Colleen Saidman Yee Yoga Bleaches the Hell Out of Selling Wine /// Modern Yogis are Silly and Infatuated With Doing Whatever They Want

You don’t *have to* do yoga in a cave. But, it might be a good idea to try it.

Thanks to Derek Beres for hipping us to this:

Yoga Teacher Stumps for Wine

“…Colleen Saidman Yee’s partnership with Estancia winery may be the first time a famous teacher has lent their name on a campaign to sell alcohol.”

[Click above if you want the story. I don’t feel like retelling it.]

Now, I know a lot of really righteous yogis and yoginis out there wanna tackle this issue from the perspective of “Is it yoga or not to shill for a winery?” The fact is, it’s crazy easy to interpret any text or tradition to fit whatever the hell you want it to. That’s typically why we stay out of the “Is it? Is it not?” game. What we are really interested in, however, is the fact that Western yogis are simply stoopid over the idea that no one can tell them what is or is not yoga. And Yee goes along for the ride. Check it:

“Many yogis eschew alcohol, whether for personal reasons or because they feel it goes against yogic precepts.  Saidman doesn’t agree. ‘We can all make our own way towards balance,’ she tells Buzz. ‘It doesn’t have to look like your next door neighbor’s, or the person on the mat next to you’.”

Is it me, or are Western yogis certifiably obsessed with the idea that yoga can be literally whatever you want it to be? Is it voracious American individualism gone coo-coo? Some weird yuppie form of “Don’t Tread on Me” gone boo-hoo?


“In fact, part of the reason she did the campaign, she says, is to try and break the stereotype that being a yogi means ‘being austere and living in a cave without worldly pleasures’.”

First off, I’m not sure why Western “yogis” feel it’s so darned necessary to convince people that you don’t have to go into a cave to practice yoga. Really. Why is that such a major agenda on the part of yoginis to the point where it has become cliché to even mention it? Have any Western yoga teachers actually spent any amount of substantial time (like over a year) practicing yoga in a cave to know that it’s not necessary? I know few yoga teachers who could go twenty-four hours without masturbating all over their iPhones, let alone hang out in a dark dingy cave with a bunch of chastity belt-clad sadhus poking at them with their Siva tridents.

Ugh. Now, I know we’re probably supposed to come up with some blistering response to all this, but really it all just sounds so boringly lame. The only semi-intelligent thing we could come up with is this:

Ms. Yee, you sound like a child. That’s either the author’s fault or your own. Figure it out.


PS. This is definitely a form of Yoga Bleaching:

yoga bleaching: 1. a form of marketing in which yoga or an image of yogic lifestyle is used to make an otherwise unrelated product appear to be in line with yogic principles. 2. the act of using yoga or an image of yogic lifestyle to sell an unrelated product. 3. a form of spin or marketing intended to deceive consumers into believing that a product is related to yogic practice or theory when in fact it is not.


  1. Linda-Sama

    “part of the reason she did the campaign, she says, is to try and break the stereotype that being a yogi means ‘being austere and living in a cave without worldly pleasures’.”

    think she broke that stereotype a long time ago regarding no worldly pleasures considering the back story of her and Yee. who’s she trying to fool?

  2. Dyspeptic Skeptic

    Opining that Colleen is closing the income gap caused by the cancellation of GLBL Yoga by shilling for a winery. I am dubious about all these highly visible teachers who mask their mercenary activities as an eleemosynary or lofty contribution under the guise of yoga.

  3. The P

    Guess it’s time to move out of this here austere cave where I’ve been doing my yoga for years and get a glass of wine! Thanks for clueing me in, Colleen!

    I vote for “voracious American individualism gone coo-coo” with a side order of as long as it makes me more money it’s yogarific (shri??). Pfft

  4. I AM THAT

    I’m sorry, WHAT?!

    “And, yes, she enjoys wine. “The earthy wines ground you,” she says. “The more spirited wines lift you. Either way, it is a moment of pranayama.”

  5. mji

    Looks like ol Rodney likes wine too – he’s is looking mighty buzzed in the above picture.

  6. Greenpoint

    Yoga for weight loss, Yoga and wine (?, nothing to do with each other)…”boringly lame” describes these topics perfectly….

