5 Ways Yoga Is Truly For Every Body

One of the main and earliest teachings of yoga is the concept of Ahimsa, or non-violence in both thought and speech.

It’s the practice of pure love and acceptance for yourself and others.

This spans all bounds both on and off the mat. 

With Ahimsa in mind, the actual principles of yoga accept all people of any body type to practice yoga with open arms.

I teamed up with Ann Kathleen, a plus size blogger, to talk about the 5 ways that yoga truly is for every body.

Ann Kathleen Plus Size Blogger

1. You Connect to Your Body in New Ways 

Yoga allows you to learn how your body has been taking care of you. 

For anyone who has spent an extended amount of time hating your own body, yoga gives you the unique perspective of how amazingly hard your body works for you every day. 

It is statistically proven that deeper breathing lowers cortisol and stress levels in the body, (Perciavalle).

Yoga allows us to slow down and breathe deeper, which ultimately decreases our high alert functioning so we can connect to our truest selves.

When our minds aren’t clouded with worries about what to eat for dinner, that project due next week, or how to handle a relationship turning sour, our attention expands to new heights.

We begin to notice our stomach expanding with each breath, our hearts beating faster as we go through each pose, new muscles and joints working to our advantage as we gain flexibility and balance.

Yoga brings a new sense of awareness to your body that you’ve never had before and can deepen your sense of appreciation toward your body no matter the size. 

Body Inclusive Yoga Oh the Places Youll Flow

Ann Kathleen's Perspective: 

Yoga allows you to learn how your body has been taking care of you. 

For anyone who has spent an extended amount of time hating your own body. 

Yoga gives you the unique perspective of how amazingly hard your body works for you every day. 

As a plus size person I spent a portion of my life intentionally disconnected from my body.

Yoga has been integral in getting connected again.

2. You Learn Mindfulness

Yoga makes you go inward and realize what is important.

It is an act of being in the present moment and connecting deeper to yourself.

Through slowing down and connecting back to yourself, tensions and stress start to fade away and you may begin to have more moments of clarity.

You understand that you are an important human being with so much to offer the world no matter what size you are.

As your attention flows to these other valuable attributes, you recognize that your size does not equal your worth.

That you have always been worthy and you will always be worthy.  

Yoga teaches you to become more aware of your thoughts.

You may start to track any negative self talk and become more aware of where your mind goes and how it plays a role in any unkindness toward yourself.

Yoga and meditation go hand in hand.

Oftentimes at the beginning of a yoga class you start by calming the mind and checking in with yourself.

Slowing down the breathing with meditation is a great foundation to become aware of each thought inside your head.

When you bring acute awareness to your thoughts, you can start to notice how many of these thoughts are distracting and negative.

Oftentimes, it is easy to go on a downward spiral of harmful self talk.

Yet, with a newfound awareness of our bodies and minds, you can start to recognize when your mind is having a reckless field day and start to be kinder to yourself

Yoga is for every body learning mindfulness

Ann Kathleen's Perspective: 

Learning mindfulness is a great way to work on getting rid of unnecessary negative thoughts.

Meditation and mindfulness have personally helped me so much with my anxiety and negative self talk!

I always recommend it to anyone on a self love journey. 

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Yoga For Beginners Yoga Blog

3. Yoga Has Plenty of Modification Options

You see what your body can do for you. You are probably more flexible than you think you are. 

You can see and learn that your body is capable of more than you think.

This can boost self-esteem by seeing your flexibility, balance and movement. 

The acknowledgement of what your body can do for you--touching your toes, twisting, bending and balancing--develops a deep sense of gratitude for your body.

Seeing progress in a pose and in your practice can increase your self esteem and pride for what your body is doing for you. 

Ann Kathleen's Perspective: 

You are probably more flexible than you think you are. 

You can see and learn that your body is capable of more than you think.

Your body is capable of more than you have imagined. Give it the opportunity to show you what it can do!

Ann Kathleen Plus Size Blogger

4. You Ease Into Exercise

Yoga has a variety of styles--some very gentle like yin and some more intense like power vinyasa.

You get to choose what style feels best for you that day.

Sometimes high intensity workout classes can be intimidating.

With yoga, you get to choose the style, the class and the modifications that are right for you.

Ann Kathleen's Perspective:

If you haven’t been active in a while, beginner yoga is great way to ease your body back into activity.

And if you are nervous or afraid to go to a gym and be judged, you can always do yoga at home. 

Or anywhere in the world for that matter!

Yoga is for everybody ease into exercise


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5. You Find an Inclusive Community 

Ann Kathleen's Perspective:

I know that a lot of plus sized individuals feel uncomfortable in gyms because they have had negative interactions in those kinds of environments in the past.

But an inclusive space can make you feel welcomed and comfortable.

Everyone deserves access to healthy spaces!! 

Yoga is meant to be inclusive.

So go out and find a yoga studio that is a good fit for you!

Yoga Inclusive Community

Tips for Yoga Studios to Be More Inclusive:

Make sure people are aware that you are inclusive.

Advertise that you’re a body positive studio and that all sizes are welcome. 

Post plus size bodies on your Instagram and social media. 

Have modifications ready for bigger bodies and emphasize that it’s okay to use modifications. 

Don’t allow body shaming of any kind in your studio or on your social media. 

Hi! I'm Nicole. A mindfulness mentor on a mission to help you optimize your mindset to live a super satisfying and joyous life.

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Are you wanting to tap into your body and mind by practicing yoga but have no idea where to start? 

I’ve made it easy for you to learn the basics of yoga poses in 5 short days.

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The best way to ease into yoga. Perfect for beginners.

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