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I just tried this Yoga with Adriene workout with 43 million views — here's what happened

Yoga with Adriene
(Image credit: Yoga with Adriene/YouTube)

Looking for inspiration for establishing an at-home yoga practice? Yoga with Adriene is one of the most popular yoga channels on YouTube with over 10 million subscribers. Adriene Mishler started the Yoga with Adriene workout channel in 2012 with the philosophy of finding movement that feels good rather than contorting into pretzel-like shapes.

Joining a yoga class at a studio can be intimidating for beginners, so it’s no surprise that Adriene’s accessible approach is so popular. Her down-to-earth style has helped her grow a loyal international community. Whatever your mood or goals, you’ll be spoilt for choice with the hundreds of free videos ranging from core conditioning to wind-down sessions. 

Yoga has many benefits for our physical and mental health including improving flexibility and strength as well as alleviating stress. Practicing yoga at home enables you to fit your sessions around your lifestyle and can be an affordable way to get started.  All you'll need for most workouts is a mat. If you’re looking to commit to a new yoga routine, check out our guide to the best yoga mats.

The most popular Yoga with Adriene workout is for complete beginners and has had over 43 million views. I tried it out to see if it’s worth the hype. This article will cover what to expect and the effects I noticed during and after the session.

If you're new to yoga, you might want to learn how to clean a yoga mat. Meanwhile, yoga isn't the only workout you can try – these eight best Pilates exercises that target your core will give you the ultimate burn. 

Struggling to reach and hold some of your yoga poses? This $10 accessory levelled up my yoga routine.

What is the Yoga with Adriene workout?

The Yoga with Adriene workout for beginners follows a simple sequence of postures (asanas) that are connected by the breath. It’s ideal for people just starting out and is designed to give you a taster of what to expect from yoga. You don’t need to worry about being a newbie as Adriene talks you through each movement and gives you cues on technique. Read on for the highlights from the practice.

The session starts in an easy pose, a classic seated meditation position. Don’t be fooled by the name, it can be surprisingly challenging to maintain length in the spine while cross-legged if you’re not in the habit of it. Adriene encourages a focus on your breathing and I find myself settling into the pose, naturally lifting my chest and head up as I inhale and allowing my knees to sink down as I exhale. This calming pose sets the tone for the rest of the practice. 

Next up is a variation of the easy pose with Adriene talking us through seated twists. She reminds you to be mindful about keeping the length in the spine and not compromising this in the twisting movement. It gives my mind something to focus on as I seek out the right balance and become more aware of what is happening in my body. 

If, like me, you spend more time sitting than you would like, the cat to cow sequence will be a brilliant release. For the uninitiated, this move is on all fours and involves flexing the spine so that you transition from arching the back (cow pose) to lowering your navel while lifting your chest and tailbone (cat pose). I enjoyed the sensation of waking up the spine and didn’t want this one to end. 

An introduction to yoga would not be complete without downward facing dog. As a runner, I found this pose challenging due to my tight hamstrings. Next was the more soothing forward fold, which I felt alleviated the soreness from an intense HIIT session earlier in the week.   

After the restorative position of forward fold, we transitioned into warrior 1 and warrior 2, which are, as the name suggests, more active postures. Strong legs are the foundation of these poses and I found it incredibly energizing. 

The sequence finishes with the standing pose, mountain. At the end of the practice I closed my eyes and took a moment to notice how I felt - grounded yet also more energized and ready for the day ahead. 

I just tried this Yoga with Adriene workout — here's what happened

So what should you expect from this Yoga with Adriene workout? Adriene explains that with yoga, it’s important to strike a balance between engaging your muscles and finding softness and ease. While yoga can be a great workout, the focus is on cultivating a mind-body connection rather than torching calories.

At the start of the session, I noticed my thoughts kept circling back to my to-do list but I became more relaxed as I tuned in with my breath. By focusing on the small details like the alignment of my body, I experienced a more meditative state. My average heart rate throughout was a steady 75bpm. 

Before the workout, I was suffering from a mild backache from spending too much time sitting. The cat and cow poses offered welcome relief as I felt the stiffness melt away. It’s no surprise that the American College of Physicians recommends yoga to help reduce symptoms of back pain.  

Other postures offered more of a challenge. I could feel it in my arms during downward facing dog and I can see why research has shown that vinyasa-style yoga can build strength. The next day, my core muscles felt like they had had a good workout. 

The benefits of the session continued beyond the mat. I was more aware of my posture and corrected my hunched position while seated. On top of that, I felt calmer and more focused for the rest of the day. I was able to take the mindful breathing techniques off the mat and to my desk which helped me to return to a calmer state. It was likely thanks to this zen mindset that I clocked an impressive nine hours of sleep that night.

As with any workout, you can reap the most benefits from practicing regularly. I’ll be returning to the mat for another Yoga with Adriene workout. If you’re looking to incorporate yoga into your routine, this video is a great way for beginner yogis to build a solid foundation for their practice.

Louise Bond is a UK-based writer specializing in health and wellbeing. She has over eight years of experience in management within health and care and brings this passion and expertise to her writing. Louise has been published in The GuardianPlanet Mindful and Psychreg among others. She is at her happiest when she is out in nature, whether that’s on an invigorating hike or pottering in the garden.