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  • Jamie Faulkner

My Favorite Yoga Instructor...

If you’ve talked with me about fitness within the past 3 years, odds are my favorite yoga instructor has come into the conversation. Sometimes I bring it up without any prompting. I just love her so much and I feel the urge to recommend her to everyone!

How did I come to find this incredible instructor? And how can you get access to this exceptional class?

One word - YOUTUBE (or is that two words?)

I first discovered yoga on YouTube in 2016, when I was feeling tight and sore and wanted a video to help me stretch it out. The video I did was about 15 minutes long, with a woman doing yoga on the beach with a voiceover of the instructions. It was more of a workout than the stretching I had expected, and I didn’t really like it.

I didn’t go back until a few months later, when a former college professor posted on Facebook about a 30-day journey on the youtube channel “Yoga With Adriene.” I thought, why not? I checked it out, and liked the videos, and signed up to start on January 1st.

About halfway through the month, I made it my New Year's Resolution to do yoga every day for the entire year.

After I finished the first 30 days, I kept going back. The Channel had hundreds of videos for various types of yoga. “Yoga for Beginners,” “Yoga for tired legs,” “yoga for writers,” even “Yoga for hangovers!” Most days, I would search for what I felt like my body needed, usually something stretchy, but sometimes a workout. Every Sunday, there was a new video posted. There’s also an option to sign up for a weekly “love letter” email, that comes every Sunday and gently prompts you to do the new video. Of course I signed up.

That year, I did 365 days of yoga. Sometimes it was only 5-10 minutes. I remember doing yoga in a hotel room a couple times. There were a few times I almost forgot and was already in bed - I would climb out of bed and do a couple cat-cows and maybe a downward dog with some deep breaths, and then climb back into bed.

I was hooked.

So... why do I love Adriene so much?

First of all, she’s a great teacher. She breaks each pose down into smaller, more manageable, and actionable tasks. She meets you where you’re at, and provides “bus stops” (modifications) for the more difficult moves. She’s encouraging and inviting and not forceful or demanding at all. Her voice is kind and calm and gentle, and she has a way of making you want to work harder. “Meet your appropriate edge” is one of my favorite sayings now. You know your body best - you choose to push yourself to do what feels right to you.

Secondly, the videos don’t present like most workout videos. She’s not in a giant classroom with other fit-looking participants, and she’s not on the beach in her bikini showing off her handstand. The vast majority of the videos take place in her home, with her dog by her side. She really makes it feel like you’re in the room with her, doing yoga together side by side. Somehow on this digital platform, she creates intimacy that’s even more profound than being in a studio class with 20 other participants.

Did I mention the dog yet? Benji, the YWA mascot, is in 75% or more of the videos. Sometimes my cats join me on the mat. I like to think that Benji gets along very well with my pets.

Another reason I love her is that she’s FUNNY! She makes inappropriate jokes, comes up with nicknames for the poses, like “zombie arms,” and “namaste shark fin.” And occasionally, she’ll break out into song in the middle of a video.

But I saved the best for last… All of this is completely FREE! The 30-day journey, the printable calendar, the email reminders, the hundreds of older videos, even access to a Yoga with Adriene “Kula” community - ALL FREE! For most of the videos, you’ll have to watch a short ad before it plays, but that’s just enough time to roll out your mat and kick off your socks!

I could probably create 10 different blog posts about all the things I love about Yoga With Adriene. But I’d rather you find your own reasons. This year, for the 7th year in a row, Adriene is hosting a 30-day journey, starting January 1st. These journeys are always beginner friendly, and come with a printable calendar to help you track your progress. You also have the option to sign up for daily emails, which I personally love. If you’re interested, click here to sign up, and find out for yourself why Adriene has over 8.8 Million subscribers on YouTube.

I hope you enjoy YWA as much as I do!

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