Colleen Saidman

Colleen Saidman
Colleen Saidman's introduction to yoga led the all-around athlete to abandon her beloved running shoes, basketball and boxing gloves. A graduate of Jivamukti's Teacher Training program in 1998, she has been teaching ever since. Colleen, who is certified in shiatsu, has studied alternative medicine around the world and lived in Calcutta, India working with Mother Theresa at the Home of the Destitute and Dying. She heads the wellness arm of the Urban Zen initiative with her husband Rodney. A cofounder of Yoga Shanti in Sag Harbor, N.Y., Colleen leads teacher trainings and workshops nationally and internationally, many with Rodney. Their most recent collaboration is the online Gaiam Yoga Club.

Transition with Grace — On and Off the Mat

Colleen Saidman by Colleen Saidman | November 23rd, 2012 | 12 Comments
topic: Green Living

Yoga at summit

In 2006, Rodney and I had the privilege of taking a few classes with Mr. Iyengar. When it came time for Headstand, I informed the yoga master that I didn’t do them — I have a seizure disorder that I always felt was aggravated by Headstands. He told me, in no uncertain terms, to stand on my head now! And I did. I stayed up, and only came down when he said it was time.

By then, the rest of the class had moved on to Supta Virasana (Reclining Hero Pose), and, trying to be a good student, I came down from Headstand and sat right up to join the rest of the class. That’s the point at which he slapped my back and said, “That is your problem, not Headstand: You transition too quickly and mindlessly. I am sure that you do this in your life as well. You never let anything settle in.” Wow, what an acute teaching for a chronic issue!

Enrich Your Yoga Practice With Sanskrit

Colleen Saidman by Colleen Saidman | January 23rd, 2012 | 13 Comments
topic: Yoga

Sanskrit

Yoga students often wonder, “Why do we use Sanskrit terms when learning the poses? Is it important? Do we have to learn it?” I can relate because I once asked similar questions.

Miracles and Meows

Colleen Saidman by Colleen Saidman | March 25th, 2011 | 7 Comments
topic: Fitness, Personal Growth, Relationships, Yoga

Miracles and Meows“Your mother has been telling me for 65 years that miracles happen. I am now 84 years old, and I believe.” This is what my father said to me yesterday.

My father has been ill for several years. He spent most of the last year bedridden. One day a beautiful calico cat showed up. It was a wild cat. My dad fell in love immediately. It put a light in his eyes that had been dulled by the enormous amount of pain he has been in for years.

Eyes Wide Open: How to Transform Fear into Compassion

Colleen Saidman by Colleen Saidman | February 26th, 2010 | 3 Comments
topic: Personal Growth

Gandhi says that an impotent man is far more dangerous than a violent man. The more that I spend time in this body and in this world, I am starting to get a sense of what he may have been saying. It takes energy to move from fear to love. It takes momentum and courage to change from selfish to selfless. A violent man can re-direct his energy, whereas an impotent man or woman has no energy to re-direct. My mom and dad always told us to mind our own business, but Gandhi says that if you see an act of violence on the street and simply walk on by, that is not non-violence, it is cowardice.

3 Ways to Keep on Giving All Year Long

Colleen Saidman by Colleen Saidman | January 20th, 2010 | No Comments
topic: Giving Back, Personal Growth


snow_heart-copy

Honoring the Big 5-0 & the Day I Revealed My True Age

Colleen Saidman by Colleen Saidman | June 15th, 2009 | 5 Comments
topic: Healthy Aging, Yoga

Colleen-Saidman

This photo of Colleen Saidman was about two years ago, when she was 48.

The time has come. I never thought I would ever be a half century old. I thought I would feel different when I got to this phase in my life. I am not sure what I thought it would feel like to be one of the old folks (as I used to call my parents and their friends), but here I am.

Looks have been a big part of most of my adult life, as I have been a fashion model for 30 years. Lately, I have been going in for ad campaigns for creams that claim you can look 20 again. I got into it with a casting director recently, saying I would not want to be 20 again, why would I want to look it? Why is looking young the goal? Is it because wisdom and experience are not revered in this society? We all know that smooth skin is not the goal in our life, but we are behaving like it is.

I became a model at 19 and was told at that time by my agency to say that I was 16, and that my birthday was July 1962, instead of 1959. I lied for 20 years and was always afraid that I was going to be found out. I would hide my passport when traveling with clients or even other models. I was living a lie — a seemingly small lie, yet one that kept me in fear.

When I turned 40, I had a coming out party, and told the world my true age. How liberating. Mark Twain says that it is so much easier to tell the truth because you don’t have to worry about remembering what you said.

The Single Best Way to Be Happy: Choose To!

Colleen Saidman by Colleen Saidman | May 1st, 2009 | 7 Comments
topic: Personal Growth

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“Everything’s amazing. Nobody’s happy.” We heard this line from a comedian named Louis CK. If you get a chance, check out this clip of an appearance he made on Conan O’Brien. It is a wake up call put in a very funny package.

Peace in Chaos

Colleen Saidman by Colleen Saidman | December 24th, 2008 | 2 Comments
topic: Personal Growth, Yoga

Wow, so much is going on in our world today. Is it hope or fear that we are clinging to? It seems both are so strong at the present time. What we can be sure of is that things are changing at lightening speed, and we need to learn to roll and be flexible because just when you think all of your ducks are in a row, another wave comes along. It would be a pretty boring ride if we knew where all the bumps in the road were. What makes a roller coaster so exciting? It is the not knowing.

To Diffuse Stress, Breathe Like This

Colleen Saidman by Colleen Saidman | November 7th, 2008 | 5 Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Personal Growth, Yoga

Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman
Right-click to download a free sample podcast from the Gaiam Yoga Club with Colleen Saidman and Rodney Yee

Holidays! Uggghhh. How do we navigate this season of so many mixed emotions? What is the key to our sanity when all is so chaotic?