You see their pictures in magazines, on their way to the gym with yoga mats rolled under their arms, sporting the trendiest designer fitness clothes: Celebrities! They're just like us! It's true that plenty of Hollywood stars practice yoga regularly, and some attribute everything, from their flat abs to their ability to keep calm under the pressure of their grueling schedules, to their practice.
Of course, a celebrity's yoga practice isn't exactly like the rest of ours; often, they have private instructors -- the best in the business -- or even their own studio on their property. Still, there may be something we can learn from them about how and why they practice. Here are 10 of the best-known names on the celebrity yoga circuit, and a few things you may not know about their relationship with yoga.
If Aniston is known for one thing as much as her iconic hair, it's her body that just seems to get better with age. She's been a long-time devotee of yoga, often crediting her good friend and instructor Mandy Ingber with keeping her body sculpted and toned. In 2013, Ingber published a book about her trademark workout, "Yogalosophy: 28 Days to the Ultimate Mind-Body Makeover." Aniston has said that Ingber's program, which combines traditional yoga with fat-burning cardio and toning exercises, helped her get in shape for racy lingerie scenes (she plays a stripper) in the film "We're the Millers." [Source: Murray]
The sometimes shocking singer and performer has been known to frequent a Bikram yoga studio on New York City's Lower East Side -- once showing up in little more than lacy underwear and leaving her instructor a note that read "Yoga heals me." [Source: Heller] Gaga needed hip surgery in February, 2013, and was confined to a wheelchair for a few months, but was spotted back in yoga class in April.
Brazilian supermodel and mom of two Bundchen gave the Internet something to gawk at in May 2013, when she posted an Instagram shot of her and a friend practicing yoga in an open-air studio against a backdrop of tropical trees. "A beautiful way to start the morning ... Wishing you a joyful day!" wrote Bundchen, who boasted impressive form while holding a twisting lunge posture. [Source: Macatee] In earlier interviews, the model has discussed her passion for Anusara and prenatal yoga.
In 2010, Williams co-founded the Yoga for Single Moms project with two friends in Boston. She told Marie Claire magazine that meditation and yoga helped make her a better person and mother, and that it helped her cope with the death of her daughter's father, actor Heath Ledger. When the actress began thinking about how difficult and expensive it can be for mothers to get a babysitter and make it to a class, she wanted to make it easier for them. The Yoga for Single Moms project provides child care and classes, both free, for women who would otherwise have trouble finding time to practice. [Source: Wachob]
The Maroon 5 front man and judge for "The Voice" told Men's Health magazine in 2013 that before every performance, he does at least one hour of yoga. "I have a hard time sitting still," he also told the magazine. "Yoga has given me the ability to be more focused and make better decisions that come from a clear place." [Source: Heffernan] Levine also discussed his favorite yoga poses with Details magazine in 2011, including Headstand, Half Moon and One-Legged Koundinyasana II. [Source: Hooper]
In 2011, the Miami Heat forward told the Miami Herald that yoga has helped him improve his stamina on the court. [Source: Wachob] James isn't the only yogi in the basketball world, however: His teammate Dwyane Wade told the Wall Street Journal that he actually talked James into first joining him for yoga lessons. "Yoga is a totally different way of stretching and really challenging," said Wade, who started a practice to loosen up his tight hips. [Source: Murphy]
Former Secretary of State (and First Lady) Clinton credits her regular yoga and swimming routines for keeping her healthy and energetic, despite her demanding travel schedule. And according to Yoga Journal, Clinton also talked her husband into attending yoga classes during law school more than 30 years ago. "I was the only man in the class for a long time, and it was really fun," the former president is quoted as saying. [Source: Yoga Journal]
Robert Downey, Jr.
