Yoga does not depend on size, age, or weight. Yoga can be practiced by everyone who enjoys it. At Wellintra Fitness, we believe that health and fitness comes at every size.
Yoga Training For Overweight People
We believe that there is enough evidence that has been done to suggest that we are all at our healthiest best when we appreciate and care for the bodies that we inhabit. We are most likely to achieve good health when we appreciate and care for our bodies regardless of it’s size or shape. We are also most likely to achieve good health when we abandon our focus on losing weight and just enjoy our fitness routines.
We at Wellintra believe that there can be no single ‘normal’ or ‘ideal’ weight or body shape because let’s face it – is there any ideal ear, nose or arm shape?!! So how can we assume that there is an ideal body shape? In fact, if anything a little extra body weight can improve your lifespan and keep sickness and illnesses at bay. It is easier to accept this fact if we learn to recognize our prejudices and reject our society’s stigma of ‘fat people’. We should readily accept that a ‘fat person’ can not only be a healthy person but also a beautiful person. To begin with, you could learn to admire bodies in a variety of shapes, including our own and adorn them and take pride in their curves and for all the wonderful things that our bodies do for us.
Embrace Physical Activity
One basic element of that care is learning to feed ourselves well and the other is to embrace physical activity. If you are overweight, you can learn to enjoy the benefits of physical activity which is available to all of us – whether it be dancing, walking, swimming, sports, aerobics, gym training and of course yoga. Anyone can enjoy the great feelings that can arise from putting our bodies to work. Exercising for wellness and well being is more important than exercising specifically to become slim. Yoga can help you care for your body and make you realise that being thin does not mean that you’re in optimum health. Also do remember that despite what you see in the media, yoga is not the exclusive domain of only lean and slim people.
HEALTHY YOGIS COME IN ALL SIZES
There is a new awakening of Yoga in India and more and more people with bigger bodies are showing up for yoga classes or are hiring the services of a personal yoga teacher. These people are looking for pleasurable and non-competitive yoga. People from all ages and diverse backgrounds are looking at Yoga as a fitness option. At Wellintra we are sure of one thing – we promote health for everyone. Period. Our large community of yoga teachers believe in Yoga as a supportive culture for people of all shapes, sizes, colours, sexes, religion and age. We believe that it is easier for bigger people to become fit than to become slim. Instead of signing up for the next diet plan, you will feel more satisfied with yourself if you only focus on improving your health right now. If you are overweight, Yoga can improve both your physical and emotional well being and banish back pain, tight muscles, headaches and a host of other problems that you might be encountering.
How Yoga Works
When you begin your yoga practice, you will immediately begin to notice the physical benefits. You need strength and attention to do yoga postures and after a while you will realise that you have gained muscle strength, increased flexibility and achieved better balance and overall harmony. You will feel healthier and more importantly you will be more in touch and in tune with your body and this can be particularly liberating in our modern world which views bigger bodies as unacceptable. Yoga provides a feeling of well being that is far too good to be measured in terms of calorie!
Before beginning any new exercise practice, it is always a good idea to speak to your doctor and determine your personal health status. It is crucial to determine how healthy you really are and whether there are any health issues or undiagnosed health problems. Particular attention should be paid to High BP, diabetes and existing joint or muscle problems. Pregnant women should only do yogic exercises specifically tailored for pregnancy. Learn more about yoga for pregnant women here. Those who have glaucoma, a detached retina, ear inflammation or high BP must keep their heads above heart level. If you have taken a long break following an injury, sickness or surgery, slowly restart your yoga practice. If you have an abdominal hernia or any injury in your back or abdomen or if you suffer from sciatica, contact your doctor to take his / her advice before starting with yoga.
Finding the Right Class or Yoga Teacher
Doing yoga in a group class can feel enjoyable rather than practising all by yourself at home. Surrounded by other people you can really enjoy the power and grace of Yoga. There are many different schools and styles of yoga. Some people may prefer yoga classes that are tailormade specifically for people with larger bodies. Others may prefer mixed classes. Some people may feel uncomfortable or intimidated in a group class. In such cases, hiring a personal yoga trainer can give you all the support and motivation you need to stick to Yoga. Your personal instructor will give you personal attention and help you along your yoga journey in the privacy of your home.
Yoga is Bhoga
The old Yoga sutras advised people to do yoga unintentionally which is a good place to start from. Start practising yoga and find out what it does for you. Look back in the past whenever you were starting at something new like learning to drive or picking up a new skill. When you started you had no idea where your new competence would lead you but you got better as you moved on until you could be certifiably called an expert. It is the same with Yoga. There is no need to feel intimidated. Just start!
Atin Dasgupta is the founder of Wellintra Fitness and is an artist-entrepreneur who makes music and builds businesses in his spare time!