Rachel Brathen, better known as @yoga_girl to her 1.2 million Instagram followers, is adding “author” to her already impressive résumé. Known for her incredible yoga poses set against a beautiful Aruban backdrop, the social media sensation seems to be living the high life. Recently, Rachel chatted with YouBeauty to divulge the inside scoop on her best stress relievers, how to fit in yoga with a busy schedule and her secret to dominating social media. Read on, fellow yogis!
YouBeauty: Tell us about your new book, Yoga Girl.
Rachel Brathen: The book is my way of sharing an in depth view of my journey towards the yoga practice. I wanted to share more of the obstacles and difficulties that I came across along the way. Many of the other chapters include connections to yoga poses and healthy recipes, which I hope will help people a lot during their own journey within the yoga practice.
You seem to be always traveling! How can you keep up such a dedicated personal yoga practice when you’re so busy?
I am dedicated to my practice but maybe not in the way that many people may think. I don’t have time for a daily 90-minute practice any more, so I’ve adapted my practice to where I am and what’s going on. I might do 15 minutes before going to bed or in the morning, but ultimately I’ll do my best to fit it in where I can. (Rachel recently wrote a blog post about easy Office Yoga you can do at work. Check it out here! — Editor)
What do you find to be the biggest benefit of yoga?
I love that you can use yoga as a tool that you can take with you even when you’re off the mat. The idea of connecting to your breath and staying present in the moment is something that you can use in day-to-day life. It’s a practice that can benefit much more than just your physical body, since it can help reduce stress and create a more balanced life in so many ways.
Besides yoga, what’s your favorite way to reduce stress?
Obviously yoga is my main stress reliever but I’m a big fan of meditation. I tried this before I even found the physical practice of yoga, so it has been the anchor that keeps me from spinning into the craziness more than I have to.
Tell us about your beauty routine. Do you have a hero product that you can’t live without?
I have a favorite cosmetic brand called Tarte. As for skincare, I use origins a lot and I always buy rosewater in bulk and put it in a little spritz bottle to travel with. I take it everywhere I go … it’s like a mini facial in a bottle! I also use coconut oil for everything, in my food, in my smoothies, and all over my body.
What do you suggest for a pre- or post-yoga snack?
About 30 mintues before my practice I’ll eat a banana with almond butter or some fruit. For after workouts, I drink coconut water to rehydrate.
You have 1.2 million instagram followers. How did you gain such a large following?
I think it’s more about what I write than the images that I share. I keep myself human and honest and try to keep a contrast from everything else that we find day to day.
Throwback to my first yoga shoot EVER!ðŸ˜±SO long ago! In the most questionable (and beautiful!) parts of downtown Oranjestad here in Aruba with my brother from another mother/Dennis’s second half @cado297 âœŒï¸ðŸ’›I could barely hold a handstand at this time, Instagram didn’t exist yet(!) and we wandered these strange back alleys for yoga shots in front of the most unexpectedly gorgeous walls and houses. Feels like a lifetime ago. Everyone, go follow @cado297 !!! Amazing photographer and reclaimed wood collector that makes art and furniture out of literally everything. One of the most talented people I know… And our best friend! Follow @cado297 @cado297 @cado297 ðŸ‘£ðŸ˜˜ðŸŒ½ðŸ’¥ #pumpkin #loveyou #cadosbla #yoga #art #aruba #life
A photo posted by Rachel Brathen (@yoga_girl) onMar 19, 2015 at 4:20am PDT
Interview has been edited and condensed.
For additional insight into Rachel’s practice, check out Rachel’s yoga program for Gaiam. Her latest partnership includes videos to practice with herin your own home while building strength, flexibility and confidence in your yoga practice.
“Yoga Girl” by Rachel Brathen is on sale now!