In 2003, more than 15 million people practiced Yoga, according to Yoga Journal magazine. Somehow, almost overnight, a 5,000 year-old practice became the hottest thing to do. You can practice many types of Yoga, including Hatha, Lyengar, Astanga, Bikram, Ananda, and Sivananda. Probably the style most popular with celebrities is Ashtanga Yoga, which is particularly grueling. Bikram Yoga is also popular, as it is performed in a room with a temperature between 100 and 110 degrees, with an emphasis on sweating.
In 2003’s Marie Claire magazine, Gwyneth Paltrow said: “”Ashtanga yoga has completely changed me. I try to do it everyday, 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… Who I am has emerged and everything else has gone by the wayside.”
Madonna is another well known devotee of Ashtanga Yoga. In the film The Next Best Thing, Madonna plays a Yoga teacher. Madonna has said about Yoga: “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.”
Who else in Hollywood likes Yoga? Ricky Martin says ” [Yoga is] fascinating. Once again, it’s all about getting to know your self.’ Connecting your heart and your mind in order for you to not make compulsive or obsessive decisions in life. Simplicity is the medicine.” Meg Ryan also enjoys practicing Yoga, and claims it has changed her life.
Yoga is an excellent way to unwind and find calmness in our crazy world of cell phones, cars, internet, and multitasking. It allows you to focus on your mind, body, and spirit as one. Through Yoga, you also burn calories and master strength, flexibility, and balance. Yoga can be slow and gentle, or it can be vigorous.
If you are interested in Yoga, there is plenty of information readily available to you on the internet and at your local bookstore. Before you try just any class, educate yourself. Learn about the different types of Yoga in your area. When you are ready, take a local beginner Yoga class and try it for yourself. On the day of your first class, drink plenty of water, so that you do not feel dehydrated or nauseous during Yoga.