SELF Magazine, 7 Ways Yoga Teacher Rachel Brathen Gets Up And Out

March 5, 2016

7 Ways Yoga Teacher Rachel Brathen Gets Up And Out

This yogi starts her mornings right.

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Photography by Nadya Wasylko / Styled by Kate Sebbah

For most of us, teaching yoga on a tropical island is a daydream. For Rachel Brathen, 27, it’s a thriving career. More than 1.8 million people follow the Aruba-based instructor on Instagram, where she shares pictures of beachside poses (and her many pets, including Penny Lane, a baby goat with 37,000 followers of her own). “There’s no typical morning,” Brathen says, but her days almost always kick off with plenty of Vinyasa flow.

1. Leisurely Start

“I usually wake up around seven. I don’t do well under stress, so I’d rather get up early than be rushing out the door.”

2. Digital Break

“I stay away from social media before 10 A.M. People are always shocked by that! The boundary keeps me more centered and lets me start the day better.”

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3. Yoga Session

“I practice Vinyasa—it’s very dynamic and sweaty. I always do Sun Salutations. It’s a good way to build heat in the morning. If I have 20 minutes, I’ll do 10 of those and two or three poses to wind down, then Savasana.”

4. Eclectic Mix

“Sometimes, without music, I might lose motivation after 30 minutes. So I make new Spotify playlists almost every week. I like old-school hip-hop like Biggie Smalls and Tupac, and I’ve been playing a ton of Bon Iver and Alina Baraz.”

5. Super Smoothie

“My standard is called Everything I Have Left in the Fridge. I mix fruit with kale or chard, and I keep berries in the freezer—they take bitterness away from the greens.”

6. Protective Beauty 

“I wear a hat in the sun and Origins A Perfect World SPF 25 Age-Defense Moisturizer [$43] on my face. I air-dry my hair and use argan oil or Alba Botanica So Smooth Gardenia Hawaiian Anti-Frizz serum [$9] on my ends.”

7. Easy Transition

“I like staying in bed—not snoozing, because that delays the inevitable. But if you have five minutes to cuddle with whoever shares your bed—with a husband, a girlfriend, or five dogs and a goat!—it’s a nice transition from opening your eyes to actually waking up.”