Colleen and Rodney

Rodney and Colleen

When my mum asked me a couple of months ago what I wanted for my birthday the only thing I could really think of was a yoga workshop (we’re big on buying experiences rather than objects as gifts) and as soon as I saw that Colleen Saidman Yee and Rodney Yee were coming to London in November to teach I got straight onto the Triyoga website.

Colleen and Rodney are perhaps most easily described as the David and Victoria Beckham of the yoga world. Between them they run classes, retreats and workshops all over the world and you can find them in numerous magazines and yoga DVDs. Their wedding was featured in the New York Times and they’ve been shot for Vanity Fair.

Triyoga Chelsea outshining the Kings Road Christmas lights

Triyoga Chelsea outshining the Kings Road Christmas lights

So it wasn’t surprising that at 7pm on a Saturday night Triyoga’s Chelsea outpost on the Kings Road was as heaving as the glossy bars and restaurants that share its street. The centre is gorgeous, very clean and light with changing rooms that wouldn’t look out of place in a spa. It has two studios that can be opened into one huge space for  nights like this. In fact it’s so big that as  I passed Colleen to get my blocks and strap at the front of the room I heard her joke to Rodney “I have yoga nightmares about teaching in rooms like this”.

The workshop was one of the most satisfying experiences I’ve ever had on my mat, with Colleen and Rodney taking it in turn to lead the class while the other made adjustments. It was fantastic that in such a busy space you got hands on attention from such well-known teachers. There was a lot of focus on alignment and Iyengar teachings and not fighting your natural body but instead working with it. So looking at what part of you feels heavy in a pose, say your tail bone pulling down, and acknowledging and working with that. They also worked for a long time on gaze, questioning what the difference was between looking and gazing and how your gaze affects backbends. Rodney’s advice to me was “Don’t look at your bun! Don’t look at your bun!” (I have a big mane of hair that I pile up on my head for class and which can sometimes affect my posture and balance.)

Warm and welcoming Triyoga entrance

Warm and welcoming Triyoga entrance

Two and a half hours flew by with a variety of backbends and exercises including a brilliant one with a block between our legs which had Rodney comparing us to Pez candy. At the end of the class there was a great atmosphere in the room as everyone thanked the pair for their time and energy. As the yogi on the mat next to me, an older woman who I want to be when I grow up, said “We know where the action is on a Saturday in Chelsea”.

Now I just need to work out what I want for my Christmas present…

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