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Am I Too Fat for Yoga? – Not at All!

The big question, “am I too fat or too out of shape for yoga?” The answer is always no. It’s never too late to change your lifestyle and start working out.

My Usual Conversations

I have had a lot of conversations that usually go something like this:
Friend 1: Hey dude, I’ve seen all the stuff you’ve been doing on social media, it looks like it’s going well!
Me: Yeah, thank you! I’ve been having a blast. It’s awesome seeing and hearing from people whose lives I am helping to affect.
Friend 1: Yeah, I’m going to start your yoga stuff soon. Just have to wait until I lose a little bit of weight. I am out of shape right now and I don’t think my body is ready for yoga.
Hold on. You want to wait to do yoga until after you lose weight? What do you think your body is ready for – CrossFit? Because I’ve heard that that’s a lot less stressful than yoga, for sure.

Yoga Is for Developing Foundation Fitness

What a lot of people don’t realize is that yoga is movement basics 101. It’s everything that you should be able to do with your body, without weights. Adding in weights is level 2. Adding in weights is the minor leagues, and you’re still playing tee ball. You can train your body to move correctly and fix your posture with yoga, and then you can think about adding weights. Do you think that it’s healthier to start with the technique involved in a squat, or to jump straight into using weight with a squat? If you’ve answered this question with the latter, you go try that out and let me know how it goes. If you answered correctly, let’s build up the movement basics through yoga.

Looking For A Program?

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Yoga & Flexibility

Another big reason why you want to start with yoga is because of the emphasis on flexibility. If you’re out of shape, you might be lucky and still have your range of motion. If you’re not, then you’re going to need to get that range of motion back before you enter the next CrossFit games. Range of motion precedes strength. You will never come close to your maximum potential if you are doing it with limited range of motion. In fact, you’re probably just contributing to muscle imbalances if you continue to hammer away at your strength training workouts without taking the time to address flexibility, joint capsule space, and range of motion.

My Final Thoughts

I could go on to write a few more examples, but I want to stop here and summarize what I’ve been trying to say. If you are out of shape, you need to take care of your body and prepare it for the exercise you’re going to do. Personally, I’m a big fan of yoga and I’ve been doing this for years now to maintain my physical fitness. There are bodyweight techniques and exercises found in yoga (and some that I add from calisthenics to form Man Flow Yoga) that I can use to address whatever imbalance or weakness I want to address in my body, without using weights or excessive gym equipment.
I’m not trying to make yoga your primary form of fitness. I want you to be able to do whatever form of movement you enjoy doing for as many years as you can do it for. I do know that yoga, and more specifically the fitness-centric yoga that I’ve developed, can help you do that.
So, if you want to get back to the weight room, into a box, or back onto the field, you probably can’t go straight back to the workout that you were doing in high school. Your body is different now. Yoga will help restore the range of motion that you’ve lost, improve your posture, correct your imbalances, and re-teach you basic principles of movement so that you can stay injury-free, and above that, perform even better than you did before.

So are you too fat for yoga? No.

Additional Resources

About the author, Dean Pohlman, Founder & CEO of Man Flow Yoga, Author of Yoga Fitness for Men, Expert on Yoga Fitness for Men.

Dean Pohlman is an E-RYT 200 certified yoga instructor and the founder of Man Flow Yoga. Dean is widely considered to be an authority on Yoga for Men. He has worked with physical therapists to create yoga programs for back health and spinal recovery. His workouts and programs have been used by professional and collegiate athletes, athletic trainers, and personal trainers; and have been recommended by physical therapists, doctors, chiropractors, and other medical professionals.

Dean is a successfully published author through DK Publishing (Yoga Fitness for Men), selling 35,000 copies worldwide in English, French, and German; in addition to being a co-producer of the Body by Yoga DVD Series, which has sold over 40,000 copies on Amazon since its release in 2016.

Man Flow Yoga has been featured in Muscle & Fitness Magazine, Mens’ Health, The Chicago Sun, New York Magazine, and many more major news media outlets.

Dean And Dog

Looking for non-spiritual, yoga for men workouts?

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4 thoughts on “Am I Too Fat for Yoga? – Not at All!”

  1. Hey

    5 years ago I was 40lbs over weight

    Ever escalating strength of blood pressure pills.

    Borderline diabetic and getting worse.

    Had to sit down to put my socks on!!! Lol

    Looked at my toes, touch them hell no !

    Then the big “C” diagnosis hit.

    Between being informed and major surgery less than four weeks and that was ONLY because Christmas and New Years happened. I wanted to spend it with friends and family in case I didn’t make it.

    The surgeon said go to a restorative yoga class BEFORE surgery and maybe four to five months after I want you to go back.

    I did.

    Did restorative yoga for about year and got hooked.

    I’m clean on the cancer front but I got my wake up call

    Started following Dean just as he started his blog

    Hit the local power vinyasa yoga classes in my home town. (Dean has his on line one training sessions now; he didn’t then )

    Lost 35 lbs and packed all my clothes away in suitcases and said they are getting thrown out in a year’s time if I kept the weight off.

    I gave all of them to a local charity a year later.

    I’ve just bought Dean’s new book and already read through it Worth the $

    Life is not a dress rehearsal. You get one chance. So if your over weight, can’t put your socks on without sitting down, what and the hell are you waiting for?

  2. Can’t get myself of this seat to do something. I’m 50lbs + over my limit.
    Daniel Huff
    N. Va. resident

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