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Opening Remarks — Befriending the Breath

Adriene Mishler
Owner at Yoga With Adriene
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SXSW 2021
March 16, 2021, Online, Austin, USA
SXSW 2021
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About speaker

Adriene Mishler
Owner at Yoga With Adriene

Adriene Mishler is an international yoga teacher, actress, writer and entrepreneur from Austin, TX. On a mission to make tools for mental, emotional, and physical health accessible for all, she hosts the YouTube channel Yoga With Adriene, an online community of over 9 million subscribers. Yoga With Adriene provides high quality practices on yoga and mindfulness at no cost to support and inspire people of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds across the globe. YWA was recognized by Google as the most searched workout of 2015, and is practiced in homes, offices, and schools worldwide. Adriene is also the co-founder of Find What Feels Good, a subscription app dubbed the first “Netflix For Yoga” providing creative yoga and yoga lifestyle content across all devices. Adriene helped to create FWFG Kula, an online social app for both companies and their communities to unite in discussion and find support at no cost.

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About the talk

In this opening session, we explore the power tool of the breath and how it can serve us during these unique and uncertain times. What does it look like to show up for yourself each day? How valuable is your presence?

Research has shown us that a little goes a long way. We discuss how prioritizing just a small and deliberate moment with yourself each day can have an inspiring ripple effect on both our quality of life and the way in which we show up for others, our work, and the world.

This session includes a short guided breathing exercise for all types that can be done anytime, anywhere. No experience necessary, come as you are. 


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Hello South by Southwest the year is 2021. My name is adriene Mishler and I am so very honored and humbled to serve as your opening speaker this year for the fast. Wherever this video is finding you. I want to thank you so much for sharing your valuable time and energy with me. It is so great to connect with you. Here I'm super excited for the Festival this year but also wanted to take a second to acknowledge the last year. It was exactly a year ago that I

started to notice a big shift here in my hometown and that was with the cancellation of this beloved Festival. A lot has happened. Since then we have been asked to and with all of the difficulties and even the Beautiful Moments that have come from asking the hard questions and digging into deeper relationship with ourselves. I just want to acknowledge that. It has been stressful, right? It's been it's been challenging. So I come bearing a small, but powerful gift stick around and this video and I will share it with you. For those of you who don't know me, I am a

actor writer yoga teacher from Austin Texas. So I've actually grown up with the festival, in many ways. It is, of course, an honor to be here with you in this capacity especially virtually. In light of everything that's going on, it's such a treasure to connect but it's also quite special for me because I have served in many different roles throughout my Adult Career I guess you could say, it was in the festival in particular, I have worn many hats from

working in the gaming Hall to walking the streets, giving out flyers to working. And then to walking the red carpet next to Nicolas Cage, 2 premiering indie films to opening up for a comedy show. Tailgating yoga and meditation at the wellness Expo and so many other things. Some of them don't need to ever be mentioned again. But it is just such an incredible opportunity to continue to have conversation in a myriad of different ways within the beautiful structure of this amazing Festival. So, thank you so much for having me. Thank you self, buy for having

me. And if you are not interested in yoga or meditation, I think you can still find some joy in this short session. So wherever you are in your heart and or a lot of attention to the shoulders here, just as we begin, as we kick off a new beginning, it's so simple to take a second and relax your shoulders and that What is mindfulness goes a long way? So it's kind of buzz about it these days, but really my passion lies and Gathering people. Do you ask questions to help us? Get to know, ourselves better. So I mentioned, I'm an actor. Former I grew up in Austin

art scene, and it is one of my favorite things to host or to hold space being a shared space where people can gather to have a live experience as a yoga teacher. It is also a passion of mine to bring people together to create a shared vocabulary and while those things are very different they are that smooth similarity for me. Magic that occurs when we gather and we can act for something live. So course, we've been missing that for the past 12 months,

and I've been finding new ways to really honor and appreciate the connection that comes when we show up for ourselves and one another in a virtual space, of course, what we're doing here in 2012, I started a YouTube channel called yoga with adriene. I started in Eastside home here in Austin, Texas. And I started that with a friend of mine and now my business partner that I had met on the film set of an indie horror movie. So, we certainly weren't setting out to create a business

in Wellness, or in the sphere of mindfulness. We did want to help people. I was very passionate about helping people and sharing the tools of yoga. But ultimately, we wanted to experiment and find ways of creating content and honestly making money so that we could Be creative so that we can make movies. And so that we could create what I never expected to happen was in 2015, people started to actually watch the channel in our consistency from 2012-2015. We did a 30-day

yoga journey in January 2015, and the bit of traction started to occur on the Channel. People started to write in people who were not necessarily comfortable going to a yoga studio or Jim people who are feeling lonely, people who are in the process of healing, people who wanted to show up for themselves, but needed that little loving extra push or that sweet, gentle loving hand, to guide them to begin. This is a groundbreaking, but often beginning is the

