In an era of excessive stimulation and constant viral over exposure (may the twerk RIP ) its nice to come across someone using Social Media for good …
Thats where Rachel Brathen comes in, a travelling yogi with more than 59,000 followers on Facebook and a casual 409k on Instagram … yep she’s basically the Beyonce of yoga .
Her profiles are peppered with beautiful images of her Aruba abode (yep she lives on a caribbean island FML ) her always-booked-out retreats , a slightly mental whippet named Ringo (he has an Instagram @ringo_thegringo ) as well as jaw dropping pictures of intricate poses mid-ocean .. on a PADDLE BOARD! – This my friends is called SUP yoga (Stand-Up Paddle board Yoga
) and Rachel was one of the first people to pioneer the beautiful practice.
It may sound as though she’s living the good life , but Rachel takes her social media power seriously and with great responsibility .. especially with helping her younger female fans accept their bodies .
We picked her yogi brain .. and she lovingly provided us with this :
DFH: how did you start out as a yoga instructor?
RB: I was practicing a lot and found myself one day thinking “if i was teaching this class, i’d do this or that different…” and shortly after that i started teaching to friends and the company i worked for while living in costa rica. i was teaching for a year before i did my first teacher training. when i moved to aruba i started teaching full time – there was no real yoga community on the island and i had a big space to fill! now the yoga community is thriving; it’s beautiful.
DFH:The single healthy tip EVERYONE should incorporate into their hectic lives?
RB:Breathe deeply, drink more water and don’t make life as seriously as your mind wants it to be.
DFH:What makes you laugh ?
RB:My puppies! All the time. Also, Seinfeld. Favorite show. Ever.
DFH:you have an amazing following, especially on social media sites like Instagram , whats your favourite image you have posted and why ?
RB:I posted a “love your body love your soul” post a few months ago, describing some of my flaws (stretch makes, i like eating cheese in bed, i have oily skin) and a couple weeks back a picture of my belly fat. Haha – yes – these is my favorite posts! i get such amazing response every time. I’m sick of seeing only picture perfect posts on instagram, like everyone’s lives are so damn perfect all the time. we choose what we portray. everyone has bad days, everyone feels inadequate from time to time.. and it can be quite intimidating seeing post after post of advanced yoga poses, fitness shots, beach… no one’s life looks like that all the time. i do my best to inspire people and still keep it real. the comments i get on these posts make me tear up, and i get flooded with emails. so much love from people who are just want to accept their bodies as they are.
DFH:how do you stay healthy whilst travelling ?
i don’t always. i try to practice as much as i can – i always have my mat with me. i focus on drinking water. i do gentle stretches every morning and legs up the wall every evening to keep my body happy. i drink beer when i feel like it and never ever ever indulge in “guilty pleasures” – NO GUILT. EVER. Pleasure? Hell yes!
DFH: how would you advise people especially young girls to accept their bodies?
RB:We have to change the way we see ourselves, not the way we eat. Instead of trying to change your body (lose weight, get fitter, slimmer whatever), focus on loving your body first – real change and healthy ways come from there. Stop feeling guilty about what you eat or how you act! I read a fitness magazine the other day and they had a segment called “you ate it? negate it?” – BULLSHIT! It’s stuff like that that promotes insane body images. like, “uh-oh, i accidentally indulged and enjoyed dessert after dinner, or birthday cake, or wine with my friends… How do i get rid of the guilt i feel – how much exercise do i need to do?”. It’s nuts. There are so many more important things in life than obsessing over calories or number on a scale. What do you love to do? What makes you feel good? What makes you really happy? Focus on this! Be happy, first. Don’t take your body so seriously. Life is much more fun when we relax and love ourselves the way we are.
RB:Double pigeon pose. Or legs up the wall pose. And handstands!
DFH:advice for people wanting to become yoga instructors?
RB:Find your own voice. Don’t try to copy your past teachers, or an image of what you want to be as a teacher. Find what makes you unique and use that as a teacher.
DFH:a list of favourites…
Film: the darjeeling limited. or jeff who lives at home. or garden state. or sleepless in seattle! i’m a sucker for sappy love stories.
Book: The power of NOW by eckhart toll. and the shadow of the wind by carlos ruiz zafon.
person: all of my sister and brothers (i have five). can’t pick! they’re all much younger than me and i love them to death.
Mantra: thank you
beauty product: argan oil!
meal: breakfast 🙂
DFH:finally whats in store in the next 6months ?
oh. so much! we have three more retreats this year, all sold out. i love our retreat groups. i just started working with a media production company so some exciting things in the works! early next year we go to mexico, then a europe tour, then brazil… oh and at some point i’m getting married!! crazy! it’s going to be a good year 🙂
For all of Rachels amazingness , click n follow peeps
To Read Some Of Her Wise Words :