We Are Not Limited By Our Curves
"Yoga is possible for anybody who really wants it. Yoga is universal... But don't approach yoga with a business mind looking for worldly gain." ~Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois
Yes, plus size women can and do participate in yoga practise. If you are plus size but have not discovered the benefits and joy of yoga then you have come to the right place.
This lens is your one stop shop to plus size yoga. You will find reviews of my favorite CDs and books as well as links to some of the best yoga sites on the web.
Yoga is a fun, relaxing, strengthening form of exercise that is good for your body and your mind. The beauty of yoga is that it is not limited by location or body size.
The Beauty of Yoga - It Is Not Limited to Location
Yoga Just My Size with Megan Garcia
In an intro, Megan discusses how she came to perform yoga, how she was motivated to produce a video and how it works. She talks about being self conscious and limited by her size and what yoga has done for her. This video is designed to increase self confidence, produce a sense of calm, lengthen tight muscles and improve posture. Weight loss is not the focus of this video. Like with most exercise videos, there is a caution for all viewers especially if you're pregnant or menstruating.
Yoga: Just My Size is divided into 3 sections: Warm up, Workout, and Deep Relaxation. Throughout the twenty minute routine Megan wears a body hugging unitard showing off her chubby belly and double chin. According to her website, her frame is 210 pounds, the 5'10" and a size 18. As Megan performs the moves a voice narrates directions on how to perform them and what to use. The background music is louder and annoying, bordering on cheesy cheap.
The warm up works through five slow, non-strenuous movements, holding each posture for five deep breaths. After a lunge transition to the standing position for the workout Megan performs five new postures, again with five deep breaths. This set is repeated once more before doing another lunge transition, to the floor to do four more poses as a transition to prepare the body for the final step, deep relaxation.
Tips are not given through the video so it's important, if you're not going to watch the whole video right through to at least watch the special tips section first. Here she provides some info on how to use a chair, pillow, wall or shoulder block for a few of the popular poses.
In a short interview at the end, Megan declares, "I want to help women feel beautiful and confident, in their own skin." She feels anyone larger than a size 8 must practise yoga because, "Yoga forces you to look inside."
I have some experience with yoga; both with classes and on my own. I found the moves easy to do with little strain. The great thing about the DVD is you can easily skip the intro and go right into the warm up. I hate DVDs that make you go through opening credits to get to the starting point. As a time saver the warm-up would be an excellent mini energizer in the morning and the deep relaxation at night would help settle the day before sleep.
As I mentioned earlier, the music is a bit cheesy. The alternating clips of rushing clouds are hypnotic. Megan doesn't provide the instruction. The simple moves provide an excellent platform for beginners but are perhaps too simplified for advanced practitioners other than a change of view and routine to their video collection. It is short so there are no excuses for not fitting it into your activity schedule a few times a week. I'm sure you'll be addicted in no time.
- Entire Program
- The Workout
- Deep Relaxation
- Special Tips (modifications)
- Just My Size Brand Video
- Language selection
This is not a teaching video. It's just pretty to watch.
Six Foot Mandala Round Yoga Mat
Now here is a yoga mat that a plus size yogi can be proud of. No more readjusting to stay on the mat. No more hanging off the mat while doing floor work. And it's big enough to share with a toddler.
This six foot mandala yoga mat is available from Mandala Yoga Retreat for $65.
Megan Garcia is a plus size model for both magazine and catalogues. In 2005 she was the instructor for the Just My Size yoga video. Mega Yoga is her own venture based on her years as a practitioner and certified yoga instructor in Manhattan, New York.
Mega Yoga covers the basic concepts of yoga and focuses strongly on the ability to treat yourself with compassion and avoid judgement. Or as Megan says, to take up space with no second thoughts. In the physical realm it teaches you how to use props like straps, blocks, walls and chairs to intensify or modify a pose.
