A Loving Ode To ‘Yoga With Adriene’, Most Especially To Benji The Dog Who Is A Global Hero

In the era of isolation, I’ve revisited quite a few things I’d left behind. My Nintendo Switch is getting a hell of a workout, I’ve started running again for the first time in years, and I’m rekindling my love for YouTube Yoga, specifically Yoga With Adriene.

If you’ve had a fitness kick and wanted to try out yoga before spending cash in a studio, you’ve probably done one of Adriene’s videos. With her gentle and encouraging Texan accent, a real no-hippy-bullshit approach to yoga and getting bendy, she’s truly a gift that must be protected at all costs.

Adriene Mishler reminds you of that one friend who likes to get up and watch the sunrise before going to the farmer’s markets and creating delicious and healthy food in the kitchen. Probably has an outdoor bath at their place in the mountains, and likely goes for hikes on the weekend.

Just…real wholesome.

(She also sometimes starts her videos with “howdy pal” and I just love it with every ounce of my being.)

Coming back to Adriene’s channel during Melbourne’s Lockdown 4.0/Locky D 4 has turned my mornings from dragging my sad ass out of bed and in front of my computer into waking up early and, if I can’t find the energy to go for a run, checking in with my body instead.

It took me a little bit of time to get the confidence to actually find something I felt comfortable with doing first thing in the morning, or on my lunch breaks. Sure, I might be currently doing yoga on my hardwood floor with no mat, or block, or anything under my aching knees except a folded up blanket. And sure, I can’t remember the names for anything, and my whole body shakes when I’m trying to sit in a pose. And I might hold my breath for entire movements.

But Adriene doesn’t pass judgement. She never does. She smiles sweetly and gets to me find what feels good again.

Returning to Adriene also brought the delight that her cast has expanded in the time I’ve been away.

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It’s Benji, the precious cattle dog who joins Adriene at the mat a lot of the time now, usually in his own shavasana (read: napping) and it makes getting up at sparrow’s fart before work to do yoga a whole lot easier and much cuter.

Bless you Benji, my mornings are richer with you in them and I absolutely do not deserve you.

Adriene is all about finding what feels right with her yoga practice and teaching – not about landing poses perfect or looking chic while trying not to fall flat on your face (impossible), and that’s exactly the way I like to approach my strength and conditioning training.

She’s also got this incredible knack of holding a pose at the exact right time, stopping to check in on our breathing right at the moment when I realise I’ve been holding my breath for far too long. Almost as if she’s quietly watching me shudder and shake through a flow, cursing at myself for losing balance, wiggling and adjusting to get it to Feel Good.

Love you, Adriene, and all the times you accidentally go super Texan. Bless your kind and unbothered approach to wellness and how you just lean into being a bit goofy all of the time. And Benji, thank you love you for being The Goodest Boy. You’re both making being at home 24/7 a bloody delight. See you on the mat.