Mind & Body Inspiration: Yoga with Adriene

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Practicing Yoga with Adriene (literally!) in London in 2016.

This month’s inspiration is very dear to my heart (which I can now get closer to my feet, because of): the Yoga with Adriene YouTube Channel, from the Texan yoga teacher, actress, and caretaker of a super-cute dog, Adriene Mishler.

her mantra of “no yoga robots“ encourages us to “find what feels good” in our unique bodies…

She is not one of those terrifyingly bendy or preachy yogis: in fact, her mantra of “no yoga robots“ encourages us “find what feels good” in our unique bodies (T-shirts are available!), rather than forcing ourselves into the shapes of the poses we see on Instagram.

her practices are active and incorporate a secular philosophy…

This isn’t the overly spiritual stereotype of yoga either, with hours spent sitting cross-legged in meditation. Instead, her practices are active and incorporate a secular philosophy- in some practices we are invited to reflect on concepts such as “letting go”, “forgiveness”, “openness” etc. and think about how they might be relevant for us that day.

She has a charming sense of humour (including unlikely Wu-Tang references and occasional singing), and for me, is positive and motivational but not annoying- a fine balance to achieve! The little details are also spot on: she reminds us to smile to release tension in the face as well as endorphins, and to focus on the breath when the going gets tough, enabling you to hold that plank for an extra couple of seconds. Some videos even have guest appearances from her gorgeous dog, Benji!

there is also a fulfilling sense of being part of a global community...

One of my favourite aspects of the channel, is the free 30 day challenge released each January. As well as offering physiological benefits, there is also a fulfilling sense of being part of a global community, with thousands of people from all over the world sharing their experiences in the comments and on the Facebook group. There are three previous challenges available on her channel and a new challenge for 2018 starting today- let’s do it!

If that’s not your thing or if you’re completely new to yoga, as I was when I discovered Adriene, I’d recommend her Foundations of Yoga series, where she clearly breaks down several key poses. I found this extremely helpful and meant that I could practice safely at a public classes.  She also has practices of different durations, for different goals, emotional states, and to complement other activities, such as “yoga for weight loss: abs and arms”, “yoga for anxiety and stress”, “yoga for runners”. (This has even inspired me to create my own “festival yoga” sequence to stretch out tired dancing muscles, which I shared with a small group of friends at an event last August!)

I can’t sing the praises of this lovely lady enough, and will be forever grateful to her for inspiring me to include yoga as part of my life. I hope this post in turn, may inspire some readers to give it a go and experience similar benefits! You can find Adriene’s website here, YouTube channel here, and Facebook page here.


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