There is a lot of chatter on whether plus size ladies are well-built for yoga. Are their bodies flexible enough for such gruesome stretches and poses? Can they withstand such simple yet impactful movements? Is Yoga even conducive for them? The simple answer is- absolutely yes. Yoga is for plus size women too! Here’s why.
Yoga is a science and art designed to engage all the faculties of human life. It utilizes and trains your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual stamina. For this reason, yoga is suitable for plus size individuals.
Yoga brags of several benefits. Many yogis have alluded to it as a place of solace and where they get reinvigorated from a tiring day or week of work. Unlike other sports, mind games, or activities, yoga works to develop a whole rounded individual. Its multifacetedness helps you to draw from, inspire, stimulate and positively impact one’s overall wellbeing with simple body movements and the disciplines acquired. It is astounding at what such a simple yet well-tailored art can boast about, the results are not only envious but also long-lasting.
There is much division on what exactly yoga entails and the extent of results it can achieve in an individual’s life. Of course, some skeptics believe all the praise accorded to this art is exaggerated. They sarcastically question, how a few hours of unnatural posing, excessive stretching, and deep breathing can change one’s life. On the other hand, some ardent believers have had the opportunity to experience firsthand the true power of yoga. Whether it’s by watching the health, wellbeing, and overall life of a close friend or family member gradually change for the better, or by their personal experience of the same. These fellows waste no time hurrying out to their private spaces to indulge in this glorious art.
So why is it for many yogis, yoga quickly becomes a lifestyle practice that they religiously attend to without fail? Well, here is why yoga is believed to be the best science and therapy for the soul, spirit, and mind.
Table of Contents
The Realms of Engagement
Yoga generally engages the three primary realms that work interdependently to influence the general quality of a person’s life. These three realms consist of the mental realm, the soul realm, and the spiritual realm. Let’s quickly delve at exactly how yoga does this.
The Mental Realm
Yoga helps yogis attain a state of relaxation, peace, and calm. This is one of the fundamental advantages when it comes to practicing yoga; having a state of inner peace as your mind is perpetually trained to let go of ill notions and emotions and embrace positive thoughts.
Needless to say that the world as we know it is fast-paced and infused with a lot of information and interaction. With the increasing globalization and digitization of society, the world is constantly exposed so much information and news over the internet. Social media continues to play an important role in bringing people together and in the exchange of ideas, culture, values, and the like. The continuous exposure we have to what is going on around us, in our society, in the world, and with other people can be quite overwhelming. The news headlines are perpetually daunting and stifling, the constant comparison to outdo the other quite devastating and the rush to be, to do, and to have, engrossing.
It is no mild impact that being an online/digital generation, that we suffer. Our minds are constantly at the impact of more and more information, with little time to process or take in what is going on in between the fleeting breaks. With a majority of what makes headway being sadistic and negative, a majority of the world’s population continues to live in perpetual fear, suspicion, worry, despair, and anxiety.
Studies have shown that the current generation is the illest, worked-up, and self-centered generation that ever lived. Owing to our handheld devices which we refuse to put down unless going to bed or when mandated to and the ever-stocked and vibrant social media platforms we are subscribed to, many get lost in all the mambo jumbo of things. Always worryingly anticipating about their future, their livelihood, their personal and social lives, their lifestyle, simply because of some news they read or watched online.
Yoga offers safety and remedy for these ills. The art helps yogis to cultivate a culture of meditation. Simply put meditation is the discipline to control the focus of one’s mind and to pick and choose what thoughts to dwell on in a given moment. The practice heightens one’s mindfulness by harnessing one’s focus and directing it to more productive and positive outcomes. This allows yogis to shun stress and other forms of distractions by not focusing on the ills but focusing on the good. Over some time, yogis begin to be happier, less worried, anxious, doubtful, or despairing unlike the rest of the world.
In learning and practicing yoga, yogis develop a more robust ability to hold in their minds a single thought amid the numerous thoughts constantly churned out by the media. They become selective in what they intake as opposed to being dustbins. which anything and everything can be tossed into. Yogis gradually evolve to be stable and not easily overwhelmed with the happenings of life.
Additionally, the practice develops their ability to concentrate for longer durations of time. It trains their mental alertness, sharpness, and clarity leading to greater productivity and more efficient use of time and resources.
The Soul Realm
Closely connected to the mental realm is the soul realm. This is where your will and emotions are found. Yoga in essence helps you to become more self-aware by appreciating your emotions. It connects you to how you truly feel and helps you to understand why you feel that way and be honest and accepting about it.
It’s rather unfortunate that a large percentage of people are hardly in touch with their emotions. This can be attributed to the general societal notion that being in touch with one’s emotions is viewed as being overly sensitive. This attribute is more or less associated or allowed among the female gender who society views to be emotional.
