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The Power Of Play

“It is a happy talent to know how to play.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson

I write to you from Austin, Texas after a week that has felt like a mini marathon… within a month of marathoning. 

I took a quick trip to a very unusually rainy and chilly Los Angeles. I joined adidas and adidas women in a really awesome collaboration with an incredible national organization called Playworks.

The mission of Playworks focuses on harnessing the power of play to bring out the best in kids. They work with individual schools to revamp daily recess to be a safe place for all kids to participate, connect, and stay active in a way that supports everyone.

As a yoga teacher growing a business and a practice behind the mantra “Find What Feels Good” for all the ages, I immediately connected with their work.

It turns out that Playworks schools have 43% less bullying and have more students engaged in vigorous physical activity than before the program. Their structured vocabulary is simple but structured with a relentless focus on positive language… and FUN.

I spent the day learning their vocabulary and playing games with Playworks coaches, Jr coaches, and students at Jefferson Elementary this last Wednesday. I was honored to make eye contact, to give each and every 356 high fives, and to lead a little yoga at the end of the day for both the kids and the coaches, who I admire so much.

The coaches can’t fake it. You have to say what you mean and mean what you say. 

As someone who worked in an after school program called Creativity Club for many years, I know you can’t phone it in. I also worked as a kids yoga teacher from toddler to teens, as a creative drama teacher at a pre-school, and as a Theatre Arts teacher at a private high school. 

For all students, but especially for young people, you have to show up. Fully.

And, it’s my experience that - you want to. 

I always did, and still do.

Our young people need us. Particularly now as we live in the digital, more sedentary age of “You’re over the line, Donny!” screen time.

And in a world of comparison and lack of confidence over self image, we have to look at all the important windows of precious time in which we can counter our culture and step in to support, lift, and help out.


After recess, instead of going back to class energized, happy, and ready to learn, kids are getting back to their learning environment upset, anxious, and unable to focus. 

Playworks is changing that, one day at a time, also training and inspiring other students. These are the “assistant coaches” who lead the group, their peers, and guide fun physical activity where everyone participates and relates in a positive inclusive way. 

As someone who receives request after request, email after email, and letter after letter for support and gentle assistance for self-confidence, weight gain, lack of energy, loneliness, addiction, depression, and anxiety - I am certain this work is important. 

Here is a fun photo of me with my fellow adidas ambassadors, Angel Mccoughtry (Um, 2X Olympic Gold medalist) and Shavonte Zellous who both play for the WNBA. Talk about an inspiration for young girls in sport…

We were in the classroom on this day due to the crazy LA rain. 

Adriene Mishler, Adidas, Adidas Women, Playworks

This year, my team and I plan to spend more time with children, more visits in schools (thank you for all the great responses last year) and in general - more energy focused on language, learning, and education.

For kids, yes.

But for all ages too.

It’s never too late. 

Make your decision and harness the power of play to get moving, use your voice, and Find What Feels Good. 

I got your back. 

I love YA!

PS: Dedicate, A 30 Day Yoga Journey is going strong! If you are interested in signing up, click here and dive in with Day 1 anytime. It’s free, it’s fun, and it’s my favorite 30 Day Journey to date.

22 comments on “The Power Of Play”

  1. I’m on day 19 of Dedicate, I absolutely love it and what you say about trusting the process/practice is so true. I’m not sure how it happened but from being frustrated about not being able to sit cross legged due to an old riding injury I can quite easily now, not sure how it happened but it did without me even realising. Really helping me with my horse too and generally in my life,much less judgement. Thank you so very much

  2. Thank you Adrienne for what you do for children and adults. I teach preschool and I no about showing up. Children have a lot of energy and their not meant to sit for long periods. I have taught them some yoga poses. They love doing the tree pose. I also want to thank you for offering this yoga challenge. My 32 year old son motivated me to do it. I love practicing at home and I feel like your a friend. doing this yoga has given me more clarity and helped me with my weight. I feel stronger and after I practice I eat dinner and I don't look for the sweets as much. thank you so much for all you do. I love being part of this challenge.

  3. I just love Adrienne and this journey. Thank you so much for all you do for children and adults. I'm a preschool teacher and I no how much energy children have and that they are not meat to sit. I love that your going into schools to educate and promote the importance of activity that will help children learn and focus better. I also love being part of this challenge. I have more clarity most days and it is helping me with my weight. I'm heavier than I'm suppose to be but I feel stronger and more flexible. Thank you so much for doing this 30 day challenge. I intend to keep doing yoga for the rest of my life.

  4. Lovely letter to wake up to this morning! I was opening my email to click for today's Dedicate journey and the corners of my mouth are already turning up reading your letter. Play is so important and this email touches my heart and brings back a sweet memory.
    After the devastating wake of Hurricane Irma, a dozen volunteers answered the call in our hearts to bring a mobile kitchen from California to Florida to feed thousands of hot meals for over a month. My heart fell in love with the children in that small community and I made it my birthday wish (and mission) to stay and build a playground for the kids as they had not even a single swing set in town. We created and built PLAY::the Immokalee Play and Learn Art Yard and the experience forever changed and humbled my heart.
    Not sharing for accolades but to echo how important play is and thanking you again for your letter this morning that sparked sweet memories from that one time we gifted the gift of PLAY for a deserving community. I think I'll be smiling the rest of the day as I roll onto my mat and into my Sunday.
    Thank you. Dedicating to continuing to make a difference:: first for my self care so that I may show up bigger and better for myself, and in turn, the world!

