Miriam Adler doesn’t want you to miss out—on the beauty of nature, a connection to your body, living as your authentic self.
The onetime model hit a kind of emotional rockbottom, which inspired her to do the exploration of mind, body and spirit she knew was required to uncover her true self. Now, she shares that tools she learned along that journey—yoga, meditation, zen, cha dao, somatic therapy and breathwork—to guide her clients and retreat groups towards the same kind of whole self-realization.
Here, this internationally renowned teacher, speaker and women’s coach shares her personal journey and describes why happiness begins with letting go:
Live The Process: How did you find your way into the work you do?
MIRIAM ADLER: I found my way into the work I do through my personal story. I was modeling for many years, traveling all over the world and finding it incredibly difficult to find my balance. I was longing deeply for purpose and meaning, longing to know who I truly am.
Years of working in the fashion industry left me feeling lonely, immensely critical of my body, insecure and obsessive. I’d completely lost touch with myself, felt numb and unable to open my heart to the intimacy I was craving.
I knew I had to make the jump and started investing in my self-growth. I decided to quit modeling and fully immerse myself in my studies of body, mind and spirit. It was a wild ride; one thing lead me to the next. I did not plan my path. I purely trusted and, somehow, all the pieces of the puzzle started fitting.
I studied kundalini yoga, focused on breath, learned how to hold ceremony, engaged with plants, lived in communities and immersed myself in psychology and philosophy. I have always loved human beings and their personal miraculous stories—and now I get to weave it all together.
LTP: What exactly does it mean when you suggest we should “look beyond the cognitive mind to cultivate resilience and self-love”?
MA: In my eyes, what is happening to most of us is that we’ve lost the connection to our bodies. We spend way too much time thinking, analyzing, planning and, therefore, losing the gift of the present moment. The best example for me is going for a hike in nature. Sometimes, I'm so busy talking to myself that I don’t truly see what’s around me. I miss out on the most beautiful flowers, birds singing, the smell of grass, the way the light shines through the trees. Basically, I’m completely blind to the breathtaking beauty that is surrounding me.
As much as I miss out on nature’s beauty, I also miss out on my own personal treasures. I'm too busy wanting more, wanting to be different, beating myself up about all sorts of things, while the real joy in life gets lost. To get back to being in the moment, to having clarity, appreciating and honoring, we first have to get out of our minds and learn to feel again.
LTP: What is involved in the experience that you offer to clients and groups?
MA: When I work with clients one-on-one, it’s usually over a period of six months. It’s an intimate journey into knowing who you are, what your needs are, looking at your fears and limitations, opening up to more vulnerability, so you may truly show yourself. I work with people on finding their own rituals, morning routines and practices that support them to create a balance in their lives and reestablish a connection to the body.
What I teach is very individual, but I especially work with women who are looking for their purpose, are in the middle of a career change, are struggling with anxiety and finally want to love and accept themselves. I only share from my own experience and tools that changed my life.
In addition to working with people individually, I specialize in creating transformational experiences or “retreats.” It's a huge passion of mine to weave people together, to find the magic potion and take people on a journey of experiencing nature and themselves, forming bonds, meeting rituals and finding their creativity. These experiences include yoga, breathing techniques, dance, meditation, tea ceremonies, singing and heartfelt conversations. I like to call what’s evoked an “inner-symphony,” nurturing all your strings until they resonate in harmony. My teachings come from my own life experiences, my struggles, my truth, my own healing and my heartfelt intention to open other people’s hearts.
LTP: What is breathwork, exactly? Why is it so powerful?
MA: Breathwork has changed my life and I love facilitating it. It is very different than any form of yogic pranayama. The technique I facilitate originated from “Holotropic Breathing” and is a simple open-mouthed inhale and exhale.
During breathwork, we experience an “altered state of consciousness” because of the increased oxygen levels in our bodies. It’s a state where you can let go of all the walls and protective shells you put around yourself and finally process and release old emotional blockages, stories and traumas. It can be intense, as we all accumulate and suppress a lot. I’ve personally experienced tears streaming down my face, my body sweating and releasing, for no specific reason. These experiences always lead to an immense feeling of love and gratitude.
Breath is the simplest and most powerful way to bring you right back to the present moment.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
MA: Happiness, for me, is when I allow myself to be silly. To get out of my “To-Do” lists and follow the flow. Happiness, for me, is shared moments with loved ones. These moments when I break through my walls and my inner child comes out—innocent, fearless, ready to play and take on the world. Happiness, for me, is being in nature, walking, dancing. It is being in love with myself and the world around me. Happiness is sharing my passion.
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?
MA: For me, “Live The Process” means to accept and honor where I am right now. To know that everything takes its own time and that patience and gratitude are my medicine. Only when I invest time in my own practice, prayer, movement and meditation can I show up properly and honor my journey.