Note: elephantjournal.com received these review items for free, in return for a guarantee that we would review said offering. That said, we say what we want—good and bad, happy and sad.
Two weeks ago I received an email asking if I’d like to review Rachel Brathen’s Yoga Girl book and the excitement after reading that email was probably as big as when I saw whales for the first time (which is a huge deal for a Free Willy fan like myself).
I don’t think I need to explain the dancing and the silent screams of joy after I received the book a few days later.
As much as I wanted to dive right in and read it in one go, I didn’t. I wanted to take my time and read it when I didn’t have a gazillion other things on my mind and when that day finally came, the book was finished in a few hours.
If you’re into yoga and use Instagram as one of your sources of inspiration, there’s a great chance you know Rachel Brathen, also known as @yoga_girl—a yoga instructor from Sweden, living in Aruba and making us all jealous (in a good way) with her bohemian yoga life posts.
Truth to be told, I didn’t know what exactly to expect when I first heard about the book being published. I’ve always been inspired by Rachel’s Instagram posts and her writing in general but didn’t know what exactly the book is going to include and I have to say, I was very pleasantly surprised.
The book itself is divided in seven chapters and each one of them is a perfect conglomerate of Rachel’s personal story, few recipes and a yoga sequence.
It begins at the, well, the beginning—it starts with an introduction to yoga, a guide through the basics of Sun Salutations and Rachel’s childhood story. As the author grows older in her stories, the yoga sequences progress—after Sun Salutations come hip openers and twists, then core work and arm balances and just before the end, the grand finale also known as handstands. The last chapter of the book is all about winding down, silence and meditation.
What I loved about the book is the mix of her personal story with recipes and explanation of yoga poses which makes it so much more fun to read and doesn’t turn into an ordinary autobiography (not that travelling around the world, teaching yoga and being an inspiration could ever be ordinary).
It’s one of those books that I’ll pick up from time to time to read a sentence or two when I’m feeling down or just to remind myself of the little trick that makes chaturanga a little easier or how to make that perfect guacamole.
For me, the book was like a perfect yoga class—it left me inspired, relaxed and at the same time gave me tons of ideas (and itchy feet again, oops!).
I’m hoping this isn’t her last book—it would be great to be able to get some more delicious recipes or insights on different yoga sequences but until then, I’ll just keep re-reading this one and trying to master the perfect raw banana ice cream à la Yoga Girl.
Author: Katarina Tavčar
Editor: Katarina Tavčar
Photo: Author’s own