AP Photo/Peter Kramer
Tobey Maguire doesn't just get bendy in the Spider-Man movies, he's a celebrity yogi! Madonna and Jennifer Aniston both famously attest to this ever-growing trend, as well as Jessica Beil, Halle Berry and many others.
With so many beginners wanting to shed a few pounds first and foremost, a natural question is: Does yoga contribute to weight loss?
"Absolutely," says celeb trainer Angie Stewart. "Hatha yoga, which means 'yoga for health,' is the physical aspect of the practice and requires physical strength, balance and flexibility. Because yoga also taps into the mind and breath awareness, the practitioner is better able to achieve an optimal, more intense workout."
Angie reveals that yoga isn't just about working up a sweat.
"The purpose of yoga is to connect the body, mind and spirit," she says. "The most common form of yoga is the physical practice known as the asanas, or poses. Utilizing these poses help calm the mind while working the muscles - granting us physical, mental, and if you are open to it, spiritual strength."
For beginners, she says to keep an open mind. "I hated my first few classes because it was the wrong type of yoga for me," she says. "Let go of your expectations of what you can and cannot do and just do the best you can."
If you're unconvinced that your body is meant for yoga, you can still benefit from some meditative poses that align and relax the body. "Some poses that are more suited for meditation or deep relaxation are pigeon, child's pose and final relaxation," Angie suggests.
"Many types of yoga exist and there is one suited for each person," Angie enthuses.