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Fiercely 50: Seane Speaks Up About Getting Older in the Public Eye

“The one thing I’ve noticed that I’ve definitely bought into is this, ‘I don’t give a fuc#$-ness . . .’ My lack of concern for someone else’s point of view is dialing up even more, and I think that comes with age. I like that part of it a LOT.”

You don’t have to do yoga to know who Seane Corn is—or, at least, to recognize her trademark smile and lion’s mane hair. Arguably one of the most famous yogis to date, Seane is the quintessential ‘celebrity yogi,’ having graced the cover of over 20 of the most widely read yoga, fitness, lifestyle, and health magazines and featured in over 30 publications since her teaching career took hold in 1994.

“[50 is] an important milestone, not that it’s this demarcation point from youth to age, but definitely it is a moment of pause. A lot of our identity gets caught up in the way that we look.”

Although most models and fitness figures come and go within a few short years, Corn’s longevity of over two decades—as a model, international spokesperson, practitioner, activist, and world-renowned teacher—are unmatched. She is as compelling and relevant today as she was when she first started. But that longevity isn’t without complications or anxieties. That’s part of what we hoped to discuss when we met with Corn last month: Having entered the yoga scene in her early twenties, how have things shifted both externally, with time and a committed practice, as well as internally, in response to mainstream media and the commercialization of yoga?

“My hope is that, as I walk through this process of transparency and disclosure, it inspires other people, men and women alike, to get curious about what age is for them—the gifts they can gleam from this experience, but also any limited beliefs that they might be harbouring.”

Mainstream Conundrum

For better or for worse, when Seane first started teaching at 23 [confirm] she fit the western concept of yoga: she had the hair, the eyes, the smile, and the body that mainstream media continues to endorse as the perfect image of health and beauty. Corn will be the first to admit that her rise to yogic stardom had, perhaps, less to do with her innate teaching talent and profound spiritual wisdom and more to do with her aesthetic appeal.

In an earlier interview with “Illumine,” She says, “I realized that I’d be able to make a career out of teaching yoga in a way that most of my peers, and even my teachers, weren’t going to be able to do—and for no other reason than that I was young, strong, flexible, pretty, and white.”