Rachel Brathen—or Yoga Girl, as you might know her—is the founder of the mindfulness and yoga video platform oneOeight.com. She also is committed to giving back, and leads social mission trips around the world through her nonprofit, 109 World. Not to mention, Brathen boasts an impressive 2 million followers on Instagram, who, like us, are hooked on her beautiful but real-world Aruba Life. We chatted with Brathen about falling in love with yoga, how she calms anxious thoughts, what it's really like to be a social media star, and more.
On how she fell into yoga
"I had a lot of back pain. In the beginning, my practice was really restorative, calm, and focused on healing. When I got over my back pain and my fear of hurting myself more, I realized, 'Wow, my body can be strong and flexible, and I'm learning all these things I never thought I could do.' Yoga started getting really fun for the first time."
On what you can always find in her medicine cabinet
"Coconut oil. I usually do 20 minutes of oil pulling every day to cleanse my mouth. Oh, and a tongue scraper."
On what she tells herself when she's feeling anxious
"Trust that life takes you where you're supposed to go. Even the bad stuff—it ends up being something that, hopefully, we can look back at and say, 'Oh, this catapulted me into some exciting change.'"
On why she likes to be vulnerable on social media
"I want to motivate people to be brave and share their stories. You can make a whole positive movement happen by just sharing an emotion and being raw. Sure, you probably get more 'likes' from the more meaningless things, like when you post a bikini shot, but that's not what resonates deep with people and empowers them."
On her advice for sticking with a workout
"You need to find a community and a teacher you really vibe with. There needs to be another purpose than just having a better body."