By Elisha Jachetti, Certified Personal Trainer


We all have watched as celebrities have touted and praised new fad workouts and diets to help them drop a significant amount of weight in a very short period of time. Whether they want to slim down for a new film role, tour, or bounce back after having a child, the excruciating lengths they go to always send the public into a mimicking frenzy, hoping they too could achieve such a quick fix. As these short-lived crazes fade into the background, there is one exercise regimen that remains constantly relevant, yoga. Plenty of celebrities have cited yoga as being very important in maintaining their physiques. Why, though, is yoga a consistent practice for them while the other methods seem to be easily forgotten? The answer to this question perhaps has to do with the fact that yoga offers much more than a physical challenge. It also opens, frees, and reinvigorates the mind and the spirit.

 

Michelle Williams explained in an interview with Marie Claire magazine that yoga and meditation helped her to handle the grief and devastation of losing her former partner and father of her child, Heath Ledger. Williams says, “Yoga gave me relief like nothing else; it made me a better person and a better mother. I could come back to my daughter anew.” This experience led her to partner with two friends to create the Yoga for Single Moms Project. It allows single mothers to bring their children to the yoga studio with them and have free childcare, so that they can participate in a yoga class and release stress, anxiety, and fear. Williams wants to share with others the support and comfort she receives through her practice.

 

Emma Watson, who continually makes an effort to ground herself with normal occupations and experiences outside of Hollywood, has recently announced that she has officially become a certified yoga instructor. Though one wonders when she will ever have the time to really teach, the former Harry Potter star told Elle Australia that yoga “anchors her crazy life.” She reveals that she took on the challenge of becoming certified because she is constantly on the move. “I was like ‘I need to find a way to always feel safe and at home within myself’. Because I can never rely on a physical place,” she says.

 

Robert Downey Jr. found that yoga helped him to heal and recover from drug addiction. He battled with substance abuse for quite some time and in fact, was arrested twice for drugs, which led to him losing his job on the sitcom Ally McBeal. Eventually, he was able to maintain sobriety. He practices with Vinnie Marino, who is a well-known yoga instructor, and who also is a recovered user. Downey Jr. explains in Time magazine, “I have never been to rehab, though I absolutely have faith in the yogic lifestyle as my rehabilitation. I wouldn’t be alive today without it. I used a combination of daily yoga, (five days on and two days off), running (three to five times a week for three to seven kilometres a session), and veganism to cleanse my body of many years of unhealthy partying, toxic relationships and unhealthy body image.”

 

Celebrities may have seemingly different lifestyles, but they still have to deal with loss, grief, mourning, addiction, recovery, and other situations that make them just as human as everyone else.  The mentioned individuals were able to face their problems not because of their fame or money, but because they used yoga as an aid. Yoga is very accessible to most and can be helpful in the same ways to anyone who fully commits to it.