“Marilyn’s latest kick is yoga,” wrote gossip columnist Walter Winchell in 1956…”To improve her legs, she says.”
The photo above was used for a fascinating cover article in February 2006 for the UK’s Yoga magazine, written by Michelle Morgan, author of Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed (and herself an experienced yoga instructor), regarding Marilyn’s own lifelong quest for self-improvement, whether through reading, art, lifting weights or jogging.
The photo is part of a series taken by Ed Cronenwerth as early as 1948, while Marilyn was under contract to Columbia (where she won her first starring role in a minor musical, Ladies of the Chorus.)
While there is little evidence to suggest that Marilyn practised yoga regularly, she was certainly one of the first Hollywood stars to champion the traditional eastern discipline. Monroe is also said to have pursued further instruction in the final year of her life.