hardest part right to start and many artists know this. Well, alright, so From the January project. So he's been really special because we can reach a lot of people all around the world. But it has this really robust energy of a new beginning, right? Because it's the beginning of the calendar year. So in 2020, I did another 30-day yoga Journey with our sixth 30-day yoga Journey To Go on YouTube and it was. Now I'm getting a lot of traction from many different countries. People all over the world tuning in to do the 30

days of yoga and the theme around the 2020 project was home and it was all about this connection with ourselves and our willingness to know our sofa and how that influences all of our other relationships. And, of course, our work and our service to our community 600 when we created the project home 2 released in January 2020, of course, we had no idea that we would be spending the next year at home. And what I witnessed while things were shutting down in Live Events were canceled one after the other

eyewitness people show up more often each day, more and more and more and more, of course. No, now to to continued conversations with others and to continue to work, and to build and create create systems, so that we could grow together. Yoga with adriene YouTube channel, grew a lot in this last year, signaling to me that, that people were, in fact, wanting and willing to show up in this way. Virtuous, connect deeper with themselves and with others. In fact from March 2020, to February 2021. We gained

3.2 million subscribers just as a reference from March 2019 to February 2020 regen 1.4 million subscribers. A big job of a wellness app called find what feels good and we've seen significant jump of course on the app as well. You don't have to look too hard to see and experience that these sort of opportunities online are popping up all over the place. I think is really wonderful. I feel really humble and privileged to be witness to this particular growth because we

have been connecting and communicating through virtual yoga and mindfulness since 2012. So it's been an interesting year to say the least. And I feel like even with all of the difficulty and the discomfort and the challenge connecting to ourselves and each other through virtual space, it has also been really beautiful to see all the ways in which we can show up in a virtual setting and find a different kind of magic, even a different kind of accountability. And that is something that I am really excited about taking with me into this year's Festival. For example,

over the years, I've noticed that people start to really fall in love with yoga with adriene YouTube videos, and whether they've had no previous experience in yoga, meditation and mindfulness or not, there's this certain connection they have. That is unlike anything else. As much as I'd like to think that it is from my charm and my humor and my personality over the years. I've been observing that there's just something about the virtual connection, particularly the video. So not the live experience with horses. Really wonderful and we get those

opportunities. Now, through technology, of course all the time, Showing up with a video and connecting with others through a video. That brings a different kind of accountability for one. You can possibly or stop the video on any time in the structure of yoga class, which is where I'm speaking from that. Very different, right? If you go into the cost me, like the class, or she can get up and walk away, if you feel like I'm kind of tired, actually don't feel like doing this right now. Course, you can get up and walk

away, but you're less likely to after exchanging money. And also course getting there showing up surround yourself with people, Etc, YouTube channels, completely free videos are free of charge and of course you can pause and stop them kill it, anytime XL. So there's something about showing up and following through with the video with the practice that I feel like, Requires a lot more of a connection with yourself. It requires you to lean in and to follow through, even when you don't want to, when people follow through the practices

with the videos, like we are going to have the opportunity to do here. Now, we are with this video, there's a certain magic, I see when you stick with it and hold your own self accountable when you follow through, with that Curiosity, and that willingness to allow yourself to drift into the unknown, Without Really knowing if it's going to be worth it or not. So for me, that has been one of the more special observations that I've made through yoga with adriene. And now, of course

in the last year and went missing it even more. So people showing up for the videos following through and then showing up again the next day and the next When you alter or when you feel distraction, when you feel discomfort and you stick with it, then we have the opportunity right to make new discovery. There's one tool in particular in the last 12 months. That I feel like I've personally befriended and decided to share with my community in January of this year 2021, with a 30-day yoga journey.

And that is course the grass. if we have a desire to dig deeper into our relationship with ourselves during this time and to nurture Our relationship with others and the world. I really feel like the tool of the grass. The way you regard your own breath is kind of a big deal. So, again, I prescribed for groundbreaking, a lot of us know that there is research to back up the power of breath technique and relationship with conscious brass so good, but just in case you needed to hear it today. This is an invitation to

notice your breath Right Here, Right Now, You Don't Close Your Eyes. Want to do anything, fancy. Just noticed your breath, bringing your awareness to your breath. In January 2021, I introduced the theme of Wrath our community. So we're blessed in the last 12 months, it is continuing to grow as we speak. And I feel very honored and humbled to be a part of that community and to have these incredible tools to take care of myself and my loved ones in my community, and secure them, and to connect over them with

you so that we can all work towards healthier mental health, emotional, health, and physical health, of course. so, In honor of which Feels Like A New Beginning. For me this mile marker time of the last 12 months and in recognition that a breath is so powerful because it really can indicate a new beginning. And help us to to find a sense of calm and to reduce stress and anxiety to a curiosity and to draw our attention towards what matters? Most helpful if you ever feel like you're

on a hamster wheel. So in honor of the getting going to just hear a little breath technique. It's called for for for breath, or sometimes it's called The Box breath and it's not super fancy but it's really nice and concrete, very simple structure that you can remember and pull out of your pocket. Anytime not just to work with reducing stress or anxiety also to Invite yourself to be more present in the now because each day is so different, right? There's, there's no one day, especially right now in the same

are only rate, constant is change. So I see what works today. Is it going to be what works tomorrow? But this opportunity to slow down your breath and anchor in your weariness of your breath, to help us shift and change the quality of our life. But usually when we don't have a really great relationship with the future or when we feel uncertain or off balance, All right. So again, if you want to just sit up nice and home, relax, your shoulders, super simple move to

