With a background in gymnastics and football, it may come as a surprise that Jessica Beil’s number one fitness and wellbeing go-to is yoga. The 36-year-old actress says it’s yoga which keeps her balanced, grounded and sane.
“I spent so many years of my young life playing soccer and jamming my knees, running and sprinting, and so many years as a gymnast gashing my body … I realized as I got older, I can’t keep this up,” Biel told Shape, adding that it’s the mindfulness benefits of yoga rather than the physical benefits she most loves about the discipline. “The breathwork helps me feel that I’m connecting my mind and the breathing to the different movements—that to me feels like I’m connecting to my body in a way that I don’t do on a normal basis… It’s more of a stress reliever and a life calmer. It just helps me with everything that I have to do in my life.”
The Sinner star adds that yoga provides a welcome escape from the pressures and demands of Hollywood life. “I like that yoga is just me with myself, my practice, and wherever my practice is in that moment on that day… No one’s yelling at me to push harder and go tougher, it’s all about me, and sometimes if I want to sit still and lie in Savasana for 20 minutes, then that’s my practice for the day.”
Biel adds that yoga has helped her find a new self-respect for herself and her body. “Having my mind focused on exactly how I need to look and that perfect bikini body—that’s changed,” she says. “I just want to be healthy. I want my joints and my ligaments and my body to feel good and free of pain, so I can have fun with my family.” She adds that: “It takes a lot of years to really start to accept who you are. I believe that the philosophy behind yoga and the yoga community is not about what shape you are; it’s not about what you look like; it’s really about health from the inside out. Yoga has brought me a lot of feelings of power and confidence.”
She also recommends yoga for busy mums like herself. “It’s challenging for anyone in any business to be a mom, while also working and trying to balance personal time,” she told Women’s Health. “[Yoga] makes me a better mom…I come out of it feeling prepared to deal with any situation and I feel completely rejuvenated and ready to step back into the practice of real life.”
READ MORE: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Jessica Biel