Yoga teachers have been promoting products they like for years. Kathryn Budig famously posed in the buff for YogaToes. Jason Crandell uses the Three-Minute Egg. And Jade Yoga's mat ads are a proverbial who's-who of superstar yogis.
But 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.
Saidman, the founder of Yoga Shanti studio in New York and wife of Rodney Yee, is featured in Estancia's "Uncommon Balance" campaign, which pairs the California winery's Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines with self-care tips and essential oils.
Many yogis eschew alcohol, whether for personal reasons or because they feelit 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."
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."
"I have a strong meditation practice," she says, "but I still enjoy loud rock and roll. I am a strict vegetarian, but binge on chocolate. I never wear makeup, but will buy $300 boots."
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."