Top Ten Yoga-Crazy Celebrities
This is a guest post from Ecorazzi, the leading source of Good Gossip. From the latest on eco-friendly celebrities to random pop-culture stories, stay in the know with @ecorazzi. Written by Ali Garfinkel.
Yoga: The art of practicing physical, mental, and spiritual disciplines in order to better one's health and body.
This ancient craze has been practiced by many for over hundreds of years, with early stone carvings depicting Yoga poses as early back as 3000 B.C.
Cut to today, and it's one of the more popular forms of exercise amongst women and men, which includes many Yoga-loving celebs, who just can't get enough of the mind and body bending activity.
Yoga of choice: Ashtanga.
A Yoga method consisting of synchronized breathing patterns while posing, which raises your heartbeat and generates a purifying 'internal heat,' which cleanses the organs and detoxifies the blood.
The Material Girl may want a lot of stuff, but a great physique seems to be at the top of that list. The pop icon, who turns 53 in August, has a body of steel thanks to her love of Ashtanga Yoga.
She began the practice nearly 16 years ago after the birth of her daughter Lourdes, and has been addicted to it ever since. In fact, late December of last year, after landing at Heathrow airport in the midst of heavy snowfall, Madonna decided to use the aisles of the plane as her own personal Yoga mat. Apparently the rest of the passengers were not delighted by the sight of Madonna posing in all sorts of positions for nearly an hour, but I suppose you just can't fight the urge!
"Yoga is a metaphor for life. You have to take it really slowly. You can't rush. You can't skip to the next position. You find yourself in very humiliating situations, but you can't judge yourself. You just have to breathe, and let go. It is a workout for your mind, your body and your soul." â€“ Madonna
2. Jennifer Aniston
Yoga of choice: Hatha
One of the more popular and commonly practiced forms of Yoga, which uses a person's physicality to help balance the opposing energies within.
Miss Aniston does Hatha Yoga for two hours three to four times a week, and according to an interview she gave to OK magazine back in 2008, her legs are leaner, her arms are stronger, and she may have grown half an inch.
Jen has also praised Yoga on its therapeutic nature, as well as its healing for both the body and mind. Not only did it help the actress quit smoking, but it also helps ease her mind on a regular basis -- which given her past circumstances may be quite the relief.
"She [Mandy Ingber] brought yoga into my life, and it completely changed my life. It's one of the most fun workouts I've ever had." - Jennifer Aniston
3. Gwyneth Paltrow
Yoga of choice: Ashtanga
Gwyneth has undergone some major changes in her life ever since taking on Yoga. She drinks less, eats healthier, and feels much 'cleaner.' She started participating in Yoga a few years before the birth of her two children, but turned to it after to deal with the stress of pregnancy and childbirth. Although those things have changed Paltrow's exterior, the actress admits she has "never felt better."
But hey, she just happens to look great too!
Her favorite pose is called the Baddha Konasana, which consists of sitting on folded legs and leaned all the way forward with the chin touching the floor.
Gwyneth loves Yoga so much, she wrote a book back in 2005 called "Little Yoga," encouraging/teaching toddlers the activity, and has also begun teaching her own daughter, Apple.
4. George Clooney
Yoga of choice: Bikram
Also known as "hot Yoga" (clearly, if Clooney's in there). It's an energetic form of Yoga much like Ashtanga, only it's performed in a room with a raised temperature (usually around 100 degrees) to promote faster metabolism and quicker fat burning.
That's right, women aren't the only ones who are into the craze. Clooney was taught by Bikram Choudhury himself, who started the Bikram Yoga movement. Clooney has also been known to take 90 minute yoga classes whenever he's near a facility.
Although George isn't big on sharing his personal workout techniques, Choudhury claims that he's among his favorites, and has been reported as saying that he (George) along with celebs like Jessica Simpson and Jim Carrey are not among "the crazy crowd of undisciplined lunatics in Hollywood."
Maybe it's because Clooney is so centered?
5. Gisele Bundchen
Yoga of choice: Anusara
This branch of Yoga targets the heart in a spiritual way, giving that person a sense of alignment with the Divine, and increasing the flow of positive energy within.
Victoria Secret supermodel Gisele Bundchen is a strong advocate of Anusara Yoga -- it kept her fit during and well after her pregnancy. Gisele reportedly does an hour each morning, and it has kept her body completely fit and toned, not to mention flexible and calm during her childbirth!
