Working out while overweight can be challenging, especially if you don’t know where to start.
Often times yoga gets overlooked as a serious way to lose weight because it’s misconceived as just stretching and insane natural flexibility.
But there’s more to yoga than that.
With yoga, you’re challenging your body to move in ways its never moved before and when you keep practicing because you’re determined to finally perfect a pose, the weight just sort of falls off along the way.
So if you’re wondering ‘is yoga good for weight loss?’ the answer is heck.fricken.yes.
And yoga still does even more than just that!
Yoga is the ultimate natural stress reliever (trust me, it’s what keeps me sane) and has a plethora of other benefits, like:
- Building strength
- Increasing flexibility
- Improving digestion
- Relieving headaches
- Calming the mind
- Improving sleep
- + way more
So needless to say, yoga.is.amazing.
To get you started, these 8 yoga poses for weight loss will help you begin your yoga practice and keep pushing you to accomplish great things.
BEGINNER YOGA POSES FOR PLUS SIZE WOMEN
These yoga poses for overweight women were chosen based on their beginner-friendliness.
They’re also all foundational yoga poses, so they give you a great insight and feel for yoga if you’re just starting out.
A great way to ease into the practice is by using yoga blocks. They will help:
- Keep you aligned properly
- Make a pose more accessible
- Reduce the difficulty of a pose for relaxtion
- Show you how flexible yoga is for all individuals (pun intended)
All of these poses make for the perfect beginner plus size yoga workout, so let’s get to it!
1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Often times beginners think Tadasana, or Mountain Pose, is simply standing. But there’s a lot more to it than that.
Mountain Pose is the foundation of all standing poses and is often used as a transition or active rest between poses.
It’s also a great way to improve posture, relieve sciatica, and strengthen the ankles, knees, and thighs.
So, yeah, Tadasana is much more than just standing. It’s standing with intention.
To Perform Mountain Pose:
Begin standing with your feet together and firmly planted on the ground. Engage your thighs and tilt your tailbone down.
With your arms by your side, face your palms forward and really stretch your arms down.
Keeping your chin parallel to the mat, draw your shoulder blades down your back. Focus on taking deep breaths.
Stay in Tadasana for 30 seconds then transition into Tree Pose.
2. Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
Standing on one leg can be quite the challenge.
Practicing Tree Pose will not only give you a run for your money, but also strengthen your lower body and improve your balance.
This is something you can do anytime of the day for a little mind and body exercise.
To Perform Tree Pose:
From Tadasana, shift your weight to your left foot and bend your right knee.
Gently grab your right ankle and place the sole of your foot on your inner left thigh just above the knee, toes pointing down.
Bring your hands together in Anjali Mudra, as if praying with your hands near your heart.
Stay in Tree Pose for 30 seconds, alternate legs, hold for another 30 seconds, then return to Tadasana.
3. Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
Standing Forward Fold is another great yoga pose for plus size women and it’s packed full of benefits, like:
- Calming the mind
- Improving digestion
- Relieving headaches
- Relieving stress and anxiety
- Stretching the hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, and even hips
So lets get to it!
To Perform Standing Forward Fold:
Standing in Tadasana, place your hands on your hips and engage your abdominal muscles.
Exhaling, bend from the hips, not the waist, to lengthen your torso.
Keeping your legs as straight as possible without causing discomfort, bring your fingers or palms to the floor in front of you. If it’s difficult to reach the floor, put your palms on your ankles or fold your arms over each other and hold your elbows.
Pressing your heels into the ground, lift your sit bones toward the ceiling while turning your thighs slightly inward.
Each time you inhale, lift and lengthen your torso. On each exhale, move deeper into the bend so your chest is closer to your legs.
Stay in your Standing Forward Fold for 30 seconds.
4. Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Downward Dog is a staple of any yoga routine, and it’s easy enough to be incorporated into yoga for overweight beginners.
This pose is great for strengthening your arms, shoulders, and legs, and trust me – you’ll feel it working almost instantly.
To Perform Downward Dog:
From Forward Fold, place your hands on the ground in front of you and gently jump your feet back. Your hips should be up in the air with your body making an upside down V shape.
To reduce discomfort on your wrists, shift the weight back by leaning into your heals.
Sending the weight to your feet will force your legs and arms to become straight, which is what you want for that total body stretch.
You can alternate lifting your heels off the ground for a deeper stretch in your calves and hamstrings.
Stay in Downward Dog for 30 seconds to 1 minute, making sure to focus on your breathing.
5. Plank Pose (Kumbhakasana)
If your shoulders aren’t burning during Plank Pose, you’re doing something wrong.
Plank Pose is amazing at strengthening your core, shoulders, and wrists which is why it’s such a beneficial beginner-friendly pose to prepare you for more challenging arm balances.
To Perform Plank Pose:
From Downward Dog, shift your weight forward so your shoulders are directly above your wrists.
Keep your hips from dipping to prevent strain on the lower back while also making sure not to stick your booty up so your core stays engaged.
Hold Plank Pose for 30 seconds then transition into Child’s Pose.
6. Child’s Pose (Balasana)
If you’re suffering from tight hips and a sore back, practicing Child’s Pose can help relieve those symptoms.
It’s also commonly used as a resting pose during your yoga sequence, providing you with a much needed active break.
To Perform Child’s Pose:
While still in Plank Pose, slowly lower your knees to the floor and bring your chest upright. Tuck your toes so the tops of your feet are touching the mat.
Now touching your big toes together, spread your knees to the outside of your mat.
Bend at the hips and slowly reach your fingertips forward so your arms are extended in front of you.
Focus on taking deep breaths and just relaxing.
Stay in Child’s Pose for 30 seconds then come up onto all fours.
7. Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana + Bitilasana)
Cat Pose (Marjaryasana) is commonly paired with Cow Pose (Bitilasana) to make Cat-Cow Pose.
The difference between Cat and Cow Pose is the curve of your spine: it’s concave during Cow Pose and convex during Cat Pose.
This wonderful combination improves spine flexibility while also providing a nice stretch to your torso.
To Perform Cat-Cow Pose:
Begin on your hands and knees with your hands and wrists directly under your shoulders, knees directly under your hips.
Inhaling, drop your stomach towards the mat. Slowly lift your neck and chin so you are gazing towards the ceiling, being careful not to strain your neck.
Exhaling, pull your belly button towards your spine and round your back toward the ceiling. Look towards the ground without bringing your chin to your chest.
Repeat Cat-Cow for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
8. Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
Half Lord of the Fishes Pose, also known as Seated Spinal Twist, focuses on the hips, shoulders, neck, and back for an energizing upper body stretch.
Due to this, it has been known to enhance digestion and energize the spine.
To prevent injury, make sure to lengthen the spine before twisting and while holding the pose.
To Perform Half Lord of the Fishes Pose:
From Cat-Cow, move into a seated position with your legs stretched out in front of you.
Bend your knees and bring your left foot under your right leg, up towards your butt. Your left leg should be resting on the ground.
Gently pull your right leg over the left, placing your right foot on the ground as close to your left hip as possible.
Lengthening the spine, place your right hand on the ground behind your back. Cross your left arm over your right leg and turn your upper body to face behind you.
With each inhale, draw your belly towards your spine. On each exhale, twist deeper into the pose.
Hold this pose for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.