Rachel Brathen – otherwise known as “Yoga Girl” to her 1.2 million Instagram followers – is the number-one yoga star of the internet. And not for the reasons you’d think.

We can’t deny that this Sweden native’s on-the-mat practice is #flawless. And her home base in Aruba definitely isn’t an eyesore. But the main thing that’s made this beach babe such an infectious Insta follow is her ever-positive yet pragmatic outlook on life. Her inspirational wisdom is spot-on and soulful, proving that the best yoga practice really does start from the inside out. Rachel leads yoga workshops all across the globe, in which she focuses on vinyasa essentials, handstands, arm balances, and what it means to live fearlessly.

This week, Rachel’s first book hit shelves: part memoir, part yoga how-to, we’ve already devoured Yoga Girl cover to cover. To celebrate, we sat down with our ultimate yogi girl crush and picked her brain about the cause she’s most passionate about, the power of intention, and her bucket list items (Top of the list? Hug a sloth). Read on, then enter to win a copy of Rachel’s book for yourself! Roll out your mat, pour a glass of green juice, and get to know the Yoga Girl:

Yoga Matters with Rachel Brathen


Rachel Brathen


Home studio? My living room in Aruba!

What originally drew me to yoga:

Back pain.

Most rewarding yoga-related experience:

My first time in Urdhva Dhanurasana. Terrifying. I had three teachers helping me with straps and blocks and blankets. A big moment!

Biggest inspiration:

My mom.

Favorite pose:

Legs-up-the-wall pose. And handstands!

Project or cause I am most passionate about:

Animal welfare. And everything related to children (we are big supporters of Barncancerfonden, a Swedish charity fund that supports children suffering from cancer).

I wish that more people realized that yoga…

Isn’t about the poses.

Biggest lesson yoga has taught me:

With a loving intention, there is no limit to what you can create in life.

Biggest lesson I hope to teach through yoga:

You are here because you’re meant to be.

5 things on my Bucket List:

Hug a sloth (!!!), hike the Camino de Santiago in Spain, learn to surf properly, climb the Himalayas, write a book about loss.

When I'm not on the mat, I’m:

On the beach.

Advice I would give my 16 year-old self:

You are more than enough, just the way you are.

Personal mantra:

Trust that life will take you exactly where you need to be.

Win A Copy Of Yoga Girl!

Want to win a copy of Rachel’s new book, Yoga Girl? Sign up for the TCM newsletter, then follow @thechalkboardmag and @yoga_girl on Instagram for an extra chance at winning! Then, leave a comment below for each entry – we’ll choose a winner this Friday, March 27th at 5pm PST. Open to continental US readers only. Good luck and namaste!

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