Updated on July 7th, 2023 at 06:04 pm

As an overweight person, I’ve always envied those practicing yoga. Unfortunately, social media is full of amazing photos of thin people doing yoga. As such, I can’t help but wonder, ‘can I do yoga if I’m overweight?

Yes, you can. However, you’ll have to modify some yoga poses. For instance, you may have to use props. For some poses, the yoga teacher will recommend you use a chair for extra support and for others, you do them on the wall for better stability. Unfortunately, forward bends and twists might be a problem.

When you defeat the challenges fat yoga practice presents, you’ll reap many health benefits, including physical, spiritual, and mental benefits. Let’s dig deeper into overweight yoga, the exercise routine you should follow.

Is yoga for overweight people?

image of overweight woman practicing yoga - Extra Large LivingYoga classes are for everybody. Its pillars establish a clear road to enlightenment through physical, mental, and spiritual commitment. A full yoga class includes meditation, moral observances, meditation, and more.

If the physical aspect of yoga proves to be a problem, you can try other styles since yoga is more than a workout.

Physical asanas are what attract people to yoga. The asanas provide many body positions to do that help you connect with your body. Except for an injury or an underlying health problem, physical asanas are designed to be done by all. Depending on the flexibility and strength of an individual, the expression may vary.

Obese or overweight yoga beginners should consult with their doctor regarding the yoga exercise before diving in. Though practicing yoga while overweight doesn’t necessarily cause complications, the health problems tied to obesity might be a problem.

For instance, if you have heart disease or diabetes, it’s important to keep your doctor informed of your routine and any changes that may apply. In some situations, the yoga instructor can offer guidance on the same.

Can yoga help you lose weight?

To lose weight, your calorie intake should be less than the calories you spend. Yoga therapy burns between 200 and 550 calories. Admittedly this isn’t as much as you can burn in other exercises, but it’s enough for weight loss if you follow the weight loss formula.

To maximize weight loss with your yoga practice, pair it with efficient calorie-burning physical fitness exercises like running, cycling, swimming, and a proper diet.

Which yoga is best for obesity?

image of an overweight woman in a yoga pose - Extra Large Living

The perfect yoga for losing weight is that which burns more calories. In this case, vinyasa yoga is perfect for obese people who want to lose weight.

Vinyasa yoga

Vinyasa yoga helps you burn 550 calories for every hour you spend in yoga studios. It combines breathwork with flowing postures. Since you hold the poses for a couple of breaths, it has more movement and gets your heart beating faster.

Hot yoga

Also known as Bikram yoga is also an effective yoga style for losing weight. The yoga therapy is done in a heated room. In the heated room, your heart has to work harder to supply your muscles with sufficient oxygen, which helps to burn more calories.

Because of the heat, you might lose one or three pounds of water

 weight. But when you rehydrate after class, you’ll regain the lost water weight. With hot yoga, you might burn 450 calories.

Hatha yoga

This yoga style is also great for overweight beginners because it has a lot of movements. However, poses last longer, which makes this style slower compared to hot and vinyasa yoga. As a result, only about 200 calories are burnt. On the flip side, holding the poses for a longer period helps to build strength.

Note: With each of these yoga styles, the exact number of calories you burn depends on several factors, including the poses performed, your level of activity, and weight.

How long should you do yoga a day to lose weight?

If you do yoga for weight loss, experts suggest you have a minimum of three 1-hour sessions every week at home or in your local yoga studio. Generally, yoga is a low-intensity exercise, and according to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, such activities should take 2.5 hours every week.

As a yoga beginner, start slow with 20-minute practices and build from there. This will allow you to build flexibility and strength while preventing injuries. You should also have sufficient rest days during the week.


Fat people benefit from yoga like everyone else: increased awareness, stress reduction, strength, balance, and flexibility. As a large yogi, you might have to modify some poses, but they’ll still be powerful and accessible.

When practicing yoga, remember its basic principle – ahimsa which translates to ‘nonviolence’ to yourself and others. When you practice yoga, you should take proper measures like using a yoga mat for overweight people to prevent injury, love, and be patient with yourself. Try and avoid comparison and have fun.

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