Meeting Her Mat: From Sweden to Aruba, Rachel Brathen’s Yoga Girl Journey

Work & Business

Meeting Her Mat: From Sweden to Aruba, Rachel Brathen’s Yoga Girl Journey

We love when we accidently stumble on great Swedish stories like this one. We just happened to be searching for “Top Fitness Instagrammers” and lo and behold, we discovered @yoga_girl herself, Rachel Brathen.

Brathen is one of the world’s most influential fitness Instagrammers, with more than 2 million followers to her account. She’s also appeared on several magazine covers, including Women’s Health, and she’s a New York Times best-selling author on top of all that.

Who is Yoga Girl?

Brathen was born and raised in Sweden, where she lived until she graduated school. She left Sweden to pursue her passion, yoga, in warmer climates. According to her bio, she bounced around in Central America until 2010 when she found her new home, Aruba, where she still lives today.

Once settled in Aruba, she founded, an online yoga and health platform where users can take yoga, life coaching and nutrition courses. The oneOeight community also brings together dozens of other yogis who offer their own guides and global retreats.

And those retreats must have been popular with her followers, because in 2016, Brathen founded Island Yoga, which touts itself as the largest yoga studio in the Caribbean. Her 18,000 square-foot studio has everything a person could want – from showers, to a café, to a boutique (you know, should you forget your mat on your Caribbean vacation).

Yoga Girl and Yoga Girl Foundation

Brathen welcomed a baby girl, Lea Luna, into the world in 2017 (and for those who are into that kind of thing, read her birth story on Yoga Journal), but that wasn’t the only thing she brought to life that year.

The Yoga Girl Foundation was founded in 2017, and while we could summarize what the organization does, we think Brathen’s words are too beautiful to paraphrase: “What we have we wish for everyone on the planet to have, a loving connection between mother and child, to be loved and safe, to have enough food, education and the basic needs met and the opportunity to grow and live a happy life.”

The following year, she established Yoga Girl, a lifestyle brand and manifesto of sorts that encourages all to be present, heal and be a good person. As it says on the Yoga Girl vision page, “Everyone can be a Yoga Girl.”

Yoga Girl publishes regular blog content, in addition to a bi-weekly podcast called “From the Heart,” and there are events and courses folded into the mix from her previous entrepreneurial ventures. Brathen also has an online shop (side note: this is our new life motto) and a vlog. All we’re saying is, for everything she has on her plate, we hope she’s finding her center when she hits the mat to release her tension!

If you want to keep up with Rachel’s life, follow her on Instagram, where she posts about her family and her yoga practice. You can also frequently find her commenting on some of the biggest issues women face today, in outlets like Shape and Self.

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