Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of attending the Toronto Yoga Show. If you regularly read this site, you know how much I love yoga. I’m not only a certified yoga teacher, I also attribute my daily practice to saving my life time and time again. So obviously three-days jam-packed with a mix of juicy sun salutations and blissful meditations was a dream come true. However, the big draw was an opportunity to take a full-day yoga retreat with Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman, the popular and prolific partners in life and yoga.
Needless to say, a day with the world-renowned international yoga duo was not only amazing and inspiring, it was also enlightening. I have long held fast to the idea that yoga is accessible to “everybody and every body” on their path to achieving acceptance and perfection on the yoga mat. But thanks to Colleen and Rodney, I emerged with a newfound understanding that no one is perfect, life is messy, and we are all human so what we achieve on the yoga mat at any stage (from beginner to guru) should be celebrated as perfection…whatever that is. Here’s why:
When you picture a “yogi” what do you see? I used to see a lithe, blonde woman in her 20s contorted into full lotus. Thankfully, I haven’t in a long time. And since becoming a teacher myself, I’ve witnessed so many amazing things all sorts of body types and age groups can accomplish. However, hearing Colleen talk about yoga for a wide range of people, even those who are bed bound, opened my eyes to the interior interior accomplishments of a regular practice.
Even with an impressive array of star-studded students between them—Russell Simmons, Christie Brinkley, Donna Karan, Oprah Winfrey, Demi Moore, and Mariel Hemingway—Colleen asserts that, “the practice of yoga goes far beyond contortionism…the [actual] accomplishment should be measured in overcoming obstacles and always continuing to ask if there are ways to create more space and more freedom.”