At only 23-years-old, Rachel Brathen has created quite the beautiful life for herself. Leaving her native Sweden in search of escape and adventure, she found herself on a tiny island, sharing her love of yoga and life with anyone who would listen. Now, four years later, she has developed a loyal following of fans online who can’t get enough of her genuine nature and famous “handstand posts.” But life wasn’t always so magical. She traveled a hard road to get to where she is today. In this interview, Rachel takes a break from paradise to share her journey and what it took for this Zen Girl to follow her bliss.
Name, Occupation, Location?
Rachel Brathen, Yoga teacher, SUP Yoga pioneer, Yoga Director of Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa in Aruba. And beach bum.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Wake up around 6am, drink tea, eat a mango from our mango tree (it's mango season here!), then drive to the resort where I work. I teach yoga almost every morning (15-20 classes a week), and usually do my own practice before class. I teach a one hour class in the morning, with a mix of locals and tourists. I usually have breakfast at the hotel. After that I go home, change into my bikini and take the dogs to the north shore for a long walk or a run. We live very close to the north shore of the island, and it's absolutely magical - cliffs and desert and cacti and ocean and little deserted beaches. I am in the water at some point every day. After I’ve dropped the dogs off back home, I either go do some work at home, at the hotel, or in my boyfriend’s skate shop. As the Yoga Director of a wellness resort, I have some administrative work that needs to be taken care of, but I can do that pretty much from anywhere. Depending on the day, I usually have a SUP Yoga class in the afternoon, in which case I go to the beach again, but on the south side of the island. SUP Yoga (Stand-Up Paddleboard Yoga) classes are 90 minutes, including teaching paddle techniques, paddling to our yoga spot, and the actual practice. These are my favorite classes; ocean, beach, yoga, surf... All in one! After SUP class, I try to stick around on the beach, maybe do a long distance paddle or just swim. I'm a beach bum at heart. Evenings, I spend with my boyfriend and our pups. If I don't have late night class (three nights a week), then I'm cooking, reading and watching a movie. We are big foodies and like to go out for dinners whenever we can - Aruba has so much to offer. Also, sunset walks with the dogs daily. Pretty much - yoga, beach, work... That's my day!