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“Rachel beautifully illustrates that loving fiercely and grieving deeply are often two halves of the same whole. Her story will break you down and lift you up.” —Glennon Doyle, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Love Warrior and founder of Together Rising While on her way to teach a yoga retreat in March 2014, Rachel Brathen collapses at an airport, brought to her k “Rachel beautifully illustrates that loving fiercely and grieving deeply are often two halves of the same whole. Her story will break you down and lift you up.” —Glennon Doyle, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Love Warrior and founder of Together Rising While on her way to teach a yoga retreat in March 2014, Rachel Brathen collapses at an airport, brought to her knees by excruciating stomach pains. She is rushed to the hospital on the tiny island of Bonaire, and hours later forced to undergo surgery. When she wakes up from anesthesia, her boyfriend is weeping at her bedside. While Rachel was struck down with seemingly mysterious pain, her best friend, Andrea, sustained fatal injuries as a result of a car accident. Rachel and Andrea had a magical friendship. Though they looked nothing alike—one girl tall, blond, and Swedish, the other short, brunette, and Colombian—everyone called them gemelas: twins. Over the three years following Andrea’s death, at what might appear from the outside to be the happiest time—with her engagement to the man she loves and a blossoming career that takes her all over the world—Rachel faces a series of trials that have the potential to define her life. Unresolved grief and trauma from her childhood make the weight of her sadness unbearable. At each turn, she is confronted again and again with a choice: Will she lose it all, succumb to grief, and grasp for control that’s beyond her reach? Or can she move through the loss and let go? When Rachel and her husband conceive a child, pregnancy becomes a time to heal and an opportunity to be reborn herself. As she recounts this transformative period, Rachel shares her hard-won wisdom about life and death, love and fear, what it means to be a mother and a daughter, and how to become someone who walks through the fire of adversity with the never-ending practice of loving hard and letting go.


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“Rachel beautifully illustrates that loving fiercely and grieving deeply are often two halves of the same whole. Her story will break you down and lift you up.” —Glennon Doyle, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Love Warrior and founder of Together Rising While on her way to teach a yoga retreat in March 2014, Rachel Brathen collapses at an airport, brought to her k “Rachel beautifully illustrates that loving fiercely and grieving deeply are often two halves of the same whole. Her story will break you down and lift you up.” —Glennon Doyle, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Love Warrior and founder of Together Rising While on her way to teach a yoga retreat in March 2014, Rachel Brathen collapses at an airport, brought to her knees by excruciating stomach pains. She is rushed to the hospital on the tiny island of Bonaire, and hours later forced to undergo surgery. When she wakes up from anesthesia, her boyfriend is weeping at her bedside. While Rachel was struck down with seemingly mysterious pain, her best friend, Andrea, sustained fatal injuries as a result of a car accident. Rachel and Andrea had a magical friendship. Though they looked nothing alike—one girl tall, blond, and Swedish, the other short, brunette, and Colombian—everyone called them gemelas: twins. Over the three years following Andrea’s death, at what might appear from the outside to be the happiest time—with her engagement to the man she loves and a blossoming career that takes her all over the world—Rachel faces a series of trials that have the potential to define her life. Unresolved grief and trauma from her childhood make the weight of her sadness unbearable. At each turn, she is confronted again and again with a choice: Will she lose it all, succumb to grief, and grasp for control that’s beyond her reach? Or can she move through the loss and let go? When Rachel and her husband conceive a child, pregnancy becomes a time to heal and an opportunity to be reborn herself. As she recounts this transformative period, Rachel shares her hard-won wisdom about life and death, love and fear, what it means to be a mother and a daughter, and how to become someone who walks through the fire of adversity with the never-ending practice of loving hard and letting go.

