In 2002 I was a young aspiring actor and yoga teacher looking to do something good.
I didn’t really know what or how, but I was eager. As soon as possible, and definitely with a hair of magic, I started teaching. I was first awarded a kids class at Casa De Luz with Healing In Yoga. And through that community I met many of my angels, who sometimes blindly trusted me, an eager young voice, offering me more classes for kids of all ages. From teenie toddlers to tweens, I was driving all over town in my car with no AC - yoga mat and Mary Poppins bag of tools for the kids in tow. After years of practice and a lot of patience, I finally started to land some classes for adults.
This was a big deal. There were not that many studios or classes at that time and I was a young doe, passionate and committed, but definitely finding my voice.
Performer at night, late nights.
Teacher by morning, early.
I’ve taught in private gyms, the YMCA, studios, homes, hotels, museums, and schools. It wasn’t till I moved to a regular teaching gig at our local professional theatre lobby/art gallery that I really started to unpack. In this space I was not glued to anything but showing up twice a week and offering affordable donation based yoga to serve others in a big way. I had fun. Did my best. I was blessed to have the freedom to play and fail many times over. A community developed.
JUMP to… a growing Austin. Growing so fast that each time I come home from travels I have to blink twice to recognize certain street corners that have long been the same my whole life.
Just about around the time that the Yoga With Adriene YouTube channel started to transform into a business (something we could have never imagined really, not the way it has turned out anyway.), I started to notice more folks from out of town attending my classes in the gallery at Salvage Vanguard Theatre. It blew me away to meet folks who had once practiced with me online, now, in person, in my hometown, all smiles, sweat, stories - genuine connection. Again… community.
However, as Austin continued growing at rapid pace, a time came in which the East Side Theatre could no longer afford the massive warehouse space on Manor Rd.
Along with the loss of an impactful art hub - this meant my practice and the diverse community of folks who were committed to gathering weekly in that space were soon out of a home.
I got sad.
Then one day, after a positive pep talk from my business partner and after dreaming and scheming on what to do, and believe me we talked about every option, I sent a note to Rey Cardenas.
Rey was someone in the yoga community that I had felt like was a long lost friend when I met him for an event rental for SXSW. Not only did this person feel like family, but the studio in which he was leading also felt familiar. A place where you could kick your chanclas off in the lobby and make yourself right at home.
I had also noticed that his studio was fostering high level practitioners and teachers - some in which I had grown up with and already admired. I saw they were doing this while also offering classes at a donation rate. And I lit up.
I noticed this during a time when the cost of yoga and wellness was starting to rocket. I noticed this at a time in which the YWA mission was really starting to form and become much larger than the simple YouTube channel Chris and I set out to experiment with.
High quality free yoga for as many people as possible is our mission. So to see the sign on the window of E. 6th street that read Absurdly High Quality Donation Based Yoga I wondered, could we be pals?
Rey Cardenas, co-owner of Practice Yoga Austin, first welcomed us into the space for a SXSW event - one where I said I would do it only if I got to pick the space, wanting it to feel warm and like Austin, my hometown, not like a cold conference room. I also wanted the money to go to a local studio, vs a corporate biz. We catered the event with local handmade breakfast tacos right in the studio lobby. I remember meeting Rey in person for the first time that morning when, with such confidence and kindness, he tossed me the studio keys to play host, as if the space were my own.
From there Rey and I took the time to sit down and connect. We were looking for ways to support each other in the ventures we were creating with our communities, but we found ourselves fast friends, with good communication and a lot in common! Before I knew it, I had a place to invite my community to practice. Rey even gave me his prime time class spot and within the year I was teaching Monday, Wednesday, and Saturdays.
In the years that I was at the studio I enjoyed the authentic energy of both the teachers and the students. I loved the systems put in place to make everyone feel both empowered and cared for.
When once I taught class for a single person or two that showed up, now my classes at PYA started to spill over into the restaurant and bar across the street. I took a break to pause, evaluate, to tour, and to nurture meaningful projects. I stayed in contact with Rey and his co-founder Struan Vaz, the three of us sitting down to discuss the earth and the sky, the current climate of yoga, and why we do what we do. We agreed to remain inquisitive and open to any and all ways in which we might be stronger, working together in the business of yoga - vs the common competitiveness that comes with rapid growth. Camaraderie over competition.
I currently teach once a month in Austin, but we know we need a place to get cozy any day of the week. We know we are overdue to hold space for FWFG special events and future trainings. And we know people want to come to Austin to experience the magic of group practice.
We are still holding space at Fair Market each month, in collaboration with Bunkhouse Hotels, and this particular gathering always feels at its core like a true celebration of community.
