10 Reasons that Yoga is Great for Overweight People

· March 31, 2019
Although it may be harder for overweight people to do certain positions, the truth is that yoga can be very beneficial both physically and psychologically.

If you’re reading this article, it may be because you are interested in yoga but you might think that yoga is not for you because you’re overweight. Well, guess what? You’re wrong! Yoga is great for overweight people because it not only helps burn fat, but it also helps control anxiety.

Yoga, in general, is great for anyone’s well being, and many people can attest to it. For example, the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, promotes yoga as a matter of the state so that everyone in India can enjoy its benefits in their daily life.

The Prime Minister even shared a series of videos of an animated version of himself practicing and demonstrating yoga. In these videos, he emphasizes that yoga is a healthy form of exercise for everyone.

Below, we’ll highlight even more reasons to motivate you to go to a yoga class, even – or especially – if you’re overweight!

The Amazing Benefits of Yoga

1. Yoga improves your breathing.

Yoga can improve your breathing and help you become more conscious of your breathing.

Being more aware of your breathing and leading a healthy lifestyle will also help nutrients reach your organs more effectively. Thus, your organs will function better and you’ll help your body prevent diseases that are caused by nutrient deficiencies.

2. It improves your self-esteem and quality of life.

Yoga is a great way to start a more active lifestyle. Moreover, yoga can help you improve your self-esteem and overall quality of life.

Yoga will help you advance physically and spiritually, and this will be important in improving how you see yourself and change the way you go about your daily life. Thus, you will have more control over your body and will be able to improve your overall quality of life through physical activity.

3. It helps fight depression.

Depression

Lots of people deal with low self-esteem, which increases a person’s risk of becoming depressed. Low self-esteem can be attributed to insecurities about physical appearance, personality traits or personal background.

However, yoga can help treat mild depression and improve your self-esteem. It is a way to meditate, reflect, gain self confidence and maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.

4. Yoga alleviates stress.

The breathing exercises, meditating, and improving your posture that are all a part of yoga will help you relax and alleviate stress. It will also help you be more focused both mentally and physically.

Dedicating a part of your day to meditating and deep breathing significantly reduces your levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Also, filling your lungs with fresh air will help calm you down and make you better able to make decisions and face daily challenges.

We suggest: Discover 4 Breathing Techniques to Fight Stress

5. It reduces physical discomfort.

With a constant yoga routine, you can reduce headaches and blood pressure and help fight fatigue and insomnia. This is due to the increase of oxygen in the brain and the release of toxins that occur when breathing deeply and gently.

This will also help you have more energy throughout the day and give you more motivation to eat healthier and maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.

6. You’ll notice the changes.

Weight does not affect your ability to do yoga. That said, in yoga classes, it’s important to not demand more from your body than it can give. However, you’ll become more flexible and confident after doing yoga for a while, and you will notice that you can do more difficult poses that you could not do before.

Therefore, yoga is ideal for overweight people because it allows you to go at your own pace while never pushing your body too far. You’ll also begin to see the changes in your flexibility, strength, balance and posture little by little. Therefore, remember not to get overwhelmed at first, and take it slowly.

7. It’s a low-impact activity.

Yoga is a good addition to any healthy lifestyle, and it does not require any drastic changes in your lifestyle either. As you progress within your own yoga journey, the poses and difficulty will also increase.

There are positions for beginners, and most yoga instructors will change a routine that takes into account their students’ abilities. This also allows you to not become too frustrated with not being able to do the more difficult poses and lets you start at the best level for you.

Yoga also allows you flexibility in your schedule because you can decide how little or how much time to dedicate to it.

Discover: Yoga for Beginners: 5 Basic Yoga Poses

8. It benefits your endocrine system.

Each yoga position affects a certain part of the body at a muscular, nervous, or hormonal level. For example, some poses are aimed at people who suffer from thyroid problems.

Therefore, if you are overweight because of hormonal problems, you can consider yoga a good exercise to help with these problems. In this case, we recommend researching or asking an instructor which poses are best for thyroid and other hormonal issues.

9. Yoga helps fight anxiety.

We’ve already mentioned the spiritual and relaxing benefits of yoga. This is because it’s commonly considered an activity that helps reduce anxiety.

Not only do the meditation and breathing components help reduce anxiety levels, but the effects of yoga on your nervous system can also help your concentration. This can also influence your eating habits and cravings.

10. It helps you meet your goals

If you’re interested in physical activity to help you lead a healthier lifestyle or lose weight, then yoga is perfect! Besides being a form of exercise, it is also a spiritual activity that strengths your connection with yourself and your willpower. 

There will be moments of concentration and meditation where you encourage yourself to move forward and improve. It will also give you more patience to wait for the results of your efforts.

Which Positions Can Help You Lose Weight?

yoga positions

Yoga can help you strengthen your muscles, improve your flexibility, improve your breathing, and help you generally feel better. Yoga is especially beneficial for overweight people because good results can be obtained without high-impact exercise.

Help your body promote weight loss by practicing these positions:

  • The corpse/relaxation pose (Savasana): This is ideal for relaxing and calming the mind and body
  • The Candle (Sarvangasana): This helps regulate your metabolism and stimulate the thyroid gland.
  • Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani Mudra):This pose helps the thyroid gland function better and improves circulatory problems. In addition, it helps with self-control.
  • The fish (Matsyasana): This pose helps regulate the functioning of the thyroid gland. It’s also beneficial for the pituitary, adrenal, and pineal glands.
  • The plow (Halasana): This helps reduce abdomen fat. It also helps regulate the thyroid gland, spleen, and liver.
  • The cobra (Bhujanghasana): This pose helps regulate the adrenal and thyroid glands. Plus, it stimulates and helps firm the muscles of the abdomen. It also strengthens the spine and helps firm the buttocks.

 Which Poses Should You Avoid?

In general, you should not perform any pose that you are not prepared for physically, such as those in which one part of the body supports all of your body weight. Other positions, such as padahastasana and balasana where you lean all the way forward, can also hinder your breathing.

Regular physical activity will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Yoga is especially helpful for overweight people who are looking to begin a healthier or more active lifestyle, and it is especially effective because it can not only improve your physical health, but also your mental and spiritual health.

  • Cohen, B. E., Chang, A. A., Grady, D., & Kanaya, A. M. (2008). Restorative Yoga in Adults with Metabolic Syndrome: A Randomized, Controlled Pilot Trial. Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders. https://doi.org/10.1089/met.2008.0016
  • Shaw, K., Gennat, H., O’Rourke, P., & Del Mar, C. (2006). Exercise for overweight or obesity. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD003817.pub3
  • Donesky-Cuenco, D., Nguyen, H. Q., Paul, S., & Carrieri-Kohlman, V. (2009). Yoga Therapy Decreases Dyspnea-Related Distress and Improves Functional Performance in People with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Pilot Study. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2008.0389