Cyndi Lee: Founder, OM Yoga

My NativeAdVantage:


Cyndi Lee is the first female Western yoga teacher to fully integrate yoga asana and Tibetan Buddhism in her practice and teaching.  Founder of NYC’s OM yoga Center (1998-2012) she now teaches workshops and teacher trainings worldwide. Author of the classic, Yoga Body Buddha Mind, her newest book is the The New York Times critically acclaimed May I Be Happy: A Memoir of Love, Yoga and Changing My Mind. Cyndi currently lives in central Virginia where she has founded Yoga Goodness Studio. Cyndi holds an MFA in Dance, is a long time student of Gelek Rimpoche and is currently training to be a Zen Chaplain under the auspices of Roshi Joan Halifax, emphasizing service in areas of women’s health and physical resiliency practices.

What do you do best?

Students seem to respond to my particular teaching combination of lightness and substance.  I am who I am and that can be liberating for students and hopefully, it gives them a transmission that yoga is about being real; about fully accepting your own good self however it shows up that day.

What makes you the best?

Well, one thing I’m good at is being brave and riding the winds of change. After being a dancer for 18 years, I retired to teach yoga full time.  I ended up creating a large yoga studio in NYC, and then after living in that city for 34 years I left my home, business, sangha all behind for love and joy — which happens to be in central Virginia.  So….I’m not afraid to participate in my life as it continues to unfold.  These days I’m moving more toward writing and teaching dharma, and more on-line — so I’m really good at not solidifying life boxes.

What are your aspirations?

To keep on keeping on with a real aliveness to how life changes and how I change.  To honor my body as it shifts, my mind as it gains understanding and my heart as it opens and sometimes closes.  To continue to fully engage in both what I can do to be helpful and how to move toward what nourishes me.  

To get better at balancing on time and off time and to get better at understanding that they can be the same thing, if I can live like a yogi/Buddha.

Biggest Success?

Letting go of resentment and opening my heart to those who hurt me.  

Most Challenging Moment?

When my father died and I got lost because I couldn’t figure out how to be in the world without him.

Favorite Motto?

It’s a three-way tie between these sayings that all my students will recognize:

Just Show Up

No Big Deal

Good Luck with That 

Favorite People?

my husband, Brad Bateman

my guru Gelek Rimpoche,

Favorite Places?


Santa Fe

my couch with a cappucino, a novel and my puppy, Leroy Brown.

Favorite Products?

Young Living Essential Oils — especially Valor

Cindy Joseph BOOM - minimal perfect make up for women over 50

Current Passions?

studying to be a Zen Buddhist chaplain

cooking vegan

doing walking meditation for 10,000 steps a day