30 review for To Love and Let Go

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I had never heard of yoga girl before reading this book and picked it up on a whim as I work to develop more of my own yoga practice. This book was strange and disjointed and the pacing was odd. Also, the author comes across as kind of entitled? Like signing up for a meditation retreat late, being upset and fighting for a single room until someone gives her their apartment. Everyone else is sharing Rachel you can too’n She casually gets married in a castle. She has the means to fly all over and I had never heard of yoga girl before reading this book and picked it up on a whim as I work to develop more of my own yoga practice. This book was strange and disjointed and the pacing was odd. Also, the author comes across as kind of entitled? Like signing up for a meditation retreat late, being upset and fighting for a single room until someone gives her their apartment. Everyone else is sharing Rachel you can too’n She casually gets married in a castle. She has the means to fly all over and just move to Aruba after school. She is upset or disgruntled with her fans for a lot of the book.There’s a lot of underlying privileges and entitlement that went on. I appreciate Rachel’s vulnerability and her willingness to share her story, that in which there are some truly tragic pieces. This saves this book from being a one star for me. Otherwise, it just didn’t vibe with me.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rick Buttafogo

    Wow. I read this knowing zero about Yoga Girl Rachel Brathen. I read so I knew something about her prior to meeting her on her book tour. It’s simply a miracle this woman has her head on straight and has found love, success, and stability. From her moms multiple suicide attempts, her parents numerous marriages, divorces and kids, and the death of her best friend, this woman easily could have taken a wrong turn. Instead she forged ahead and made a life for herself and her family. Much respect goe Wow. I read this knowing zero about Yoga Girl Rachel Brathen. I read so I knew something about her prior to meeting her on her book tour. It’s simply a miracle this woman has her head on straight and has found love, success, and stability. From her moms multiple suicide attempts, her parents numerous marriages, divorces and kids, and the death of her best friend, this woman easily could have taken a wrong turn. Instead she forged ahead and made a life for herself and her family. Much respect goes to her. She is the poster child for "survivor"!!!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    Full disclosure, I've never read anything by this author of even heard of her before. This book was just some of the story was really moving, but I found it hard to care about the author because of her attitude. I had a bunch of eyeroll moments and had to put it down a few times because the story would get boring. It was just an okay book. Full disclosure, I've never read anything by this author of even heard of her before. This book was just some of the story was really moving, but I found it hard to care about the author because of her attitude. I had a bunch of eyeroll moments and had to put it down a few times because the story would get boring. It was just an okay book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Steph LaPlante

    This book was so beautiful. Rachel Brathens first book helped me overcome a hard time in my life and this book helped me have some intense realizations about myself. This book is so unbelievably honest and beautiful. I cried many many times and laughed. Definitely recommend.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cherie

    As a fan of Rachel's persona of Yoga Girl (great yoga sequences, nice mission, great honesty, lots of sharing on her podcast and Instagram), I see the appeal for her audience. "To Love and Let Go" is a memoir of some terrible losses in her life, and how she tries to make sense of it. While her honesty is appreciated, and fans will enjoy the sharing, the pacing felt off - could have used a bit more editing. Still, a nice story and will inspire others to move on beyond grief and to know that they As a fan of Rachel's persona of Yoga Girl (great yoga sequences, nice mission, great honesty, lots of sharing on her podcast and Instagram), I see the appeal for her audience. "To Love and Let Go" is a memoir of some terrible losses in her life, and how she tries to make sense of it. While her honesty is appreciated, and fans will enjoy the sharing, the pacing felt off - could have used a bit more editing. Still, a nice story and will inspire others to move on beyond grief and to know that they are not alone. She is a great person and does wonderful things (her charities, critique of things that are not okay, etc).

  6. 4 out of 5

    Marika

    Author Rachel Brather (Yoga Girl) has more than 1 million followers on Instagram and for good reason. Rachel is the quintessential purveyor of optimism and inspirational quotes. Readers would think that she's had the perfect, stress-free life, but quite the contrary. She writes about her self doubt, her insecurities, and most importantly, the death of her best friend. This book will inspire you to get healthy, stay healthy and appreciate life to the fullest. I read an advance copy and was not com Author Rachel Brather (Yoga Girl) has more than 1 million followers on Instagram and for good reason. Rachel is the quintessential purveyor of optimism and inspirational quotes. Readers would think that she's had the perfect, stress-free life, but quite the contrary. She writes about her self doubt, her insecurities, and most importantly, the death of her best friend. This book will inspire you to get healthy, stay healthy and appreciate life to the fullest. I read an advance copy and was not compensated

