We know that yoga can make us one with our inner selves, but for two yoga instructors, the centuries-old practice led them to love. Rodney Yee and his wife, Colleen Saidman Yee are among the most sought-after and renowned yoga instructors in the world. They teach together both nationally and internationally, and have been featured in many lifestyle publications such as SHAPE, Vanity Fair, New York Times and television networks like Oprah and PBS.
Despite their love scandal that rocked the yoga community in 2002, the couple’s impressive clientele–from Christy Turlington to Russell Simmons– continue to be faithful devotees. The Yees shared advice on marriage and tips for yogis of all levels.
NewsOne: Yoga is considered an individual practice. How does it bring you closer together as a couple?
Colleen Saidman Yee: It’s like speaking the same language. It’s a way we communicate. It’s almost like having a child that you both love dearly.
Rodney Yee: It’s our life. It’s so great to be involved in something together. It feels like it constantly teaches us. We’re in love with the practice because we’re in love with each other. It’s amazing to share your life passion with your partner.
NO: Besides practicing yoga, what daily routines are part of your healthy lifestyle?
CY: We’re vegetarians, we love to walk and we’re both family people. So we have a lot of quality family time that keeps us grounded, humble and happy. Music is also incredibly healing and moving and I can’t imagine life without it.
RY: Yoga is pretty complete for us, we devote a lot of time to it. But we love to do other things like window shopping, going to the theater and other normal things. We like to balance out yoga and all the great things that yoga brings. At the moment, I love coffee. I also make her tea every morning.
NO: What tips and advice can you give to beginner yogis?
CY: Just get on the mat. If the first time is not a good experience, find another teacher. If that’s not good either, find another teacher. Every practice is different and there’s a type of yoga for everyone. If you’re intimidated, try out a DVD. Doing it at home first is less intimidating.
RY: We have found very few people who didn’t enjoy their first yoga class. But if you’re thinking about starting yoga, just tell yourself, “No more excuses.” Do a little research and ask around, then get out your appointment book and just go. It’s really just about getting there. If you want to try out DVDs, they are easy to fit into your schedule. That 15- 30 mins will make a huge difference in your life.
NO: How about advice for yoga experts and teachers?
CY: Don’t ever think you’ve got it. Keep learning, keep growing, and keep studying. There are so many more levels to dig, dig and dig deeper. It’s good to have a colleague or partner to push each other and to hold each other accountable so you can practice consistently.
RY: My dad used to tell me that “if you think you’re good, there’s always someone better.” Don’t ever be smug about what you’re doing. The real gem is constant curiosity. There are people who are constantly inspiring and you can learn from them. You might get to a plateau but theres always more. It takes diligence to get off the plateau.
NO: Can you remember a time when you had a breakthrough during a yoga session?
CY: when I don’t even know how emotionally wound up I am and I end up crying during savasana from sheer relief and release. Can’t pin it to one particular time. This is not uncommon.
RY: The first time, every time that you go into an asana, you’re put into a strange place. The first time doing a full lotus, it was like “is that really my legs doing that?” You’re breaking through mentally; the experience takes you outside your own mental boxes.
NO: If you can only do one pose from now on, what would it be?
CY: I’m currently in love with the triangle pose, but I would say halasana, the plow pose. It’s an incredible release for my back and is like a safe cocoon especially when you bend your knees into ear feet pose (karnipadasana). Even a soft breath becomes audible and is a comforting lullaby. The exhale is easy in this pose which leads to relaxation.
RY: Padmasana, the full lotus pose. It’s one of those postures that sets up the spine and sets the foundation for beautiful mediation. Once you dial in, it teaches you to relax.
Their current projects are perfect for at-home practices. Rodney’s latest Gaiam DVD, Yoga for Your Week, offers 5 segments, each with a different focus and intent, to carry you through the week and Colleen’s Calorie Killer Yoga, combines the mind and strength aspects of yoga with the benefits of torching calories that you normally can only get from a cardio workout.
Both Rodney and Colleen are involved with Donna Karan’s Urban Zen project, which aims to “change the current healthcare paradigm to include integrative medicine and promote patient advocacy.” The pair teach together at the Yoga Shanti studio in Sag Harbor, NY, and lead teacher trainings, workshops, and yoga retreats around the world. In March 2014, they opened a 2nd Yoga Shanti studio in New York City.
1. Celebrity Fit Club
Celebrities are just as fixated on fitness as we are. Many of them can't wait to share their journey on social media and we're here to eat it all up and figure out their secrets to staying snatched. From Usher to Mo'Nique, check out a few of our fave fit celebs who love to share on social media!
