Plus-Size Yoga for Every Body
Getting Started at HomeWhat You'll Need
To practice yoga comfortably, you'll need a pair of pants or shorts that stretch and a top that's snug enough to stay put during inverted (upside-down) poses. (No shoes required -- bare feet are best.) Check out the plus-size offerings from Danskin (danskin.com), Junonia (junonia.com), and Always For Me (alwaysforme.com) for workout-worthy style.
You can find all the equipment you need to modify common postures around the house: a carpet can be used as a mat, phone books or dictionaries can double as blocks, a belt or a scarf can serve as a strap. If you're in the market for props designed specifically for yoga use, check a sporting goods store or an online shop (such as yogaprops.net).Learning at Home
Ready to begin? Step one begins in your doctor's office: get his or her okay before you embark on a fitness program. And let your physician identify any potential problem areas (weak knees, a bad back) so that you can work around them.
Once you've got the green light to get moving, read up on yoga's philosophy and techniques. Learning the proper form for breathing methods and basic postures is essential to mastering the practice -- and staying safe while striking a pose. Begin your yoga education with one of the hundreds of beginner guides at your local bookstore or library. We recommend Megan Garcia's Megayoga, which is designed specifically for a plus-size audience and covers topics such as breath, alignment, modifications, and props. Garcia, who is plus-size herself, demonstrates in the book's many color photos how a curvy form can interpret classic postures.
A workout DVD can provide another great starting point for the yoga newbie. Get a sense of how yoga works in three dimensions with Meera Patricia Kerr's Big Yoga: Beginners' Hatha 1 or Garcia's Yoga Just My Size. Both offer postures (and modifications) that plus-size beginners can tackle.