The amount I talk about Yoga With Adriene on this blog, you’d think I was paid to do so. Well, unfortunately not. I can’t say I’m sponsored by Yoga With Adriene just yet (but like literally, that would be the dream) but I can talk about her over and over again and yes, you might think it’s a bit weird how obsessed I am and yes, I literally spend more time with Adriene than I do with my own boyfriend. But there’s good reason. I promise.
For those that have absolutely no idea what or who I’m talking about, Adriene is a Yoga teacher, who runs the YouTube channel Yoga With Adriene where she’s been providing us with free Yoga videos ever since the dawn of time. She does also run a membership on her website, where you can pay for exclusive access to extra videos and materials but the vast majority of what she offers is completely, totally, 100% free.
I began my own personal Yoga journey back in 2014 or so, not long after I’d been diagnosed with anxiety and was desperate to find anything that might help. I bought some Yoga DVD’s from Amazon – with no idea what I was buying really – and started there. I enjoyed these videos to a degree but as a complete beginner, most of it was too hard, too advanced and I just didn’t understand the language she was using either.
I plodded on with these videos as much as I could until I was recommended a Yoga With Adriene video for back pain – after tweeting out asking if anyone had any recommendations for exercises that help with lower back pain. So I gave this video a go and just like that… I was hooked.
From there, I started with all of Adriene’s Yoga for beginners practices and worked on the foundations. I started small and easy and I’ve never looked back. I now practice twice a day – if I can – and I’ve tried a huge range of her videos from power Yoga, bedtime Yoga, gentle Yoga, Yoga for a six pack – you name it! I feel fitter, stronger and my flexibly is the best it has ever been (and trust me, I was the most un-flexible person ever before I started Yoga!)
But aside from all those little things, Yoga With Adriene means an awful lot to me for a lot of reasons. I could go on about this for days but here’s just some of the ways that this beautiful Woman has helped me (without even knowing it) over the years:
She’s helped me through my anxiety
Anxiety will always be a part of me and I’m not saying she’s a miracle worker but through increased exercise, breathing techniques, meditation and mindful thinking, when I’m doing more Yoga, I feel much less anxious.
She feels like a friend
She approaches her videos in a very kind and compassionate way (along with her very cute dog!) making it known right from the get-go that we can adapt if something doesn’t feel right and we’re encouraged to find what feels good. She’s funny, doesn’t take herself too seriously and feels like a faraway friend.
Every time I step on my mat, I feel safe
Sometimes, when life is hectic and tough it can be so hard to stay grounded but since practicing with Adriene, I’ve learned to see my mat as as safe space. As example of this was a few weeks ago, when my Granddad was ill, I was incredibly anxious about it one day and the anxiety wouldn’t shift, until I rolled out my mat and got moving. Sometimes, when I’m on my mat, I feel like nothing can touch me.
She was with me when my Dad had a heart attack at the beginning of the year
If you follow me on Twitter you’ll know that just before New Year my Dad had a heart attack and was kept in hospital for almost 2 weeks. It was obviously an incredibly stressful and nervous time for us all but I knew I couldn’t let it get on top of me, so I rolled out my mat every day and sought out the comfort in Yoga With Adriene.
She was with me when I received my cervical screening results
Two years ago, I had my first cervical screening and my results came back abnormal. It was terrifying for me and as someone with anxiety anyway, the whole process just made me so nervous I was ill. But again, every day, I made sure I checked in with Adriene and for those 20 minutes on the mat, I was bulletproof.
She’s helped me get back into exercise and focus on my own well-being
After my anxiety diagnosis, I stopped exercising, I gained a lot of weight and was a shadow of who I used to be (someone that loved sport and exercising who was hoping to become a fitness instructor). Yoga With Adriene got me back into exercising but in a new, healthier way, where getting a six pack wasn’t the goal but getting strong was.
She’s helped me figure out who I am
And finally, I have learnt more about myself from practicing Yoga with Adriene almost daily than I have from anything else in my life. I’ve not only learnt about what I want from my Yoga practices (and my Yoga retreat last year taught me what I don’t want) but also what I want for myself and how I want to live my life each day.