April 26, 2017

Wellness Wednesday (n°3): Le Yoga with Adriene

Happy Wednesday, readers! I hope this post finds you well. If you've been following along the Fleur de St. Louis journey, you've probably noticed that I often mention yoga as a major source of both my physical and mental wellness. Yoga has been a part of my life since college. I started doing yoga predominantly as a form of exercise. I'll be honest, at first I tried to flow through the instructor's poses even if I felt discomfort. I would constantly glance around the room, checking my neighbor's posture, comparing my strength and flexibility to those around me. This part didn't always feel so good. But then came Savasana (corpse pose). This final resting pose closes out the practice and allows you to breathe and meditate while the earth has your back (literally). It was then I realized that while yoga has incredible physical benefits, it was the spiritual and mindful side of practice that I craved in my life most. 

I have tried many things along the way from yoga classes at the gym, to classes in the park, to local studios around town. I am lucky to have finally stumbled upon the studio that truly gives a sense of home away from home, but that wasn't always the case for me and may not be the case for you. Home (whether literal or emotional) provides, in my opinion, the best backdrop for your yoga practice. It is at home where you feel free to be you, where you don't feel the slightest sense of judgement or comparison, where you can truly let go. That said, even if you are ready to begin your home yoga adventure, you may not be sure of where to start. I know I wasn't. 

This is where Yoga with Adriene (YWA) comes in. I don't remember exactly how I found out about YWA but I am oh so grateful that I did. You can get a very clear sense of what YWA is all about by simply listening to Adriene's powerful suggestion to "find what feels good". She truly embodies this warm, welcoming, individualized approach in all that she does. Whether you are a beginner looking to solidify your yoga foundations before attempting a public class, someone seeking calm, someone looking for a sense of community... YWA has something to offer you. And did I mention that a very large majority of her content is FREE?! It's truly amazing. 

Pictured here is a "collection" page in my bullet journal where I started listing my favorite YWA videos, as well as any videos that peaked my interest to try in the future. While the calming videos are the ones I turn to most, I am going to outline several suggested videos and links below in hopes that you can find something through YWA to meet your specific interests and needs. 

Solidifying Foundations:

Even the most experienced yogi can benefit from Adriene's beginner and foundation videos. She really breaks down each pose so that you are not (like I once was) just going through the motions. I love that she takes the time to help you understand the way your body should feel in poses and postures. Here are a few that you would be sure to encounter in any public class:

Seeking Calm:

As I mentioned above, this is what I love most about YWA. When I feel nervous, stressed, anxious, or I am simply seeking a quality night's sleep, I turn to Adriene's videos. Below are links to my top favorites:

Searching for a Sense of Community: 

YWA has a very strong and active community. You can connect through Adriene's site, social media, video comments, etc. One of my favorite things about YWA is that she offers a variety of series. One of the very first ways I got involved with the YWA community was through her 30 Days of Yoga. She even has printable calendars available to help you follow along. There is something about knowing that you are part of a community getting on the mat every day (whether near or far) that feels really powerful. 


And now a francophile bonus (just for fun), here's a link to Talk in French's list of 36 French words and phrases related to yoga. My yoga teacher talks about doing one yoga class in each place she travels to, and how much it gives her a sense of the community and culture. Maybe I will find myself in a yoga class in Paris this summer. That would be magnifique

I hope you found something here that spoke to you. I hope that the Yoga with Adriene community provides you with tools to help you live your best life as it has provided for me. I would love to hear about your experiences in the comments. :)

Warm wishes from me to you,

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