But the time has come and I am a little moved with honest gratitude to even type this…
After many years of friendship, generosity, conversation, collaboration, learning together, and asking the big dang questions - together… it is with great and humble joy that I announce a merge, a hug, an intertwine of happy spirits in the Austin Yoga Community.
On the eve of the studio’s sixth birthday, I am honored to return to Practice Yoga Austin to join Rey Cardenas and Struan Vaz as co-owners of the studio.
May this be just one more sign of the power of yoga and community. May this partnership be blessed, held accountable, and spread accessible tools to many individuals to live well, be healthy and tap into their innate goodness.
And may it inspire you, dear reader, to know and feel, you belong and you are welcome, and we mean it.
Any day, any time.
Come visit at: https://practiceyogaaustin.com/
Congratulations! That's a beautiful story...and nice it's a true one.
This is wonderful news and a fine collaboration of skills, experience and love - I am sure this is the beginning of something magical. I cannot wait to visit the studio, I’ll start saving now! (I live in the U.K.)
I wish your partnership every success, may you find support and great joy in your journey together, namaste
We absolutely love this entire story! This really stuck out to us: "I had fun. Did my best. I was blessed to have the freedom to play and fail many times over." This is what it's all about! Thank you for sharing your passion for healing and helping.
I am so happy for you and Practice Yoga Austin! I had given up going to studios for yoga because of how I felt after leaving a class. When I visited Austin last year I felt the urge to take a yoga class where you featured Austin’s best places to visit during SXSW VLOG. I went the day before your Fairmarket event. I was so nervous but I was greeted and welcomed with such warmth that my nervousness disappeared and the class was amazing! I even purchased a tank top! Fell in love!
I fell in love with Austin the first time I came about 5 years ago. It feels as if my soul belongs there. Around that same time I found your YouTube channel and when I realized you were from Austin it was like serendipity.
Congrats on your new venture. May it prosper like the city of Austin has and may you be happy harmonious business partners. I hope to come by the next time I come to town.
I LOVE everything about this post. This is what happens when good people with good intentions are open to all possibilities. Congratulations to all three of you for recognizing each other’s greatness and for sharing it with the community. Because the community is what will make it worthwhile and that will lead to other possibilities. And btw, I can’t wait to do yoga with you at Red Rocks. Bring lots of water .
I absolutely love this! Thank you so much for sharing your story. This is the way everyone's passion should evolve and grow
Literally crying I'm so happy! I've been watching your YouTube channel for so long and I've known Rey for years! I had no idea you were from Austin until I recently started following you on Instagram! Idk why this makes me so happy but it does! You're both incredible!
Oh Adrienne! Such great news! Someday I will be in Austin to practice!!
I’m so happy for all of you and for all the yoga community! It is such a gift to have you as my yoga guide. Thank you!!
That is so inspiring as at the ripe old age of 58, I am about to launch into teaching and sharing why I love yoga. I feel woefully unprepared, but if I don’t take this leap now I will regret it. Thank you, Adriene for your commitment and love of authentic practice.
Good luck with your exciting project, I have so much admiration for you; I wish you great success and happiness in your new life as a Yoga teacher, namaste
Ahhhhh!!!! Laura!!!! I too am embarking on a new Yoga teaching journey in September. At the age of 53, I am offering classes for children. Helping children is a passion of mine after a long career in bookkeeping behind-the-scenes. I too feel ill-prepared to take on the enormity of what I’m about to do. BUT, if I do not, I too will have regrets. I know in my heart that with my love of yoga and my immense passion for helping children find their way to good health and self-care, I just need to show up and trust that I will be guided by Source. I extend my heart strings to you, to support you, in your new endeavour and may we across time and space support each other. The light in me sees and recognizes the light in you - Namaste, Tammy
Laura,I love this Truly deeply wishing you an amazing adventure. I find strength in your courage to make change at our age(s)
Congratulations to all three of you! I know it will be successful! You give so freely Adriene and I know it comes straight from your heart. ¡Gracias amiga!
Oh wow! How amazing! Best wishes to the three of you on this venture! Thank you for continuing to share your practise globally and locally and making us all feel part of the community no matter where we are from.
Congratulations and God bless your collaboration❤
I love your story, connections of the souls are so wonderful and to use the amazing energy from that in such a good way is awe inspiring. So excited for you all.
I hope to be able to visit you all some time.