According to her instructor Amy Lombardo, Gisele performs a series of poses incorporating lunges, push-ups, and core work.
With a million dollar body like hers, it's no wonder she's a fan of the soothing, feel-good practice that keeps her looking great!
6. Miranda Kerr
Yoga of choice: Hatha
Australian beauty Miranda Kerr loves Yoga so much, she practices whenever - and wherever- she can.
Recently, a very-pregnant Kerr was spotted leaving a Yoga studio in Germany. She is reportedly in Europe with husband Orlando Bloom while he's filming for the Three Musketeers movie.
The supermodel has been dedicated to Yoga for over 10 years, stating, "Yoga is so important to me. I've been doing it for a long time now and I've taken it to a fairly serious level. My teachers tell me they've never seen a back bend like mine! It's just so invigorating to massage all the internal organs and drain all the toxins out of your body."
To keep 'Zen' during flights, Kerr also likes to listen to Deepak Chopra (an Indian public speaker on spirituality) on her iPod, and she also enjoys meditating and focusing on her breathing techniques to help both relax and rejuvenate her body, though Kerr also states she 'tries to do some Yoga on the plane,' if possible!
7. Russell Simmons
Yoga of choice: Jivamukti
A branch of Hatha Yoga which is particularly physically/intellectually intense, and focuses on enlightenment and the liberation of the individual soul.
Did you know hip-hop pioneer Russell Simmons loves to get his Yoga on?
Simmons, a vegan now for 10 years, keeps a steady meditation/diet/workout plan to keep himself both looking and feeling good. Other than riding his bike or walking aimlessly around town, Simmons very much enjoys his Jivamukti Yoga, not just for the physical benefits, but for the spiritual ones as well. Jivamukti Yoga incorporates a lot of chanting. social law, and various other parts of classical Yoga into the techniques, encouraging a closer connection with God and enlightenment.
"I became a vegan about 10 years ago. Every so often I have fish when nobody is looking. I try not to. I do it for compassionate reasons. I don't want to put anything in my body to obstruct justice. If I wanted, I could drink Coca-Cola. I just don't want to. It tastes toxic." - Russell Simmons, during an interview for the New York Times.
8. Christy Turlington
Yoga of choice: All branches
Christy Turlington began doing Yoga when she was 18. A friend took her to a Kundalini Yoga class, and she was enamored with the discipline and commitment involved. However, as a famous model, the constant traveling made it hard to get into a solid routine, and her smoking habits weren't the healthiest thing to accompany her lifestyle. However, when her busy schedule lightened up (and her father was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer with 6 months to live), Turlington turned to Yoga to ease and relax her mind.
Cut to 14 years later, and Turlington practices at home three mornings a week (hard to do, she says, since she's not a morning person), and tries to take at least two classes a week.
"I was interested in cleaning my body on a deeper level. Yoga really purifies your organs and blood. You feel that. You feel that circulation of energy. But the real lesson yoga gives you is learning how to be present."
Christy Turlington practices every branch of Yoga, although is not an advocate of 'gym Yoga' due to reports of people claiming they've been hurt (only trust a certified Yoga instructor!)
Yoga of choice: Ashtanga and Jivamukti
Sting was first introduced to Yoga when he was well into his 30s -- and is often reported as saying he wished he would have known about it sooner. The musical front man for the band "The Police" has been greatly intrigued by Yoga ever since his first session with instructor Danny Paradise, whom he was introduced to by his band mates, and has gotten his wife to join him in the exercise as well.
During an interview, Sting also claimed, "If anything, it's reversing my aging process. I can now do things with my body that I wouldn't even have thought possible when I was an athletic teenager."
The singer performs Yoga with his band before going on stage, which he believes 'increases their cohesion.' Sting and his wife remain staunch advocators of Yoga, and offer their support to facilities all over when possible.
10. Ricky Martin
Yoga of choice: Hatha
Livin' la vida Yoga! Ricky Martin is pretty low key when it comes to his Yoga practices -- though he has been photographed on the beach with friends doing Yoga poses.
However, Latin music star prefers to practice at home, meditating and posing every morning to achieve inner peace and relaxation. He prefers Hatha Yoga to achieve "self-mastery through physical connection," and believes that happiness is the utmost important thing in life.
"All I want to do is music and be happy, you know. Be at peace with who I am and where I'm from." - Ricky Martin