800-hugs

So, I’m like a professional hugger. I’m available to hire in case anyone needs a professional hug. I specialize in all types of hugs. Soft hugs, tight hugs, comforting hugs, tickle hugs (really good at that one), slow dance hugs, bed hugs, “lift you off the ground whilst spinning” hugs, you name it!

The best part? I charge $0.00 for my hugs. Buy 1 hug for $0, get every subsequent hug FREE! FOR LIFE!!

You can reach me at 1-800-HUG-LIFE.

EXTRA/ORDINARY ICON: RACHEL BRATHEN

The yoga influencer explains the beauty of philosophy’s Take a Deep Breath collection.

If there’s one thing we don’t do enough of in the age of the never-ending to-do list, it’s stop to take a deep breath. Oxygen is the #1 nutrient our body—and our skin—can’t live without. That’s why philosophy has started a breathing movement to inspire you to tune into your breath and help your skin recover from your busy lifestyle in the process. Take a Deep Breath is a new skincare collection powered by a patented clean-air technology that uses barley leaf extract and antioxidants to give skin the extra shot of oxygen it needs to fight free radicals. So while you’re out and about busy doing you, give yourself a break and #dontforgettobreathe. For the collection’s launch, we did just that—while holding downward-facing dog—alongside yoga influencer Rachel Brathen, @yoga_girl, to get her take on the beauty of breath, yoga, and more. JESS BLUMENSHEID

How did you become a yoga instructor?

“At first, yoga was something I had only dreamt of doing. Then when I did a teacher training [in Costa Rica], I decided that’s what I wanted to do full time. I started with friends at the beach, and anyone who wanted to do yoga with me I would teach. Two people would come, and I would be stoked about it.”

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome in your practice?

“I’ve had severe asthma since I was 4, so I never knew how to breathe. I practiced yoga for a year and half before I even realized I couldn’t breathe. I hadn’t realized the potential of what the breath truly means. Once I found that, it changed my entire life.”

What would you say is a common mistake or misconception about yoga?

“The biggest misconception is that yoga is not for everyone, when it’s really the one lifestyle that truly is for every single person. The foundation of yoga practice is not really about handstands—it’s all about the breath. You have to start from where you are. By becoming present with your breath, you can change whatever comes your way.”

What’s your yoga mantra?

“‘Trust that life will take you where you need to be.’ When things are going really well, we tend to take them for granted and start complaining about minor things. Then when things don’t go so well, we question, ‘Why is this happening?’ At the very least it’s teaching you if you could live without it, you wouldn’t have to go through with it, so ultimately you wouldn’t be here.”  

Who or what has been your biggest inspiration in your practice?

“The beginners who come to my classes and retreats are my biggest inspiration. It continues to blow my mind how people throw themselves into this practice, which can be completely terrifying and intimidating.”

Like whom?

“Last year I went on a book tour to 27 cities, where I taught yoga to mostly young women. Anyone who wants to stay after class, I’ll hug. I don’t do selfies anymore because it’s exhausting. But I’ll do hugs. Sometimes 800 people will stick around and there’ll be a five-hour line because they all want a hug.

“At the very end of one of those four-hour hugging marathons was this really tall, bearded guy. I thought maybe he was a boyfriend of someone. But when it was his turn, he hugged me and started bawling. He tells me how he was a veteran, was suffering from PTSD, and almost took his own life. Somehow in the process he found @yoga_girl on Instagram. The next day [he] took his first yoga class, which gave him an outlet and a community of people he could see every day. He said, ‘Yoga saved my life.’ And he found that through social media! Moments like that are the big ones.”

The “deep breath” moments.

“Yes!”

What inspires you about philosophy’s Take a Deep Breath collection?

“Everything. The foundation of philosophy’s Take a Deep Breath campaign is exactly what I teach. Whatever you’re going through in life, you have the ability to come back to a place where everything is okay. And that begins and ends with your breath. Learning how to breathe is really learning how to live in the moment. That’s the heart of everything I teach.”

You rarely work with other brands—what about philosophy’s #dontforgettobreathe campaign made you change your mind?

“I really resonate with the campaign and think it’s a nice message, versus here’s a bunch of stuff you need to put on your face to make you look prettier. It’s so genuine and real. Even the hashtag #dontforgettobreathe is something we take for granted. But it’s a reminder that we need to breathe every day. I’m really happy and proud to be part of this movement because it’s what we need today.”

How would you define beauty?

“It’s feeling at peace with who you are and where you’ve found yourself in life. We’re being fed every day that we’re not okay with the way we are. We need more people to say that it’s okay, and that begins with accepting yourself for who you are. I think it’s easier to take care of your body if you like yourself. That sounds simple, but it really isn’t these days.”

You’ve said you don’t like taking selfies or wearing a lot of makeup. Why is that?

“I don’t necessarily feel prettier if I do any of those things. It takes me further away from the moment. Whenever I have a photo shoot, I always feel my worst—especially if it involves a bunch of makeup and perfect hair. You would think having 30 people making sure you get that perfect shot would make you feel on top of the world, but that’s when I feel my most insecure.”

When do you feel like your best self?

“When I’m on the beach, makeup-free and barefoot—that’s the best because that’s who I really am. For me it’s about sharing what’s in the now. If you feel like, ‘OMG this would be a great moment. Wait! Let me perfect it,’ you’ve lost the moment. I usually share something because I have a thought I want to say. If I have to first orchestrate the picture in any way, I lose that wisdom.”

Shop philosophy’s Take a Deep Breath Collection >

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AHHH I REALISE SOMETHING
I REACHED 800+ FOLLOWERS
OMG THANK YOU ALL OF YOUU THAT FOLLOWED ME!

i’m so happy right now ;-;
i never thought i will reach 800 ;v;
oh geee just thank you all of you //hugs ♡