With a motivating voice she guides readers through breath, movement and meditation to generate strength and sensitivity via Hatha (movement) yoga, all modified for the plus size woman. An ongoing theme throughout Mega Yoga is the importance of getting to know your body and how it works. Because plus size women have cushions where the average yoga user doesn't Megan offers "skills" such as moving the flesh and binding the breasts as a way of getting deeper into poses. I don't have the chest issue so I can't let you know how effective this technique is but the moving flesh is a viable option.
Mega Yoga is a full colour, heavy weight, glossy, 157 page book intended for beginners. It's divided into seven categories. Each category of poses has Megan wearing a different colour outfit which is a great marker if you're quickly flipping through the book to find a specific section. The pictures are clear and they are numbered so you know where to look next. The pose explanations are brief and point out areas to keep an eye or focus on. Practically every page has a sidebar for mega tips, modifications, cautions or ways to intensify poses.
There is more to yoga than poses so Megan teaches three types of breathing common to yoga practise but sometimes lost in class translation: dirgha breathing, ujjayi breathing and alternate nostril breathing.
At the end, everything is arranged into three programs, 30 minute, 60 minute and 90 minute, with a small image of each pose and what page to find it on if you need further direction.
Here are the categories:
- Standing poses
- Wall poses and Inversions
- Cleansing Poses
- Quiet Poses
I really enjoyed reading Mega Yoga and found it helpful for fine tuning moves I was somewhat familiar with as well as giving me some basic background information on the poses. I did not feel overwhelmed by the material and it is a quick read.
What I would have liked to have seen is a pull out section of the programs so I could post them for easier reference or perhaps a ring binding so the book would stay open at the page I'm working on. Technical things that have nothing to do with the content.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Mega Yoga and highly recommend it.
Favorite Pose - Tree - Any Time, Anywhere
Favorite Pose - Warrior
Big Yoga - Flexibility
"For those who don't look like the traditional Yoga models."
Meera Patricia Kerr has been teaching yoga for 30 years and is certified in Hatha 1, Cardiac and Extra Gentle Yoga, and Meditation. Her approach is not commercial but strives to include a full body experience including a peaceful mind and strong breath. Big Yoga - Flexibility is more of a starting point "to ease ourselves into yoga" or any physical activity for that matter.
The Flexibility CD begins with adaptations to positions to ease tension or pressure on hips, knees and wrists. Meera has a belly and admits it gets in the way while doing movements but it means she cannot bring the positions as close to her core as a slimmer person could. It does not mean they are not doable or beneficial, just different.
Big Yoga - Flexibility makes sure the ankles, hips, shoulders, neck, and wrists all get some activity. The movements are performed on the floor but many moves can be done in the chair or standing position if getting down on the floor is difficult. She uses layman terms and official yoga terms to cement understanding. Throughout each movement she gives helpful prompts to enliven the lungs with proper breathing (when to inhale or exhale) and rhythm.
Following the flexibility movements Meera takes viewers through one of the most popular sequence of yoga asanas, the Sun Salute. In the Hatha 1 video she taught viewers how to do the Sun Salute with a wall. In this video she teaches how to do it with a chair. This helps to keep the momentum going and is easier than getting up and down from the floor quickly and repeatedly but it is still beneficial. As the user progresses they can eventually transition to using the floor if they choose.
One of my favorite activities at the end of a yoga class is the guided relaxation/meditation. It helps me take stock of what my body is doing. In Meera's video it is done on the floor to relaxing music but can just as easily be performed on a bed or sitting in chair. The final part of the relaxation is nostril breathing and then she goes into a lovely peace chant.
For those who want to explore the chanting aspect of yoga this CD closes with an explanation of OM Shanti chanting -- personally, I found the accompanying accordion irritating after such a lovely relaxation and I think would have been better a cappella as Meera has a lovely voice. Chanting is not for everyone and having it at the end of the video makes it easier to skip.
The CD is divided into five sections totaling seventy minutes:
- Intro - 6:22
- Flexibility Series - 26:18
- Chair Sun Salute - 6:40
- Guided Relaxation and Pranayama - 23:46
- Peace Chant - 7:41
There is the option to play the full program from start to finish or visit the specific chapters mentioned above.
