Yoga is like that old granny who refuses to give up even in her nineties. What else would you call this ancient spiritual science that keeps adapting itself to the demands of the modern lifestyle? From the traditional Hatha and Kundalini Yoga to the very intensive Power and SUP Yoga, here is something that’s all set to rock for centuries to come. If you thought yoga wasn't cool enough for you, you'll soon find out which celebs attribute everything from their flat abs to fab attitude to yoga sessions. And if you had been wondering where these celebs get their fountain of youth, it’s probably their yoga mats.
Haven't tried yoga? This article might change your mind as the benefits are not only to your physical well being but your mind as well. For those of you that want to relax and really unwind after a hard day or week, this is the practice to try. Here are 15 celebs who swear by yoga. Enjoy!
15 Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston is like a fine wine because she just keeps getting better with age. This 47-year old Friends star surely knows how to flaunt a toned and sculpted body, something she owes to her yoga regimen. Aniston credits her friend and instructor Mandy Ingber for keeping her in good shape. Ingber’s program, which she shares in her 2013 publication Yogalosophy: 28 Days to the Ultimate Mind-Body Makeover, is a power-packed combo of traditional yoga and fat-burning cardio exercises. According to an NY Daily News article, it is this program that gave Aniston that perfect body for her film We’re the Millers where she plays an exotic dancer. Reports also say that Aniston turned to yoga while prepping for her wedding to Justin Theroux. However, the actress counts upon yoga for reasons beyond her fitness and that perfect silhouette.
14 Lady Gaga
The Born This Way star, equally famous for her albums and outrageous outfits, is a big time yoga fan. She has frequently been spotted at a Bikram yoga studio in New York City. So what’s her takeaway from her yoga lessons? The singer-songwriter confides, “My yoga teacher Tricia always says: Please try every day to have 15 minutes of compassionate thoughts by yourself.’” Lady Gaga had to undergo a hip surgery in February, 2013 and was wheelchair-bound for quite some time after that. But she was back to her yoga sessions only after a few months, in April. It seems the singer was being absolutely honest when she wrote, “Yoga heals me”, in a note she left her yoga instructor. While pampering her soul, Lady Gaga, however, didn’t forget to keep the paparazzi entertained. No wonder she turned up in little more than lacy underwear for her yoga class, which understandably raised a few eyebrows in her Lower East Side yoga studio.
13 Britney Spears
The Internet went gaga over an Instagram post that Spears shared this past January. It showed the pop princess doing a handstand and kissing her niece Sophia Alexandra Spears. From Spears’ pink sports bra and shorts of the same color to little Sophia, and that upside down kiss, the picture is a cuteness overload. But what steals the show is the superstar’s sleek body. The singer credits her yoga sessions for her super-toned bod and even shared her routine in an interview with the Shape magazine. Her Los Angeles-based instructor makes her do a mix of yoga poses in 60 to 90 minute sessions, twice a week. And guess what, if her pics are to be believed, Spears’ yogi skills are way beyond the beginner level. She wrote on her handstand Instagram pic, “Yoga yoga...feelin better and getting back on the mat”. Surely, Spears is counting on yoga to keep her body looking great!
12 Gisele Bundchen
The Internet got something more to drool over when Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen posted her yoga pics on Instagram in May 2013. The shot, which became an instant hit, showed the mom of two with her friend practicing this ancient art with beautiful tropical trees forming the perfect, serene backdrop. The caption said, “A beautiful way to start the morning ... Wishing you a joyful day!” Bundchen has been a big yoga advocate and has often talked about her passion for Anusara and prenatal yoga. In fact, she counted heavily on yoga during both of her pregnancies. Why? Because she believes that yoga prepares her body as well as her mind.
