Songbird Finds Paradise

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Edie Brickell first tried yoga in 1992. Initially, she resisted it. Brickell, whose band The New Bohemians recorded the '80s hit song "What I Am," heard her husband, Paul Simon, on the phone with neighbor Sting: "Oh, your yoga teacher Danny Paradise is in town? We have to try it? You're sending him over? Now? OK, great." Edie balked. She furiously waved her hands and adamantly shook her head no. "My husband is friendlier than I am," Brickell claims. "We'd been hanging out, having a nice, lazy Sunday. The last thing I wanted to do was try yoga." At the time, Brickell was weeks pregnant and didn't know it.

But during one of her first Sun Salutations, Brickell got an image of herself at 90 years old—flexible, serene, and happy. "This is it. This is what will take me there," she told herself. So after the birth of her first child, she adopted a daily Ashtanga practice. Simon practiced for a year; Brickell has continued for more than a decade. "The first year was a struggle," she says. "But the vision of that older, graceful me kept me going."

The superficial rewards have made the effort worth it: During her pregnancy, her sisters, citing a family curse, claimed she'd never lose her bigger butt—but after having three kids, Brickell says her body is in better shape than before her first pregnancy, an improvement she credits to her dedication to the practice.

She's also reaped yoga's mental benefits. Brickell has always tried to guard against negative thoughts, and yoga helps her stay on track. "Yoga gave me concentration and patience. I enjoy writing more now and all of my relationships are a lot better," she says. "I can't imagine what kind of mother I'd be if I didn't have yoga in my life. Yoga has been my miracle."