‘I’m a Fat Yoga Teacher, and This Is the Forward Fold Adjustment That Anyone With a Bigger Belly Should Try’

Photo: Getty Images/Cavan Images
Are you struggling with a forward- fold in yoga? You’re not alone. Many yoga postures have been modeled for us by a specific body type, which doesn’t always allow for inclusive movement.

In particular, forward fold is one that was created for people without a larger belly. But one self-proclaimed fat yoga teacher has a great adjustment tip if yours gets in the way of folding over your legs. With the use of blocks and a slightly widened stance, Tiffany Croww demonstrates a more effective way to get into this low-back-releasing posture:

@tiffanycroww Have you tried this? More yoga for fat people @tiffanycroww Free class? @tiffanycroww 75 self love @tiffanycroww #yoga #forwardfold #fatyoga #yogaforbeginners #yogablocks ♬ original sound - Tiffany | Yoga for all bodies

“This adjustment works because there’s no space in a forward fold for your beautiful belly—you have to make space in that pose,” Croww tells Well+Good. If your physique makes it difficult to get into a narrow-stance forward fold (called Uttanasana, in Sanskrit), you’ll definitely want to try this one at home (or in the studio!). “This adjustment is good for anyone who wants to go a little deeper [if you have] a belly, or maybe even wide-set hips,” she says. “A pregnant person could definitely do this adjustment.”

In fact, Croww began her body-neutrality journey when she herself was pregnant with her daughter, and she now teaches body-inclusive yoga to millions of people on the internet.

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To try this variation of forward fold, be sure to have two yoga blocks in tow, and a little space to move around. It’s also helpful to have a soft yoga mat, if you have one available. Widening your stance a bit further than hip distance, allow for a soft (slight!) bend in the knee, and hinge at the hips, reaching forward toward the blocks. While this is different from the traditional posture, as Croww explains in the video, it’s what works for many bodies—and that’s what matters most.

If you’re using this adjustment in a class, and a yoga teacher tries to “correct” you, you have every right to be firm. Simply say, “This is what works for me for today,” suggests Croww.

If you’re giving it a go right now, try it “slowly, by listening to your body,” says Croww. “Try it the first way; try to bend over and touch your toes. Then try to hinge at the hips, and see how far you go. Then, widen your stance, hinge, adjust the beautiful belly, and push the booty back. You’ll definitely feel a difference.”

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