Adriene Mishler began as a YouTuber giving out full free yoga classes online. Her self-love approach quickly took off and now she’s got various series, kid’s yoga classes, her own app and a standing partnership with adidas.
We sat down with her to chat about her approach and her new partnership with adidas in their new range, Making Space.
WH: How has your relationship with adidas evolved over the years and what synergies do you have with the brand?
AM: It is a pleasure to say that in my many years of working with adidas, I feel I have grown with the brand, as well as watched the brand continue to expand and push incredibly important boundaries in areas that I value deeply. The utmost synergy really lies in the commitment to create a highly motivational and inspirational space for ALL types of bodies and beings to feel called to play and be fully centered. The intersect between creativity and community is also a place where I admire and share loyalty with the brand, as well as the energy put forth creating more conscious product each year.
You visited Cape Town, South Africa with the adidas Global team in 2017 and had the chance to connect with Earthchild Project in Khayelitsha. Did the experience have a lasting impact, and what are your thoughts on the benefits of teaching children yoga?
AM: My trip to Cape Town in 2017 changed my life. It remains a huge honor to have had the opportunity to join the brand there, to lead yoga in Khayelitsha with the children, and to meet extraordinary and passionate people truly making the world a cleaner, safer, more compassion place. I remain in friendship with EarthChild Project as one of their biggest fans and admirers. We collaborated on conversation through an Instagram live during the pandemic and I was reminded of their infectious and incredible energy and love for yoga and the communities they serve. I began teaching Kids Yoga and for many years that is all I led. My first business (ever) was called LKY, Love Kids Yoga, and to this day I feel that my time leading children has been one of the biggest influences to Yoga With Adriene.
I believe it is absolutely critical that we make the tools of mindfulness and movement available to children of all ages, so that we may support their joy, freedom, and growth to the best of our ability in our current day and age. I also believe it is so important that we support our teachers! Yoga With Adriene continues to build upon a free teacher resource page, which includes practices from me, but also a few animated shorts on anxiety, stress, and tools for bedtime – these led by, yes you guessed it, my dog Benji, and animated by wonderful London based artist and animator Will Rose.
The adidas Yoga Make Space Collection is inspired by the elements – Fire, Earth, Wind, Water. Which of the elements speaks to you most, and what pieces from the range are your favourite?
AM: As a Libra, you think I would say Wind – and that may be true as it inspires the breath in me first – which I think is always a great place to begin… and we all know that is the hardest part – to begin. However, I am quite in love with the balance of all the elements, both in this collection and within the range of a yoga practice. If you are familiar with all of the elements, you can start to use the tools of yoga to shape your daily practice to your needs. This is really taking the whole “listen to your body” to the next level.
For example, on some days a light jog with a short flow may be what you need, whereas on some days you just need to sweat… maybe cry a little. The real yoga is in allowing yourself the time, the space, and respect for tools to ask “What do I need today? How am I really feeling?” And then to respond with honesty and love for yourself. My favorite pieces are from the Earth and Fire collection, though I love the clean and stylish minimalist nature of the Wind combo and the water is perfectly suited for when you don’t want to be still nor workout – you just want to PLAY, particularly for those who are drawn to water and activity in nature. Honestly, I love them all, I feel like they were made exactly for someone like me, someone who likes to change it up, based on how I feel.
Your yoga instruction is freely available to all – how does it feel to be such a driving positive force in so many people’s lives?
AM: It is a daily honor to be so genuinely connected to so many people on such a deep level through practices that directly influence our mental, emotional, and physical health. There is no way to adequately communicate how humbling and extraordinary my experience has been to practice with so many people and create pathways for them to connect across oceans, pre-pandemic and through to now, both on and off the yoga mat.
It inspires me every day and I hope the ripple effect of people practising in their communities inspires people all over to continue to show up for themselves in new ways for seasons to come.
Do you have a particular process that comes to mind when you’re creating a new class?
AM: We are approaching the ten year anniversary of the Yoga With Adriene Youtube Channel in September of 2022. The process of creating a practice has evolved over the years for sure, but I would say my main goal now when creating a class is to allow it to be a direct response to listening to the voices of the community.
This is harder than you think, it requires time and discipline, but ultimately it frees me up to widen my playing field and feel confident in my offering – knowing that it was created in response to a direct request, a real person’s needs. I enjoy the conversation through the practice, it’s a type of call and response that is so unique to the time we are living in.