We are absolutely thrilled to be in community with Adriene Mishler, an actor, artist, teacher, writer, co-founder of Yoga with Adriene and CEO of Find What Feels Good.
Who are you? Who is your community and how do they love you?
"My parents named me Adriene. I am a daughter, an artist, an activist and lover. I am a student, a teacher, a role model, and a listener. I am a granddaughter, una sobrina, una prima and this year, una novia! I am a friend. I believe my parents passed down a passion for creativity and service and it is through those paths that I have found belonging in a group, belonging in the ensemble, belonging in community. My community includes the devoted and diverse, the disciplined and undefinable. We show up to create and we show up for practice as individuals and in connection from all over the globe. My community loves me by showing up for themselves to be truthful and present, for our community is centered around the principle that your well-being is my well-being."
What has been your biggest learning or unlearning on your anti-racism journey?
"After acknowledging the difference between calling yourself non-racist and then choosing to actively embody anti-racism, one of my biggest learnings has been around our capacity to have difficult conversation, to be in a conversation that scares us, one where you might misstep. I think a lot of people dance all too safely on the sidelines when it would create immense impact to step bravely closer into conversation. This of course does require skill of compassion over comprehension, but also a willingness to face all the areas in your own life that require your own unique contemplation and your own individual action. I think it also requires you actively putting yourself out there and creating your own point of entry to engage. Own your thoughts. Own your actions. Create your own opportunity to contribute. Pay attention to detail. It’s a journey. Move aside fear that one may mess up or get it wrong and step right in. The water needs you. It is our collective duty."
How do you navigate the tensions around teaching/leading yoga and concerns of cultural appropriation?
"My mission is to contribute to making the practice of yoga and living the philosophies of yoga more accessible to all so that together we may create safe space for conscious conversation and collective healing. I navigate the tension around cultural appropriation by listening. I hold space in the conversation by passionately ensuring diversity and inclusion remain top priority in my offerings. I step into the hard conversations with discomfort and I have also allowed space for my gut and soul to help faithfully lead the way. I am blessed to be in community with such a diverse group of people that I listen to for guidance. In fact, it has been my connection with community all over the globe that I learn from the most, allowing the conversation to unfold and inform not only the way I show up in yoga, but how I (and all of us) influence where it will go and how it will be honored and protected in the future."
We at the Institute talk about being fueled by an ethic of love. How do you connect to a love ethic in your work and life?
"It isn’t just enough to look at what you are doing. In both my work and my life (they are very woven together) it is a constant return to looking at not just what we do, but how we do it. The how matters. How you move matters. Applying this to the way you show up for yourself, your Self, and your neighbor will change the way you live and for me personally, it has guided me closer to finding my meaningful contribution in society. Befriend an ethic of love by focusing on how you show up, how you move. It’s not always about what you do, but how you do it. How you do something can impact the way someone feels seen. That is huge. You may make mistakes. You may open an important door. They say how you do one thing, is how you do everything. Do it with love."