Rachel Brathen’s Journey: Embracing Yoga for a Balanced Life

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Written By Chris Robles

Rachel Brathen, also known across the globe as Yoga Girl, is a luminary in the world of wellness. Hailing from Sweden and solidifying her reputation internationally, she has carved out a space as an authoritative voice in yoga instruction and mindful living. As a New York Times best-selling author, she brings a personal touch to her teachings and writings, enabling her to connect deeply with readers and students alike. Her approachable style demystifies yoga, making it accessible to a wide audience, while her candid storytelling resonates on a personal level.

Beyond the yoga mat, Brathen has expanded her influence into various realms including entrepreneurship and philanthropy. As CEO of Yoga Girl®, she oversees a conscious business entity that encompasses her values of wellness, authenticity, and community. Her endeavors are not limited to teaching; they also include significant philanthropic efforts through the Yoga Girl® Foundation and her active involvement in animal rescue with Sgt. Pepper’s Friends, revealing a compassionate nature that extends beyond her yoga practice.

Key Takeaways

  • Rachel Brathen is a renowned yoga teacher and best-selling author, widely recognized by her brand Yoga Girl®.
  • Her work encompasses not just yoga and writing, but also includes substantial philanthropic efforts and a focus on building community.
  • Brathen’s personal life and candid nature in sharing her experiences add a relatable aspect to her professional persona, enhancing her connection with her audience.

Early Life and Background

Rachel Brathen’s journey from her native Sweden to becoming a renowned yoga instructor in the Caribbean is as intriguing as it is inspiring. Her early experiences with family and personal loss paved the way to her eventual discovery and love for yoga.

From Sweden to the Caribbean

Rachel was born on October 5, 1988, in Uppsala, Sweden, where she spent her formative years. Her life wasn’t always easy, with her parents’ divorce occurring when she was only two years old. Rachel faced further challenges when she tragically lost her stepfather in a plane crash. Despite these hardships, she cultivated a passion for movement and an active lifestyle from a young age. Eventually, her adventurous spirit took her far from Sweden, leading her to the sunny island of Aruba in the Caribbean.

Finding Yoga

At the age of 19, Rachel’s relationship with yoga began. What started as curiosity quickly blossomed into a profound connection with the practice. Yoga became a beacon of healing and self-discovery, offering Rachel solace amid the turbulence of her early life. Her dedication and passion for yoga not only transformed her own life but also inspired her to share it with others. She went on to pioneer paddleboard yoga, enhancing the traditional yoga experience with the tranquil backdrop of Aruba’s clear waters.

Yoga Career and Teaching

Rachel Brathen’s journey as a yoga instructor has been marked by passion and dedication. Her career is a testament to her love for yoga and her desire to share it with a global community. She has not only established a significant presence in the physical world with her studio but also expanded her teachings into the digital realm.

Becoming a Yoga Teacher

Rachel began her foray into yoga in Sweden, and over time, turned her passion into a profession. With a dedication to the practice, she pursued certification and became a certified yoga teacher known for her inspiring classes. Her commitment to the craft resonated with her students, quickly elevating her reputation within the yoga community.

In a similar vein of inspiring figures in the wellness and yoga community, Jessica Olie stands out for her distinctive approach to yoga and fitness. Through her engaging social media presence and digital platforms, Olie has garnered a devoted following, much like Rachel Brathen, by sharing her journey and the transformative power of yoga in her life.

Establishing Island Yoga

Rachel’s vision extended beyond teaching individual classes; she envisioned a space where a community could flourish. This vision came to life with the founding of Island Yoga in Aruba—her own yoga studio in the Caribbean. The studio has become the largest in the region, offering a variety of classes, focusing on inclusivity and providing a retreat for all levels of practitioners to connect and grow in their yoga practice.

