colleen saidman yee strikes a yoga pose for winery ad campaign

Colleen Saidman Yee yogas for wine (image via

In the past decade, yoga has been used to sell cars, watches, jewellery, in addition to yoga products such as mats and clothes.

But for the first time, yoga is used in an ad campaign for wine with Colleen Saidman Yee, the Yoga Journal Buzz blog reported today. “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.”

The pairing of yoga and alcohol got a strong reaction from people on the Yoga Journal Facebook page. The conversation ranged from dismay about using yoga to promote wine, to defenses of alcohol, and to pleas to just stop being so critical and judgmental.

But seriously, as much as I love wine (among other kinds of alcohol) I also recognize that drinking booze is kind of contradictory to yoga teachings. And it’s rather irresponsible for a high profile “superstar” yoga teacher to endorse a company that makes wine – and be paid for it.

As The Babarazzi pointed out, this is a form of “yoga bleaching.” This is a term that they define as:

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.

What do you think about using yoga to market and sell wine?

  1. I don’t have any particular issue with it. Certainly not as much as some others may.

    I don’t tend to think of the concept of what is “yogic” as club to batter others into behaving, thinking and being like me – or aligning to ideals I think should be but more than likely aren’t living up to myself. But rather, at best, a tool to examine my own behavior and actions and work on myself.

    I think such thinking is destructive to those who practice it – and it is far from limited to yoga. I’ve seen it in the social justice movement, almost all dietary systems (Vegan, Vegetarian, Macro, Paleo, etc.) and let’s not forget many practitioners of varied religious traditions. (And numerous variations amongst fans of things be it music, art, etc.)

    Is it a choice I would make maybe not – but no one has offered either. But frankly not everything I’ve done in life nor every job I’ve had been rescuing orphan puppies from fires. 😉 None have outright harmed others that I know and I like to believe most help in ways.

    Just my insane .02

  2. Yoga is about finding a balance. A yogic lifestyle, in my opinion, can include wine and other forms of alcohol. Yoga also encourages us to be our most authentic self, and my most authentic self loves the taste of bourbon and wine, in balanced moderation our course.

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