Feeling frustrated by yoga? Get tips from Colleen Saidman Yee

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 10:  Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman attend Trudie Styler's 'Mind Body Fitness' DVD series launch party at Urban Zen on December 10, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
Colleen Saidman Yee and her husband, Rodney, also a renowned yoga teacher, just opened their first NYC studio. Credit: Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Is downward dog making you feel down and out? If you’ve ever felt discouraged in a yoga class, you’re not alone: Even Colleen Saidman Yee, known as the First Lady of Yoga, has been there.

“I get frustrated with my practice, totally,” says the 55-year-old teacher, who just opened her first NYC studio (she’ll teach with her husband, Rodney Yee, every other week) and released her second solo DVD, “Calorie Killer Yoga.”

Yoga is touted not only for building strength and burning cals, but also for fostering a mind-body connection that promises students a sense of calm during and after class. But, especially in our hectic city lives, that inner quiet can be elusive, and not finding that peace can add stress to the pile we already bring to class.

Ironically, one way to find that calm, Yee says, is to drop your expectations of how you should feel after class.

“You have to realize that we’re human and we’re having a human experience, and part of that human experience is not living up to your expectations,” she says. “If we don’t have expectations, then we don’t have to live up to them.”

From there, it’s important to understand that the practice is a gradual one, undoing layers that we’ve built up on top of ourselves. It’s inside those layers, Yee says, that peace lives.

“What yoga does is go into those places that you keep bound up to whittle away at it, to create more space and to let go of the stories and the traumas [that are] held in your areas,” Yee says. Your stress could be building up in your throat, stomach or anywhere else; letting go of bodily stress through yoga means that the mind can get started on its own work.

“In the same way you go to a psychologist to work out the mind stuff, you go into the body,” she says. “And it works the other way, too: When you release the body, you release the mind.”

Creating space in the mind and body means allowing the negative and positive forces in our lives to coexist. Yoga isn’t going to eliminate all of your problems overnight.

“[Yoga] is not pushing away sadness, not pushing away guilt, envy, jealousy or anything like that,” Yee says. “We’re creating space inside so that it’s not just the sadness — there’s the joy, too, so you’re not overwhelmed by something that seems like it consumes you.”

“Calorie Killer Yoga” is available at Amazon.com.


At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…


Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.


VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.


NYS state forces thrift shops comply with ban…

Nine New York City thrift shops were reprimanded by the state attorney general for selling children's clothes with drawstrings around the neck and waist.


'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 11,…

Caleb's not a ghost. Spencer might still be an attempted murderer. And Hanna's going to die next week. In other words, we actually got some…


At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

Marvel Entertainment's Stan Lee is adding outposts to his creative empire to interest a new generation of children in super heroes of all shapes and sizes.


Mira Sorvino explores immortality on 'Intruders'

Mira Sorvino's new show "Intruders" centers around a secret society that achieves immortality by taking over the bodies of other people.


5 things you need to know about new…

"Doctor Who" returns Saturday with a new star, Peter Capaldi. Here's some things to know about him (mainly his turn as sweary spin doctor Malcolm Tucker).


Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.


2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)


MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb


David Wilson returns to triple jump, sets sights…

Giants fans know David Wilson can jump. They are just more used to seeing him go for backflips, not distance.


11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.


How everyday moments can inspire kids' creativity

"The Artist's Way for Parents" author Julia Cameron gives advice on how parents and children can be creative together.


How to stay safe online

Stop worrying about keeping your online passwords safe, and start worrying about keeping your username a secret. Actually, worry about both. According to Shaun Murphy…


OpenTable now lets you pay your bill via…

The restaurant app OpenTable added the ability to pay your bill (and tip) with your phone, thus cutting back on a few dining annoyances.