The Iron Man star has spoken to Men's Fitness and TIME magazines about the role that yoga has played in his overall health and wellness, as well as his comeback over drugs and legal troubles that plagued his early career. Downey Jr. trains with celebrity instructor Vinnie Marino, and favors vigorous power-flow classes. [Source: Wachob]
Although she likes to mix up her fitness routine -- with jogging, boxing, and playing volleyball, for example -- yoga is a mainstay for Mrs. Justin Timberlake. The actress told Elle magazine in 2011 that "yoga is a constant for me because it keeps my muscles long and flexible." [Source: Hebert] That hot body does come at a cost. That same year, she told Fox411, "I have no life ... I spend a lot of time in yoga class." [Source: FoxNews.com]
British comedian and author Brand credits yoga for helping him to overcome drug addiction and find spirituality, and he is frequently seen attending yoga classes in Los Angeles. In early 2013, he organized a walkout of a studio that was accused of poor treatment of an instructor, a close friend of Brand's. The Mirror reports that Brand has also taken yoga teacher training courses, and has considered opening his own studio. [Source: Piper]
Hot yoga was founded by Calcutta-born Bikram Choudhury in the 1970s. HowStuffWorks looks into this cool practice.
- FoxNews.com. "FOX411 at Comic-Con: Jessica Biel's Hot Body Secret? 'I Have No Life.'" July 25, 2011. http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2011/07/25/fox411-at-comic-con-jessica-biels-hot-body-secret-have-no-life/
- Hebert, Emily. "Jessica Biel's Workout and Beauty Secrets." Elle. June 2, 2011. (June 13, 2013) http://www.elle.com/beauty/makeup-skin-care/jessica-biels-workout-beauty-secrets-563243
- Heffernan, Andrew. "How Adam Levine Finds Strength, Focus, and Balance." Men's Health. (June 16, 2013) http://www.menshealth.com/celebrity-fitness/adam-levine
- Hooper, Joseph. "Adam Levine's Rock-Star Yoga" Details. December 2011. (June 16, 2013) http://www.details.com/health-fitness/celebrity-workout/201112/maroon-5-adam-levine-yoga-workout-video
- Heller, Jordan. "Lady Gaga Hits Lower East Side Bikram Yoga Studio in Hot Outfit." DNAInfo. November 11, 2010. (June 15, 2013) http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20101111/lower-east-side-east-village/lady-gagas-bikram-yoga-outfit-too-hot-for-lower-east-side-studio
- Macatee, Rebecca. "Gisele Bündchen Does Yoga, Looks Amazing—See the Pic" EOnline. May 14, 2013. (June 15, 2013) http://www.eonline.com/news/418707/gisele-bundchen-does-yoga-looks-amazing-see-the-pic
- Murphy, Jen. "For a Basketball Star, Fitness Calls for Pilates." Wall Street Journal. March 20, 2012. (June 16, 2013) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304459804577281872955931702.html
- Murray, Rheana. "Yogalosophy: How Jennifer Aniston got her body in stripper shape." New York Daily News. May 30, 2013. (June 15, 2013)http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/yogalosophy-jennifer-aniston-body-secret-article-1.1358615
- Piper, Dean. "Russell's burning ombition: Brand to become a yoga teacher." The Mirror. November 17, 2012. (June 16, 2013) http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/weird-celeb-news/russell-brand-set-to-become-a-yoga-1442514
- Wachob, Jason. "LeBron James: Yoga Is Secret to Endurance." MindBodyGreen. May 22, 2011. (June 16, 2013) http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-2470/LeBron-James-Yoga-Is-Secret-to-Endurance.html
- Wachob, Jason. "Michelle Williams: Yoga for Single Moms Project." MindBodyGreen. January 11, 2011. (June 15, 2013) http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-1859/Michelle-Williams-Yoga-for-Single-Moms-Project.html
- Wachob, Jason. "Robert Downey, Jr. Gets His Yoga On!" MindBodyGreen. January 15, 2012. (June 16, 2013) http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-3844/Robert-Downey-Jr-Gets-His-Yoga-On.html
- Yoga Journal. July/August 2001. "Karma Credits"