yoga for morbidly obese

i’m morbidly obese with the majority of my fat carrying in the belly apron. I have the flexibility for beginner yoga but my belly is seriously limiting some poses and stretches. would workouts designed for third trimester be a viable option even if I’m not pregnant? if not, are there any other suggestions or is it just something I’ll have to wait for until I lose more weight?


  • Duck_Puddle
    Duck_Puddle Posts: 3,224 Member
    You may find a DVD or YouTube option for that jives with you under search options such as plus size yoga, bigger body yoga, maybe searching for morbidly obese or something as well? They may have flows designed to use poses that are more agreeable to larger bodies and limit or eliminate those that aren’t as agreeable. Every one is a little different and the vibe for one or another might be perfect for you (or not). But hopefully at least one will be a good match.
  • TwistedSassette
    TwistedSassette Posts: 8,540 Member
    @springlering62 You are so right - yoga is about feeling what your body can do and doing what is available to you.

    I am very obese but I love doing yoga (especially in person classes even though I was self-conscious at first). I followed a plus-size yoga hashtag on Instagram and saw the incredible things these people (mostly women) who were my size and often larger, could do. It made me think that I can one day do that too. So I started doing yoga at home, following YouTube videos, and while I am a long way from arm balances or inversions, I have noticed a lot of gains in my strength and flexibility.

    I, too, often have to move my pooch out of my way to get into a better position but I recognise that this is part of my journey. One day, probably without me even realising it, I won't have to do that anymore. But for now, I do what I can do and make adjustments and modifications where I need to.
  • concordancia
    concordancia Posts: 5,320 Member
    I make lots of modifications, some that I have been taught do to joint issues, some that came from "No way, uh uh, my body does not move like that."

    If you do a few Yoga with Adrienne videos, she really emphasizes being realistic and doing your own thing, respecting your own practice.

    I have never faced judgement from instructors, but I have faced a couple of idiots. One, who I had been working with quite awhile, couldn't tell my hip bulge from my hip bone and wouldn't believe me even when I put her hand on the bone. Others have tried to convince me I just need to work a certain muscle to achieve perfect form when the problem is that clearly that my thighs and my calves are already fully compressed together and so I cannot bend my knee anymore.
  • springlering62
    springlering62 Posts: 7,403 Member
    @concordancia my experience has been, if someone starts talking about “perfect form”, run for the hills. That’s not the same thing as subtly adjusting position to get more benefit from a pose, or a gentle hands on assistance to deepen a pose (sadly verboten during these days of Covid ).

    What I find kinda interesting is that certain poses that came easily as a larger woman are now more difficult. Pigeon used to be my nap time. I could easily get my shin up to my chin and just relax. Heroes pose isn’t as comfortable, either. There’s a few others.

    I’m very fortunate. My daughter is a gifted instructor, the best I’ve ever taken from, and I can say that in all sincerity. I’ve learned a lot from her. She has a knack for bringing you into a pose from another direction, and you suddenly realize you’re doing something you couldn’t before. Those are the best kind of teachers, and I’m not just momma saying that!
  • sleepysnow
    sleepysnow Posts: 3 Member
    Thank you everybody for all your wonderful feedback! Still trying to find some videos that I can mentally commit to every day, but even with just trying routines out I’ve noticed I haven’t had cramping legs after work all week.

    Really appreciate you all sharing your experiences and suggestions! 🙏🏼
  • capulet338
    capulet338 Posts: 2 Member
    I make bunches of alterations, some that I have been instructed due to joint issues, some that came from "No chance, uh, my body doesn't move that way. You can see the article on this at
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,886 Member
    I just wanted to chime in here that ANY BODY can do yoga and benefit from it!

    Back in 2002, I was morbidly obese but really loved doing some Rodney Yee DVDs at home, AM & PM yoga. I liked it so much that I went to an in-person yoga class to find out more. They totally shamed me about "weak" ankles and wrists and I never returned. As a result, I didn't do yoga for 18 years!

    Now I am at a different lower weight and LOVE doing Yoga with Adriene at home. I have come to see that I never had "weak" wrists or ankles, but I was doing poses that were not appropriate for me and that were repeated too often without doing them in a safe way! Never let anyone kill your yoga buzz.

    I started doing Rodney Yee's AM & PM yoga in the '90s, incorporated most of AM into my own flow, and then into my class once I became a teacher :)

    Sorry about your shaming teacher :(
  • donidaily
    donidaily Posts: 825 Member
    Adding my voice to the chorus: yes, you can @sleepysnow ! I have practiced at many sizes/bmis and sure, sometimes fat is just in the way. At any size this is an issue for me with my chest. The thing is, if you start to tune into how the pose feels in your body rather than how it looks in the mirror you will still get all the benefits. For me it has helped to have very vocal teachers who describe not just what pose we are doing but how it should feel, which muscles should be activating, what should be tucked or flattened or aligned or opening up etc. (And I find this has the added benefit of taking over my own internal chatter for while!)

    This is one of the reasons I love Yoga with Adriene on Youtube. Adriene is also very thoughtful about her vocabulary and tends not to use works like "advanced" or anything that might make you feel less than, she is all about everyone working wherever they are at. She has some yin practices that would be a good place to start.

    Like @springlering62 I found it very challenging to support my body weight in chaturanga for YEARS. I have sat out many flows in child's pose both in online and in-person classes. But once you get chill with being on your own path it honestly feels fine. Wishing you all the best as your explore yoga and its many wonderful rewards!
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,886 Member
    OP - yes, do look for pregnancy, gentle, restorative, etc.

    Please pardon my digression into more advanced poses.

    Ah, chaturanga :)

    Two of my fitness goals revolve around chaturanga. I'm at the first one, where I am strong enough to not do "chaturanga belly flop" :lol:

    My ultimate goal is to be fit enough to do the sequence I did when I was a full time yoga teacher, which involved a lot of chaturanga and jumping back and forth.

    I guess I need to set some interim goals. I tried some jumping forward the other day and was about 18 inches short of my hands, so just being able to jump all the way up ONCE is a start.

    These have been helpful:

    He calls the 6th exercise "Lower Plank" and it is the lowering part of chaturanga.

    I didn't book mark the other video >.< Will take a look. Someone had posted it in this forum. There was a woman using 4 blocks to demonstrate where your body is and is not supposed to be during this.
  • Psychgrrl
    Psychgrrl Posts: 3,177 Member
    Lots and lots of props! Blocks, bolsters. They can help you maintain form regardless of body issues.

    Also, a couple of resources/
    * I am Well and Good (Insta) lots of workouts for all bodies, by all types of trainers, with/for all types of bodies.

    Don’t let your weight stop you if you want to learn and explore yoga! 💖🧘🏻‍♀️