How To Modify Yoga Poses If You Have Big Breasts



CHECK THIS OUT TOO Shoulder Stand Variations For The Abundant Yogi
Okay, yoginis. Let’s speak frankly about ‘the girls.’ You know—your bosoms, your bust, your boobs!
 
Breast cancer awareness has done a lot in recent years to help us celebrate our pups without the need of silicon, embrace our baps just the way they are, whatever their shape or size, and ensure we keep a close eye on the health of our humps.
 
But there is a silent issue sweeping our yoga studios and affecting our practice, spinal health, and ability to smoothly and safely transition through our flow. Yes ladies, it’s true: those of us who have more than ample mummy mounds suffer.
 
Some poses feel utterly impossible with a big bust, while others challenge the comfort and perhaps even safety of our spine. There are those that simply suffocate, as anyone with over a C cup will know when they attempt Shoulder Stand.

Let’s consider this for a second.

The sacred tradition of yoga sprang out of India several thousand years ago when it was only available to half of the population—the male half. Since then, it has been passed down through the ages and undergone its own particular brand of evolution. At some point, women were invited to practice too.

Now we know yoga bodies come in all shapes and sizes. Just this morning I found my Facebook wall flooded with fodder on ‘Fat Girl’ yoga, announcing that yoga wasn’t just for skinny sorts. Who knew? I always made the mistake of thinking yoga was for all?

The trouble is…yoga, as it’s sold on the high street, can be akin to an alternative gym workout, and the fact it was traditionally taught based on a person’s uniqueness has been lost.

Still, just as practice is modified for those of us who have tighter hamstrings, so too should we consider how to make postures available to those of us who have more than a handful. If that is you, here’s how to modify yoga poses if you have big breasts.

These top three modifications turn classic poses from killer to comfy for the more than moderately chested.

1. Coming to Standing With a Straight Spine

Straight legs, straight spine is a bigger-breasted girl’s recipe to put pressure on the discs around the lumbar. Unless you have a really strong core, I would consider keeping a micro-bend in the knees and roll up to standing.

2. Sarvangasana or Shoulder Stand

Inversions are important, and Shoulder Stand is a good one, if you can get it right.

I find it helpful to use an extra mat, folded into three portions, positioned beneath you. Make sure you line the top of the mat up directly with the top of your shoulders, ensuring the vertebrae of the neck are protected and you’ll find you have more space to go up comfortably.

3. Marichyasana D (Pose Dedicated to Sage Marichi)

Forget it. It’s unlikely you will be able to find enough rotation and space to achieve this pose fully if you’re a DD. BUT, here’s a couple of modifications to try.

  1. Sit on a block to help elevate the spine so you can find more space for the twist and the bind.
  2. Don’t bind the arms. Tuck the top leg into half lotus and bend the bottom leg, as usual. But instead of going in for the full twist, either turn the body in the direction of the bent, stabilising leg, hugging the knee in as you do so, OR thread the opposite arm over the bent knee and press that knee into the elbow—elbow into the knee and lift and lengthen through the chest (bringing the opposite arm behind you and touching fingertips to the floor to help stabilise the body if needed).
  3. Don’t bring the leg into half lotus and try Matsyendrasana instead.
  4. Try using a belt for a looser bind.

Other Tips

  • Don’t forget to breathe. One should never compromise the breath for a posture, remember!
  • Invest in a really decent sports bra.
  • Keep dairy products to a minimum, there’s something about it that makes mine grow.
  • Pay special attention to keeping the shoulders open and mobile, so you’re not rounding into the chest and sinking under the weight of your chest.
  • Strengthen your core, as this will help to protect your spine and minimise backache caused by big baps.

Do you struggle with the girls in your asana practice? Feel free to share your own tips below!


Katherine Smith
Katherine Smith

Yoga teacher. Retreat Leader. Writer. Ayurvedic Chef.


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