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Overweight and inflexible - is it worth trying yoga?

(29 Posts)
knowler Tue 22-Mar-16 13:35:06

I'm pretty overweight at the minute (size 18 with a big bum and tum) and my flexibility is atrocious. I can't touch my toes by some inches. I would however love to try yoga for the physical and mental benefits that everyone talks about! Also, a new hot yoga studio has just opened nearby which people are raving about.

Is it worth me trying even if I can't do 90% of the class? And what type of yoga do you think would be best to start with?


7Days Tue 22-Mar-16 13:44:56

Yrs! Definitely go for it. Yoga is about your limitations and overcoming them, not at all about anybody else's. You learn to be happy with the body you have notpushing it to get bendier or slimmer for the sake of it. You improve incrementally at your own pace, its the improving, not the improvement that counts.
That said, I wouldn't start with hot yoga. Look around for gentle yoga or beginners yoga to start. The instructor will be focussed on proper alignment, basic postures and correct breathing. You will need to have a good grasp of that to build on.
Good luck you won't regret it.

CoteDAzur Tue 22-Mar-16 13:58:02

I couldn't touch my toes when I started yoga, as a fairly normal shape Size 10. Don't worry about it smile

Like 7 Days says, start with something slow and gentle like Hatha Yoga.

knowler Tue 22-Mar-16 17:12:19

Thanks very much - I will have a look for a beginners class. The hot class might be too much smile

cece Tue 22-Mar-16 22:24:30

Yoga is very inclusive. It really is very much about developing your own practice. In the classes I go to the teacher gives suggestions on how to move into poses - using blocks and straps if you can't manage it without. I have been going since July and still use blocks for certain poses and a strap to help with binds - my shoulders seem immovable.... hmm

However, I have improved my forward folds and have learnt to do a couple of scary poses like crow and crane. It takes time but yoga teaches you to work patiently - it is about the process not where you start or finish. I have also found it very un-judgemental as well.

Out2pasture Tue 22-Mar-16 22:34:41

no joke i'm probably bigger, less flexible with zero balance than anyone.

but i'm really liking my hot yoga....i'm shocked by this as ordinarily I detest heat and sweating.

the heat does help with the flexibility and like the others have said. the class I attend is nonjudgmental with everyone trying their best.
my instructor uses light weights and exercise bands along with the poses i'm very pleased with the workout.

VelvetCushion Tue 22-Mar-16 22:43:33

Why dont you go for more intense classes that will help you loose weight, Metafit,legs,bums & tums. Works a treat. You need to sweat it out with hard graft.

ForeverLivingMyArse Tue 22-Mar-16 22:45:52

Maybe she doesn't want to 'sweat it out'. hmm

VelvetCushion Tue 22-Mar-16 22:51:04

Maybe she doesn't. What was,the point of that comment? Seriously!
but she said she was over weight and more intense classes helps shift that.

ForeverLivingMyArse Tue 22-Mar-16 22:58:23

She has not mentioned losing weight.

CoteDAzur Tue 22-Mar-16 23:01:54

People have this idea of yoga as sitting around, gazing at one's navel, and saying "Ommm". On the contrary, depending on the type of yoga class you go to it can be very intense and not only builds strength but also burns fat & helps lose weight.

Especially coming from a position of weak stamina, it is better to aim for medium-intensity exercise (heart rate around 120) which one can sustain for an hour than go straight for high-intensity cardio exercise like running which OP won't be able to do for more than a minute or two in the beginning.

VelvetCushion Tue 22-Mar-16 23:05:49

What is wrong with you?

ForeverLivingMyArse Tue 22-Mar-16 23:11:44

The opening asks about yoga and you wade on with suggestions of metafit and sweating it out that are totally irrelevant.

VelvetCushion Tue 22-Mar-16 23:22:25

So what? I was making an alternative suggestion to the OP as she said she is overweight. I go to various classes every evening at my gym.
Dont take much to get your back up! You should try yoga, it chills you right out wink

ForeverLivingMyArse Wed 23-Mar-16 09:40:01

I just think it's really rude to assume someone wants to 's seat it out'om some fat burning fad class when they are asking specifically about yoga.

knowler Wed 23-Mar-16 10:46:04

Thanks all grin

My OP was supposed to be factual, i.e. I am overweight but the aim of doing yoga isn't - for me - weight loss per se. Yes, I'd like to tone up what I've got and burning off some calories while doing it would be a bonus. Also, my fitness/stamina isn't too horrendous despite being a fatty wink and I can actually run for 5km at a medium pace.

So thanks again all - I have emailed a teacher about a beginner hatha yoga course, who operates out of the hot yoga studio (but in a cold room!) with a view to progressing further possibly into the hot studio if I get on with it.

i'll let you know how I get on!

VelvetCushion Wed 23-Mar-16 13:38:38

Good for you OP. You will feel fantastic.
ForeverLiving - smile and the world smiles with you wink

CoteDAzur Wed 23-Mar-16 21:31:40

Aww. It's the Yoga Topic's first bunfight grin

OP - Do let us know how you get on. If you are already quite fit, you might want to quickly move on from Hatha yoga to the more challenging styles such as Vinyasa and Ashtanga.

ZaraW Sat 26-Mar-16 13:59:30

I love Hatha yoga yes it's gentle but it feels good I go to a mixed ability class on a Friday evening all the stretching is a nice way to begin the weekend.

QueenofLouisiana Sat 26-Mar-16 17:56:21

Yes! Go! I'm still overweight, but after 3 months I am more flexible and my core has tightened up. I look slimmer as my posture has improved: head over heart, heart over pelvis.
It's the only exercise I've ever stuck to.

knowler Sun 27-Mar-16 22:11:19

Thanks. I'm going to try a hatha beginners course. Looking forward to it smile

knowler Thu 07-Apr-16 20:48:05

Hi all, thought I'd just update as I went to my first class today. It was v great. I was the biggest there, but it didn't matter and I didn't care. I really enjoyed it and now feel that b I've done some exercise but feel nice and calm too smile Will definitely carry on with it.

CoteDAzur Thu 07-Apr-16 21:34:16

Great news smile I went to a new yoga studio today, where there were five men in the class, three of whom were very overweight. Nobody cared. Quite a few of the women were also overweight. Nobody cared. I have several joint issues and was pathetic in some of the asanas. Again, nobody cared. Yoga is great like that grin

olafisking Mon 11-Apr-16 10:30:44

The great thing about yoga is that everyone is concentrating so hard on not falling over what their own body is doing that you realise quite quickly no one is looking at you. There are people in my class much bigger than me who are far stronger/more flexible than me, so you can definitely build that without worrying about weight loss. A good teacher should encourage you to push your own limits and modify movements for you if they are not achievable (yet). You'll be amazed at how much you improve over time.

knowler Mon 11-Apr-16 12:40:19

Thanks ola. We were given the option of lots of 'props' like blocks, bands etc to help with the movements and I fully intend to use those to get the most out of the class. I so enjoyed it and you (and other posters) are so right, that it's not about 'competition' - although it's a small room I barely looked at any of the others - and I really felt that I got a lot out of it.

I could really tell I'd done something the next day - my shoulders and arms definitely felt like they'd done some work.

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