Long gone are the days of a straight up downward dog or sun salutation — especially if you’re looking to achieve a lithe and toned body. So we turn to some of the most limber celebrities for inspiration on the latest yoga trends. Don’t worry, we have you covered with a list of posh yoga studios to back it up.
THE STAR: Miranda Kerr
HER TYPE: Hatha
WHY WE LOVE IT: If paparazzi shots of her bridge pose (On a beach. In a barely-there bikini.) aren’t enough to convince you of the powers of yoga, we give up. This former Victoria’s Secret angel counts on hatha yoga — one of the oldest traditions that focuses on holding poses for strength and stability — for a rockin’ figure and peace of mind. Turns out she’s been practicing for over a decade. Hence the enviable bod.
WHERE TO FIND IT: Find a selection of vinyasa practices, a dynamic branch of hatha that incorporates tons of strength-building postures and flowing movement, at one of 889 Yoga’s three Toronto yoga studios (
889yoga.com). If their bright and airy home-base on Yonge Street (which also boasts a Tea Garden) or King West doesn’t cut it, zip over to the sky-high studio at the Four Seasons Hotel for classes overlooking Toronto.
THE STAR: Jennifer Aniston
HER TYPE: Fusion
WHY WE LOVE IT: Our favourite Friend’s star swears by her personal yogi Mandy Ingber for a fitness and meditative all-in-one session. Ingber developed her Yogalosophy method from her widely celebrated Hollywood spin classes: hard-core cycling plus yogic breathing and strength training. This method, which brings the mindfulness of yoga mixed with a good old burst of cardio, is tested and true: Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Beckinsale also chant “Om” for this celeb yogi.
WHERE TO FIND IT: In the heart of Montreal, Studio Breathe (
studiobreathe.com) offers their signature Fusion class (60 minutes), which combines highly aerobic kickboxing with intervals of yoga and meditation (sign up for an outdoor session in the summer). For yoga junkies on-the-go, fit a class in your lunch hour before popping by Le Kitchen for a vegan bite. Tip: A private session ($80, 60 minutes) with a resident yogi is perfect for beginners to get to know the poses before joining a group practice.
More top yoga studios on the next page …
THE STAR: Anna Paquin
HER TYPE: Barre
WHY WE LOVE IT: This Academy Award-winning actress loves to hit the barre, a trending method that promises a slim and sculpted dancer’s body on the principles of ballet, yoga and pilates. Paquin prefers Yoga Barre, a crossbreed of The Bar Method and hot yoga. In one class, sweat out the toxins, stretch those hamstrings and plié away the cellulite.
WHERE TO FIND IT: Barre Works’ (
barreworks.ca) two boutique studios brings the barre craze from L.A. and New York to Toronto. A team of certified yoga instructors and dance professionals bring you a workout with the ballet barre, weight balls and resistance bands that develops lean muscle while shedding any bulk. After a two-week trial ($40), you’ll come out a stronger, leaner, taller woman.
THE STAR: Michelle Williams
HER TYPE: Pre-natal
WHY WE LOVE IT: She praised yoga and meditation to help her overcome the loss of her ex Heath Ledger and to help prepare for motherhood in mind, body and soul, and now she’s paying it forward. As co-founder of the philanthropic Yoga for Single Moms project, Williams has made yoga an accessible sanctuary for single moms like herself. What’s best? From the classes to the childcare, it’s all free! Sold.
WHERE TO FIND IT: Pre- and post-natal yoga programs are just the tip of the iceberg at Zen Beginnings (
zenbeginnings.com), a one-stop shop for moms. The Itsy Bitsy Yoga class (45 minutes) — the only of its kind in Toronto — teaches new moms to guide their little ones through yoga moves that aid digestion and sleep, bringing peace of mind to all parties. Right in line with Williams’ vision, babysitting services for anyone taking a class are on the house.
THE STAR: Bethenny Frankel
HER TYPE: Power
WHY WE LOVE IT: The original Skinnygirl represents her brand with her skinny bod thanks to 15-minute dashes of power yoga that fit in her non-stop schedule. The accelerated sequencing of a traditional yoga practice brings about intense strength training and cardio. Think of it as a yoga boot camp that brings you inner peace and rock solid abs. Namaste to that.
WHERE TO FIND IT: Cheeky classes (no pun intended) like the A.M. AssKicker and Abstasstic (60 minutes each) make Misfit Studio (
misfitstudio.com) the hippest and most progressive location on our list, where “yoga’s centering calm gets spiced with a little rock and roll.” Don’t plan on relaxing in the MisfitYoga class: Misfits (read: instructors) challenge orthodox notions of yoga to bring you an action-packed hour of arm balances and standing poses meant to increase the heart rate and build stamina.