Mary Wilson Stays Supremely Fit With Yoga
Songstress found healing through exercise after tragedy
Yoga is the best thing in the world for a singer because it helps you 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's 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 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. —As told to Jennifer E. Mabry
Singer Mary Wilson, 75, is a founding member of the Supremes.