Holiday. Sometimes that awareness is enough. The Koch Brothers Melee, ground Us in A New Beginning. Its it is a portal into presence Beyond boosting function of the brain or body invite us to be more present so that we show up for these conversations like we're about to do here in the next few days. We can be really present in the moment. It's a four or four accounts, you inhale for for, in between inhale and exhale. Weave is a bit of attention because it's krombacher in the house of yoga tradition, which is where I come from the foundation of my teaching.

And then after the pause we, of course, exhale, then we pause again. We split the Box breath because you can imagine the box of the in Hell than the pause. The exhale and the pause know where Pete. Inhale, retain the breath. Exhale, so I give it a try. So, personal assist take a group or a CDL in. And exhale out. Animal breathe in, through the nose on a 4 count, ready? Inhale, 134a with me, pause. All the Bratz. Then exhale on a 4 count. 1, 2, 3 4 Paws. Relax your shoulders, hold the breath. Deep inhale, in a 1,

2, 3 4. Paws, 1, 2 3 4. Exhale, 1, 2, 3 4, Paws, 1, 2 3, 4 in hair 1. 2 3, 4 PS4. Exhale 1234 and release releases. Let It Go. All right, that's the gist of it. Now I want to do it one more time, but I'm not going to count the pause or just going to, hold retain, keep the shoulders relaxed, and then I'll count us out. So I'll be inhaling for 4 with you and ask feeling for 4 with you with the kombucha. The moment pause the retention in between where the magic happens, right? I love I think is Yo, Yo mom talks

about the moment in between the knee and my talk about this in yogurt to my own way, a lot, like finding those moments in the transition that we can think of it. Now being at home, you know, finding those moments in between the romance, in the sorry, one more try on the wall. Wrap this up and bring that presents into the next thing, whatever it is for you today. All right, nice and Tall. Here we go. And hailing for 1. 234 pause relax. Hold their breath.

Add exhale 4, 1 2 3 4, good pause on the brat and close your eyes and a few light as we inhale 4, 1 2, 3 4 Paws. And exhale for 1, 2, 3 4 Paws. slow, inhale, inhale 1234 cause Slow. Exhale 1234. Cause one more row and hailing for 1, 2, 3 4, Paws, relax. Planting now for 1 2 3 4 Paws. Now allowing your breath to just come back to its natural Rhythm. Whatever that is here is taking a second, notice how you feel even if you didn't do the brass, just take a second and maybe soften your gaze for a

second. Relax your shoulders and just noticed how you feel in this present moment. One of my favorite poets Irish poet. John o'donohue says the beginning is ultimately an invitation to open toward gifts and grow that have been stored for us. And I just love that in terms of thinking of the brat as the ultimate friend, the ultimate tool that you always have in your back pocket and the ultimate New Beginning, a fresh breath, in the awareness of Bratz, the consciousness of breath, equality of Wrath. it really is a new beginning and that beginning is

ultimately an invitation to open up towards all of the gifts, the unknown gifts, That has slowly been stored up for you. I hope that you find those gifts in conversation throughout today in the next few days. I hope that you can also remember to pull out this conscious breath tool may be doing the Box brat in your home in every room, slowing down the brass a little each day and remembering that a little really goes along not just to help us reduce stress and anxiety to boost concentration or Focus to help us get to know

ourselves better so that we can have a quality and honest relationship with our self. And of course, take that Energy and bring it to our conversations with others. We can have quality relationships with others so that we can be of service. And so that we have the energy to keep asking the hard questions and showing up, even when it's difficult, okay? So before we sign off, I'm going to share with you a home by John o'donohue. And I like fun because I think this is such a wonderful time to remember that even though we are

not able to gather together in a live setting, there's so much opportunity for us to really show up strangers not to know ourselves better and understand ourselves better but also to know and be willing to understand each other. We can and we will write, this is called on meeting a stranger with respect. And reverence that the unknown between us might flower into Discovery and lead us Beyond The Familiar field blind with the lead of weariness and the old walls of

habit. When meeting a Stranger by John o'donohue again, we are gathering here virtually out of strangers. May we use our breath and our willingness to show up and follow through to get to know ourselves. Understand ourselves get to know each other understand each other and hopefully do better. Love you guys. Thank you so much for having me. Take good care.

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