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Why yoga is about so much more than fitness for Lena Dunham


Our brand-new video series “Lena Dunham Does Yoga” features none other than Lena Dunham and her yoga instructor BFF Beth Cooke going with the flow at home. Because when the actress-director-writer (and burgeoning yogi!) invites you to her Brooklyn apartment for an afternoon of vinyasa—and totally unfiltered girl talk—you grab your mat. Tune in for new episodes of the series every day, all week long.

Lena Dunham‘s go-to yoga studio is unlike any I’ve ever seen—because, well, it’s right in the middle of the mandarin orange-accented kitchen area in her sunny Brooklyn apartment.

The Girls star picked up the practice last April, after numerous surgeries for endometriosis had her feeling like, in her words, a “99-year-old woman.” It was yogi Beth Cooke who showed Dunham just how restorative—and energizing—asanas could be. (In case you were wondering, co-star Zosia Mamet set the two up on what was probably the best sweaty friend-date ever.)

She opts to practice at home because it’s hard for her to fly under-the-radar in public—and, just like anyone else, she gets self-conscious during group sessions.

She opts to practice at home because, as she explains, it’s hard for her to fly under-the-radar in public—and, just like anyone else, she gets self-conscious during group sessions. “I didn’t want to be in a yoga class lagging behind everyone,” admits Dunham, who originally thought her surgeries would inhibit her capabilities at vinyasa flow. (Spoiler alert: She’s since proved she’s a pro.) Instead, she invites over Cooke—who usually brings treats like vegan donuts to sweeten their practice—and pushes aside her dining room table so that there’s enough space for two bodies to bend and stretch to their hearts’ content.

The starlet, who’s just as warm and witty in person as you’d imagine, really opened up to Well+Good about her limitations—like, having to squat on a yoga block to hold malasana or the fact that she’s working on her crow pose but just isn’t quite there yet. She shows that yoga truly is for everyone, and you can do your own asana at home and reap the (many) benefits. Oh, and—as she definitely demonstrates—it’s totally okay to bring silliness to your practice.

Tune in all week long, as we premiere all eight episodes of Well+Good’s brand-new video series “Lena Dunham Does Yoga”. From fave yoga poses to tips on combating everything from stress to sexy self-confidence (also: hilarious period mythbusting), you’ll LOL as you flow. —Rachel Lapidos

Watch the first episode of “Lena Dunham Does Yoga,” above!

Yoga has a wide range of benefits. Case in point? Kundalini yoga techniques can lead to mind-blowing sex. And yoga can build emotional strength—here’s how