Chris’ Choice…

Woman of the Week…Ali MacGraw

When I met Ali MacGraw, actress, author and creator of a best-selling yoga video, while writing “A Room of Her Own” we instantly connected over our love of yoga. When yoga is a part of your daily routine, it’s so important to have a peaceful space, where the stress of every day life can’t bother you for that blissful period of time. MacGraw was determined to create such a spot for herself, “I liked the idea of a certain separation between my ‘real house’ and a space in which I could find silence and tranquility. I wanted to be able to turn off the phones and perhaps even leave my two dogs and cats ‘home’ so I could work or do yoga with absolutely no distraction.” Working with a local architect in New Mexico, Ali created a small studio that was separate, but still connected to, the main house. The studio is decorated simply, mostly with utility and function in mind, with a splash of color and history from her collection of  textiles and jewelry from exotic locales. A serene space, all the items that she included were deeply personal and important – pictures of her family, mementos of favorite travels, even a painting by her mother.

I knew she shared my philosophy of having one’s own personal space when she told me “I think all of us, men and women, need a tiny spot of total privacy, of stillness, to reconnect with our own souls. I know that the ability to regenerate, to get away a bit, enhances not only my mental health, but my ability to work and create and, probably, to navigate the complicated relationships that make up the rest of my life.”

A Stepstool leads to the raised pillow-laden bed that MacGraw had carved into a wall of her studio. Photo (C) Jennifer Levy

A bejeweled mannequin is a resting place for some of MacGraw’s treasured pieces of jewelry and bags. Photo (C) Jennifer Levy

Cherished mementos, from horse-shoes, beads and personal papers to a small painting by her mother, adorn the desk area beneath a beautiful mica lamp. Photo © Jennifer Levy

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