Overall, this isn't your typical yoga video. There isn't a series of yoga movements to practice other than the Sun Salute but a series of gentle movements to increase the body's range of motion and full breathe. Big Yoga - Flexibility would be perfect for anyone who hasn't been active in a while. It is slow but invigorating for the whole body and would be a perfect start OR end to the day. It is good for all sizes and all ages (the instructor is in her sixties). I highly recommend Big Yoga Flexibility series by Meera Patricia Kerr (BigYogaOnline.com) for anyone who wants to ease back into being active.
Yoga For Real Bodies
I have not seen these videos but they have been recommended to me by others.
Plus Size Yoga Guestbook
SmartYoga on December 07, 2013:
Thanks! This is a GREAT lens! Hopefully lots of people will find it and realize that yoga isn't just for skinny people! Really important stuff!!! Yoga has such massive benefits, I've been reading up on the science of it and it's really astonishing what it can do.
PhoneGuru LM on October 18, 2012:
I honestly think that if we could get everyone to practice yoga a couple of times a week, we could dramatically change the health situation of this nation. Yoga not only trains the body for wellness, it also trains the mind to stand tall and think clearly.
Melissa Miotke from Arizona on July 03, 2012:
What a great article, yoga changed my life!
YogaAngel on June 14, 2012:
Yoga is great for everyone!
AshleySears LM on June 02, 2012:
Love this lense. Even big girls can do yoga too!
Tolovaj Publishing House from Ljubljana on May 26, 2012:
Astonishing selection of plus sized yoga wear!
Millionairemomma on May 19, 2012:
Yoga is great. It is awesome. I like this lens. It is laid out very well and full of great content.
randomthings lm on April 16, 2012:
really cool website. i especially LOVED the big, round yoga mat. I have never seen anything like it. thanks!
priori on April 13, 2012:
this is great, thanks! :)
Loganor on March 28, 2012:
Cool - I got to be your 100th squidlike! Curves are gorgeous!
7thStone on March 05, 2012:
I LOVE THIS LENS ... I've been doing yoga for about 20 years (I'm a plus size, in fact that's been about my size for 20 years also :) Yoga keeps me flexible (the chiropractor is always impressed) and I'm happy & healthy ... what else can you ask for? Thanks very much for posting such a great lens ... it inspires me, I may need to do a plus size & happy about it lens!
AlphaChic on February 07, 2012:
I have tried yoga before but couldn't do it because the moves were too hard and didn't fit my body. I actually pulled a back muscle (painful!) trying to get my body to do what was on the screen. Thanks for putting this lens together.
Chocolatealchemy from London, United Kingdom on February 04, 2012:
I love your Lens - ispiring stuff on Yoga and not only for the super skinny! Thanks for sharing all your info!
Justswimmingly on January 26, 2012:
I love your lens. I've been getting really interested in yoga and this was very informative for me. Thanks!
Holysheepskin LM on January 13, 2012:
Great Lens, lots of really good info!
I have just recently taken up hot yoga and am loving it! I'm amazed at how evertime I go my balance is better and I can push a little further. Great for those who are wanting to get healthy!
anonymous on November 11, 2011:
great lens, very inspirational
JZinoBodyArt on November 05, 2011:
This is an amazing lens! Thanks so much! I hate picking up yoga mags with very thin models on the cover in poses that I physically cannot pull off. All of me would be in my way, if you get what I mean lol!
Rose Jones on October 22, 2011:
Thanks for creating this. It can be a vicious cycle - you want to exercise especially because you are bigger than you want and yet a lot of traditional exercise is not set up for this. I really appreciate your approach and support. I have found yoga helpful no matter what size I am.
Jim Sterling from Franklin, Tennessee on October 06, 2011:
Thank you for the wonderful lens.
anupma lm on October 02, 2011:
Awesome, you have explored each and every aspect of Yoga. I do regularly Yoga.
