About Rodney Yee

Rodney Yee has been curious about the mind and body for as long as he can remember. He was a gymnast, a ballet dancer with the Oakland Ballet Company and the Matsuyama Ballet Company of Tokyo, and a philosophy and physical therapy major at the University of California Davis and Berkeley.

Following the thread of curiosity about mind and body, he took his first yoga class in 1980. He went to yoga in search of flexibility and found a practice that would turn into his life-long passion and career. In 1981, Rodney began to study yoga full time at the San Francisco Iyengar Yoga Institute and at The Yoga Room in Berkeley. In 1987, after becoming a certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher, he opened the Piedmont Yoga Studio in Oakland, CA, with Richard Rosen and Claire Finn. Rodney still teaches at Piedmont Yoga Studio often, but he is now based in New York, and teaches regular classes at his wife Colleen’s studio, Yoga Shanti, in Sag Harbor, NY and their new location in the Flatiron District of New York City.

In addition to teaching public classes in Sag Harbor and Oakland, Rodney leads teacher trainings, workshops, and retreats nationally and internationally, many of them with Colleen. Rodney has been teaching Advanced Yoga Teacher Training courses at studios across the country for over 15 years, and has directed numerous in-depth (18-month) teacher training programs. He and Colleen have led yoga retreats in locations such as Northern California and upstate New York, Hawaii, Mexico, Bali, Bhutan, and many other venues.

Rodney has appeared on Oprah, Good Morning America, and in the PBS special "The Practical Power of Yoga,” as well as many other television broadcasts. He contributes to a variety of yoga and healthy lifestyle publications regularly, including Yoga Journal, Self, Shape, and Fitness, and has been featured in Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Marie Claire, Elle, O-The Oprah Magazine, New York Magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.

Rodney created and appears in over 30 video titles and numerous audio recordings produced by Gaiam, and has written two books, Yoga: The Poetry of the Body (St. Martins, 2002) and Moving Toward Balance (Rodale, 2004), both with Nina Zolotow.

Together with Gaiam, Rodney and Colleen developed the Gaiam Yoga Studio, an online yoga studio with videos, audio classes and pose guides. It was designed to make a yoga home practice accessible to a wide audience.

Rodney and Colleen are the Yoga Directors of the Health and Wellness Initiative of the Urban Zen Foundation, Donna Karan’s project to change the healthcare paradigm to include complementary healthcare practices. As part of this project, they are the core yoga faculty of the Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Program, a 500-hour program that is currently training close to 100 integrative therapists in five modalities – yoga therapy, aromatherapy, reiki, contemplative end-of-life care, and nutrition. In association with Rodney, Colleen, and Gaiam, the Urban Zen Health and Wellness Initiative has produced DVDs and CDs for hospitals that lead patients through in-bed movements, restorative postures, breath awareness techniques, and body-scan meditations.

Rodney relies strongly on his own practice and intuition to influence his teaching. His core group of friends, everyday students, and family are also resources for a bounty of insights. His strengths are his communication skills, his sequencing finesse, and his ability to break down postures into their essential elements.

Rodney practices and teaches yoga to bring philosophy into action and to unveil the natural beauty of our spirits. He loves the ability of yoga to cleanse the mind and body which allows for presence of being.

Rodney and Colleen are married and live together in Long Island, NY, where they are raising and being raised by four awesome children, Evan, Adesha, Rachel, and Johanna.