October 20, 2015
YOGA GIRL’S HUGE NEW PROJECT
Yoga Girl Rachel Brathen is already a mega-star. Now, with not one but two huge new projects, she shows us how she plans to make the world a better place: with a social platform like no other. Here are all the details on her latest project: One O Eight.
Last time we spoke you mentioned the launch of 109 World, but now you’ve surprised us with One O Eight. What is it and how did it come about?
It’s an online platform for yoga and healing. We have some of the world’s most amazing yoga teachers on the site. You can roll out your mat in front of the computer or TV and practice yoga every day. You can learn about meditation, and we also have some amazing chefs and nutritionists. It’s a place to come for overall balance.
Looks like you have amazing experts. How did you choose them as guides for the site?
Some of them are close friends and amazing teachers that I have practiced with for a long time. Everyone comes from a heart space — it’s not the most famous teachers on Instagram or anything like that. It’s the best teachers — at least for me — out there in the world.
We have another section on the website that’s about counseling and other types of healing work. The idea came from a huge outreach that I always had with people asking me for help and advice. Some lighter things and some intense things that I couldn’t really answer for them. Anything from eating disorders, loss, and depression — things like that. They made me think that there was a definite need for a real place of healing in the world, so I needed experts in each field.
Can the people asking for help connect with your guides directly?
It’s all video-based content and a subscription-based website. You can subscribe for $14 a month and get access to everything that’s available on the site every day. You can contact each teacher directly, and you can also communicate with the whole community. If you get to a place where you need face to face help, each guide can help you find an expert in your local area as well.
How did you come up with the name One O Eight?
108 is a sacred number. Within yoga specifically we have 108 mala beads used for meditation. They say there are 108 holy sights you can see in India before you die. There’s a lot of yoga-related meanings — but it also goes back to astrology, mathematics and geometry.
How long did it take for you to execute this idea?
It took a year and a half and a lot of hard work.
How does One O Eight tie in with the mission trips of 109 World?
109 World is the next step. It’s a non-profit mission organization. Everything that One O Eight does has a higher purpose. We want to enable each individual to find healing and balance on their own — but once they have that, we want them to use that heart or love you feel for yourself to make a change in the world around you. One O Eight’s guides can choose a cause of their own. 109 Wolrd works with seven different global causes, and we run social media campaigns to raise funds and awareness, and it peaks with a social mission trip. Kind of like a yoga retreat — but instead of doing yoga all day and laying on the beach, you actually do hands-on work.
Will each guide lead their own mission trip?
Yes. Technically, 109 World can work with any personality or big company and brand looking to improve their social profile and make a change.
Now that we get how 109 World operates, how does One O Eight work? Where are all your guides and how do you all make this operate?
They’re all over the world. A lot of the guides are in the U.S. and Canada, so it’s not that far, but we plan to expand. There’s a woman I really want to work with in Australia and some in Europe. We have our headquarters in Seattle and we’re planning on building a production studio in Aruba, where I live. We have our production team that we fly out to our guides or we fly our guides in to shoot here. But I really like the idea of being able to do it on the move and shoot in different locations all over the world.
I see you needed help with a Kickstarter campaign to kick things into gear. How did it go?
It finished on October 8, and One O Eight launched the exact second it ended. We raised $430,000. We were surprised — I didn’t know it would move that quickly. We met our goal within 23 hours. To me, it’s proof that this is really something that is needed. It’s not really just another workout platform. I really wanted a place for everyone to call home.
How did you come up with the four different “houses” on the site: move, calm, nourish and explore?
I wanted to cover what I feel are the main areas that people struggle with the most. Of course, it has the yoga base, which is where I come from. It think it’s such a beautiful online practice for physical, mental, emotional and everything you need for health.
Move is everything connected to the body — it’s all of our movement. Right now, it’s geared towards yoga, but if we get a big demand for something else, we might add it. People are wondering if we would do tai chi or Pilates. It’s not in the cards right now, but maybe in the future.
The second house is Calm – that’s where we have all our meditation, breath work, and also all of our counseling. We have a psychologist who focuses on eating disorders, a grief counselor, a holistic life coach, and an astrologer, — and we’re adding people as we go.
Then we have Nourish, which is everything related to food. I didn’t want it to be about – “This is what you should eat and this is what you shouldn’t eat.” A lot of it is about taking classes and learning how to appreciate your body for what it is. Not the idea of how to lose weight, but the idea of coming to the site to take cooking classes and learn new recipes and learn about nutrition if you want to lose weight. The idea is to question why you want to lose weight. Why are you telling yourself you’re not good enough the way you are, and is that a good way to start? There’s a more loving side to all of this.
Next is Explore. A lot of people are practicing yoga everyday, but they don’t take classes, and they’ve never had a teacher. It’s so important to be in a classroom with a community of people around you and have a teacher guide you, touch you and adjust you to build a relationship. So Explore is like a database, where you can connect with people that are active on the site, meet and take classes together. You can also type in your ZIP code and find a big database of One O Eight-approved places — they have our stamp of love. You don’t have to go to the gym to do yoga, but in your city there might be this little studio that we’re connected to and recommend. Also, if someone needs urgent help — like sometimes I get people reaching out with suicidal thoughts, people who are in a really horrible place. They shouldn’t be online looking for support, but people are. So I want Explore to be an extension for them to find face-to-face, real-life support.
What do you hope people get out of One O Eight?
I hope that people understand it’s a place for everyone. I know a lot of people come to the site to learn how to handstand, or they want to take a great vinyasa class every morning and make a smoothie afterwards — which is amazing. But I really want to spread the word that if you ever get to a place in life where you are struggling, this is the place to go – a little safe place. You don’t have to sit scrolling through Instagram for inspiration or help — you can actually come here. There are people out there that are really good at giving people tools and can provide that support.