This community means so much to me. Much love from Sweden
It all feels that this is coming from three hearts working together to engage with all our hearts... I watch you Adriene from my home in the West of Ireland and you have greatly contributed to my self-care practice, Thank You.... maybe one day I'll make it to Austin (& you'll always have a welcome in my home if ever you're passing by!)..... from my heart to all of yours then.... Namaste, Sandra x
Congrats, Adriene! Keeping Austin awesome. Hope to visit some day. ❤️
I have only been doing yoga within the last 4 months. I have become increasingly dedicated to practice with each day, and I have you to thank for that! I can't even tell you, I feel like my mind, and body (working slowly on the spiritual) have completely changed!!! With that said, I dont know why, but reading this blog has completely moved me to tears. I am just so happy for you, and I picture myself traveling to Austin for the main purpose of taking your class!!! I have never, in my entire life, imagined that I would want to travel somewhere for a "workout"...if you can simplify the practice down to just a "workout"..... To end this long comment, I am just amazed by this community that you have built, I am SO grateful in every fiber of my being for your existence, and most of all, CONGRATULATIONS on this incredible joint venture.
My friends and I had so much fun at Fair Market event last month that we plan on driving over from San Antonio every month to join in. Thank you for sharing the spirit of yoga with the world and our community here in Texas!
This is so amazing!!! Huge congrats!! Hope to practice with you in person one day! You have been such a huge inspiration to me and practicing with you everyday at home has been life-changing. Much love to you! xo
wow how exciting Adriene! Congratulations! I would attend if it were closer to me in North Shoal Creek!
Did anyone else have a little skip in their heart when they read "FWFG special events and future trainings"?!??! Future trainings?!?!! Yes, please! I don't live even remotely near Austin but I would give up lots of vacation time for a training with Adriene and the FWFG community. 🙂 Can't wait to see what the future holds! Congratulations!
Wow this is just so awesome! You are so kind and giving, it makes sense that they want you to be a part of such a wonderful studio. Congrats and someday I'm coming to Austin to practice with you in person!!!
Amazing results. So inspirational to read about your journey. You have a heart and soul of gold and compassion. Pure and decent intentions to really help us find what feels good. You remain so humble and down to earth and that is one of the things that draws me to you and your yoga. Namaste and blessings for this new project. You so deserve this.
Dear Adriene, I'm so glad to read this story and I'm deeply touched... Congrats dear heart and keep on riding that wave of magic <3
Such beautiful news...I wish you all tremendous success as you continue to build and develop a community together. I love the classes that Rey leads for YWA, he’s got great ‘chi’....and Adriene, you’re such a beacon of love and light...you’ve changed my life! I’m looking forward to watching where this union leads you all! So exciting! One day I hope to get to Austin to experience a class. Sending love and good vibes your way xo Jackie
Dear Adriene Congratulations this is an awesome journey you’re on! I feel so happy to be guided by you in my at home practice. Planning to visit Austin early next year so hopefully the days will align and I’ll get to practice with you at the studio. Cheers Maureen
Congrats and thanks for sharing your beautiful story
I couldn't help thinking as I read this blog that your professional growth really has mirrored Austin's as a city, and yet you both have kept a genuine warmth. I visited for the first time this past June, brought by my youngest son, who was finishing up his Junior Year Abroad at UT. It was a bit of a shock, this crowded, gentrified, booming city, complete with a massive skyline and omnipresent construction. Yet the vibe was still warm and positive (especially outside downtown!) and it feels nice to know where you come and write from. We have my oldest son to thank for having turned us on to YWA and I even got my husband to occasionally "get into something comfy and hop on the mat". You've made quite an impact, Adriene, and it's nice to see you take on even more in your beloved Austin. Thanks for sharing more of your story and congratulations on what is sure to be a milestone investment in your career, in Austin's wellbeing, and in your friendship!
What a treasure of a journey. Wishing you every happiness. You give so much to the world. Thank you! I hope your new yoga home will be full of fun and prizes!
What an incredible post and journey to have read through. Also incredible news!!! Congratulations!!!!!
I’m so happy for you. What’s so amazing is how your endeavors are always mission driven. So then by God, the universe, or beautiful coincidence you too gain more than you could imagine!!! I hear the wonder in your writing. As if to always say “I don’t know how I got here!” I know and I am truly so thankful for you and your team!
So happy for you, Adriene ! You are just awesome ! You've become a BFF even though I've never met you in person ! This really inspires me to get out to Austin one of these days ! Much love and light to you and all your team You are making a difference !
Adriene, I loved seeing you at Red Rocks, thanks for coming...it was truly magical. Congratulations on your new endeavour, I know that it will be amazing because sister...you rock! Maybe someday I'll make my way, to Austin...who knows? I'm definitely looking at joining you in Mexico next year. Until then take care, give my best to Benji, and Namaste. Sharon
Thats simply wonderful Adriene*
Tears of joy.
