Our vision is a world where every child is safe, loved and free from harm.
The Yoga Girl® Foundation supports women and children who suffer the consequences of trauma, injustice, abuse and poverty. We provide emotional, financial and medical aid to support healing and empower growth. The foundation was founded 2018 in Sweden by Rachel Brathen Schoneveld and Shama Persson.
A letter from Rachel & Shama
When we decided to create the Yoga Girl® brand, one of our biggest objectives was to do more good, to be of more service within our community, and to be of greater service to those outside our community who are really suffering.
One way to begin was to take a part of our business profits and donate these funds to world wide philanthropic causes. Another option was to create our own foundation where we think we can be of most service, through the help of our large and loving community of Yoga Girls.
It was very clear from the start that where our hearts ache the most is when women and children are suffering. We have both worked really hard on our relationship, to heal old wounds and to grow in love as a mother and daughter. With Lea Luna being born, the urgency to give became even stronger and the idea of a Yoga Girl® Foundation was born 2017. What we have we wish for everyone on the planet to have, a loving connection between mother and child, to be loved and safe, to have enough food, education and the basic needs met and the opportunity to grow and live a happy life.
These are our prioritised areas for the first years:
What you see now is just the beginning. We hope you will support us by being part of our community, by growing in love with yourself and others and sharing our vision. We truly believe that we can change the world by changing ourselves, and that to be of service to others is a major part on this path.
Rachel & Shama
#businessforchange -a new way to do good!
Businesses ordinarily contribute to charity by either choosing a cause that they support and using this as a marketing tool for "doing good" or by sharing end-of-year profits for a tax deduction. Much of this is about public perception of the business and marketing. We asked ourselves: is there another way where we can be more immediate and active on a daily basis? Is there a way that our business can support charity as we grow, that the more successful we are, the more difference we can make? Can we use the power of our big and loving community and the Yoga Girl® brand to do this? The answer was, yes, we can, let's try it! Here is our plan so far:
10% of all sales are donated
10% of all Yoga Girl® retail prices are earmarked for donations to the Yoga Girl® Foundation, so every product you buy will automatically contribute 10% of its retail price to the foundation.
A portion of profits from our collaborations are earmarked for donations to the Yoga Girl® Foundation. With some collaborations, like Amazon, we will donate 100% of our earnings to the foundation. For others, we will donate between 10% and 50% of our profits depending on the scope of the collaboration. Read more about #businessforchange here and the Amazon collaboration here.
We cannot do this without you! We are so happy for our sponsors and their generous donations to help us reach our goals. If you and your company wants to become a sponsor, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sometimes the need for support is bigger and we need to move quickly to make the most difference. At those moments Rachel will use her voice to address injustice and critical situations where you can contribute directly to taking action.
We will open up to receive your generosity as soon as possible. The Yoga Girl® Foundation was founded in Sweden, with an active branch in Aruba. A United States branch is in progress. As soon as all administrative and financial pieces are in place, we will be able to receive donations from the public. In the meantime, any funds collected through our partnerships are being held to be given to the foundation.
Yoga Girl® Foundation website
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and it also takes time to create a foundation. Our website is underway. We are currently researching and planning where funds given so far will be donated. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @yogagirlfoundation and you'll be the first to know when we are ready to receive. Thank you!
Hi! I'm Rachel Brathen; a Swedish native, New York Times best-selling author, serial entrepreneur, and international yoga teacher living in Aruba with my husband Dennis and our baby girl Lea Luna. After graduating from school in Stockholm, I traveled to Costa Rica where I found the joy of incorporating yoga into my everyday life.
Deepening my yoga practice and beginning teaching, I moved to Central America where I spent years exploring the intricate studies of yoga and spirituality. After moving to Aruba early 2010, I began teaching yoga full time with my classes being dynamic Vinyasa Flow and focused on integrating alignment, core work, and breathing techniques with basic poses and creative sequencing. My main lesson I aim to teach though, is that asana is only a small piece of the work done in the yoga shala.
I incorporate holistic therapeutic tools like sharing, active listening, and journaling in every session and there is a deep level of heart healing at the center of every class I teach. My classes serve the purpose of deepening a connection not only to ourselves, but with the people around us.