11 Christy Turlington
“I can’t imagine my life without yoga. It’s more than just a physical practice — it’s about being in the present and learning to accept what you have to reach your full potential”, said the 90s super model in an interview with Marie Claire. She has been a yogi since her teens and has never stopped. Like Bundchen, Turlington counted on yoga during her pregnancy. Reports say that she used the yoga breathing techniques to deal with labor pains during her natural childbirth. Yoga is generally a part of her morning schedule, right after she has dropped her kids off at school. On other days, she enjoys running outdoors. Turlington started practicing yoga when she was 18 and has tried out pretty much all the popular variations that are out there. She is specifically a fan of the inversions— the upside down postures that are said to be good for the internal organs and the skin. “The practice makes me feel great and helps me maintain balance and health from within”, she says.
10 Michelle Williams
Here is a mom who wants to spread the advantages of yoga to all other moms through her Single Mom Project, which she co-founded with her two friends in 2010 in Boston. She realized how expensive it could be for moms to arrange for a babysitter just to attend a yoga session. The thought inspired her so much that she went ahead and created this Project. In an interview with Marie Claire magazine the actress said, “The idea behind the program is that if you can clear the time, we do the rest. It provides childcare while the mum is in the yoga class, and it's all free." Williams believes that yoga has made her a better person and a better mom. She also thinks that it has helped her to cope with the death of her former partner Heath Ledger. "Yoga gave me relief like nothing else”, says Williams.
9 Hillary Clinton
The year 2016 has been especially tough on the former First Lady. So, how is she managing? Sources say it’s yoga. Although no one knows for sure what kind of yoga poses Clinton practices, many experts believe that it has to be Hatha yoga, the easiest and most popular type. In a March 2015 press conference the former Secretary of State claimed that among the many everyday things that were there in her deleted emails (from her private account) were her yoga routines. Although Clinton credits yoga and swimming for fitness and energy, political commentators clearly see something else behind her relatively new love for this ancient practice. Veteran Democratic strategist Joe Trippi thinks that yoga makes Clinton “more relatable”. In other words, it brings her on a shared platform with all those people who opt for yoga sessions, women in particular. Many people believe that Clinton is trying to gain political mileage through her yoga sessions, but according to the Yoga Journal she did talk her husband into yoga a while back.
8 Katy Perry and Russell Brand
It was the split with her ex-husband Russell Brand that inspired Katy Perry to turn to yoga. She tweeted about a spiritual journey in September 2012 in which the pop star said she prayed and participated in a group meditation. This was just two months after the former couple finalized their divorce. She even urged her fans to donate to David Lynch’s transcendental meditation charity, while vouching for the deep impact that it had on her. “Transcendental meditation changed my life”, she tweeted. Like Perry, even her former husband claimed to have benefited from yoga. He even credits yoga for helping him fight drug addiction. He has been frequently spotted at a Los Angeles yoga studio. Reports say he has taken a yoga teacher training course and plans to open his own studio.
7 Adam Levine
Here is a yoga advocate who believes any place is good for yoga. No wonder there is always a room backstage marked ‘yoga’ at any Maroon 5 concert. What’s more, in a 2013 interview with Men’s Health, the Maroon 5 front man even revealed that he does at least one-hour yoga before each performance. For Levine it is also about focus and concentration. He even believes that yoga has enabled him with the power of clear thinking and the ability to make better decisions. Reports say that this Grammy winner squeezes in two hours of yoga into his daily routine. What fascinates Levine the most about yoga is its undemanding nature. All you need is a mat and some clear space. And according to the super-performer that’s what makes yoga fit for people like him who travel a lot.
This singing sensation’s macrobiotic diet makes as much news as her music albums. Seriously, being a celebrity is a difficult job! But how does this diva manage it all? Yes, you guessed it right, through yoga of course. Madonna is a great admirer of Ashtanga yoga, which she started practicing right after giving birth to her daughter Lourdes in 1996. She is so deeply influenced by the style of yoga that she even chanted the opening Ashtanga mantra in her album titled Ray-of-Light. She was even seen playing an Ashtanga coach in The Next Big Thing. To Madonna, yoga is all about finding oneself, a complete package that nurtures the mind, body and soul. “Yoga is a metaphor for life. You have to take it really slowly. You can’t rush… You just have to breathe, and let go”, says the singer.
