If I angle my yoga mat just right, I can fully stretch out my 6'5" frame. Sometimes my ankle bashes into the coffee table, or my fingers get caught in dusty ceiling fan blades. But if I really focus on my surroundings, I have just enough space to work with my favorite yoga instructor, Adriene Mishler.
She's the host of the insanely popular YouTube channel Yoga with Adriene. The Austin based yoga instructor and actor uploads new videos regularly to an audience of 3 million subscribers. Her catchy tagline "Find What Feels Good" serves as both a celebration of self-love and the slogan for her growing brand.
Moving into a new home can serve as necessary growth. After a relationship ended in my last apartment’s living room, I needed a needed a new space without that memory hovering around. What I decided on was an apartment much smaller than what I had, but in a neighborhood bursting with energy.
But moving is expensive as shit. Move-in fees can crush the doe-eyed excitement of signing a new lease. To make back some of the money I lost moving, I canceled my gym membership and searched for an at home solution. That's how I found Yoga with Adriene.
When I queued up my first video, I turned off all the lights and closed my blackout curtains like a teenager discovering internet porn. My only source of light illuminated from the TV and the color changing oil diffuser that sits on my windowsill. If I was going to buy into this new routine, I wanted a yoga studio experience in my apartment. Side note - a little at-home-yoga-studio hack is if you don't have AC in your apartment like me then congratulations! You now have your very own hot yoga studio.
The first video I ever tried, and revisit frequently, was "Yoga for the Future." Adriene guides you through a challenging but completely approachable 30 minutes of stretching, strength training, and mindfulness.
Here’s my truth. I'm terrible at yoga. It’s super hard, and I have the flexibility of a stale piece of taffy. True story, I once got completely overheated in the first few minutes of a video. I ditched my shirt right as Adriene instructed us to rock back and forth along our spines. Being the smart person I am, I put all my sweaty momentum into that first roll, sliding head first off my mat and into a solid birch kitchen cart. Kill me.
But why do I, along with 3 million other people, keep coming back?
Adriene’s greatest skill as an instructor is her ability to connect with her audience. Free from judgement, she treats you as her own personal workout buddy. Mainly shot in her home, it’s just you, her, and sometimes Benji, the chill-vibes-only dog.
Other at-home instructional videos feel detached and unrelatable. They’re usually filmed on sets with background actors and garish industrial decor. Not with Adriene. Her authentic blend of lighthearted humor and lessons on self-love make every awkward moment on your mat totally worth it.
I started Yoga With Adriene to save money while keeping physical activity part of my daily routine. But what I never expected was how much these videos would change my perspective on what it means to practice self-love - to appreciate myself for showing up on my mat on a down day. This practice has replaced a lot of my toxic negative thinking with a strong internal confidence.
What does “Find What Feels Good” mean to me? It’s showing up on my green yoga mat in my little 400 sq ft apartment where I’m reminded the journey I’m on is exactly where I’m supposed to be.
Thrice recently announced their tenth studio album, Palms, is coming out September 14. This is the second album from the quartet since their return from hiatus in 2016 with To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere. Along with the announcement, Thrice released a music video for Palms' first single, "The Grey."
Thrice is a rare band. They're unmarked by a revolving cast and have held a loyal following throughout their career. The four bandmates (two of which are brothers) have been making music together since 1998. Ten albums in 20 years from the same core is undeniably remarkable.
I don't know what to expect from Palms, but what's fundamental to Thrice's success is their absence of lazy writing and stock composition. There isn't one Thrice song that disintegrates into a fade-out or is propped up on exhausted themes. Each album is intricate and demands repeated visits to fully appreciate. They represent one of the pillars of vinyl over streaming - older tech forces you to sit down and let an entire album wash over you.
Thrice has never been afraid to evolve. What they release in September will sound distant from the critically praised albums of the early aughts. But as a fan, that's exactly what I want. It could eventually shake out that Palms is one of their weaker albums, but I can tell you right now it won't be predictable.
Just for fun, here's my power ranking of Thrice albums:
Magic Johnson can keep his job. The Lakers president of basketball operations said he would step down if he didn't land a premier free agent either this summer or next. After a harrowing five days without job security, Magic got THE free agent.
LeBron James is signing with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The four-year deal is worth $154 million with an opt-out after the third season. The longest deal LeBron has signed since he took his talents to South Beach.
There's not much to say. The move was expected. The only real surprise is his announcement came less than 24 hours after the start of free agency. By comparison, LeBron waited more than a week after the official July 1 start date to release the Decision and the SI cover story.
Following the Decision 3.0, the Lakers signed Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee, and Rajon Rondo. Not exactly the super team predicted to join LeBron, especially with Paul George staying in OKC. But it's a long off-season and the Lakers aren't done yet.
I'll have more to say once free agency cools down. Speculating on what happens next is useless since my next paragraph focused on DeMarcus Cousins probably signing in LA. Naturally Cousins just decided to sign a one-year, $5.3 million dollar deal with the Warriors five minutes after I started writing. Why? Because the NBA is chaos and I clearly can't predict anything right.
Until then, remember when Cousins tried to beat up Kevin Durant in the locker room last year? Incredible. I can't wait for the 2018-19 season to begin.
I write the words I'm too uncomfortable to say.