  7. Let’s drink wine and make love, Babs.

  8. Pingback: colleen saidman yee strikes a yoga pose for winery ad campaign

  9. Boing

    The wine is called “Yoga Adultery” and promises to “open your root chakra”. Just ask Rodney or John Friend. Wine, wine wine, open that bottle for me.

  10. Bobcat

    It’s impolite to tell on an individual trying to make a few or a lot more bucks legally. But it is totally effective. Yoga teachers in the commercial limelight are good tools for us not so genteel folks to exercise common sense. I am not talking about deep Svadhyaya or self investigation here. Is it not plain common sense that there is nothing good (avoiding the word yogic) about a major commercial alcohol provider and a celebrity yogi getting together?

    • Greenpoint

      I think if she wants to peddle wine, go for it, who cares…just don’t bring Yoga into it, as that is “boringly lame”…

      • wondering

        agreed greenpoint. None of these celeb are yogi’s so who cares. If Sri Krishnamacharya never felt comfortable being called a yogi, or a guru I’m not sure how these other folks have the hutzpah to take on the title. But then, there’s alot about today’s yoga teachers and their ego’s that I don’t understand.

      • Chai Fan

        Yep. Yoga is great, wine is great, or at least they both are to me. But they do not need to to brought together for commercial purposes. Its like now well-to-do white women in the Hamptons can feel like they are doing something healthy or spiritual or yogic by picking out wine. Total marketing scam. And you are right, kinda boring.

  11. Mark

    Once again we forget that “Yogi” is also used in Tibetan Buddhism. In some “secret” vows in the more esoteric disciplines of vajrayana or mantrayana the “yogi” is required by a vow to consume alcohol and meat. Granted this is reserved for those “yogis” who are capable of utilizing these foods in a positive way which will liberate upon tasting…so on. Having said that…not one of these yogis views alcohol or wine as an ordinary substance and coud not advertise for a winery. By the way I happen to be a winemaker. There were also 2 of the 84 mahasiddhas who either made wine or sold it or drank it.

    • wondering

      Well there you go, that explains everything. Perhaps she is a yogi(ni), Tibetan Buddhist, and a connoisseur of fine leather boots. So glad we have these “teachers” to share their wisdom.

      • Mark

        Wasn’t an explanation..”wondering”…just another commentary on the usage of “yogi”. You sound like a real douche. Douche as in purified. You douche

        • wondering

          I thought your info was interesting, and unknown to me. It added some fun to the absurdity of it all, as if she could be so fabulous in so many ways: scholar of such vast subjects, teacher, mother, model, high end shopper, author, media star, you name it! I love babs pointing out this propensity for yoga teachers to promote “yoga to be what ever you want it to be”. That way you can not eat the cow but can wear it, and feel “balanced” and” yogic”. My comment had nothing to do w/you personally, we probably haven’t met. I love this sight for the fun loving ridiculousness of it all, and generally don’t comment on the other bloggers…unless they call babs ignorEnt instead of ignorAnt…that’s just too hard to resist.

  12. jorge

    silly people doing and saying silly things.

  13. Yoga Whine

    Not to be outdone, Sadie Nardini has just announced her own “Yoga and Wine” retreat in Tuscany in October.

    Dayum, ain’t that yogini marketing competition fierce! Now girls…….

    No mention yet of the Sadie tour’s “detoxification” or “empowerment” benefits.

    Hasn’t anyone told Sadie that “buying American” – as in representing California wineries, not Italian ones – is part of the new yoga chic?


  14. Greenpoint

    good grief, made the mistake of clicking on the link and reading the “article”…boring insanity, and that’s hard to pull off…

  15. gross

    are those $300 boots strictly vegetarian?

  16. Peggy

    I’m sure the wine, like the yoga ,is watered down. Anymore cool ideas? Yoga and auto parts? Yoga and vinyl floor covering? Yoga and crack? The list is endless.

  17. jorge

    what about 4:20 yoga? ……oh wait they already have that.
    how about a yoga studio inside of a yoga studio? symblic of the layers of koshas.
    yoga and fracking?

  18. Pingback: The Little Computer That Couldn’t: More Yoga Marketing : Yoga Brains


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