I feel like I'm too fat to properly do yoga. I have a hard time bending in certain positions, because my tummy is in the way. I just started getting back in to yoga, will this get better with improved flexibility, or just with weight loss?
First off, know that you are not alone!
For lots of the poses, we’re really not supposed to be “sucking in” a lot because it affects our breathing pattern. So as you move through your yoga practice, experiment with props and leg placement to allow a little more room for the belly.
You can modify certain poses by using blocks. For high runners lunge type poses, you can use blocks underneath your hands, so you dont feel super cramped in front. Most if not all yoga studios have them. I own yoga blocks … they’re great.
For twists, you can do a few things. For seated poses, I like to elevate my hips on a blanket. You can widen your feet a little. And/or you can just physically move the stomach out of the way. If those things don’t work, maybe you can modify the pose by lying on your back. But adjust your body here and there to allow for more tummy room.
Always remember the intention of the pose. For example, if an instructor says “Belly to the thighs” for a forward fold, yours might already be there! But if you focus on lengthening the spine and pushing the hip crease back, then you should be closer to reaching the benefit of the pose.
You can also look up prenatal yoga classes! This is another group of people with stomachs in the way!
Realistically speaking, there are a lot of yoga instructors not experienced with the ins and outs of larger yogis, so it’s okay to do a little research after running into some troubling yoga poses.
Best of luck and thank you for the question/concern. Know you’re not the only one with it.