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Look Who’s Doing Yoga!

Celebrities, CEOs, veterans — yogis are everywhere

  • Alamy

    Russell Simmons

    En español | Def Jam Recordings founder Russell Simmons took his first yoga class in 1994 — and was immediately hooked. Now, along with evangelizing the benefits of yoga to his celebrity friends and his own daily practice, the businessman has opened a high-end yoga studio in Hollywood, Tantris. “I make class every day, no matter what. I meditate twice a day, no matter what,” Simmons told the New York Times. “I love it. It gets me high.”

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  • Getty Images

    Arianna Huffington

    Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post and CEO of Thrive Global, was exposed to yoga as a child. Huffington told Yoga Journal that she starts her day with 20 to 30 minutes of meditation and that the calming practice connects her to her “inner wisdom.”

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  • Getty Images

    LeBron James

    Cleveland Cavaliers basketball star LeBron James turns to yoga and Pilates to strengthen his game, improve his endurance and keep his body healthy.

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    Bonnie Raitt

    Grammy winner Bonnie Raitt has been an active yogi for 15 years, enjoying her practice at home and while touring. She credits vinyasa yoga with helping her center her mind and tap into her creativity.

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  • Courtesy of Give back Yoga foundation

    Veterans

    Physiatrist Ajit Pai, chief of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, Va., says yoga is being used successfully to treat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and pain at his center — and that yoga classes are expanding to other VA centers across the country.

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  • Getty Images

    New York Giants

    The New York Giants’ strength and conditioning coach Aaron Wellman says the NFL team practices yoga during the playing season — as well as the off-season — as a means of recovery and restoration.

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  • Courtesy of Aetna

    Companies

    Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini turned to yoga after a near-death skiing accident in 2004 had him seeking alternative medicine to deal with pain. The now- convert offers free yoga and mindfulness classes to the healthcare company’s employees.

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Yoga By the Numbers

We do it at home, in the studio, at the airport, at work, even in the park. In recent years, Americans have taken up yoga like never before. Consider:    

36 million: Estimated number of Americans who practice yoga

80: Percentage increase in yoga participation over the past five years

39: Percentage of yoga participants who are 50-plus

$16 billion: Spending in 2016 on yoga classes, clothing and accessories

76,000: Registered yoga teachers

3.5 million: Follow Yoga Journal on social media

65: Percentage of participants who do yoga at home


The United States of Yoga

Next: Video Stories


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