Congratulations Adriene and the entire group of loving souls that have gathered together to make this a reality! The love and awe you feel have been beautifully illustrated in your post. We, your FWFG/YWA Kula are here supporting you in Spirit as you have done for us each time we get on the mat with you. Thank Adriene for your love and passion that you so generously share with all of us!
This is such joyful news, Adriene! Congratulations on creating such a creative, connected community - I look forward to cultivating breath and sharing space with you in your hometown soon love and light be well!
This is what artists are all about -- creating and sharing and helping to strengthen each other! Your new co-ownership with this studio team exemplifies that! What a heart lifter this news is to all of us who've grown to love and trust you through YWA!!
Yay! Great news!
I've really enjoyed Rey's practices on the YWA membership. I can see why your energies match up so well.
Congrats to all three partners and may your studio continue to flourish!
The love shines thru in every word and action. Congratulations and continuing blessings as others are blessed by your words and actions.
Adrienne, you are a true star. ✨ Shining, showing the world that following what you feel deeply convicted to does unfold great gifts and love. Namaste ❤️.
I do know we shall not all rise to the same heights, but tuning in, and following our own simple paths of gratitude and awareness and love, doing what makes us joyful, raises the vibration of humanity on earth and beyond. ✨
Thank you for always looking for ways to make the world and my world a better place. I may never get to practice with you in person but you bring a beautiful energy to all you touch. I wish you deep contentment in this new endeavor. Texas is so blessed to have you and this new partnership! Namaste
Thank you for sharing this news to us. Congratulations! I don't think I will be making the trip to Austin, I would love, but living in Canada and being 82, the chances are slim. All the best to the three of you.
I love this article.
Congratulations & very best wishes for the future. Such an exciting time. I love practising with you in my home in NSW, Australia, even when I can't always do what you do!! I can nearly always find a video that suits my mood or the occasion, such as hands free yoga just after a hand operation & I imagine being present at a class in your studio would be awesome.
Blessings on your new partnership.
Congratulations on your merge! It's a great mission to have together! I continue to enjoy the free yoga videos through You Tube and SO ENJOY reading about last weekend at Red Rocks. Our son and daughter-in-law live there and I encouraged them to go. The photo is amazing and I wish I could have traveled there from Indiana but that was not to be. Thanks again for your channel...LOVING YOUR YOGA!
Congratulations Adriene! You put so much love and positive energy into the universe, it is only bound to come back atcha a million fold. Namaste!!!!!!
This is so exciting, and it inspires me as a teacher to keep going and doing what I believe in.
Thank you for all you have done to bringing Yoga into my life. I am a channel subscriber and started my experience last year with your 30 day boot camp. I've since been doing weekend yoga at a nearby gym and doing 2 of your vids a week. Yoga is now a tool in my arsenal to help fight anxiety.
I absolutely love all your amazing videos which have helped me so much. It would be awesome to attend one of your sessions in person and I wonder if you have any plans to come to western Canada at some point. If so, it would be a dream come true!
What an awesome story, so wonderful to read ! Huge Congratulations from here in England, you so deserve it. Much love
, Gill ♀️♀️
Fantastic, y'all! This is wonderful. Thank you so much for staying committed to the giving and receiving that you do. The fun and focus of your online videos has been a delight - excited to come practice live with y'all one day!
Congratulations! I love your commitment to the community and helping as many people as you can to practice yoga,right where they are. I love your you tube channel! You teach so clearly and are so warm and welcoming during your you tube videos that your energy motivates me to do yoga with you. And I love that you have Benji there too. Thank you!
Great story Adriene! I wish to visit Austin someday for the group practice.
Great story Adriene! Congratulations.
Top of the morning Adrienne!
With gratitude to you I wish to acknowledge and personally thank you for offering meaningful yoga/meditation and positive energy for life.
I am a recently returned Peace Corps Volunteer who was evacuated from my country of service. As I struggle to reintegrate to life here in the states, when I was "locked down" in self-quarantine I stumbled upon a copy of "30 days of yoga with Adrienne" another Peace Corps volunteer had copied onto my hard drive in country in 2018. I opened it for the first time and began. What a difference you are making also to recenter mindfulness that is essential which I teach others myself, but is harder to do for myself.
Thank you also for not charging, returning "home" as a volunteer having no income for almost two years, home to find my husband lost his job, we may lose our home, and no car and no money. I really am grateful. Two of my daughters were strong into yoga, one was an instructor and my youngest a devout "hot" (? thinks thats the class) yoga student.
Be well and know I appreciate you and the joy you share.
Hutzamah! (Chippewa= Be strong, Have faith, Have courage)