International Yoga Instructor-Rachel Brathen

Swedish native, Rachel Brathen is an inspiring world traveler and a successful international yoga teacher.  She was kind enough to answer some of our questions and share some beautiful insights.

How has travel inspired you and your yoga?

I absolutely love traveling… I live for it. My family traveled a lot so growing up I was fortunate to see all corners of the world and ever since I was little I knew I was not meant to live in just one place. I love experiencing different cultures and seeing new places, and every country I go to brings something new to my practice. Through my travels I am never stagnant, always flowing… And now yoga takes me all over the world, I am so lucky!

rachel2Have you ever taught yoga as a “volunteer” or for trade? 

Oh yes, many times. I’ve traded yoga for massage, for acupuncture, for kite surf lessons… My regular classes are not about money. I charged $6 per class my first year of teaching in Aruba -I just wanted people to come to class! We are actually planning a very special kind of retreat right now that is absolutely free to make the beautiful community we create during our retreats available to all. More info coming up in a bit so stay tuned!

What is the best piece of advice you tell new yoga teachers?

Find your own voice. What makes you unique as a person? Use that in your teaching. Don’t try to be as your teachers, don’t imitate. Be who you are. When your role as a teacher merges completely with who you are outside the classroom, your classes will blossom. And – don’t be nervous! Remember that people ultimately aren’t there for you – they are there for themselves. Be genuine and it will reflect in your teachings.

Thank you Rachel, for sharing your words with Yoga Trade!

Keep up with Rachel and her Yoga Lifestyle at;



Words from an Inspiring Yoga Trader

Yoga Trade is stoked to introduce you to, yoga trade member, new yoga teacher, and Sunburnt and Salty blogger, Caitlin Lawson!  She grew up in South Carolina, recently graduated college in Florida, and is now living in Puerto Rico with her boyfriend following her dream of teaching yoga and surfing.  She was kind enough to answer a few of our questions.  Here are her inspiring words:

How has your teaching experience in Puerto Rico changed your life?

I’ve only been teaching in Puerto Rico for a very short time, but already my eyes have been opened up to a world full of possibilities.  I’m currently teaching at La Paz Yoga & Pilates Studio in Rincόn, Puerto Rico, it’s one of the few tree at stepsyoga studios in town, and I’ve already met so many incredible people from a variety of backgrounds.  Rincόn is a cool little town; it’s a melting pot of different people and cultures, yet it still has the essence of an authentic, Puerto Rican town.  It’s really neat to see the diversity of people who walk into the studio and practice alongside one another – it’s inspiring.  Teaching here has allowed me to really see the power that yoga has to offer:  bringing people together, building a community of people who, without yoga, wouldn’t even know each other. Teaching is such a humbling, yet rewarding, experience.  And while I am a “teacher,” I have learned through my teaching that I will forever be a student.  I never thought I’d find a teaching job so quickly, but a month into living here I was offered a position at La Paz.  I’d like to think that getting the job was fate, but either way, I’m so grateful to be sharing this incredible practice with others in such a beautiful town.  It doesn’t even feel like a job to me.  I feel like I’m really living the dream!

Would you recommend that other new yoga teachers travel and teach?

Absolutely!  Traveling, even if it’s just from city to city, teaches you so much about how other people live.  It also teaches you a lot about yourself.  I think it’s easy for people to get stuck in one place – kind of like a comfort zone – but yoga and traveling, are all about stepping out of your comfort zone, and creating community along the way!  Yoga, like surfing, is a beautiful way to bring people together. People may speak different languages or hold different beliefs, but can share the same passion for the practice of yoga, or the love of riding waves.

How do you feel about the idea of teaching yoga for “trade” or as a volunteer?

I think teaching yoga for trade, or as a volunteer, is a wonderful thing, especially for those of us yogis who yearn to travel!  In my opinion, teaching yoga is more than a means to make money.  It’s much deeper than that.  As a yoga teacher, you are sharing your experience with this incredible practice and guiding others along their own, personal journey.  Teaching yoga for trade is a powerful way to break down barriers and to connect with different people, different people that will most likely teach you a thing or two.  With all of the violence and crime and negativity going on these days, I think teaching yoga for trade, or as a volunteer, is just what the world needs.

What does the “spirit” of yoga mean to you?

The spirit of yoga, to me, means presence.  Staying present in every moment of my life. Not regretting my past or worrying about my future.  Knowing that wherever I am at that place or time is exactly where I’m supposed to be.  I used to think that yoga was just a physical practice, just about my time on my mat.  But through consistent practice, and my 200-hour training, I’ve learned that yoga is much, much more than that.  Yoga is how you live your day-to-day life.  It’s about giving up the things that no longer serve you so you can really enjoy, and really experience, this short time we have together on the beautiful planet Earth.


Keep up with Caitlin on her motivational blog, Sunburnt and Salty.

Welcome to Yoga Trade

Yoga is now a global phenomena – and there is room for everyone.  While steeped in rich traditions, yoga is also very much alive and adapting keenly to the needs of our modern humanity.  With this surge in interest, bountiful opportunities await to teach to every corner of the world.  Yoga Trade aims to both connect instructors with this burgeoning new world of opportunity and to make it easy for organizations to find quality instructors to work with.

It seems that everyone one is or knows a yoga teacher nowadays, and it’s true there are definitely more than ever.  But likewise, and fortunately, everyone is a student as well.  Yoga is being taught everywhere – community centers, offices, stand-up paddle boards, mountain tops, churches, high schools, prisons.  It seems to find a following wherever it is taught.  This is the incredible state of yoga today and there is no end in sight.Erica & Pat

Erica (founder of this project) has spent years traveling and teaching between the states, Central America, and Asia.  Through her experience, two things became very clear to her:  It could be much easier to find teaching opportunities and to locate interested instructors.  It was out of this simple observation, over dragon-fruit smoothies in Bali, that Yoga Trade was born.

Erica had just come from teaching in the Mentawai Islands, and my partner Christie and I were happily on the trip of a lifetime while away for the rainy season from our small yoga retreat in Costa Rica. What we all agreed on, and often found ourselves saying to friends is that the world is full of amazing opportunities and possibilities – that there is a path for everyone if you follow your bliss.

Easy to say you might think, but it couldn’t be more true as far as we’re concerned.  We can’t make it happen for you, but our goal in creating Yoga Trade is to make it one step easier for you on your own path, wherever it may be taking you next.