In 2016, Dennis and I opened [Island Yoga](https://islandyoga.com/) - the largest yoga studio in the Caribbean, where we host yoga teacher trainings, retreats, workshops, and classes year-round.
Giving back to the community has always been at the center of all of my initiatives – with the help of awesome staff and volunteers, I run two non-profit organizations: [Sgt. Pepper’s Friends](http://www.sgtpeppersfriends.com/); an animal rescue foundation based in Aruba, and [Yoga Girl® Foundation](https://www.yogagirlfoundation.com/), an organization benefitting women and children in need.
I love to share pieces of my life with the world and I do so every day through [social media](https://www.instagram.com/yoga_girl/). I am also the founder of one of the first online yoga platforms, the now-retired oneOeight.com, which was the most successful crowd-funded yoga project of all time.
That platform has since grown and transformed into the Yoga Girl site you're experiencing today, and is now made up of a vast [community](https://www.facebook.com/groups/yogagirlcommunity/) of dedicated practitioners from all over the world looking to cultivate balance, create space for inner healing, and to deepen their yoga practice.
Welcome! I’m Shama and apart from being Rachel’s mom, I’m a passionate innovator and I love challenges. I’ve been working with innovations and product development for almost two decades as a serial entreprenor. I have my background and education in IT and marketing but the years of running my own businesses with import and export probably tought me much more.
Being a part of Yoga Girl®, to work with my daughter in growing this company and movement is a challenge and an opportunity. I feel that age and years of experience is coming together in a beautiful way in the role I have here and my wish is to be of as much service as I can. I have a growing interest in the manufacturing process and want to find better ways to create and develop with more concern taken in every aspects. I am eager to learn what I don’t already know and to keep growing to become the best version of me possible.
My greatest joy is to spend as much time as I possibly can together with my children and Lea Luna. I practiced yoga for the first time in Costa Rica 2008 and have been a slow adopter. Today yoga is part of my daily practice at home and when in Aruba you will meet me at Island Yoga most days!
Hi, I'm Luzmar Izebelle, but you can call me Luz. I am the Project Manager for the Yoga Girl Foundation and am currently getting our Aruba Kids Project underway. I am busy behind the scenes doing research, taking meetings with organizations, and determining how best to allocate our resources to make the most impact for the children on the island.
I was born, raised, educated, and found my love for liquorice in Holland. However, I have 100% Aruban blood, curls, and dance moves. I've been dancing all my life! Since 2011 I've been teaching all sorts of dance classes, pilates, and my greatest love: yoga. In Amsterdam, I worked as a social worker and have experience in medical social work, holistic health & nutrition coaching and international social work & community development. I just moved to Aruba and am excited to contribute to the mission Yoga Girl is bringing to the world. When I am not working, you'll find me on my mat in the studio every damn day! I also love to write, bake, learn, and spend time with family and friends.
Executive Assistant, Program Team Content Lead, Certified Yoga Teacher
Hi! I'm Courtney and I'm Rachel's Executive Assistant. I work behind the scenes to keep all the calendars straight, the meetings managed, and the logistics running smoothly. In addition to my role with Yoga Girl, I also live on Aruba and frequently support our local animal shelter, Sgt. Pepper's Friends. On the side, I teach SUP yoga and create art - you can find my work gracing the walls at Island Yoga.
I am the company COO and the quintessential small town girl next door. In 2017, I officially joined the Yoga Girl group of companies after working as a key driver for yoga and community building in the Nordics (where I happen to meet Rachel & Dennis). I'm an American-Filipino living in Sweden (married to a Swede) and come from humble beginnings. Hard work and gratitude has served me well. For over two decades, I've held a variety of Sr. roles for mid-sized and global companies such as Microsoft Corporation and other start-ups where I learned the ropes of teamwork and adaptability; and I have been fortunate to work with brilliant people to bring forward initiatives and technology programs for brands such as KPMG, Siemens A&D and many more. However, my true calling lies in service and humanity where the real measurements are found in the heart. I wear many hats at Yoga Girl, and there is no job too big or too small. I've been teaching yoga since 2009 and I am a former yoga studio owner. Today, I oversee our global day-to-day operations while balancing motherhood to two amazing children, being a wife, and finding time to roll out my yoga mat.