It’s overcast as I write this, not that it matters much when you’ve spent half an hour with YouTube star Adriene (and Benji) doing yoga. That’s the real beauty and reward of spending just 10 minutes rolling around on the floor of your living room with ‘Yoga With Adriene’. Serenity.
There’s no way I’ll be able to replicate the cosiness and poetry of Adriene Mishler’s weekly love letters, but I’ll try anyway. If I can convince just one person to give yoga a go, it will all be worth it.
Serenity is a calm feeling and a quiet, peaceful state of mind. Before Yoga With Adriene, this beautiful and sometimes bewildering sensation was only achieved in those rare moments when all the stars align. When you wake up 5 minutes before your alarm and bask in the silence. Or halfway through the second week of your holiday when you’ve finally dropped all the stress from work.
But Yoga With Adriene can help you slide into this state of mind whenever you need it. I’ve been practicing with Adriene on and off for the past three years, using her free yoga tutorials on YouTube to practice in the mornings, evenings, weekends or whenever the mood strikes me.
I’ve managed to pinpoint her formula for serenity (for me, at least):
- Calm, controlled breathing,
- Mindful movements,
- Stretching out the kinks,
- A little bit of a workout,
- Talking with a friend.
How it works
That’s just one of the beginner yoga videos you can start with, but to be honest, even the non-beginner ones aren’t that daunting when you get started. As Adriene always says, getting on the mat is the hardest part.
For the next 5 to 60 minutes (there’s a variety of different video lengths) you listen to the calming, friendly voice of Adriene, take mindful breaths, and stretch.
That’s it. So, it’s no wonder that so many people have taken to YWA over lockdown for a little bit of calm and peace of mind.
You don’t need fancy gear and stretch Lycra leggings to join, just wear some stretch pyjama bottoms and a comfy top. I do recommend getting a yoga mat, however. This cork yoga mat on Amazon is on my wish-list.
It’s not always sunshine and rainbows
I prefer yoga to other exercises especially when I’m anxious. Adriene’s calming voice and her gentle yoga practices really help to clear and balance my mind. But I want to point out that it’s not always sunshine and rainbows.
This is one of the videos specifically designed for anxiety, but every single move requires very flexible and open hips. Which I don’t have. You also spend a good portion of the video doing alternate nostril breathing, which is a nightmare for me. At the end of the practice, I’m feeling a lot worse than when I started.
There are other components that irritate me. The pop culture references I don’t get, for example. I also find that Adriene moves too fast for me sometimes. And finally, my breath never matches up. Without fail, when Adriene directs you to take a big inhale or exhale, I’m inevitably doing the opposite and struggle to switch quickly to catch up.
But it’s still worth it
The point I’m trying to make is that if you want serenity, calm, tranquillity and peace, you need to work for it a little. Yoga With Adriene is a great tool, but you need to put in the effort to get that great feeling that all the reviewers are raving about.
That means brewing up a hot cup of calming tea, getting in the right mindset to start, accepting that not every YWA video is going to be good for your body type, and genuinely listening to all the crazy things Adriene says!
Good luck, and namaste.