  7. 5 out of 5

    Marta

    2.5 -3 stars. I think you have to be the author's real true fan to enjoy it fully. For me, it just feels and reads like everything she's ever said on her podcast, written down and in form of a book. I heard all of these stories already and it's a bit (how to call it) boring? to be reading the same stories all over again. Some paragraphs are beautiful while others are a bit cringeworthy. It's a memoir and it's Rachel's story. Not for everyone, I'd say, you have to really dig the way she perceives 2.5 -3 stars. I think you have to be the author's real true fan to enjoy it fully. For me, it just feels and reads like everything she's ever said on her podcast, written down and in form of a book. I heard all of these stories already and it's a bit (how to call it) boring? to be reading the same stories all over again. Some paragraphs are beautiful while others are a bit cringeworthy. It's a memoir and it's Rachel's story. Not for everyone, I'd say, you have to really dig the way she perceives the world. And I just cannot stop thinking about white privilege, there. I said it aloud.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Laja

    This book speaks straight from the heart. I love her spirit and the way she fought so hard for the life she has. This book goes through the ugly stages of grief but also the process of healing and learning to love and let go. A nice reminder to trust in a divine spirit of some kind, a power bigger than us and know that love is ultimately why we're here and everything is going to be okay. I found this book to be inspiring and the author has a beautiful way with words. Really enjoyed it! This book speaks straight from the heart. I love her spirit and the way she fought so hard for the life she has. This book goes through the ugly stages of grief but also the process of healing and learning to love and let go. A nice reminder to trust in a divine spirit of some kind, a power bigger than us and know that love is ultimately why we're here and everything is going to be okay. I found this book to be inspiring and the author has a beautiful way with words. Really enjoyed it!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dina

    @yoga_girl no doubt has a healthy social media presence with over 2 million Instagram followers. Her reach is solid and her followers find something in her that is worthy of their time. However, by reading her memoir I was unable to find that connection and found her writing to be superficial. How can I be so off with such an influencer? My only explanation is that there is an age gap and that #yogi_girl is able to connect with a much younger audience than myself. I look forward to the memoir th @yoga_girl no doubt has a healthy social media presence with over 2 million Instagram followers. Her reach is solid and her followers find something in her that is worthy of their time. However, by reading her memoir I was unable to find that connection and found her writing to be superficial. How can I be so off with such an influencer? My only explanation is that there is an age gap and that #yogi_girl is able to connect with a much younger audience than myself. I look forward to the memoir that she will write in 20 or 30 years that I am sure will be more mature with deeper reflections, and will allow a connection with a different audience.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nikki H

    I'm disappointed by this book. Three women at my yoga studio SWORE by this book, they told me it was life changing and essential read about growth, loss, grief, and working through your trauma. It was an added bonus that yoga and meditation were also at the forefront of Rachel and her journey. Everything felt too neat like it was wrapped up into a little bow. Life isn't like that. Something about this book felt incomplete. I learned a few valuable lessons about self love and listening to your bo I'm disappointed by this book. Three women at my yoga studio SWORE by this book, they told me it was life changing and essential read about growth, loss, grief, and working through your trauma. It was an added bonus that yoga and meditation were also at the forefront of Rachel and her journey. Everything felt too neat like it was wrapped up into a little bow. Life isn't like that. Something about this book felt incomplete. I learned a few valuable lessons about self love and listening to your body but besides that it was a lukewarm read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    DNF. Not for me.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mary Drover

