yoga, they are super soft and stretchy, I went for a 3x in these and I would have been better to size down to my actual size (24-26) they are super stretchy with a lot of give and
This sweater is perfect for outdoor yoga, it has sweat-wicking technology so helps to keep you both dry and comfy during a workout
This mat is great for carrying on the go with its easy carry strap, it also has good grip and a decent length. Plus it's available in three great colours