We find ourselves in an age marked by avarice. Encouraged to consume and bombarded with celebrity endorsements, it often feels like happiness is just one more purchase away. So, it’s always encouraging when someone comes along who feels normal and relatable and, well, uplifts us; someone who allows us to feel gratitude for what we’ve got. Adriene Mishler certainly is said enabler. Laid back, playful and very, very human, Adriene is ‘the people’s yogi’ who preaches that all we really need in life are the simple things. Boy, is it refreshing.
In the age of the Youtube celebrity, we feel as though we really get to know some of the gurus we follow over the years. We revel in how much more tangible their lives feel to us plain folks. We feel like we get each other; that we would totally be friends IRL. And that’s nice! It makes the experience feel more balanced; less about perfection, more about progress. I’ve learned so much through the platform over the years, from how to do my make-up to how to take good photographs to how to master pigeon pose (well, I’m getting there).
Yoga changes lives; there is no two ways about it. From helping us conquer our anxiety to promoting self-love, the inner truths that routine practice can open our hearts to are pretty remarkable. There was a time that access yoga depended upon you firstly being able to find a class in your area that fit your schedule and then decide whether you could afford it, or resign yourself to trying to interpret the diagrams in a book (been there), often with much frustration due to the lack of direction. But that’s a thing of the past (thanks the Yoga Gods) since Youtube and all the kind yogis who create free content for us viewers to practice along to in the comfort of our own homes.
Participating in any kind of exercise class can seem intimidating and this causes many of us to avoid them like the plague, but the easy access that Youtube enables allows us to cultivate our practice without any fear of keeping up with others or risking sweating to death and being carried out on a stretcher in public. And when it comes to yoga – a special kind of exercise that can release some pretty powerful emotions – we can rest assured knowing that at-home practice means no one has to see our tears.
No matter the time of day or night, whether you’re struggling with insomnia and need a video to allay your nerves at 3am or want something last thing at night before you hit the pillow, the beauty of at-home practice is that it is there to support you whenever you need it.
If there’s one channel that has a video for everything under the sun, it’s Yoga With Adriene. Whether it’s your job that’s giving you stress, a physical ailment you’re struggling with, or an aspect of your spiritual self that you’d like to heal, Adriene has got a video for it. Consistently promoting the beautiful mantra of “find what feels good,” Adriene reminds us that it’s always better to invest ourselves wholeheardly in few, vital pursuits than trying to juggle too many things at once. She’s relatable, hilarious, encouraging, and an advocate for keeping things simple.
In a recent interview, Adriene talked about why priotizing sleep, food and the elusive ‘work-life balance‘ serves her best. After all, it’s better to do few things well and effortlessly let the rest fall into place than try to control everything and find yourself making zero progress.
Firstly, she discussed sleep and how important it is to her wellbeing. It’s true of us all. Research into sleep science is something we are finally investing more into and for good reason. Lack of sleep causes us to feel lonely, drives social separation and negatively impacts our ability to learn new information and store it in our long-term memory. Obesity has been linked to lack of sleep too and stress hormone cortisol (which leads to every kind of inflammation) spikes when our sleep schedule is irregular. Therefore, it’s a no-brainer that ensuring quality and quantity of sleep should be our first priority, before we even attempt the big changes in our waking lives. Adriene swears by the tried and trusted routine of dimming the lights as soon as possible in her wind-down process, as well as ditching the screens early on in the evening.
When it comes to what she eats, our favorite yogi knows that balance is key. We all need indulgence from time to time to maintain sanity; after all, food is one of life’s most basic pleasures. Therefore, she emphasises that it’s important not to punish yourself for wanting to have a night off from all the kale. Listen to your body and you’ll soon balance things out again.
Finally there’s the work-life balance that we all strive for. She mentions how it’s often not until you’ve experienced the misery of being overworked that you learn your lesson and put measures in place to prevent it happening again. Choosing to invest yourself wholeheartedly in fewer things that you can really be proud of is so much more worthwhile that multi-tasking and not producing anything of quality. She also mentions the importance of time with her loved ones and doing things she finds fun, to help keep energy levels high so that she can do her best work.
If there’s one thing that Adriene has taught me over the years, it’s that happiness comes from getting back to basics; from truly finding what feels good! I feel best when life is simple and I make time to stop, stretch and let the day linger. Perhaps we’d all do best to take a leaf out of her book and hit refresh on the plague of busy in the hope of something more sustainable.
What makes you happiest?
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