5 Gwyneth Paltrow
Keeping up with a busy schedule and updating her newsletter GOOP must be taxing enough. We won’t even question why Paltrow turned to yoga. The actress who hits the headlines as much for her films as her lifestyle choices and parenting tips, practices yoga in the morning, six days a week. Reports say that she even wakes up at 4:30 each morning to practice yoga. Apart from the health benefits of yoga, it is the calming effect that appeals to her the most. To quote Paltrow, “… yoga has completely changed me. I try to do it every day, and the effect is amazing. It’s not just during the hours that I’m practicing. It’s about how it filters through into the rest of my life. It makes all the other bullsh*t dissipate. Who I am has emerged, and everything else has gone by the wayside.” She also passionately supports the charity named Bent on Learning that makes yoga available to the NYC public schools.
4 Jessica Biel
Although yoga is not the only thing in her fitness schedule, Mrs. Timberlake does heavily depend upon it to stay in shape. She prefers attending a couple of yoga classes every week. She opts for jogging, boxing, hiking, and weight lifting to complete her fitness regimen, however, yoga remains her mainstay. In an interview with Elle in 2011 the actress explained, "yoga is a constant for me because it keeps my muscles long and flexible." In September 2014 the actress jokingly tweeted, “After I nail a new yoga pose I want to brag about it, which is kind of the antithesis of yoga. Oops.” Although many of her followers demanded pictures to prove the point, we know that her hot bod is the biggest proof of it all. Elaborating on her passion for yoga Biel told Fox 411, "I have no life ... I spend a lot of time in yoga class."
3 Robert Downey Jr
The tough on-screen Iron Man had a rather difficult personal life. He spent much of his younger years battling drug and alcohol addiction. Thankfully, he won all those battles, and not without the help of yoga, that he claims immensely contributed to his health improvement and well-being. Downey Jr. is very vocal about the role yoga plays in his life, and has opened up about it several times in his interviews with TIME magazine and Men’s Fitness. He says that he needs a lot of support, something that yoga offers him. To him, it is more than just a fitness regimen, it is his survival strategy. The actor practices with celebrity trainer Vinnie Marino, and seems to like it quite a lot. “Vinnie is the ultimate yoga instructor… skilled, occasionally brutal, yet compassionate and witty”, says the actor. Of all the yoga types, he prefers the more dynamic power-flow classes.
Yoga has improved him as a performer and has brought him and his wife closer as a couple. That’s what singer Sting ardently believes after passionately practicing yoga for more than 20 years along with his wife Trudy. He feels that yoga has enriched his professional life as well by directly impacting his productivity and creativity. He explains that his various yoga classes have increased his lung capacity as a result of which he can hold certain notes longer than ever before. Sting practices yoga for 60 to 90 minutes every day. Although he prefers the mornings, before having breakfast, he doesn’t mind shifting it to the later part of the day, especially when he is on tour. Unlike many other yoga advocates, Sting wasn’t always a fan of yoga as he preferred more rigorous workouts. “Of course, I was totally wrong. Ashtanga yoga requires a great deal of physical and mental effort, and it wasn’t long before I became hooked”, admits the performer.
1 Reese Witherspoon
For all of us who complain about having no time to exercise, here is some inspiration. Let us introduce you to Reese Witherspoon, actress, mom, entrepreneur, and fitness freak. So where does she get all of her energy? Looking at her routine, it seems to be a direct outcome of her three to four running sessions every week coupled with rigorous yoga classes. The actress is often spotted with her yoga mat, moving in and out of yoga studios. She practices with instructor Kirschen Hagenlocher, who also coaches Eva Mendes, Julia Roberts, and Isla Fisher.
Apart from the 90-minute sessions, she also loves practicing yoga in her home. According to an InShape article, she was spotted with Naomi Watts stretching it out together at a studio in Los Angeles. At almost 40 this star does know how to balance fitness and life.