2. Morris Chestnut- On The Treadmill
"Gettin' it in this morn. 6am. #Grindin'"
3. Usher-Run It
"Usain Bolt NO It's Insane Bolt #howUrunit" @howuseeit
4. Angela Simmons-Simple & Effective
"Getting it in @rustin1215_ !!!" @angelasimmons
5. Angela Simmons-Go Deeper!
"No games at all! @rustin1215_" @angelasimmons
6. Angela Simmons-Can't Stop, Won't Stop
"I won't stop! @rustin1215_ is no game !!!" @angelasimmons
7. Angela Simmons-It's A Lifestyle
"It's a lifestyle @rustin1215_ !!! #Teamfitness 😅" @angelasimmons
8. Angela Simmons-Determination Is Key
"Feeling determined after my workout !!! Not stopping till I see the results I want! 👊💪" @angelasimmons
9. Angela Simmons-No Days Off
"No days off !!!! Spin class followed by circuit training !!! 👊 @itskatd !!! O yea!" @angelasimmons
10. Angela Simmons-Morning Training Sessions
"LA mornings with @forcefitnessinc !!! New waistband fun 😍😍" @angelasimmons
11. Angela Simmons-Live Life Out Loud
"I feel alive 😇🌈 @forcefitnessinc" @angelasimmons
12. Angela Simmons-Pose For The Camera
"Saying goodbye to the beach before I head back to Nyc 😇" @angelasimmons
13. Angela Simmons-Bend & Stretch
"Just wrapped my workout !!! Love it's ! Fitness @rustin1215_ 🙏" @angelasimmons
14. Angela Simmons-Ready For Her Close Up
"Going in at the gym @rustin1215_ on the camera :) lol" @angelasimmons
15. Jordin Sparks-The Fit Selfie
"I feel AMAZING after my hike/quiet time. Mind, body & soul! I'm so thankful for everything, where I am today & where I'm going! God is good! On another note, I mixed & matched my outfit...it's weird but I kind of like it. Haha #speezyfitness" @jordinsparks
16. Jordin Sparks-Engages Her Core
"#Speezyfitness Another killer session at the gym! This wheel will be the death of me! Hamstring curl: lift butt in the air & pull your feet towards you in & out, repeat. Keep your core engaged! #getitrightgetittight" @jordinsparks
17. Jordin Sparks-Getting It Right & Tight
"#Speezyfitness Another way to use the wheel. Abdominal pike: start in plank position, keeping your core tight. Bring your legs in, keeping them straight & get your butt in the air! #getitrightgetittight" @jordinsparks
18. Jordin Sparks-Gaining Weight
"Onto the gym! 20lb weighted vest walking at 3.0 on 30 incline!! Still smiling!! Love this! #getitrightgetittight" @jordinsparks
19. Jason Derulo-Shooting In The Gym
"Undefeated today on that court!!! Yea Boi! I'm NOT loosing in 2014 maybe next year! Ha! My team @romeomiller @thejeremystrong @iamdecarlo" @jasonderulo
20. Jason Derulo-No Gym, No Problem
"They didn't have a pull up bar so I improvised with two small white towels! Intense #fitfam #fit #gym" @jasonderulo
21. Mo'Nique-Always Motivating
"Hey loves. This band is working everything. We have no excuses. A mat and band. Love yall. pic.twitter.com/Pg0ri0kvwH" @moworldwide
22. Mo'Nique-Workin' Those Arms
"Today was all about ARMS. OUCH. Love yall pic.twitter.com/ghRb5kJlM9" @moworldwide
23. Mo'Nique-Keeping It Real, Keeping It Tight
"Hey loves. Okay so I don't want yall to think for a second this a breeze. Babbbby this is kicking my a**. So worth it pic.twitter.com/EMBucuLaKV" @moworldwide
24. Mo'Nique-Makes Us Remember To Work For It
"Hey loves. WORK FOR IT! Love yall for real. pic.twitter.com/T8mXLZmNFy" @moworldwide
25. Mo'Nique-Never Gives Up
"KEEP PUSHING. KEEP GOING. KEEP TRYING. Love yall for real. pic.twitter.com/BhsszGZ0h8" @moworldwide
26. Mo'Nique-Showing Off What Amazing Looks Like
"Hey my loves. Today is amazing. We made it.!!!! Let's Live yall. I love yall to life. pic.twitter.com/rBiZUP7aCm" @moworldwide
