Gals with an A cup may not get it, but some women actually are too well-endowed. Large breasts can cause back problems, make it hard to find clothes that fit and bring on unwanted attention.
Step No. 1 in reducing breast size is lowering your overall body fat. Breast tissue is mostly fat, so when you lose weight, your breasts naturally shrink. Yoga as part of a comprehensive weight-loss program can help this process.
If you're of a healthy weight, however, you might be stuck with the chest you've got. Yoga poses can't work magic and target breast fat directly, or any fat for that matter.
The size of your breasts is largely dependent on genetics. Some women simply store more fat in their chest than others. Duct and lobule tissue, used for breastfeeding, makes up a only a small portion of your breasts.
There's virtually no muscle in your boobs, so you can't really tighten up the area either. While you can work the muscles of your chest that lie under your breasts with yoga poses such as Chaturanga, this usually has the effect of making you look even bigger up top by widening your chest wall as you gain muscle mass.
Shrinking Your Chest
Your breasts are a place your body stores fat, so if you're carrying a few extra pounds, getting to a healthier weight might help reduce your bra size. Losing weight doesn't guarantee that your breasts will shrink, as you can't choose from where fat disappears. But, for many women, the breasts are one of the first places to reduce.
Fat loss happens when you create a caloric deficit, meaning you consume fewer calories than you burn. Achieve this by reducing your intake of extra calories from saturated fat, sugar and refined grains; focus on eating moderate portions of lean protein, whole grains and fresh vegetables and fruits. Increase your activity level, too, to burn more calories.
Yoga can help both strategies. It increases mindfulness, so you may become more aware of what your eating and feelings of fullness. It also counts as physical activity, with active practices such as Power or Vinyasa burning around 400 calories per hour.
An active yoga practice is one that warms up with Sun Salutations and flows from pose to pose with the breath. You'll spend much time in standing poses that include lunges and balancing.
Physical activity in addition to regular yoga practice will expedite fat loss. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio daily — more if you can fit it in — and at least two total-body strength-training sessions per week.
If, after losing weight, your large breasts continue to be a source of suffering for your back and self-esteem, your only option may be to reduce their size through surgery. Talk to your doctor about your options.