Yoga is being practiced by image conscious female celebrities to obtain svelte figures and sleek physiques.
British actress Anastasia Griffith (Solitary Man), 31, who is a big fan of yoga and does meditation also, thinks "yoga can help really to keep you centered, keep you grounded, keep you focused".
Brazilian actress Morena Baccarin (Way Off Broadway), 30, reportedly said: "I like Jivamukti yoga, which is really hard and acrobatic, but there's a lot of meditation too, which is nice."
MTV Award winner American model-actress-singer Carmen Electra (Starsky and Hutch), 37, was reportedly spotted doing yoga moves while holidaying in Greece.
BAFTA winner actress Thandie Newton (Crash), 37, reportedly considers herself "yoga freak". Cesar Award winner French actress-singer Vanessa Paradis (La fille sur le pont), 36, and actress Rebecca Gayheart (Bunny Whipped), 38, also practice yoga.
But acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed argues that 'yoga' has come to only mean in the entertainment world as 'modern postural yoga', while it actually is a mental and physical discipline by means of which the human-soul (jivatman) unites with universal-soul (parmatman).
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, further says that some sages have described yoga as the silencing of all mental transformations, which leads to the total realization of the Supreme Self. Some have used yoga attempting to gain liberation by removing all sensory barriers.
According to Patanjali, author of the basic text, the Yoga Sutra, who codified yoga after being founded by Yajanavalkya, yoga is a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical.
Rajan Zed has urged entertainment celebrities to explore the spiritual dimension of yoga also besides its physical benefits. Yoga is based on an eightfold path to direct the practitioner from awareness of the external world to a focus on the inner, which includes yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, darana, dhyana, and samadhi. 'Raja-adhiraja-yoga' (king of kings yoga) or 'maha yoga' is the highest form of yoga through which mind is free from anger, lust, fear, greed, jealousy, and melancholy.
Prominent Hollywood screenwriter Charlie Kaufman reportedly once said in an interview that while doing yoga, everything was in the present tense.
Celebrity interest in yoga, which is referred as "a living fossil", has definitely fueled the hype resulting in its explosive growth. According to an estimate, about 15 million Americans now do yoga.