Teaching Yoga for Round Bodies


  1. Adho Mukha Shvasana
  2. Ardha Matsyendrasana
  3. Balasana
  4. Bhujangasana
  5. Chandrasana
  6. Dandasana
  7. Dhanurasana
  8. Garudasana
  9. Janushirasana
  10. Jathara Parivartanasana
  11. Matsyasana
  12. Padahastasana
  13. Parvatasana
  14. Paschimotanasana
  15. Salabhasana
  16. Sarvangasana
  17. Sasamgasana
  18. Savasana
  19. Setu Banghasana
  20. Siddhasana
  21. Standing Backward Bend
  22. Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
  23. Tadasana
  24. Trikonasana
  25. Ustrasana
  26. Utkatasana
  27. Vajrasana
  28. Viparita Karani
  29. Virabhadrasana
  30. Vrikasana

The Chair Pose

Unless there are knee problems, most fat people are comfortable with the first phase of this asana. The second phase is harder for everyone, of course. The fat person performing this asana must be sure of his/her leg strength and knee health, since s/he must carry more weight. The most troublesome part is keeping the knees pointed forward as s/he completes the squat, due yet again to abdominal and thigh fat. I have found that I and other fat people unconsciously lean back in order to breathe better, which places stress on the lower back as well as hinders an already precarious balance. I teach fat students to go down as far as possible, maintaining alignment, then to come out of the asana.

Alternatively, they can start the asana from a slightly duckfooted and externally rotated leg position. We’re talking a couple of inches, no more. This allows the necessary room for the thighs and belly as they squat. This changes the lower back stretch and which aspect of the quadriceps is working the hardest, but I believe that as long as the legs are opened from the hips, and the knees stay in alignment with the feet, there is no extra danger.

As with any student, if it’s too hard to come straight up out of the second phase of Utkatasana, a fat student can bring his or her hands forward onto the floor, resulting in an all-fours position. Then s/he can simply straighten up to “standing” on the knees and step up to Tadasana.

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All authors are graduates of Ananda Yoga Teacher Training.

Ananda Yoga Registered Yoga School for 200 and 300 hours

About the Author

Kay Erdwinn, M.D., teaches “Yoga for Round Bodies” in Placerville, California.


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