#PowerfulWomenProfile features strong, powerful women that inspire.
Rachel Brathen, better known as yoga_girl on Instagram is a force to be reckoned with. Take POWERFUL and INSPIRING mix it together with humble and down to earth and you have this Swedish Native that currently resides in Aruba.
Yoga_girl is the Yoncé of the yoga world… there is seriously nothing she touches that DOES NOT turn to magic.
I mean where do I even begin without sounding like a groupie?
Rachel is an NY Times bestselling author, founder of not one but two nonprofits — Sgt. Peppers Friends and 109 World — CEO of OneOEight.tv, (a live streaming yoga lifestyle platform), yoga teacher, wife, sister and daughter.
I probably missed a few other things she dabbles in… not surprising.
Rachel not only shares her beautiful handstand shots, yoga practice snippets, family, dogs and baby goat with the world, but she also candidly shares her heartbreaks and mishaps.
Her success did not come without hardship, but no matter how tough, Rachel takes setbacks and turns it into story, she takes heartbreak and turns it into love, and her ability to share so openly with the world is what fundamentally brings her so much success.
Scroll down to read Rachel’s answers to our #PowerfulWomenProfile questions.
QUESTIONS WITH RACHEL BRATHEN
Name: Rachel Brathen
Date of Birth/Sign: October 5th, 1988 // Libra
Your favorite feature about yourself:
My ability to stay sane, even in very, very difficult challenging moments. I very rarely stress to a point of not being able to handle it. Maybe it’s my yoga practice that helps me stay anchored even though I have many many things happening at the same time.
If you could share a cup of coffee with anyone who would it be and why?
I want to choose someone that isn’t alive anymore, just because I really do believe the power of manifestation is infinite… so hopefully I’ll be able to sit down and have coffee with some heroes of mine… Eckhart Tolle would be magical. If I could share a cup of coffee with one person. I’d choose OSHO. Osho for sure!
What makes me feel good inside and out?
Yoga… I mean I have to say yoga. Yoga for me is everything. Definitely the inside and the outside.
What is the ultimate quote you live your life by if you could only choose one?
Trust that life takes you exactly where you’re supposed to be. So remembering to trust even in moments when the Universe might make you doubt why certain things are happening. Trust is always the most important thing.
If you were stranded on a secluded island and could only bring one item, what would you bring?
Can I choose all of my dogs? My husband?! I don’t think I could live without them… If it’s just an item and not loved ones, dogs, family, I wouldn’t say my yoga mat, because I don’t think I’d need that if I was on an Island, but can I say two blocks? No! Omygod, everything I can think of is super yoga related. Can I say chocolate? I’ll say chocolate!
Tell us about a challenging time in your life:
Well I’ve gone through a lot of challenges the past couple of years. In the span of only 5 months, this is 2014, I’ve lost my best friend, she passed away in a car accident, I got married and then my grandmother passed away, and then my dog, my little baby died. All of those 4 life changing, big things happened within the span of 5 months, so that was definitely the most challenging year of my life. It taught me a lot. I have more clarity about why I have to go through what I went through. It’s taught me a lot about priorities and given me a new sense of purpose in life, a new sense of direction, of wanting to be of service. So I’m grateful for that at least.
If someone were going through the same thing right now what would you say to them?
Whether it’s pain, or grief, or challenges, you know day to day, use it. Let it fuel you. Use it to bring positive change into your life, use it to manifest love in a greater way. That pain that we all experience, don’t just let it sit there. Don’t just push it away, but use it and let is transform you and make it bigger than just pain, because it is possible.
Your favorite childhood memory:
There are many. One that I keep coming back to is having something that we call Fika, it’s a very Swedish word, so the act of drinking coffee and eating cinnamon buns or something sweet. In Sweden we do that every single afternoon. We would do that on the dock of our summer home, my mom, my cousins, my aunts… my whole family growing up, in the sunshine in the summers in Sweden. And I can remember exactly the smell of the cinnamon buns fresh out of the oven, sitting on that dock. That’s a beautiful memory that I come back to a lot.
The most exciting thing that you have done in your life so far:
Probably get married… that was pretty petty exciting. We had 200 people over 3 days in a castle it was a whole weekend of just magic.
Tell us something not a lot of people know about you:
I really like to sing, I’m not a great singer or anything like that I just love singing. In the car, in the shower. I sing all the time. Not a lot of people know that.
Your biggest guilty pleasure:
I have NO guilty pleasures, because I don’t believe in guilt.. at all. I think we should all remove every ounce of guilt out of our lives. I do believe in pleasures for sure. I love wine. A glass of wine at the end of the day for me is special.
Something you wish people knew about struggle or domestic violence:
I don’t have personal connections to domestic violence, aside from many friends. I mean many… more than I’d like to, more than there should, that have suffered through that. Just the fact that this is something that so many women struggle with, still in this day… What I found at least through my experience with friends that have gone through this, or that currently are moving through it, is that the most important thing is speaking up. The most important thing is talking about it. It thrives in silence. Sharing it and also thinking that you’re alone — no matter what the struggle is, if it’s domestic abuse or something else — we tend to put ourselves in a little box of “I’m so alone, no one else knows what this is like, no one experiences this, I have no one to talk to”. That is simply not true. Everybody goes through similar things. There are thousands of people in the world that suffer through these types of things at the same time, and by opening up you release some of that stigma and remove some of the heavy burden of being silent and suffering in silence. So talk to your friends, talk to your family… whatever the struggle is, share it with someone and you’ll hopefully feel a load of your shoulders. I think that’s the first step to healing or making a change if a change is what you need.
If you could do anything what would you do and why?
If I could do anything? I know I can do anything. I am doing anything.
I’m really in a place in my life where I remove the word ‘limitation’ from my vocabulary. I think life is limitless.. my ability to manifest things is limitless and so is my body in this life.. so if I could do anything I would follow my dreams, I would travel the world, I would build businesses that fuel my passion, and I’m doing all of those things right now and I feel very grateful to be able to say that.
Through your personal tragedy what is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
The energy that lies in deep pain and deep struggle is extremely powerful. It can be extremely heavy, it can weigh on us for years and years, but there is love at the bottom of that. In that struggle there is something bigger, something deeper and I truly believe that we’re put in the places that we are in life because there are ways for us to grow and not just personal growth, but whenever we suffer through heartbreak our hearts actually crack open and they start to grow as well. So our ability to love becomes bigger for every heartache that we suffer through, so don’t sit with that pain, but transform it into love and use that to change the world, because you have the ability to use that.
If you could pick a superpower what would it be?
I would speak all the languages in all the world.