In the world of fitness influencers, there seems to be a new overnight star every day and another whose star is flaming out. Adriene Mishler, on the other hand, has played a comparatively long game. She started her YouTube channel, Yoga With Adriene, in 2012, and her consistency and reliability over the years earned her a stellar reputation among her devoted fans. In a social media landscape of fitness content hyper-focused on “weight loss,” “transformations,” “results,” and “no days off”-style intensity, fans of Yoga With Adriene have found a safe harbor in her videos. Mishler prioritizes calm over frenetic activity, and connecting with and caring for one’s body over manipulating it in the name of diet culture. Her motto, “Find what feels good,” emphasizes that what she wants most for her virtual students is to develop a positive relationship with themselves.
That attitude, and her consistent presence, meant she was well-situated when the COVID-19 pandemic began in earnest, as the newly homebound picked through a swell of at-home workout content. Mishler’s channel emerged on top and captured an even bigger and more rapturous audience among the quarantined and isolated, thanks to her gentle but mindful snacks of physical activity, generous attitude, and beginner-friendly approach. Her surge in popularity earned her a wave of glowing coverage. Even her blue heeler pup, Benji, who often appears in videos nestled into the crooks of Mishler’s body as she holds a pose, was lovingly profiled multiple times over the early pandemic months. Her channel now has over 10 million subscribers, and she has collected just shy of 1 billion views.