‘Yoga With Adriene’ Founder Shares Her Best Advice for Anyone Who Wants to Start Their Own Practice

Anyone who has ever dipped their toe into the potentially overwhelming world of yoga has likely performed the same requisite Google search: “yoga for beginners.” And after just a few clicks, droves of yogis-to-be have probably popped into the same site: Yoga With Adriene, the YouTube channel of Adriene Mishler, a registered yoga teacher who has gained a reputation as one of the internet’s most recognizable and relatable instructors over the last 10 years.

With 11.4 million subscribers and over 1.2 billion views since launching her YouTube channel in August 2012, Mishler has become a household name for practitioners of all levels, thanks to her robust library of over 650 free classes, including everything from Yoga for Complete Beginners to a 60-Minute Shakti Power Flow. People hit subscribe not only for her yoga expertise, but also her approachable, accessible distillation of the ancient practice, peppering pop culture references and self-deprecation into her thorough instructions, and never taking herself too seriously.

“The philosophy of yoga is and has always been at the root of the matter,” Mishler, a native of Austin, Texas, tells SELF. “I’m always trying to allow myself to show my practice, my journey, and where I’m at on any given day. That’s harder than it seems, especially in a digital world.”

Mishler’s digital world has continued to expand too. Now, her growing empire includes not only her YouTube channel, but a subscription app she cofounded called Find What Feels Good, a brick-and-mortar studio she co-owns in Texas called Practice Yoga Austin, and partnerships with wellness brands. She recently collaborated with Manduka to create a limited-edition capsule collection including everything from sustainable mats to recycled foam blocks.

But even as she’s branching out into new ventures, Mishler continues to hold on to the same drive for authenticity through movement that inspired her to enroll in yoga teacher training in her late teens.

“To let people look at you—really look at you—that is part of the teaching of yoga: lead by example,” she says. “I take that into the production of the videos, the way I engage in the comments, and how I run the business.”

Over the years, as Mischer’s business has continued to evolve, staying true to what’s at the core of her yoga practice is more important than ever. Here’s what has driven her practice—and how you can use those takeaways in your own relationship with yoga as well.

Use yoga to connect and support—in whichever way is most helpful at the time.

In 2012, Mishler was pursuing an acting career and teaching full time at a private high school. On the side, she also started instructing at donation-based yoga classes in the lobby of a small Austin theater. When the company lost its lease and she lost her teaching space, Mishler, along with her now-business partner Chris Sharpe, decided to start producing YouTube videos to help bring yoga to those who were curious.

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