    Where do I even start with this review? Well, Rachel started at the end and ended with the beginning, so I’m going to flip that and tell you how I got here in the first place. March 26, 2015 Truthfully, it begins earlier than this, but I think this is a good starting point. First, I’ve talked about my yoga journey in a few different places: The Weight Loss Blog, Yoga Mat Reviews, and Cultural Appropriation in Western Yoga. The tl;dr of it is that I started practicing yoga in December 2010, and it s Where do I even start with this review? Well, Rachel started at the end and ended with the beginning, so I’m going to flip that and tell you how I got here in the first place. March 26, 2015 Truthfully, it begins earlier than this, but I think this is a good starting point. First, I’ve talked about my yoga journey in a few different places: The Weight Loss Blog, Yoga Mat Reviews, and Cultural Appropriation in Western Yoga. The tl;dr of it is that I started practicing yoga in December 2010, and it saved my life. And no, I’m not being dramatic. I wish you could see when you started following someone on Instagram, but alas, a quick Google search tells me there’s no way. It honestly probably wasn’t too long before this picture, but who can really say for sure. When I first posted about Rachel Brathen on Tumblr, it was February 2015, but that was when she was still doing video bundles on her website and wasn’t even close to launching the Kickstarter for oneoeight, so I’d guess maybe 2014? 2013? Either way, it’s been a long time. When she released her first book, Yoga Girl , I was ecstatic. It was coming out a few days before my birthday, and the signing closest to me was going to be in CT (about 2 hours drive). My brother bought me the book for my birthday, and gave it to me the day of the event. My dad is an absolute saint and drove me through rain and wind to CT where we sat in a church and waited while Rachel got stuck in traffic. These were back in the Snapchat days, and I religiously checked her Snapchat for updates, which meant I started freaking out when I saw her Snapping that she was running up to the church. I spun around, smacking my dad in my excitement, and there she was, beaming as she walked in. I completely blacked out when it was my turn to talk to her, but my dad filmed it, so I definitely did talk to her. I’d made her a green dreamcatcher because she’d been going through a lot lately, and I wanted to give her something the color of the heart chakra, to maybe help a little. She told me that Dennis was absolutely going to roll his eyes when he saw that she had another dreamcatcher. I felt like I was on a cloud. She gave me two incredible hugs, I told her she was such an inspiration and thanked her for everything that she did, and then I was on my merry way. It’s still, to this day, one of the most memorable nights of my life. We drove home through the worst fog ever, so bad that I had to stick my head out the window on a dark, winding road to make sure my dad didn’t drive off the road. A few days later, she would go on to become a NYT bestseller, and I honestly didn’t even have to look at the picture to remember it. [image error] I remember having this overwhelming sense of pride. SHE DID IT! I was so excited, and so proud, of Rachel for accomplishing something so amazing! And the book deserved it. It was unlike any other yoga book I’ve ever read, and still is unlike any of them. Truthfully, I’ve not read a lot because they usually amount to the same thing–here are a bunch of poses, with no modifications offered, and if you can’t do it, then you’re not cut out for this. Rachel is also about inclusion and respect, and it’s one of the reasons I adore the work that she does. Yoga Girl is all of that, too, and I felt so lucky that I was able to meet her and let her know what an impact she was having. I mean, she lived in Aruba, and here I was, driving two hours from MA to CT just because she’d spoken that loudly. I kept following her story, liking every picture on Instagram, and never thinking that I’d get to see her again. And then, just like that, she posted about how she was going to be teaching a class in New Jersey. I don’t know how I missed the original announcement, but it was late at night when I saw it, the date was only five days away, and I did some quick math. I could afford it, the drive would be hellish, but probably doable, and you know what? I was going. November 13, 2016 To get to NJ was a five-hour drive, and with the class at eleven, I gave myself an hour of getting lost and pee break time. I left at 5AM, and it was kind of an incredible ride. I listened to the radio, just letting whatever came on sweep me away. I watched the sunrise as I drove down the highway. Though I’ve been to NY a few times, I’d never been to Manhattan, and as I was driving along a bridge into NJ, I looked to the left, and there Manhattan was, a little peninsula sitting away from the state proper. It was pretty neat. If I’m remembering correctly, it was a 90-minute class, Dennis & Ringo were there, and I got two assists during child’s pose and savasana. It was such a wonderful experience, even with the 6-hour drive home the same day. Yes, I know I’m insane. But you have to understand–in a world where a lot of Instagram yoga instructors shove brands in your face, talk about weight loss constantly, or tell you that