"Beast mode" is the term Justin Timberlake used to describe wife Jessica Biel's insanely impressive pre-Emmys pistol squats. Standing on a box, the actress and first-time Emmy nominee bent down on one leg while the other remained straight, almost touching the floor, all while holding out weights in front of her. Beast mode, indeed. Without a behind-the-scenes look at Biel's aggressive approach to fitness, one look at her sculpted biceps and chiseled core confirms the long hours spent in a gym. But last night, at an event in Brooklyn, New York, to celebrate the launch of her new capsule collection with Gaiam, Biel says there's a more, let's say, user-friendly workout she always intersperses between days of circuit training: yoga.
"Yoga's not about competition," she tells a room full of media. "And I think so many of these fitness routines that we love, like classes, whether it’s on a bike or it’s a circuit thing, or whatever it is, I feel like you’re always kind of being compared to your neighbor, like 'Come on! Let's do it!' and everyone's yelling at you or screaming at you, and that’s great, and that's fun sometimes. But when you're on your mat, it’s you, and that’s it. And where you are at that moment is where you want to be. No one's trying to push you to do anything that's beyond your capabilities or expectations unless you at that moment want to push to try something different. And that's what I love about yoga so much."
Biel credits yoga for not only a good workout (though she claims she can't do some of the poses, which we have a very hard time believing), but for helping her mentally and emotionally, too. "It's what I do for myself. It keeps me sane, it keeps me happy, it helps me find balance in my life with work and family and alone time… I feel like my life, and all of our lives, probably, are so driven and so complicated—we're just going and going and going and better and better and more and mean and all this stuff, and that philosophy that yoga brings to my life is just, Where I am right now is perfect, and I have everything I need within my body and within myself. It’s a great ideal and it’s obviously not going to—we all strive, and you know what? It's a lifelong strive, and we’re never going to fully feel that way all the time, probably, but [that philosophy] helps me center myself in my life and balance everything I need in my family, and I want to bring that to women everywhere."
As a brand ambassador for Gaiam, Biel hopes to "demystify" the idea that yoga is intimidating or overwhelming. What better way to get started than with a killer collection of leggings, leotards, and class-to-happy-hour pieces you can wear all day long, no matter what's on your schedule. "We want you to be able to throw one of these pieces on and go to an exercise class; throw on some heels and go to a lunch meeting, throw on some bigger heels and go on a date." The collection is out now at Gaiam.com, Bloomingdales, Bandier, and Macy's, and you're going to want to stock your drawers with every piece. Shop some of our favorites below.