May 22, 2019

Dear Body, I’m Sorry for everything I put you Through. ~ Rachel Brathen


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I am so grateful for my body.

At the end of my practice this morning, I put my hands on top of my heart and almost burst into tears with gratitude.

This body has been through so much. It’s held a lot of trauma. Loss. Fear. Pain.

I poisoned it with a pack of cigarettes a day for seven years straight. In my teens, I was black-out drunk more times than I can count. I used to pride myself on the fact that I could outdrink anyone, anytime. There were months, years, when I drank every day.

I spent the first 18 years of my life completely clueless about health, filling my body not only with alcohol, but with meat, fried foods, and pretty much anything served on a plate in front of me. The amount of refined sugar and processed foods I’ve had in my life is beyond. I used to love McDonald’s cheeseburgers and bright, neon-colored candy from the bulk aisle.

When I was stressed, I ate. When I was sad, I drank.

Then one day, I made my way to a meditation center—and my whole life changed. They didn’t serve any sugar or coffee or processed foods, and I didn’t understand why.

“Aren’t we here to meditate? To heal?” I asked. “How does food have anything to do with that?”

“What you put in your body is both the symptom and the cause of a lot of our pain,” they told me. “We don’t numb ourselves with anything here. We feel our feelings instead.”

I remember thinking it was all bullsh*t—that our minds were a separate thing from our bodies—but when it was over, I didn’t stop at the McDonald’s at the train station on my way home. I started drinking less. Quit smoking. Ate more vegetables. And two years later, when I met someone who was vegan for the first time in my life, it all made sense.

Everything vibrates at different frequencies. When I eat high-vibrational foods—plants and whole grains—the food on my plate becomes more than just fuel. It becomes a part of my healing. If I consume low-vibrational, processed foods, animals, or foods associated with fear, violence, pain, and death—they become part of the pain I’m trying to heal from.

Eat to heal. Heal to eat. Make kind choices whenever possible (it’s always possible).

And love your body. It’s been through so much.


author: Rachel Brathen/@yoga_girl

Image: Author's own

Editor: Nicole Cameron

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Kim Thompsen Jun 15, 2019 5:27am

Rachel, here is what I posted when I shared this article on FB: “I don’t follow her vegan diet, but here is an example of someone who was on a bad path of addiction and had a spiritual awakening. Some of us get that spiritual awakening by doing the 12 steps. Others, like Rachel, get it by other means. Whichever way we get it, it’s beautiful.”

Veer Pundir May 31, 2019 6:29am

Such a beautiful and inspirational article….. loved it.

Brett Harrison May 29, 2019 12:41pm

A few years back I was training for a half marathon. Two days prior to the run, I decided I wouldn’t have a beer until after. At that moment, I couldn’t recall the last day that had gone by without having at least one drink. I’ve also had an insane sweet tooth since I was a kid. At just 39 years old, I’ve now toed the line with gout (pun intended) for years, and sometimes a single drink or small dessert is followed by back pain the next day that makes me feel like I’m 80!
Thanks for sharing your journey, and for making shifts to to honor your body – the only one you’ll ever have!

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Rachel Brathen

Rachel Brathen is a yogi on a world tour. Born and raised in Sweden, she currently resides in the beautiful island of Aruba where she is busy teaching yoga at a resort in the mornings, coordinating retreats at noon, taking her three somewhat crazy dogs to the beach to keep up with the surf in the afternoon and trying to survive as a vegan (where no vegetables grow!) in the evenings. She firmly believes that life is not black or white – it’s black and white and blue and yellow with rays of pink and sparkle in between. You can teach yoga and still be a party animal. Meditate and ignore your spending problems. Be vegan and eat too much chocolate. Have a Swedish passport and live in the Caribbean. You can do anything, as long as it’s you! You can find Rachel on the beach, probably practicing her Astavakrasana, or on facebook.com/rachelsyoga.