27. Keri Hilson-Takin' The Stairs
"stair sprints w/ @spicerpr. I'm beat." @dreamincolor
28. Brandy-Getting It In!
"GINNITT IN!! @hozea and me!! #TheGameSeason7 thank you @guru_of_abs for pushing us today!!!" @4everbrandy
29. Brandy-Making Transformations
"Having the time of my life transforming my body! #hardwork #results #transformation #neverstop #eatclean #okenoughwiththehashtags" @4everbrandy
30. Jeanette Jenkins-She Is The Prototype
"Sometimes you have to change your perspective. ❤️ If you don't like what you are seeing in life then try changing the way you view it. If you look for the positive then you will experience the positive. #positivemind #positiveenergy #perspective #jeanettejenkins #healthyliving" @msjeanettejenkins
31. Jeanette Jenkins-She Plans Ahead To Get Ahead
"Time to schedule your workouts & healthy meals for the week ahead! ❤️👊💪 Week 3 of the #sexyabscardiosculpt with @kellyrowland & #QLChallenge has been posted! We loaded up on more fitness, nutrition & motivation tips! Just click the link in my profile 👆👆www.TheHollywoodTrainer.com and hit blog! 👊❤️💪Stay committed & consistent and you will achieve your goals! ❤️😊#jeanettejenkins #kellyrowland #healthyliving"
32. Jeanette Jenkins-Flexible On Fridays
"It's Flexibility Friday! Congrats to everyone for making it to Friday! ❤️😊💪👊Today's workout in the #SexyAbsCardioSculpt with @kellyrowland & #qlchallenge is the #poweryagadvd or your favorite #yoga or #flexibility workout! You can do it! 😊❤️Gratitude turns what we have into enough. ❤️😁#gratitude #jeanettejenkins #healthyliving #kellyrowland #positiveenergy" @msjeanettejenkins
33. Jeanette Jenkins-Fit Foodie
""Beet, Apple, Carrot, Lemon Ginger Smoothie" is DELICIOUS! 😁❤️The ultimate #LiverCleanse the powerful antioxidants in #beets help detoxify the liver! This smoothie is also incredible for #digestion and fighting #cancer 👊❤️😊 Amazing for the eyes, skin & a great #energy booster! Strengthens the #immune system and helps you feel great! Also a great way to get your kids to eat their beets! Try it!" @msjeanettejenkins
34. Kelly Rowland-She's Got Friends In Fit Places
"WEEK 3 of #SexyAbsCardioSculpt Bootcamp & #QLChallenge is in full effect with me, @msjeanettejenkins & @queenlatifah! You can get a rundown of this week's schedule at KellyRowland.com and TheHollywoodTrainer.com. No pain, no gain! Get it right, get it tight! 👊😘" @kellyrowland
35. Kelly Rowland-Drink Good, Look Good
"#FitnessFriday: I love a fresh green juice or smoothie after my workouts! Try this "Super Rich Smoothie" from my trainer @MsJeanetteJenkins 3-5 Handfuls of Spinach, 1 Apple, 1 Kiwi, 1 handful of Blueberries, 4 Strawberries, 1 Lemon with 1/4 of the lemon peel, 1 inch piece of Ginger, 1cup of water, 5 ice cubesand you can use any blender! It's Delicious & Amazing for your body!" @kellyrowland
36. Kelly Rowland-Abs For Days
"You want it, you got it! We are extending #CyberMonday Sale to Friday! Get 50% off your purchase of #SexyAbsCardioSculpt and all Hollywood Trainer DVD's just in time for our New Year 6 week Bootcamp Challenge! Get your Sexy Abs on with me and @msjeanettejenkins by visiting http://www.TheHollywoodTrainer.com! Go go go go!" @kellyrowland
37. Serena Williams-She Knows How To Hang
"Hanging out after training" @serenawilliams
38. Mary J. Blige-Her Hubby's Getting It In!
"@kenduisaacs getting it in. Third set of ten!!! No pain no getting rid of that Belly fat. Lol. @themarkjenkins" @brooklynnblige
39. Mary J. Blige-Throwin' Them Bows!
"#Hardwork!!!!! @themarkjenkins" @brooklynnblige
40. Mary J. Blige-Getting Them Glutes!
"Gluteus! Gotta get it right! @kenduisaacs @themarkjenkins" @brooklynnblige
41. Mary J. Blige-Hard Work Pays Off, Look At That Body!
"#hardwork pays!!! @kenduisaacs @themarkjenkins @2daybefit" @brooklynnblige
42. Mary J. Blige--Work Them Arms Girl!
"Getting it IN! @kenduisaacs @themarkjenkins @2daybefit" @brooklynnblige
43. Mary J. Blige-She's Got Legs & She Knows How To Use Them
"Getting it IN!!!!!! @kenduisaacs @themarkjenkins @2daybefit" @brooklynnblige
44. Michelle Obama-Let's Move!
""We need to get our kids moving before, during and after school." —The First Lady with @theretireddroneal at a Let's Move Active Schools event at Orr Elementary in Washington, D.C." @michelleobama
45. Sherri Shepherd-No More Girdles!
"Nobody in this gym but me ... I gotta encourage myself! #givingelipticallove #girdlesoontobegone" @sherrieshepherd
46. Sherri Shepherd-Dance The Pounds Away
"an Amazing @Zumba class w @LotionBars & won another battle w Diabetes! #teamhealth #feelinggood" @sherrieshepherd
47. Khloe Kardashian-She Works Hard Even When She Doesn't Want To
"Wasn't in the mood today but I still pushed through. #SelfMotivate #IThinkICan #fitness" @khloekardashian