On Sacred Spaces with Adriene Mishler

Adriene Mishler: yogi, our shepherdess of lockdown, teacher, actress, activist, maestro of restoration, mother to Benji. Her free yoga practice, Yoga with Adriene, transcends the screen, creating a meaningful space for self care and compassionate community, not to mention a daily balm for millions of viewers.

I had the honor and privilege of gathering with her and Kelly DeWitt (who not only photographed this series, but also owns the Design/Build firm, KKDW, that created the delicious space we met in – more on that to come), Andrea from the Find What Feels Good Team, Sarah from ours (MBS), and, of course, Benji.

On the morning that we met, the sky was the bright-white kind of overcast, with a lazy yet persistent mist descending softly on the day. Inside at the new Find What Feels Good Headquarters, the white oak lined walls, soft light and plants (so. many. plants!) combined to create a gentle, grounding and versatile space. We shot photos, tried on clothes, related, talked and laughed all morning. Kelly’s photos capture the mood and energy of that day so vividly. Read on to discover Adriene, in her own words.

What's your name, where are you from and what do you do for work & for fun? 

My name is Adriene Louise Mishler. When I was younger, my mom suggested so many times that I hyphenate with her maiden name, Martinez. This way I would have a wider reach with my acting resume, she said. Smart. But I think deep down it was also about honoring her name, her bloodline and ancestors. I was too young and distracted to take the name, or maybe thought it would hurt my Dad's feelings after a divorce. Those were different times and I was a pre-teen. I am honoring the name now by connecting to my ancestors as well as their native language and rituals through education and service. 

For work, I do just that. I find ways to connect to what matters most, and I aim to offer that same opening to as many people as possible. I enjoy and feel called to create unique practices and gatherings that evoke connection and ask questions. I am a creative first and foremost. From that creativity I have worked as a professional actor, a teacher, a yoga guide, a writer, an activist and entrepreneur. All of my businesses are born from creativity and community, creating a safe and inclusive home for such. Not the other way around. My work is also an exchange, one in which I am both honored and humbled by each and every day. Through prioritizing accessibility and quality I have found myself in exchange with bodies, brains and souls way outside my Austinite Mexican- American bubble, expanding to countries far across the globe. 

For fun, I love to move. For me, variety of movement inspires, heals and is my top choice for exploring, devising or working anything out from an honest place. Walking - all over. Yoga with just me and God, or Benji, or in community. Hiking - nothing better. Also pilates, salsa dancing, y dancing while eating salsa. I also love books. Books feel like good friends. I also love my friends who mostly take up supreme human and divine dog form. My friends make my life rich and interesting and meaningful - good trouble without a doubt. 

I also enjoy cooking and travel. I delight with time in my own humble kitchen where I feel my Grandma Emma often visits me, and I crave long scenic road trips. Learning is fun for me, so I fight hard to carve out the time for ongoing studies which I am privileged to engage in. I am currently in a neuroscience academy, a pilates certification course, and taking regular one on one Spanish classes for fluency. My partner gently invites me to consider opening myself sometimes to doing things that are less accomplish driven. He may be on to something there. To that I say, 'Who is up for a game of Uno?" 

I've read that you first connected with yoga in a deep way when you were 18, is there anything you would say to that chapter of you now? 

I am so grateful that this practice met me at such a coming of age. If I could say anything to that 18 year old self about yoga it would be a soft but clear cheerleading to stay in the discomfort. 

You recently got engaged, congratulations! As you plan your wedding, are there any traditions (new or old) that you are excited to weave into your ceremony? 

Thank you! Our engagement has felt so good. I am soaking up every moment of the season and it has come to us to feel like a new superpower, which we are grateful for. Planning the wedding too has felt like a powerful gift, an opportunity to embrace the blessings that have been bestowed onto us through the gathering of souls that continue to impact us in a meaningful way. We are still thinking it through and developing our plans but I can say that we are excited to embrace a sacred ceremony and allow the day to be a true reflection of who we are as individuals, as a partnership, and in community. 

What resonates with you about the MBS Collection? Are there any pieces you are drawn to at the moment? 

I study what happens when we focus on how we feel. How that changes the way we move, think, and feel in the next moment. I think I have been drawn to MBS from the start because long before I even owned a single piece the mission made me feel empowered, inspired, and hopeful. The work of MBS continues to inspire me but it now also reminds me of how my own discipline in my work matters. It's not just what you do - but how you do it. How you move matters. 

Kasuma pant - I love you. Bardi Duster - I would love to take you everywhere. 'Little black dress' is OUT. Silk Noil in Knot Dress in Black is what is IN and here to stay forever. It is so versatile and honors all body types in such a way that makes you feel so damn good whether it is on your body or hanging in your closet waiting for its next moment to shine in its chic simplicity. 

Lastly - Hadid Pant in Cutch [coming soon!] and th Wrap in Natural Silk Noil (the petite is perfect for me). I feel seen. 

Public display of gratitude for Miranda Bennett and her current team as well as all of the people who have previously been on the team. You do amazing work and your thoughtful mission in action inspires me.

Tell us about this space, the new Find What Feeels Good Headquarters, and what today's collaboration means to you?

It was such an honor to do this shoot. One, because I have wanted to connect more with Miranda and to model her pieces is a treat. But also because it was a true triangle of sisterhood and entrepreneurial energy as we worked with Kelly DeWitt, who is what I like to call - the real deal. She is a conscious and creative force, a poised leader. Kelly is a genius designer, builder and collaborator. I could write a whole paper on the talent and wonder of Kelly DeWitt. But instead here, for now, I will share that I am so proud to have worked with Kelly and her KKDW team to design and execute our first ever Find What Feels Good HQ in Austin, TX. It is not your mama's production studio or office space. It is entirely unique and brimming with creative possibility, designed to feel inclusive, modular, flexible and inspiring. It is a home for creativity and service. Shooting these pieces from the MBS collection with Kelly - in the space that we dreamt up together - it was as if everything was as it should be.