BrandonSharp on September 28, 2011:
Yoga is such a wonderful way to gain flexibility and basic strength while learn to relax you mind, body and spirit. Cool lens.
anonymous on September 24, 2011:
This is interesting lens
Jules Corriere from Jonesborough TN on September 05, 2011:
Outstanding! Thank you for writing this!
Ronald Tucker from Louisville, Kentucky on August 31, 2011:
Terrific lens...excellent resources for those that would like to explore the health benefits of practicing Yoga.
DogWatchColumbus on August 21, 2011:
Great lens with good info. Makes me want to pick up yoga again...
tyler70 on August 12, 2011:
Very nice lens. Shows that anyone can do yoga if they set their mind to it!
Runnn on August 04, 2011:
Interesting lens. Well done.
dawngibson lm on June 20, 2011:
Thanks so much for this informative lens.
anonymous on June 01, 2011:
Very interesting and helpful advice! Great lens, thank you!
smithlights on May 25, 2011:
Love the content! Great idea.
maryctucker on May 24, 2011:
Nice Lens.....Good Sharing Your Video
StLphotogirl on May 12, 2011:
I like the tips and suggestions you posted. I am larger than average and have some issues with performing traditional yoga poses so hopefully your tips will help me out.
anonymous on May 10, 2011:
You have some great suggestions here. Thank you for sharing. I will definitely need to research Yoga some more.
maryctucker on May 07, 2011:
It's fantastic article post.Nice video also.Thanks for done...
Lee Hansen from Vermont on April 17, 2011:
Always have loved yoga for keeping flexible and relaxation ... thanks for adding this to Purple Star award winners voting plexo at Purple Star Pastiche
OrganicMom247 on April 13, 2011:
What a fantastic lens, anyone can do yoga and it is good for you.
Michey LM on February 04, 2011:
Cool, a lot of great info. Thanks
girlfriendfactory on January 27, 2011:
Very nice! I came across this while looking for an exercise mat. Now I have to decide between a yoga mat and an all-purpose mat. Decisions, decisions...I did lensroll this to my salad lens ~ might as well get healthy in as many ways as possible! Great job! :)
anonymous on January 18, 2011:
Agree just because we are curvy doesn't mean we can't do yoga:)
miaponzo on January 17, 2011:
Thanks for this! I know a lady here in Kuwait who is rather large and she does yoga regularly.. with big boobs and all! :)
mockingbird999 on January 14, 2011:
I do aerobics, but never have tried yoga. Maybe I'll give it a try next.
natashaely on January 14, 2011:
I fall into that strange category in-between plus size and skinny, no mans land but I really like your lens and feel that it relates to me. I used to do a lot of yoga, have started again recently but there are some great tips on here! Thank you and great lens :)
dwnovacek on December 24, 2010:
I always thought yoga was something I couldn't do because of my size. Thank you for showing me that this isn't so.
needatitleokc on December 09, 2010:
I was a big plus size before breast cancer i like you page and I am glad someone is in the market for us big girls. lost 80 pounds in my journey with cancer
anonymous on December 08, 2010:
I have wanted to try yoga, but thought I would never find one for me. I am going to look into the ones you have highlighted here, thanks!
kt_glasses on December 07, 2010:
I practice Yoga almost everyday to release my body from sitting in the office whole day.
River88 on December 04, 2010:
I used to do a little yoga "many moons ago" when I was a teenager, thinking about starting up again. Your info is very helpful seeing as how I'm a plus size now and not a skinny teen!
Bambi Watson on November 16, 2010:
I just love yoga and I'm glad it's becoming more & more popular every day! :)
AHERMITT LM on November 14, 2010:
FINALLY! Love it.
teemu on November 04, 2010:
Great lens! Yoga really is for everyone.
kimbesa from USA on October 24, 2010:
Thanks! I've tried yoga before, but couldn't stick with it even though it was beneficial. Time to take another try!
traceysfolly lm on October 22, 2010:
Awesome lens. I was looking for some motivation as I am about to embark on a yoga routine of my own.