  5. Dearest Adriene, YOU ARE TERRIFIC! I am so happy a friend referred you and your yoga to me. I am 76 years old, have done yoga off and on most of my life, and have embarked on your 30-day program!!! Today is Day 10 for me (Day 9 was a challenge!) and I am already feeling stronger and more flexible. I love your voice and your instruction, both calming, encouraging and easy to become one with. Already I have shared your program with friends who are psyched to give it a try. And what you are doing with kids is amazing. Thank you.

  6. I love that you are doing this, Adriene! And I love that you want to expand it. If you ever do videos for kids, I would make my son try it.

    Thank you for your integrity of spirit!

  7. Dear, wonderful Adriene! I am so thankful for you.
    You said you used to teach yoga to kiddos. Do you have any videos of those sessions? I would love to get my 6yo into yoga, but she doesn't have the patience for our "grown-up" stuff. (She does love seeing Benji wander through the studio, though!)

  8. Yoga with Adriene literally sets me up for the day, every day. I have been following her for seven years in June and have never felt better mentally, physically and spiritually. No pushy edge just pure and simple honest belief in the power of yoga, allowing your body to support your everyday challenges. Try it and find out what feels good for yourself. Quite simply the best at home yoga practice out there.
    Thank you to the moon and back for your kick ass time Adriene, you are truly awesome. One of the worlds gems.
    Staffordshire, United Kingdom.

  9. Adriene! I love that playworks is getting more time for children to play. I want to help. I live in Kentucky and work as a resource teacher in a large public school district, I also spend my extra time working for children at play network, Bernheim forest and arboretum. If you evwr have a desire to come to louisville, kentucky, I would love it!!! I had no idea you have such a cool background. Hope we connect someday. I am participating in dedicate and feel so awesome. It literally is changing my life.

  10. Hi Adriene!

    I want it to buy a product from you. You inspire me soo much! But I’m in Montreal (Canada) don’t see any shipping towards us...?

    Unless I didn’t read or see properly till where it goes...

    Hope you guys will 🙂

  11. Hi Adriene
    First; thanks. I work in two inner city elementary schools here in the City of Surrey, part of Great Vancouver, BC Canada. I was becoming really burnt out and taking 'mental health' days off, gaining weight and really becoming clinically depressed. Now, I get up at 5:00 am no problem and have so far, completed TRUE and now am on the DEDICATE journey. No words, no words. Game changer is the only way to describe your influence on my life. Now - this idea of play and sport has purchase, not only for me but with the kids with whom I work with every day - now that I can show up and be all in. I am hopeful that this Adidas Program is 'up here' in Canada too! I'll certainly check this out as play really does serve so many purposes on so many levels, as you say, for kids, of all ages.
    Thank-you so very much - I know you've heard this many times but gads, you saved my life.

  12. Dear Adriene,
    Always read your loves from your YouTube, emails no matter where or when you wrote them. And this: “Playworks” is AMAZING! I’m having the same plan too (focusing on children), because I’m taking the course of Kids Yoga Teacher Training. Yay! Can’t agree further more of your words, actions, expressions for all the loves and cares to everyone in the globe!

    I love you, Adriene since 2016, always looking forward the January 30 days of yoga challenge every year! And I’m doing it now, with DEDICATION You always my inspirations, my positivity, my hope, my love... I send my love to you too! Please take good care and continue spreading the LOVE❤️

  13. Hi Adriene! I was reading through your email and Jefferson Elementary popped out at me and filled me with so much nostalgia! I went to that school from kindergarten-5th grade and it was during the happier times of what would become a bit of a whirlwind childhood. I will always love that school and I feel like it kind of came full circle in seeing of my favorite yogis there to spread her kindness! I love this so much. Thank you for sharing.


  14. I had your information passed to me. I am extremely interested in Playworks agenda and training scheme. Last year I initiated YAC a Young Adults Conference they became the Agents for Change. It wa the first conference of its kind here in Cyprus where I live. 13/18year olds who were able to select topics, theme , discussions they were enabled to share No Adults were invited except those who had a specific role to perform i.e. Workshops. Mentoring followed.
    Please advise my next step.
    Pamela Calver

  15. I came across you, Adriene, several years ago, and knew instantly that you had something special. Flash forward to now, and that something special has stuck with me. I'm starting to manifest my intentions like a rockstar, crow pose doesn't make me want to throw things, and I'm finally listening to my body like a friend instead of fighting with it like a foe. Thanks for staying true to yourself and making yoga accessible to everyone- the world needs more of that stuff!

  16. Super excited to see that you will be in more schools (hopefully one of them ends up being where I teach (: ). In your videos you sometimes mention how you lead practices with children; this often leads me to think about how the world would be different if all children started yoga, meditation, or perhaps just small acts of consciousness or deep breathing at a young age ... how the world might be a bit different for the better. Keep up the incredible work. Adriene.

  17. Thank you Adriene. I sincerely wish I could send you 50 holiday cards. Your words and work make such a difference in my life. I work in the public school system, K-5, and can only hope and pray to have as much of a loving, empowering impact on my kids' days as you do mine. A million thank yous. Namaste.

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