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Wellness

Reflecting on 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene

At the end of every year, Adriene Mishler announces a 30-day yoga journey that will begin with the new year. Known best for her YouTube channel Yoga with Adriene and adorable pup, Benji, Adriene experienced an even more significant rise to fame due to the pandemic. 

With yoga studios and gyms closing worldwide, many landed on her YouTube channel and found peace in her accessible videos. Her calming voice, videos ranging in length, style and focus–as well as her entertaining sidekick, Benji–have kept me watching her videos for over five years.

The last time I did her 30-day yoga journey was in 2018 with the TRUE series, and although I’ve wanted to complete another every year since, my college schedule didn’t allow for it–or so I thought. 

This year’s series, BREATH, seemed perfect for me, given my current situation. I’m living at home and have gotten used to home yoga practices in the months since the onset of the pandemic, making the adjustment to daily videos seamless. In years past, I preferred going to the gym for yoga classes or to the yoga studio at my local climbing gym to virtual classes or recorded videos. Given the circumstances, I have come to love virtual classes, both live and pre-recorded. 

The focus of the series is exactly as the title implies: breath! After a stressful year like no other, 30 days dedicated to breath and the connection between breath and movement was welcome. I got more out of the series than I imagined possible, and I plan to return to some of my favorite videos from the series regularly. 

As someone who has always struggled with anxiety, I found the breathwork and meditation included in the series to be beneficial. One of the series’s core values is that we can always return to our breath to ground us and bring us back to the present moment, and that’s a lesson I will always carry with me. 

In the past, I’ve forced myself to do yoga for at least an hour to “make it count.” Because most in-person classes are about an hour, this was a concept that took a bit of unlearning in order to be successful in my yoga journey. There are no requirements for yoga or working out, and this is something that BREATH helped reinforce. One of the quotes repeated by Adriene throughout the series is “forget everything you think you know about yoga,” and she’s exactly right! 

A daily yoga practice doesn’t have to be a rigid system with minimum requirements but should be fluid and adaptable to what you need at the moment. Whether it’s a simple flow followed by breathwork, a hot yoga session or some meditation, doing what feels best as each day comes has proven to be my favorite part of yoga. 

One of the most considerable differences I saw between the 2018 series and this year was in myself. A few years back, I dragged myself to my mat every morning before school, and the series was harder to keep up with than I’d like to admit. Some days, I considered stopping because I felt I didn’t have the time or wasn’t gaining anything from it. Looking back, it’s probably because my priorities were in all of the wrong places. I was in it to get six-pack abs and get a power yoga-esque workout in every morning before school, but Adriene’s journey is more of a slow burn than that. 

This year, I was eager to get on my mat each day and found myself craving more as each video ended. I felt myself gain strength and reveled in the joy of movement. More than anything, I connected with my breath like never before and now see it as a powerful tool. Adriene plans each practice with intention and precision, and the flow of the journey is perfect. With a few more intense exercises and intentionally slow and cozy practices mixed in, the series is incredibly well put together. I’m already excited for next year’s series, and it’s only February!

BREATH was an excellent way to start the new year, and I am looking forward to practicing yoga with Adriene and Benji for many years to come. Thanks to Adriene, I have the tools and confidence in my abilities to stick to my goal of daily yoga practices. The series was crafted with all yoga levels in mind, and this series would be fantastic for beginners, as it would help create a solid foundation for future yoga practice. Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or want to try yoga for the first time, I highly recommend BREATH!

To learn more about Adriene Mishler, visit YogaWithAdriene.com.

Jessica Hernandez is a University of Florida Senior doublte-majoring in Economics and Sustainability Studies. She has a heart for activism, is an avid reader, a lover of vegan food, and a member of the rock climbing team at UF. She can often be found reading books in her hammock or trying vegan food at restaurants in Gainesville.
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