On the contrary, being aware of one’s emotions and learning how to control them, is nothing close to what we understand to mean being emotional. The phrase is actually misconstrued, as many associate people with a tendency to cry as being emotional. Ironically, they fail to ascribe the same description to those who are short-tempered, those who periodically block others out from their space or lives because of being hurt, frustrated, or overwhelmed and those who are self-sabotaging in nature, just to give but a few examples.
In learning to appreciate and understand the strength of your emotions, why you respond to things as you do, yoga helps you to be more self-controlled and to make amends where necessary. For example, if you are self-sabotaging and get to understand why, you have made a step in the right direction to truly dealing with that issue.
Furthermore, as you become in tune with your own emotions, you also become more conscious of the way other people feel, especially when around you. This helps you know how to conduct yourself in different settings and around different people. Because of yoga, you become kinder and accepting of other people’s divergent views, attitudes, and outlooks on life. Further, this great discipline enables you to be more understanding, approachable, open-minded, considerate, and aware of other people’s needs.
It is noticeable, that most yogis are generally more self-accepting, content, and happier in life than those who don’t practice yoga. Why? It is because the practice of yoga constantly demands of them to address any emotional impediments, heartaches systematically and effectively to overcome such hurdles and attain a state of inner peace.
The Spiritual Realm
Yoga enables a spiritual awakening in all its faithful practitioners. It sensitizes an individual to an unseen and intangible realm (the spirit realm) from where the yogis can draw energy, inspiration, and creativity. Yoga is not a form of religion in and of itself, rather it enables the individual to appreciate and be more in tune with their life force whether it is God, their spirits, or mother nature – whatever they believe in.
A lot of conjecture is present about the spiritual world. Many believe there is no such thing and call such assertions superstitious and opposed to the realities of life. However, as it is contended, someone must believe in something, whether it is karma, themselves, deity, fate, the universe, or the like. This gives people a sense of safety and comfort during difficulty and turmoil and also some answers to life’s queries.
Many yogis practice yoga to feel more alive and in tune with their life force energy – a term used to refer to the intelligent and great power that sustains life itself. It helps them draw from this energy and be re-energized despite the exhaustion or frustration in their minds, bodies, and souls.
The Physical Benefits of Yoga
Having seen the wonderful benefits that yoga has to our mental, emotional and spiritual being, let us turn our attention to the physical benefits yoga has. Plus size women can profit from yoga in numerous ways as some of the benefits include:
- Increased flexibility – most yoga movements require a degree of flexing and holding certain positions for a duration of time. The various motions help to gradually improve body flexibility.
- Building body stamina and endurance – The motions also help in toning the body muscles thus increasing general body strength and endurance.
- Improves body posture – No more will you suffer from the pains and discomfort of poor body posture as you sit or walk, yoga helps correct that by remedying the constant hunching around our shoulders, necks and backs.
- Lowers blood sugar by increasing sensitivity to insulin
- Increase body metabolism
- It is effective in burning calories – don’t let the slow tempo fool you. One yoga session can burn as many calories as a fast-paced Tabata routine. It’s simply the best!
- Improves lung function – yoga utilizes slow deep controlled breathing mechanisms known as pranayama. This helps trigger a state of relaxation and exercises your lungs.
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- Is an effective pain reliever – whether you suffer from back pain, migraines, arthritis, and the like, studies have proven that frequently practicing yoga can completely rid you of all the pain.
Where to Start?
If you have never been to a yoga class, not to worry, I got you covered. Yoga is an accessible art that requires no prior training or even a prior fitness lifestyle, you simply come as you are. As for the preparation, you don’t have to be strong, fast, or flexible for you to start. Other than your yoga mat and workout gear bring along a positive attitude and an openness of mind.
For starts, the routines may seem a bit tedious; constantly holding yourself up in numerous consecutive postures at the same time trying to control your breathing while focusing your mind on a particular thought. However, with time they become easier and more enjoyable.
The effects do not take long before they begin to set in. In most cases, the first results are mental and over some time, the physical results also begin to show. Most trainers, in handling their beginners, start with simple basic movements which they gradually add to and build upon. You will be amazed at what your body can do if allowed. Remember, size does not dictate ability.
Plus size women should not be shy of practicing yoga. The all-rounded nature and training afforded by yoga make it suitable for all body types, sizes, gender, and ages. Apart from the great physical benefits yoga has, it also boosts of life-changing spiritual, mental, and emotional benefits that contribute to an all-rounded, well-balanced, and healthy individual. There are no daunting activities to perform, just an open mind and willingness to explore all that it has to offer. So why would you miss out on yoga again? The results speak for themselves.