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.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.