wcw yoga

Illustration by Max Fleishman

By using YouTube, Adriene Mishler is making yoga accessible to every soul everywhere.

The Daily Dot is celebrating Woman Crush Wednesday, better known as #WCW on Twitter and Instagram, by highlighting female creators on YouTube whose work we admire.

In the era of $150 Lululemon yoga pants and studio memberships worth more than a used car, Adriene Mishler is a much needed breath of fresh, lavender-scented air. An actress and yoga teacher, Mishler is the force behind one of YouTube's most popular fitness channels Yoga With Adriene (YWA)—a space revolutionizing today’s over-commercialized yoga culture and teaching people how to best serve themselves.

“[A YouTube channel] really isn't to be compared to group practice or studio life either—it is it's own thing, another aspect to yogi life. Home practice requires you to show up for yourself—the YWA channel provides the tools to help you listen and keep moving,” Mishler told the Daily Dot.

Nick McBurney

With more than 250 videos in her archive, Mishler creates weekly practices that range from 20- to 40-minute routines designed to keep yogis in the present. The video’s themes differ each class—differing between specific emotions (anxiety, confidence, stress, restlessness), certain body parts, or daily intentions. Her videos are accessible to all levels, body types, genders, and souls, and in the past four years, they have gained close to 100 million views.  
“There are a million different ways to say I love you. There are a million different ways to invite someone to the mat, back to themselves, back to something that feels good,” Mishler said. “As teachers, we have to send out the invitation with integrity to allow the student or friend to go on a journey that is really their own. That is why we share the mantra ‘Find What Feels Good.’ You can't force anyone to have an experience. Or you can—but it won't be rich, sacred, supportive, or sustainable, in my opinion. 

“You have to provide the tools in a way that guides others to show up on their own. It ain't always easy—but it is empowering and damn beautiful.”

Mishler began practicing yoga at a young age and following a life-changing kundalini class at 18, decided to pursue her teaching certification. She had never considered YouTube until a friend (and her now business partner), Chris Sharpe, encouraged her to start making videos. 

In the last two years, Mishler’s creative practices (a Red Nose Day yoga practice—yes please!) and consistent, well-made content has gained her more than 1.3 million new subscribers and led to the development of her own monthly subscription service Find What Feels Good. For $10 a month, users are treated to online yoga classes, Mishler’s personal video archive, as well as exclusive practices and tips available on Apple TV, Roku, Android, and iPhone.

Her work is reminiscent of Blogilates, Nola Trees, and Jessamyn as all of these women are leveraging social media to shatter stereotypes around who can and cannot be fit. Through her videos, Mishler is making yoga available to anyone—not just people with time and money—and with the diversity of her content, inviting all levels and body types to care for themselves on the mat. But beyond the physical, Mishler is teaching viewers to love themselves and serve others

“Trust the flow,” Mishler wisely shared. “I would remind my sweet little self who was always trying to fix and force things to trust and enjoy the flow. When things go wrong, when heartache strikes—trust the flow. Also, I might tell myself to not waste time being a jealous little b.”

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