Why All Your Friends Are Obsessed With ‘Yoga With Adriene’

Adriene Mishler, the woman behind YouTube’s most popular yoga channel, explains the process behind her viral ascent to wellness stardom

Eve Peyser
Elemental
Published in
8 min readSep 25, 2019

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Photos courtesy of Adriene Mishler

YYoga can be an intimidating practice. Falling out of a tree pose and into the person next to you isn’t always the best experience for a beginner. Adriene Mishler, who has called herself “the people’s yogi,” has gained a massive online following for her archive of YouTube yoga classes that people can stream from home.

Chances are if you’ve ever typed “yoga for beginners” into the YouTube search bar, you’ve come across her channel, Yoga With Adriene, which has almost 5.5 million subscribers. Mishler, an actress and yoga teacher, started her channel in 2012 with her business partner, Christopher Sharpe, and has come to dominate the yoga YouTube niche thanks in part to her uncanny way of connecting with people (and the cute dog, Benji). Mishler’s uploads — many of which have millions of views — include sessions like “Yoga for Weight Loss,” “Yoga for Depression,” “Yoga for Cramps and PMS,” and even “Yoga for Golfers.”

Elemental called up Mishler to talk about her ascent to YouTube stardom and why she’s not afraid to give the people what they want.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Elemental: How did you conceive of the Yoga With Adriene YouTube channel?

Adriene Mishler: In the early 2000s, I was an actor and yoga teacher, and I was also teaching theater arts to kids. I had no knowledge of online yoga or YouTube. I did this film that ended up not being finished or made, but that’s where I met Chris, who is now my business partner on Yoga With Adriene.

Chris was experimenting with a YouTube cooking channel and wanted to try out another wellness channel. He knew I was comfortable in front of the camera and super passionate about yoga because, at the time, I was inviting everyone to my yoga class in Austin every week. At the same time, I was noticing a pretty severe uptick in the price of yoga in my hometown of Austin. I thought if this is happening here, it’s definitely happening in New…

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Eve Peyser
Elemental

nyc native living in the pnw. read my writing in the new york times, nymag, vice, and more.