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Exclusive: The First Couple of yoga opens a new studio in New York City


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Photo: Instagram/@colleensaidman

At some point during their practice, most yogis have crossed paths with married pair Colleen Saidman Yee and Rodney Yee. Whether that experience with the First Couple of yoga is via their countless appearances in Gaiam DVDs or in IRL class, the legends are true royalty in the yoga world—which makes the opening of their new studio in New York City pretty exciting.

After recently closing the doors to their first Manhattan yoga studio (Colleen announced it in a blog post at the end of February), the duo never thought they would go through the process of opening another. But their new location quickly turned into a family affair.

According to Colleen, Yoga Shanti at 28 Warren Street in Tribeca—which is offering its first day of classes tomorrow—has a modern look with a lot of the same design as their shuttered Flatiron location. They credit this aesthetic to their son, Evan, who’s currently studying sculpture at Pratt Institute and took over the renovations aspect.

“It brought us back to old-school yoga in New York City. It had a certain vibe. Sometimes spaces take a long time to marinate, but this one was already marinated. It was one of those fall-in-love-at-first-sight types of deals.” —Rodney Yee

“We took a lot of the arches and lanterns [from the last location] and put it in here, so there’s that Yoga Shanti familiarity,” Colleen says. But even with the ornate, traditional decor, you can expect a friendly mom-and-pop feel. “Sometimes spaces take a long time to marinate, but this one was already marinated. It was one of those fall-in-love-at-first-sight types of deals,” Rodney says. “It brought us back to old-school yoga in New York City. It had a certain vibe.”

Even though this yoga duo is one of the most well-known in the wellness world, their humility is still very much present. “You do get scared. I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night like, ‘Oh, sh*t—what if nobody shows up?'” Colleen says. But with the return of many beloved Yoga Shanti teachers and a “casual, fun, and approachable” studio vibe, there’s a good chance the 42 available mats will fill up really quickly.

Want to do yoga in bed? Colleen Saidman Yee will show you how. Or, get to know the famous yogi even better in her book.

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