“We’re in a culture that pulls us in a billion directions,” Holmes says. “There’s so much fear right now. There are no institutions that are trustworthy right now, from politics to religion to government. To me, this is breaking it down and losing a sense of outer authority to say, ‘You know what? We need to learn to turn inward and to trust our inner resources and our inner guides and strength.”
Yoga utilizes four basic principles – grounding your energy, centering, alignment and breathing. The practice originated in India roughly 5,000 years ago. Since the 1960s, it has garnered a more mainstream following with celebrities, ranging from the aforementioned Downey to the Los Angeles Lakers openly embracing their own yogic journeys.
“I’m seeing more people coming to yoga from all different ages and walks of life,” says Greg Barringer, director of yoga at the Scarsdale Yoga Studios, which opens in February. “From children to senior citizens, people are realizing the wonderful benefits of yoga. Additionally, as people practice longer, they are going deeper into their yoga. It is no longer enough to get their exercise. They want to learn about and practice the deeper aspects of yoga, like pranayama (breathing), mantra (chanting) and meditation.”
For more information, visit scarsdaleyogastudios.com.
Visit equinox.com and yogagardenwp.com.
Popular forms of yoga
Bikram -- Sweat, baby, sweat. This form takes yogis through a sequence of poses in a heated room.
Vinyasa – Rides a flow of movement with synchronized breathing.
Hatha -- Centers on breath and meditation.
Iyengar -- Places an emphasis on physical alignment, posture and harmonious movement.
Ashtanga: A vinyasa-style practice that follows a series of poses.
Anusara: Yogis experience openness through light-hearted fun.
Tantra: Explores sexual energy as a contributor to wholeness.
Hot Yoga Looks
When it comes to yoga fashions, comfort is key.
“People like basics,” says Patty Palmieri, owner of Lv2bfit in Rye Brook, a boutique that includes the latest fitness wear. “It depends on whether they’re comfortable in long pants or short pants, but there is a really comfortable line called Beyond Yoga, and these are basic, easy, comfortable, fashionable pieces.”
One of Lv2bfit’s best-selling lines is California-based brand Splits 59, with super-soft, dry-wick fabric designed to absorb perspiration fast and comfortably, while keeping you sexy and stylish in hoodies and shirts with thumb holes.
Margarita Women’s Sportswear is another funky line of fitness fashion with unique touches like tie-dye.
“I don’t want to carry what the department stores carry. I want to keep it boutiquey.”