25 Dec '16
Posted in Articles by Eric Shaw
Rarely was a woman more tragic, more beautiful, or more compelling to our collective consciousness.
And—by the way—she practiced yoga!
Born Norma Jean Mortenson (1926 – 1962), Marilyn got her name from the suggestion of the 20th Century Fox executive, Ben Lyon.
He said the anonym was “sexy” and the “double-M” was lucky.
Though we usually foreground the tragic side of her life, it isn’t widely acknowledged that this shape-changer named Marilyn was ambitious, skilled in her craft, and extremely focused on reaching her goals.
As with many visionary people today (and you might be one of them), yoga formed an integral part of her wild success.
In 1956, Marilyn told reporters that yoga had become a permanent part of her workout regimen
And in the pictures here, the effect of that routine shows itself not only in the shapes of her posework, but in her shining self-presentation to photographers.
Not all of these images reveal yoga’s forms in the starkly descriptive way we have come to think of them since the the alignment work of BKS Iyengar grabbed our imagination with his 1966 publication of Light on Yoga, but where thes pictures don’t display clear asanas, they show clear approximations.