From Zero to Hero: An Amateur’s Yoga Journey in January

Let’s be honest, 2020 has been a bit of a shitshow, no matter where you live, thanks primarily to the Covid-19 pandemic. A saving grace for me, way back before the pandemic even began was joining a gym. It was great, oh so great…from January until March, then our community closed down, also shutting the gyms as well.

That was a dreary, immobile three months .

I am incredibly aware that that time could have been horrible for me like it was for so many people around the world. I am thankful it was only dreary and immobile, but there was always light at the end.

My job was also forced to go 100% digital which was great, except that the details were finalized three days before the start of a new semester. This led to me feeling like I was simply (barely) treading water. Once the gyms opened again, going five to six days a week really felt like a life raft in the middle of torrential storm.

I had thought that this experience would set me up well when our community inevitably closed down again. However, here we are and in the nine weeks since my community has once again shut down, I have exercised only a handful of times. I have the equipment including weights and all, but I seem to have more excuses these days than even that. Being that my whole family is home all the time now, I have no gym to run away to for a moment of peace – I also have no room. Any other year, even this one, and I profess to love my family’s modest four-room apartment (excluding kitchen and bathroom space), in the half-timbered building that dates back to at least the sixteen-hundreds, but is likely even older than that.

Enter Adriene Mishler’s free Thirty Days of Yoga. This is her seventh year of ’30 Days of Yoga’. Mishler joined YouTube in 2012. Today she has over eight million subscribers and is, arguably the most popular yoga instructor in America. As a recent New York Times article about her boasts: “Mishler offers privacy; specifically, the freedom to suck at yoga without judgment.”

This is what drew me to her when I originally came across her YouTube page in 20??. As Molly Young, author of the New York Times piece declares:

“Her most-watched video, which is from 2013, opens with a cheerful Mishler seated before a few windows that look out onto leafy trees. Her top and bottom are slightly different shades of black. “Today we have a sequence for the complete beginner,” she says. “All you need is your body and an open mind.” The sequence is easy (even for a novice) and sprinkled with words of reassurance. Nothing fancy here. No worries. No biggie. Remember, there’s no right or wrong here. Take your time, no rush. As Mishler guides a viewer through poses, her voice is that of a kindergarten teacher: patient and encouraging; a confident guide to an unfamiliar landscape filled with obstacles and wonders. “Congrats to you for making it this far!” she exclaims warmly at the end of 23 minutes. Two unprecedented events occurred as I followed along with the video. One, I enjoyed doing yoga. Two, I — a cranky adult — had unwittingly engaged with an influencer. And when I finished, I felt better about myself.”

Young, Molly. The Reigning Queen of Pandemic Yoga, New York Times. The New York Times Company. 25. Nov. 2020

It really is all true; I know this from my previous experience with Yoga with Adriene.

I have always loved yoga. From the first time my mother introduced it to me as a preteen to date, every time I muster enough gumption to stop the excuses and just do it – I feel lighter, longer, calmer, and just plain better.
So, why don’t I do it every day?!

Well, for the last few years, when I wake up in the morning, I greet my cat and walk into the kitchen to grab her food. Along the way, I see the remnant of my husband’s late-night television, snack, and beer binge as well as whatever my son failed to pick up his before he went off to bed. In other words, work. It doesn’t help that I am now working from home 100%. Remember, I recently discovered that I am an ‘Obliger’ according to Gretchen Rubin, meaning that I excel at meeting external obligations and external accountability, but not internal obligations.

I need accountability.

Remember, that is where you come in, dear reader. According to Rubin, “As outlined in Better Than Before, […] Obligers may find it difficult to form a habit, because often we undertake habits for our own benefit, without others’ oversight.” (

Now it is time to begin to make today better than yesterday.

Will you join me?

Follow along and continue to share your story with #YWABREATH

Have you participated in a previous 30 Days of Yoga with Yoga with Adriene? What did you think of the program? Did you stick around for the whole thirty days…and beyond? Let me know in the comments below.

2 thoughts on “From Zero to Hero: An Amateur’s Yoga Journey in January

  1. Fellow obliger here also doing Yoga With Adriene’s ‘Breath’ this month! Good luck to you, I’ll look forward to seeing how you go with it!


    • Thanks Victoria.
      Same to you!!
      My family just went on a long walk in the woods after a very late start to our day. I’m looking forward to sitting down with Adriene a little later this afternoon.

      Happy New Year!!


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