Dua Lipa workout – I tried headstands to find out if they can help me get lean, too

The Grammy-winning singer works hard behind the scenes to maintain her superstar shape – here is how

Dua Lipa workout: Picyured here, Dua Lipa wearing Puma Sportsyle clothes
(Image credit: Puma)

Should you try the Dua Lipa workout? If you’re a Dua Lipa fan, you’ll know her Future Nostalgia World Tour has been a masterclass in stamina, athleticism, and intense choreography. And the 27-year-old’s proclivity for performing on stage wearing a series of scanty sequined bodysuits means her honed and toned physique has been shown off to perfection, revealing a set of envy-inducing sculpted abs that could leave some crying into their couscous.

It would, however, be a mistake to credit Lipa’s long, lean frame to winning the genetic lottery or the hours she spends dancing on stage and in rehearsals (proof of Lipa’s dancing and fitness ability can be seen in her retro-themed, spandex-clad Let’s Get Physical Work Out video). Because I’m here to tell you that the Grammy-winning singer works hard behind the scenes to maintain her superstar shape.

So, what’s her secret workout weapon of choice? Well, quite simply, it’s yoga. If I’m honest, I wasn’t overjoyed to discover this fact when I began researching Lipa’s preferred method of fitness because I’ve never been much of a Bendy Wendy and barely know my ‘Om’ from my ‘asana’. 

But I figured if developing a regular yoga practice like Lipa could give me just a fraction of her strength, grace, and flexibility, I was up for giving it a shot. Keep reading about her regime, and I’ll reckon you will be ready to follow my Lipa-inspired lead by dusting off your yoga mat (opens in new tab), too.

Dua Lipa workout

How long has Dua Lipa been doing yoga?

A scroll through Lipa’s Instagram feed (dating back to 2019) reveals plenty of evidence to support her developing interest and ability in yoga. Indeed, in a 2022 interview with Glamour (opens in new tab), the self-confessed yogini revealed that she has been “practising yoga for about seven years – just going to classes.

“But for the past, maybe three years, I’ve been doing it almost religiously...When I first started, I saw it as more of a workout. Now, it’s turned into a form of meditation. And it's been really helpful because it's an hour of my day where all I focus on is just a movement.”

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Lipa has since said she’d relied heavily upon yoga to help her stay calm amidst the chaos of touring under the guidance of her yoga teacher Annie Landa (opens in new tab), who joined Lipa on the road.

“I’m especially grateful to my life-changing yoga instructor Annie Landa, who has helped keep me strong, grounded and focused these past few months,” said Lipa in a recent edition of her newsletter, Service 95, before going on to share her five favourite yoga poses. And on her podcast, Dua Lipa: At Your Service, she exclaimed, “Yoga is the best. It has completely changed my life, for sure…I do it every day, and I just love it.”

What are Dua Lipa’s favourite yoga poses?

According to Lipa, her five favourite yoga poses for staying grounded are Downward Facing Dog, Pigeon Pose, Simple Spine Twist, Happy Baby, and the Headstand (more on that later). Lipa added that these poses “have got me through some really intense pre- and post-show days – I hope they bring you the same peace I’ve found in them”. These poses are also 7 common yoga poses (opens in new tab) and do wonders to your body, mind and flexibility.

 Downward Facing Dog 

Also known as a ‘resting pose’ or ‘home base’, you’ll find it hard to find a yoga class that doesn’t feature this asana. “I love starting my day with one of these,” says Lipa. “It’s the best indicator to realise how my body is feeling; whenever I feel my heels on the ground, I know my body is loose and ready.”

Pigeon Pose

This hip-opening stretch is a great stress reliever, and a must-do move for anyone who sits at a desk all day. Of the move, Lipa says: “Our hips store so much stagnant energy, and breathing into a pigeon is the best release for all that tension.”

 Simple Spine Twist 

This asana helps to work out the kinks in your back by twisting and lengthening your spine. “[This pose is] a day and night ritual for me,” says Lipa. “Often, my lower back will crack a bit in this pose, and it just feels so good to let it all out.”

Happy Baby

This dynamic pose improves mobility by opening up the inner thighs, hips and groin, while also easing stress and anxiety. “I guess babies have it all figured out! This is my favourite passive hip opener, I could sway side to side in this pose all day,” said Lipa

Headstand

Hanging around upside down has a host of benefits, including a strong core, spine and upper body. “[This is] a core-strengthening exercise I do every day,’ said Lipa. “Inverting myself also does it for my mind; it gives me both a literal and metaphorical different perspective to my life, bringing it full cycle as I work on my strength, balance and focus.”

What is Dua Lipa’s yoga workout?

While waiting for the second season of her Dua Lipa: At Your Service podcast to drop, Lipa launched a three-part summer series of unique episodes in August 2022, the first of which featured a 30-minute guided yoga class created with her yoga teacher Annie Landa so others could try her practice at home.

Rooted in vinyasa yoga - a practice that focuses on synchronising the breath and the physical body - this flow is full-on. If you’re a yoga beginner, I’d suggest you practice the first four of Lipa’s favourite moves above for a week or two to get limbered up as I did. Because while Lipa might make it look effortless, it’s anything but. All you’ll need to do it is one of the best yoga mats (opens in new tab) and the best yoga pants (opens in new tab), and the asanas featured include:

  • Cat Cow
  • Dancing Lions
  • Uttanasana
  • Malasana Yogi Squat
  • Vinyasa Chaturanga
  • Half Bridge
  • Shoulder Stand
  • Matsyasana Fish Pose
  • Seated Meditation Pose

Because this is vinyasa yoga, which flows from one move to the next, you’ll also find more familiar asanas like Downward Facing Dog, High Plank, Cobra, Low Lunge, Warrior I II, and Thread The Needle between the moves listed above. Just remember to take things slow and listen to your body when you try this class. As Lipa says herself, everybody is different, and if something doesn’t feel right, you shouldn’t do it.

Why does Dua Lipa do yoga headstands?

If you’re an experienced yogi and ready to take things to the next level, consider adding a headstand to your repertoire. Lipa regularly shares jaw-dropping Instagram reels of her doing this tricky balancing move (see here (opens in new tab), here (opens in new tab) and here (opens in new tab)) and often ups the difficulty factor by starting in Crow Pose first, where you plant your palms into the ground, place your shins to your arms, and then lift your feet off the ground before falling gently into a headstand.

Indeed, in a recent ‘Vogue: 73 Questions With Dua Lipa’ interview, she gave a perfect demonstration of how it’s done in a sparkly top, jeans and high heels - and if this doesn’t prove her incredible core strength, I don’t know what does.

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Naturally, I’m still trying to master the beginner version (opens in new tab) of headstands (sans shoes), but I’m enjoying the challenge, not least because Headstands come with a huge number of benefits, from calming the mind and alleviating stress and depression to stimulating the lymphatic system, enhancing lung capacity, and boosting digestion – and all that before you consider the upper body, core, and spine strengthening benefits. Little wonder that Lipa is such a fan!

Jo has been obsessed with writing and fitness since her teenage years and spent all her pocket money on magazines and workout VHS tapes. When ITV cancelled Gladiators – causing her dreams of becoming the next ‘Jet’ to crash and burn - she decided to combine her passions and become a fitness writer instead. A qualified PT and author of several fitness guides, she has spent the last 15 years writing for many of the UK’s most respected newspapers, magazines, and online publications. When she’s not interviewing celebrities and athletes or testing fit kit, she can be found watching YouTube breakdowns of the latest MCU releases.