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!

From our friends


  1. I’ve been doing yoga for many years and have seen many different people do yoga and have had many inspirations, but Rachel has a light shining so brightly out of her that you can’t help but be inspired.

    Sara | 03.26.2015 | Reply
  2. LOVE LOVE LOVE Rachel Brathen! I started following a few years ago on Instagram and have been inspired to start my own yoga practice and to live positively. She really is a shining light!

    Erin | 03.26.2015 | Reply
  3. I love the quote, “You are here because you’re meant to be” – it really speaks to me right now. Rachel is a very inspiring and positive woman! The gorgeous yoga pictures really make me want to expand my practice.

    Katie | 03.26.2015 | Reply
  4. I’d love to read this book!

    Sophie | 03.26.2015 | Reply
  5. I just recently found Yoga Girl on Instagram. It would be lovely to win her new book!

    Meagan | 03.26.2015 | Reply
  6. Rachel is such a beautiful inspiration! I can’t wait to read her book (and am actually hoping to meet her this week on her Happiness Tour!). She’s a big part of the reason I reinvigorated my yoga practice over a year ago and have since kept it up (finally).

    (PS: I signed up for the newsletter and follow both the chalkboard mag and Rachel on insta :))

    Ariana | 03.26.2015 | Reply
  7. I love to see that you’re featuring Rachel! She’s so special and I get so much inspiration from her. I’m so excited to read her book! I subscribe to TCM newsletter!

    Nicole | 03.26.2015 | Reply
  8. I also follow Rachel on Instagram! (@nicoblossom)

    Nicole | 03.26.2015 | Reply
  9. I also follow TCM on Instagram! (@nicoblossom)

    Nicole | 03.26.2015 | Reply
  10. Already following you guys, of course!

    Jessica | 03.26.2015 | Reply
  11. And already following yoga girl, of course! 🙂

    Jessica | 03.26.2015 | Reply
  12. Followed all! Love her insta picks! 🙂

    Maria corso | 03.26.2015 | Reply
  13. Fabulous giveaway! Would love to win 🙂

    Emily | 03.26.2015 | Reply
  14. Just saw this !! would love to read her experience and her yoga mantras !
    inspiring !

    marie | 03.27.2015 | Reply

    The Chalkboard Mag | 03.27.2015 | Reply
  16. Would love to win the book!

    Kim | 03.30.2015 | Reply
  17. I do a lot of yoga with different types of yoga, to calm this heart. but Rachel makes all the different, the yoga ipes used make this feel calm.

    Shinta_Sa | 03.31.2018 | Reply

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