Pop the champagne and dust off your fanciest wedding hat. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced their impending nuptials on Monday after months of speculation.
While we have plenty of questions about who will be designing the dress and whether Prince George will have a starring role in the ceremony, there’s another mystery we’ve been pondering: just how exactly does Meghan Markle achieve her enviable figure?
As a Hollywood actress, UN ambassador, style icon and a future royal, it’s pretty baffling to imagine how she fits it all in, let alone find time to stay in shape.
But according to reports, there’s one thing she regularly does to keep her washboard abs – her secret trick is yoga.
Meghan has been vocal in the past about the spiritual and physical benefits of rolling out a mat and getting into a harmonious vinyasa flow, and it’s no surprise really, as the eastern practice runs in her family.
“My mum was a yoga instructor so that practice is in my blood,” she told Women’s Health.
“There are so many benefits that come with the practice,” she also divulged to Best magazine, “increased flexibility and muscle strength, greater happiness, increased mental focus, a greater ability to relax, decreased anxiety and better sleep.”
Why is yoga good for soon-to-be brides?
Yoga offers a myriad of benefits but it’s particularly good for a pre-wedding workout thanks to its full-body toning effect. Practically everything you do in yoga engages your core, strengthening the abdominal muscles and helping to torch belly, arm and leg fat.
As well as targeting and strengthening muscles through stabilisation, yoga can help you to keep your cool when guest lists and budget numbers start to mount.
Postures, breathing techniques and meditation complete the full holistic package, and just 20 minutes per day has been proven to improve anxiety. This is because it moves you from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system – or from fight-or-flight to rest-and-digest.
What types of poses might she be doing ahead of the wedding?
You won’t find Meghan winding down with a calming yin or restorative session on the mat. When it comes to yoga, she really loves to feel the burn with a high-tempo flow.
“I love an intense vinyasa class”, she told Women’s Health, “and even better if it’s blasting hip-hop and done in a dark room with candlelight. The best!”
Made up of a set of yoga asanas, vinyasa flow is perfect to tone up the core. You can do it at home by drilling repetitively through three poses – parvatasana (downward facing dog), bhujangasana (cobra pose) and Kumbhakasana (plank pose).
Fast-paced dynamic classes are not only an outlet for built-up, stagnant energy, but also a great form of exercise that builds muscle strength through repetition of movement.
You’ll have a core of steel in no time…