The Morning I Did Yoga with Martha Stewart



Most mornings start off with some some snoozing, some dog walking, andon some daysa run. Those activities are then followed by a fast shower, more time than I’d like to spend drying my hair, some makeup and power-walking to work. I am not a morning person, and so mornings are not relaxed for me.

Breakfast is usually something stuffed into a reusable tote, or something grabbed from Starbucks.

This morning? I feel like I had a mini-vacation before work.

Tina and I were invited to a yoga class with Martha Stewart at Grand Central. At 7am.

The class was part of an event being held at Grand Central today and tomorrow to honor 10 American small-business owners. My dad owned a textile factory, so any initiatives honoring American small-business owners hits home for me. The event also included two days of panelswith other American entrepreneurs such as Tory Burch, Calvin Klein, Diane vonFurstenberg and J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexlerand hands-on workshops, like kitchen composting and gluten-free baking.

But we were there for the yoga.

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Pretty sure I fell 2.5 seconds after this. I cannot laugh and tree pose.

Martha (because we’re totally on a first-name basis now) is apparently an avid yogi, and so she and her teacher James Murphy of the Iyengar Institute led the class. (In truth, he taught, and she practiced in front of all of us.)


THIS IS HOW CLOSE WE WERE TO HER. So close that Tina and I were able to see that we all have the same kind of camera. Tina and I have the Canon S95; Martha has the S100.


We overheard her give some last-minute directions, and then we were ushered in to begin class.



Although the class was taught by an instructor from the Iyengar Institute, it was fairly basic yoga, which was totally fine. It was much more about the experience than the workout.


Martha, of course, was very graceful. She didn’t bend into any pretzel-like shapes, but she did every move effortlessly.


Half-moon pose against a wall.

It should be noted that there were approximately a million cameras and reporters milling around. The first few minutes, I felt incredibly self-conscious (and yes, sucked in every time a camera seemed like it might be pointing in my general direction), but I got used to it pretty quickly.

I try really hard to be present in the moment but am not always successful. Yoga is one of the few times when I can quickly get into the moment, because it requires a lot of focus from me. You’d think it would be hard to relax while doing yoga in Grand Central with far more people watching than participating, but by savasana, I was all blissed out. (It was a little more relaxing than yoga in Times Square, but equally cool.)


The view from the mat just before savasana.


Is it weird that the first thing I thought when I saw her was “where does she get her hair done?” I love her shade of blonde. (Answer, according to Google: Eva Scrivo.)


It was a really cool experience, and I’m thankful I got to participate in this this morning with a good friend by my side.


These two girls went up to talk to her afterwards, and Tina and I stood nearby and gawked a bit and kicked ourselves for not going over to talk to her.


Afterwards, they served some pastries from Bouchon Bakery.

It was still early, and we were hungry, so Tina and I went to Penelope for breakfast.


I just had some gourds for breakfast.


Just kidding. I had an omelette with spinach, feta and tomato with some delicious pesto on the side and sourdough toast.

It was such a nice way to start the day, and I got to work so, so relaxed…and dressed in yoga clothes until I did a classy change of clothes in the bathroom.

Do you rush in the mornings, or are you one of those weird people who can relax in the mornings? One of my friends told me once how she took a bath and read before work sometimes…which sounds so lovely, but not nearly as lovely as sleep.

25 comments on “The Morning I Did Yoga with Martha Stewart

  1. Alicia at Poise in Parma

    The first time I tried half moon against a wall, I felt so free – suddenly, my mind wasn’t thinking “OMG i’m going to fall” the entire time. It’s a great way to gain confidence in your balance.

    I’m always rushing in the morning. Wish I could embrace an at-home before-work yoga practice more often.

    1. Theodora Post author

      I’ll have to try it against a wall…although NYC yoga classes are usually too crowded to do anything against a wall. But, weirdly, I had an awesome half-moon pose yesterday…I think I didn’t want to fall in front of all those cameras!

      Some mornings when I don’t get to run, I do a few sun salutations before work. Not quite a full yoga practice, but still a minute or two of calm before the storm.

  2. Katie @ Talk Less, Say More

    I think this sounds like such a cool event! I’m one of those people who HATE to rush around in the morning so I generally start my day pretty early, even if it’s already starting early. When I open at work (5:45am), I’m sure to be up by 4:15 so I feel like I have enough time to wake up, shower, get ready, eat breakfast and maybe read a few blogs/check my email. It may be early but I’d rather take my time than rush rush.

  3. Alison

    I really, really, really want to improve my morning routine and be more of a morning person. Usually I oversleep, run around like a chicken with my head cut off, and arrive at work stressed and annoyed. Once upon a time I used to do a little Pilates in the morning, but that’s not quite as relaxing as yoga.

    Sounds like a fun morning! I have been Martha adjacent a few times and she is an interesting lady. Not warm exactly, but not unapproachable.

  4. Jessica@sweatismysanity

    I definitely would have gone up and thrown myself at her. 🙂 I always just tell myself…”this is your one chance, who cares?” I’ve met several pro football players and John McCain. I came back for a second handshake with McCain…I’m pretty sure he though I was a nut.

    1. Theodora Post author

      I don’t usually get too starstruck…but Martha Stewart kind of takes the cake for celebs I’ve seen/met.

  5. Lea @ Greens and Coffee Beans

    I’m so jealous you got to do yoga with Martha Stewart! It sounds like it was an awesome experience!

    I’m one of those weirdos who likes to relax in the morning. I save an hour every morning to slowly savor my breakfast and read blogs, sometimes I do a little yoga if my classes start later. It starts the day off on a good note!

  6. Caitlin

    Yoga with Martha – pretty amazing!
    I am definitely with you on the quick mornings – I am usually sleeping until the last possible moment. On the few mornings a year I wake up early enough to not be in a massive rush I think it’s so nice, but then I remember how much nicer sleep is.

  7. Charlie (The Runner Beans)

    I wish I could be relaxed in the mornings, and I used to be (when I started work at 10am!!) If I go to the gym in the morning, I always turn up at work as a sweaty mess, despite the shower! I think it’s because I always take a little longer in the changing room than I should so end up having to powerwalk to work!
    That’s so awesome that you got to do yoga with Martha Stewart, and do it in Grand Central Station- so fun!

  8. Lara

    The headstand is called the king of all yoga asanas, and rightfully so. This exercise must be performed carefully, and personal instruction is recommended when learning headstand technique. The physical and mental rewards of this pose include increased blood circulation to the brain, lymph fluid drainage and a strengthened respiratory function.

  9. yoga courses NJ

    Many yoga poses require you to support the weight of your own body in new ways, including balancing on one leg such as in Tree Pose or supporting yourself with your arms such as in Downward Facing Dog. Some exercises require you to move slowly in and out of poses, which also increases strength. As a by-product of getting stronger, you can expect to see increased muscle tone. Yoga helps shape long, lean muscles.


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