Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth yoga, fitness, & nutrition courses, when you sign up for Outside+.
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.
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.
See alsoNamaste, Sting
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.
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.