If yoga is transformative, it could offer a prescription for political leaders in stalemate.
Alec Baldwin and his new wife, Hilaria, were the masters of ceremonies at last night’s $1,000-per-ticket gala for “Yoga: The Art of Transformation,” an exhibition opening this week at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington.
The actor and occasional political activist had some yoga advice for leaders in the post-shutdown capital.
“My recommendation for the House majority is a silent retreat,” Baldwin said, when asked what meditation or yoga pose he would suggest for politicians. “I think they need to go to the mountains or somewhere in Nepal and just not talk.”
House Speaker John Boehner “needs to stand on his head,” said Hilaria Baldwin, 29, a yoga instructor who runs her own studio. “Because when you stand on your head, you start to see things from other people’s perspective.”
The husband admitted not being the most dedicated yoga practitioner, but said his wife’s yoga lifestyle has been a positive influence on his diet and well-being.
The New York-based Baldwin, 55, started his own talk show on MSNBC last week, “Up Late with Alec Baldwin,” which some see as a stepping stone to a run for office.
“People have beat that drum about me doing that since 1996, and I think that time has come and gone,” Baldwin said. “I’m a Democrat. What would I run for? New York is Democrat top to bottom.”
He cited a coalition of women senators who helped reopen the government as an example of why his wife would be a better candidate for public life.
“My wife’s gonna run,” he said half-jokingly. “Not only do we need more women in politics, we need a majority of women in politics.”
“Men are necessary,” he added, “despite evidence to the contrary.”
The main reason he took the talk show gig was for his family, he said.
“My wife just had a baby. The goal was for me to have more time for my wife and baby.”
Baldwin has another child, Ireland, 17, with ex-wife Kim Basinger.
“She’s in Jamaica modeling,” he said of his daughter. “We only find out where Ireland is on Twitter.”
Does she share his love of politics?
“No,” he said. “She has a love of her hot boyfriend.”
Stephanie Green is a writer and photographer for Bloomberg Muse, the arts and leisure section.