DianaPrice LM on October 18, 2010:
Thanks for the tips for those of us who have a little more bulk to try to twist into pretzel shapes!
ArdenBaird LM on October 16, 2010:
I took a plus size yoga video out of my local library a few years ago. I really liked it. I have no idea why I didn't get one of my own... I think I'll start up again. I'm lensrolling this lens to my Reflecting Venus lens.
gia combs-ramirez from Montana on October 13, 2010:
Elizabeth Sheppard from Bowling Green, Kentucky on October 03, 2010:
I like this lens a lot. I just know that getting back into yoga will be good for me. Thanks for sharing these great resources. I especially like seeing the yoga mats on sale and the cool round yoga mats. Thanks!
June Campbell from North Vancouver, BC, Canada on September 15, 2010:
Yoga is a wonderful practice regardless of size. Thank you for making plus size people aware that they are welcome in yoga classes and can do benefit from the discipline.
Karen from U.S. on April 30, 2010:
Great lens! I've lensrolled it to my lens "Are You Worried About Yoga", and added a link to its Modified Yoga Classes module (after a mention of Yoga for Round Bodies)>
anonymous on April 02, 2010:
Very well done Yoga lens. I've often practiced with a DVD, there are several here I would like to add to my collection.
LotusMalas on February 28, 2010:
Fantastic job on this yoga guide!!
Moe Wood (author) from Eastern Ontario on February 19, 2010:
@Joan4: Definitely! I've had to take a break the last few months b/c of a non-related injury but I'm itching to get back at it.
Joan4 on February 19, 2010:
Congratulations on that wonderful purple star! Sounds like Plus Size Yoga is something I need to try!
WindyWintersHubs from Vancouver Island, BC on February 16, 2010:
Congratulations on your Purple Star. I did yoga for two years with an instructor. I never thought of trying a DVD. Thanks for your review and info.
Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on February 16, 2010:
Very well presented. Congratulations on the purple star!
anonymous on February 05, 2010:
Your lenses promoting resources for Plus Sizes are so refreshing in their syle and very helpful.
Lorelei Cohen from Canada on December 07, 2009:
I just stopped by to wish you, and those who surround you with love, a very merry holiday season. Many blessings in the New Year.
anonymous on September 22, 2009:
It's great to see this support and information for plus size yogis. I am a plus size yoga teacher: yoga is such a great thing for ANY shape or size. I have a plus size yoga class starting in October (I'm in Auckland, New Zealand), called Maha Yoga. Check out my website if you like, www.mahayoga.co.nz. I love the idea of having an international 'community' of plus size yogis, supporting each other!
religions7 on July 22, 2009:
:) blessed by a squidangel today :)
yogis-yoginis on June 13, 2009:
Very good lens. Yoga is good for everyone I am glad that you are putting information out to encourage more people to reap the benefits it brings.
Natalie W Schorr on May 13, 2009:
I never knew about these videos; a really informative lens!
anonymous on May 05, 2009:
What a great resource! After I did the original DVD for Big Yoga, I realized a need for an easier practice, so I'm going into the studio next week to create Big Yoga-Flex-Ability! And my book is coming out in June...Thanks for your inspiring work getting the word out to all the folks who thought they couldn't do yoga!
MargoPArrowsmith on October 20, 2008:
Good for you. Tell people that no one is limited! My niece also does Pilattes. 5*
Amanda Blue on September 11, 2008:
Fine lens on an important subject, and since I was not able to leave a note on your My Favorite Fat Blogs lens, let me say that Henri de Toulouse Lautrec was right: full bodied women can be exceptionally feminine and charming, especially when they carry themselves unself-consciously. (P.S. I am slim and would like to gain some weight.)
sisterra on August 23, 2008:
Really great lens!
Fingerscrossed on August 12, 2008:
Great Lens. Well set out and good information. My weight doesn't stop me practising yoga. Go for it curvy girls!
Cheryl Kohan from England on July 17, 2008:
This is a beautiful lens. Loved the video. Such a lot of good information. You did an awesome job. I'm going to look for a yoga class.