Yoga is the best thing in the world for a singer because it helps you to control your breathing. It’s all about taking that deep breath.
I started practicing yoga more than 30 years ago. It has been a physical exercise as well as a meditative one; Hollywood was into wellness and health in those days. In 1994, however, I was in a car accident, a bad one — my 14-year-old son was killed. That’s not something you ever get over. I was shattered emotionally. I had a punctured lung and other internal injuries, a broken collarbone and a damaged chin. I couldn’t comb my hair because I couldn’t lift my arm. I still have not recovered physically or emotionally.
During that time, my best friend, Freda Payne, told me, “Girl, you should come to Bikram yoga.” I fell in love with yoga. With hot yoga, you stand in one place and stretch and sweat, and you get great benefits. I love heat, so I used to do 90-minute classes four or five days a week. I don’t do hot yoga as much anymore, because with age it is hard, but I still do other types of yoga two or three times a week for strength and fitness.
The kind that I do now is less traditional and involves body sculpting — the arms, the waistline. It’s called CorePower. I’m [75 now but] in a class with
20- and 30-year-old kids. I have to sit down once in a while because I can’t keep up with them, but that’s OK. Yoga helps me maintain my energy because in my mind I’m still 15 years old.
Mary’s Favorite Asanas
Wide-Legged Forward Fold
Modified Hero Pose