“Woo girl, need to kick off your shoes, got to take a deep breath, time to focus on you.”
If you haven’t heard of the trailblazing body positivity queen, Lizzo, and her body-positive movement, first take a listen to “Good As Hell.” It’s 2019’s ‘go and dust your shoulders off, keep it movin’’ anthem.
You’re probably thinking by now, ‘wait a minute, I thought this was a blog about how to do plus-size yoga.’ It is! Because here’s our secret: there’s no difference between yoga and plus size yoga! That’s why we love this practice: it’s not about judging others on your mat, or even yourself. It’s about showing up for yourself and connecting to your essence.
Yes, there’s plus size activewear and, we’ll admit it, not every yoga pose is immediately attainable, but—like all good things in life—getting to where you want takes time and growth.
If beginning your yoga journey seems intimidating, try these five gentle foundational yoga poses to get you started.
Start on your hands and knees. Place your hands directly under your shoulder and bring your spine and head into a neutral position. Begin by moving into cow pose—inhale as you drop your belly toward the mat, lift your chin and chest, bringing your gaze toward the ceiling. Then, exhale into cat pose—drop your gaze toward the mat, pull your belly in towards your spine and round your back. Move through these two movements on each inhalation and exhalation for a few breath cycles.
It’s easy to transition to child's pose from cat/cow. Remaining on all fours, spread your knees wide to the side of your mat, touch your big toes and—on an exhale—sit back on your heels. Extend your arms forward and bring your head to the mat. While this pose is simple, make sure to keep your breath steady and your arms engaged as you inhale and exhale.
Downward Facing Dog
Take a last inhale in child’s pose. On an exhale, raise back up onto your hands and knees, and continue to push lifting your knees away from the floor and your tailbone into the air. Keep a slight bend in the knees and your heels lifted, placing your head between your arms and your gaze towards your toes. Focus on your breath and relax deeper into this pose on each inhalation and exhalation. The more you do this pose, the more your knees will straighten and your heels will drop toward the mat.
From downward facing dog, step your feet forward towards your hands. Slowly, lift your body into standing by rolling up one vertebrae at a time. Stand up straight with your hands at your side, ground your toes into the mat and feel the Earth beneath you. Even though this is a standing pose, it is still very active. Firm your thighs, lift the knee caps, widen your shoulder blades, stand tall and relax your shoulders. Who knew standing could be so hard?!
Yoga is just as much of an exercise as it is self-care. Connecting to your movement and your breath isn’t reserved for one-single type of person. On the contrary, yoga is for every body! So, don’t let those excuses keep you from flowing on your mat and welcoming the practice of yoga into your life!
About the Author
Stephanie Kuzydym is an award-winning investigative reporter currently living in Cincinnati. She finds the best way to slow down and refocus is on the mat.