​Why yoga should be your New Year's resolution (and 5 moves to get started!)

When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, getting in shape is at the top of nearly everyone’s to-do list. Naturally, we’ve turned to the stars to see which diets and exercise regimes are trending for 2015 and the verdict is in: Despite an overwhelming amount of fad diets and fitness crazes on the market, many A-listers stick to yoga as their main method for getting their figures red-carpet ready.

But what is it about yoga that keeps these famous faces coming back for more?

Jennifer Aniston is a long-time yogi. Photo: Getty

“Celebrities are very competitive. The one thing about yoga is that you’re letting loose while exercising,” says Debbie Fung, co-founder of Yoga Tree. “Celebrities go to yoga because they don’t just want the Tough Mudder-style workout all the time; they want to also counter the stresses of the Hollywood lifestyle.”

We caught up with Debbie and her business partner (and husband!) Jason Lu at their Yoga Tree studio in downtown Toronto for some tips on how to get your fitness regime started – even if you’re a beginner!

FIVE YOGA MOVES TO TRY AT HOME: CLICK ON THE IMAGE FOR THE GALLERY

Baby steps

“One of the things I find is with New Year’s resolutions is that they're based on fear - it's the guilt trip, like, ‘Oh my god I just ate five large turkey dinners!’” says Debbie. “People will get super motivated for the first two weeks of January and then they burn out.” Debbie suggests keeping momentum up by focusing on 30–day challenge so it’s a consistent pace – not an intense practice – to make sure you are continually motivated by little milestones.

“There’s a common misconception that you have to do an intense workout every time, but you don’t. You can do intense one day, and less so another day, so you’re still keeping your resolutions without getting overworked,” adds Jason.

Bring a buddy

Friends don't let friends work out alone! "Having a buddy means they can text you, remind you, message you on Facebook, tweet you – and make you feel bad if you bail [on your workout]!” explains Debbie. Can’t convince a friend to come with? Setting yourself a reminder in your phone or a public calendar can help keep you on track.

Stay focused

Self-motivation is key and there are a lot of external factors involved, including diet. Jason recommends focusing on the benefits that you feel in that moment – whether it's after a gruelling workout or enjoying a healthy meal – and then reminding yourself that this is how you want to continue to feel. "We always get motivation when we start to feel tighter or when we start to get those aches and pains, but you want to try and focus to keep that momentum going," says Jason.

Embrace your strengths

"People have this idea that they have to be flexible to do yoga, but it’s the other way around – you do yoga to become flexible!" says Jason. "Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses and it’s exciting to see beginners realize what they excel at. For example, men may not be as flexible, but they tend to have more strength, which definitely helps with certain poses," he adds. "And while women may not have as much upper-body strength, they’re naturally more flexible so some moves may come easier."

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