Expansion into Digital Platforms

Recognizing the potential to reach a global audience, Rachel branched into digital platforms, offering online classes and managing her brand, Yoga Girl®. She hosts two #1 podcast shows, “Conversations From The Heart” and “Yoga Girl Daily,” where she connects with listeners about yoga and life. These digital initiatives allow her teachings to transcend geographic boundaries, bringing her unique approach to yoga right into the homes of people worldwide.

Media Presence and Publications

Rachel Brathen, known affectionately as Yoga Girl®, has not only captivated the yoga community but also built a substantial online presence that spans various media platforms, ranging from social media to her written works. Her voice extends far beyond the yoga mat, reaching into the lives of millions through her engaging content and publications.

Influence on Social Media

Rachel’s Instagram is a mosaic of inspiration, showcasing her life and yoga journey, totaling millions of followers. Her posts often blend yoga with storytelling, offering a window into her world that resonates with a broad audience. With a keen understanding of social platforms, she leverages Instagram to connect and communicate, solidifying her role as an influencer in the health and wellness space.

Blogging and Podcasting

Transitioning from the visual to the auditory, Rachel’s podcast series extends her reach. Topics range from yoga and wellness to personal reflections and discussions, featuring a conversational style that’s both relatable and enlightening. The Yoga Girl podcast presents her thoughts and experiences in a format that feels like a warm, informal chat with a friend.


Founded by Rachel, OneOeight is an online yoga community and wellness hub. As a blogging platform, it’s host to an array of resources centered around yoga, meditation, and self-care. This endeavor reflects her dedication to spreading mindfulness and empowerment through accessible online content.

Books and Articles

Rachel Brathen is also a New York Times best-selling author, having documented her inspiring life story and insights into yoga in the book “Yoga Girl.” Her writing, which has appeared in publications such as Yoga Journal, threads her expertise with personal anecdotes, making the practice of yoga very tangible and relatable for readers at any level of their yoga journey.

Philanthropy and Activism

Rachel Brathen stands as not just a yoga instructor but as a figure of benevolence, channeling her passion for yoga into meaningful philanthropy and environmental activism. Through her initiatives, she has built communities centered on healing and purpose-driven actions that extend far beyond the yoga mat.

109 World Non-Profit

The 109 World is a non-profit organization co-founded by Rachel Brathen, reflecting her dedication to communal betterment. This non-profit focuses on supporting various projects that promise to impart positive change. Rachel and her team have selected these projects with the intention to address critical global issues that resonate deeply with her philosophy of compassion and wellness. Importantly, 109 World hinges on creating a supportive environment for individuals to contribute to community-led transformations, underscoring the essence of shared healing and growth.

Environmental Initiatives

Rachel vigorously advocates for the protection of our planet through Environmental Initiatives. She launched #109Water, a significant campaign within the non-profit dedicated to ensuring access to clean water. Beyond this, the environmental endeavors of 109 World span various issues, reflecting Rachel’s understanding of the interconnection between environmental welfare and community health. Projects under this umbrella typically mobilize her global audience, promoting both awareness and direct action to foster environmental healing and stewardship.

Personal Life

Rachel Brathen, more commonly known by her followers as Yoga Girl, cherishes her personal life as much as her professional endeavors, with her family foundation and home life being a testament to her values and interests.

Family and Home

Rachel, alongside her husband Dennis Schoneveld, shares a deep bond, often exploring the virtues of love, intimacy, and communication which further solidifies their relationship. They live a life that reflects balance and harmony. Rachel and Dennis are proud parents to a daughter, extending their family circle and filling their home with love and laughter. Their ability to intertwine personal and professional life is central to their family’s happiness.

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Hobbies and Interests

When Rachel isn’t teaching yoga or recording her podcast, she enjoys spending quality time with her family, where cooking often takes center stage as one of their favorite activities together. This shared interest in preparing meals not only nurtures their bodies but also strengthens their bond. Beyond the kitchen, Rachel’s hobbies reflect her advocacy for a well-rounded, balanced lifestyle, which is part of her core message to her audience.

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