Some yoga poses may be difficult for overweight people, so practicing poses that use supportive props can help avoid extra strain on the joints. Advancing the yoga practice slowly and paying special attention to your breath will assist in avoiding injury.
Basic Relaxation Pose
Lie on your back just to the side of a chair. Swing your lower legs up to rest on the seat of the chair. Slide a pillow under your head and relax your arms out naturally to the side. You may place an eye pillow over your eyes for additional relaxation. Stay in the pose for 15 to 20 minutes and gently exit the pose by rolling to one side.
Simple Supported Backbend
To perform a simple supported backbend, you will need a yoga bolster and a blanket. While lying on your back, slide a bolster under your lower back and a rolled-up blanket under your neck. Bend your knees and relax your arms to the sides. Stay in the pose for two to four minutes. This pose will safely prepare your body for more advanced backbends.
Forward bends reduce depression, relieve fatigue and regulate blood pressure, according to yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar. Forward bends can be difficult for heavier people, but using a chair for assistance can make the pose more comfortable. While in a standing position, bend forward and rest the arms on the back or the seat of a chair. Focus on lifting the pelvis upward for a deeper stretch. Hold for one minute, rest and repeat twice.
Boat Pose Variation
This variation of Boat pose is performed using two stools or chairs. Place one chair or stool against a wall and the other 2 to 3 feet in front of it. Sit between the stools, resting your back against the stool supported by the wall. Lift your legs and rest the backs of your legs against the stool while keeping your legs straight. Your body should form a V-shape. Hold for one minute, working up to five. According to Iyengar, this pose increases the body's metabolic rate.
- Yoga, The Path to Holistic Health; B.K.S. Iyengar
- Relax and Renew; Judith Lasater, Ph.D., P.T.
- Yoga as Medicine; Timothy McCall, M.D.
- IHanuman.com: Simple Supported Backbend