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5 Things to Know about Yogi, Comedian + Actress Margaret Cho

Grammy-nominated stand-up comedian, actress, and gay-rights activist Margaret Cho talks about her practice.

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Margaret Cho’s Words to Live By

“There’s this idea that we need something to get through the day, but that need can be filled with yoga. I know that to be a very deep truth.”

1. She’s always had a yoga practice.

When I was a kid, I’d watch my mom do the [‘70s] PBS series Lilias, Yoga and You. I’m not sure how or when I started practicing yoga, but I’ve always had some sort of practice, whether it’s going to class or not. I was really into Bikram for a long time, and even studied at his school, but now I do everything: hatha, vinyasa, restorative—that’s my favorite.

2. She’s a pro at practicing on the road.

I’m always traveling, so I figured out how to make props from hotel furniture, pillows, pieces of couches. I’ve figured out how to do a Supported Bridge in a hotel room and modified forward bends on airplane seats. When I’m working on a movie or TV show, I turn off the air conditioning in my trailer and do a Bikram kind of experience—hair and makeup doesn’t appreciate it because I usually get a little sweaty, but that’s OK.

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3. She shares yoga with her crew.

When I’m on tour, I’ll hire a great yoga instructor to come give my entire crew a class before soundcheck. It’s a gift that I give to all of the people who work with me. We’re busy, but we always take that hour for ourselves to create space and really make it count. It’s a very bonding thing when you’re piled on top of each other on a tour bus.

4. She’s not afraid to bust out a yoga pose in public.

I’ve been on a flight with Sting, and he did a Jivamukti hour not in the aisle, but by the wing. He totally doesn’t care. It’s impressive, and also, why not? If I’m waiting for a flight, I’ll get down and do something. Maybe not Plow or Handstand, but I will definitely get into a pose.

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5. Yoga has helped her heal from food, drug, and alcohol addictions.

I’ve had a lot of different problems with food addiction, drug addiction, and alcohol addiction. Yoga has been very healing through all of that: You’re doing something good for your body; you’re aligning yourself in the right way and treating your body with a reverence that isn’t there with any of those substances or addictions. If you have a practice and are really committed to it, you know that—it’s just something that’s real for you. You get back what you give to it.

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Her Favorite Yoga Pose

Garudasana (Eagle Pose). It opens up the space between my shoulder blades where I carry a lot of tension. Those kinds of poses are essential for me.