Yoga Girl in Vail for GoPro Mountain Games |

Yoga Girl in Vail for GoPro Mountain Games

Rachel Brathen, also known as Yoga Girl, is leading yoga classes in Vail as part of the GoPro Mountain Games.
Ben Kane | Special to the Daily |

Follow Rachel

With almost 2 million followers on Instagram, Rachel Brathen posts photos with honest captions about her life and travels. Follow her at yoga_girl. Follow her on Facebook at Yoga Girl for live videos and to interact with her.

SGT Pepper’s Friends

Brathen started Sgt. Pepper’s Friends to help stray animals find homes. Using social media, she said they have a 100 percent success rate. In the 11 months the nonprofit has been operating, hundreds of dogs have been adopted. Visit Sgt. Pepper’s Friends on Facebook.


Brathen also provides an online platform for yoga — Netflix but for yoga and mediation, she said. Check out OneOeight on Facebook or visit.

VAIL — Rachel Brathen keeps it real.

The 27-year-old yoga instructor, author and animal activist is better known to the world as Yoga Girl, posting honest, personal messages on her Instagram account (@yoga_girl) and Facebook (Yoga Girl), usually supplemented with a stunning image of her travels.

“It’s definitely a way for me to process my own personal stuff. It’s kind of like journaling, except sending it out there into this huge community,” Brathen said of her nearly 2 million Instagram followers and 270,000 Facebook subscribers.


Believe it or not, Brathen wasn’t always a yogi. She grew up in Stockholm, Sweden, “which is a really different type of life than I live now,” she said.

Brathen, who now lives year-round in Aruba, struggled with back pain after a car accident as a teenager and gave yoga a shot to help her recovery.

“I found the practice,” she said. “And that’s the first thing it did.”

It’s been a whirlwind since, as Brathen grew in social media popularity a few years ago because of her habitually positive attitude.

“Personally, I think she’s just a beautiful soul, inside and out, radiating light and positive energy,” said Corrie Crane, a “huge” follower and yogi herself from Avon. “We live in a pretty intense society, both nationally and globally, and the fact that she can just be herself and promote health, well-being and positivity in a world that we need it is why I look to her for daily inspiration.”

Brathen has dealt with tragedy in her life, much like all of us, and she tells it how it is on her social media accounts.

“People always feel the same things, I found, it’s just not always at the same time,” Brathen said. “I really like the idea of being open and honest about everything because not a whole lot of people do that, and I think it’s needed in social media.”

In a world where likes and clicks translate to cash and posts are carefully thought out and posted at certain times, Brathen said she’s never gotten caught up in that side of it.

“I just share what I feel in the moment,” she said.

While many social media posts are filled with filters and hashtags, Brathen posts long, details messages about life.

“There’s a lot of pictures out there, but the thing that I’ve always found the most intriguing about Rachel is actually she’s incredibly articulate and well spoken,” said Elise Reynolds, a stand-up paddle yoga instructor living in Minturn. “She just says it like it is — good, bad, ugly, whatever. As a human, I resonate with that.”


Brathen is teaching two classes as part of the GoPro Mountain Games. The first took place Friday and the second is Saturday, with 500 people already registered.

“As soon as Vail Valley Foundation announced she was coming, I signed up immediately,” Crane said. “She’s just been a really big inspiration for me.”

She encourages attendees to bring notebook and pens for journaling to complement the yoga practice.

“There’s going to be a lot of open hearts,” Brathen said.

Brathen is opening the largest yoga studio in Aruba with her husband and hopes to travel a little bit less and bring people to her.

“It’s always about self-love,” she said, “allowing yourself to really be who you are.”

Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and Follow him on Instagram during the GoPro Mountain Games at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.

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