Is yoga suitable for the overweight? : LUSENET : Spirit of Yoga FAQ : One Thread

I am interested in studying yoga, however I am seriously overweight by about 30kg. Is there any point in attending classes before I lose some weight or will it just be too awkward for me?

-- Claire (, January 11, 2002


Dear Claire, yes Yoga is a worthwhile study and practice. Its range and scope is very broad. Something for everyone. Having a greater weight is not a bar to many of the practices. In most cases it would have a relatively minor effect. Sometimes one might need to do three of a movement instead of five repetions as an example. Yoga practices can generate heat so one would pause at the point heat was building up. Things can easily be done very slowly with the emphasis on awareness not performance. In fact the engagement of ones awarenss is at least as important as any physical action. in this sense Yoga is far more subtle and powerful than exercises. There are also many practices in yoga in which one is not moving the body at all. these include breathing practices, meditation techniques and deep relaxations- the last always a favourite. So from the view point of the teacher and the practices extra weight is no bar. In thinking about self consciousness in a class you need to know that students are encouraged to focus on their own experience and body and that comparison is not relevant. In fact as people get a little familiar with the practices much of the work is done with eyes lightly closed. Hope this is some help and I am sure the teachers woould be happy to discuss with you furtherquestions either by email or phone or in person. Have a special today, Yours in Yoga Priyaratna

-- Priyaratna Saraswati (, January 11, 2002.

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