you’re not doing it right, Rachel Brathen is a beacon. She is a big advocator for yoga for every body, and one of my favorite things about her is how real she is when it comes to life. She’s just a human being, like every single other person in this world, and she has good days and bad, and she’s not here to be fake, or filter her life, or give you anything but love. And so, when Rachel started talking about her new book, I was immediately excited. Nothing else mattered but that she was writing something new to share with the world. I silently cheered her on, and I told anyone who would listen how excited I was. I preodered it seconds after it went live, and I dropped everything to read it. Going into To Love and Let Go, I knew what it was about. In a time of confusion and upheaval, Rachel experienced three enormous losses–her best friend, her grandmother, and her first dog. After years of childhood trauma and trying to figure out who she was as an adult, she was finally starting to feel a little settled when all three followed on the heels of each other. Going in, I knew this. I knew Andrea’s story. I’ve read about it through Rachel’s Instagram. I knew Pepper’s story. He’s the whole reason behind her animal nonprofit. I even knew a little bit about her grandmother. None of this was news to me. So why did I cry every hour while reading this book? Because though my best friend did not die, he did walk away from me. He did hurt me beyond words. He did take my heart and rip it in pieces until it would heal with scar tissue and darkness and anger. He didn’t die, but it feels like he did. And honestly, just even writing this right now, I want to cry. I did so much goddamn crying yesterday. I started crying at about page 20, when five-year-old Rachel thinks it’s her fault that her stepdad died. I cried when I read about twenty-something Rachel collapsing on an airport tarmac at the same moment her best friend was in a head-on collision with a truck. I cried when Rachel held the cold feet of her dying grandmother. I cried when Pepper stumbled and woke up blind. I cried when Rachel suddenly burst into tears in the middle of a class, and the student she was assisting said, I know. I lost someone, too. Crap, I’m crying now, too. Because friendship loss is one of the most difficult things in the world to experience. You chose this person, and you love them more than anything, and you want nothing but happiness for them. You want them in your life always by choice, and to lose that? It’s the worst. The absolute worst. At one point, Rachel wonders how many more times she can expect her husband to keep picking her up off the floor. She wonders if people think she’s crazy when she breaks down in an airport and just sits on the floor to cry. She wonders how much pain is too much pain. She wonders if this is all worth it, or if maybe she should just walk into the ocean and let it all end. I wonder those same things. How many more times can I talk about Jack before people get sick of hearing about it? How long am I allowed to grieve the loss of his friendship before people start to label me? When does the grieving end? When is the pain over? Is it ever going to go away, or am I just supposed to sit here with this ache in my soul for the rest of my life? A lot of these questions ran through my head while I was reading, right up until the airport chapter. Andrea, her grandmother, and Pepper were dead. Rachel was returning from Costa Rica after visiting with Andrea’s family and settling Andrea’s house. She has Ringo with her, but there’s a new form that he needs, and she doesn’t have it. They won’t let her fly until he’s seen a vet and has been cleared for ten days. “You can’t go home,” the security offer says, and everything just breaks. Rachel’s knees give out. She’s been keeping up appearances for so long, and all she wants to do is go home, and now she can’t. She sits down in the middle of the airport, and she starts crying hysterically. She wraps around Ringo, holding him close, and just sobs against his heartbeat. She can’t do this anymore. She needs a break. She cries, and she cries, and she cries, and when she finally musters up the strength to look back up, the security guard is handing her back Ringo’s papers. “Go home,” he says, “Whatever you’re going through, it’s going to pass. The only way out is through.” She stares at him for a second, and then she collects her things and walks away. She goes home. But that line keeps ringing in my head. The only way out is through. September 3, 2019 I made a promise to my students the other night. I shared a little of my story, and I told them I was going to start working on heart openers again. I told them I was ready to start healing, to start doing it myself instead of relying on others. I was going to put in the damn work. I’d forgotten what Rachel’s book was about, or even that it was coming out soon. That happens to me with preorders. They just show up in the mail, and it’s like surprise books! But I told them to hold me accountable. If we don’t work on heart openers, I said, feel free to yell at me. I’m done hiding. And then To Love and Let Go arrived in the mail, and wouldn’t you know, when you tell the universe you’re ready to start letting go and loving again, it throws all of that energy straight in your face. [image error] So, we’ve arrived at the end. (For now.) When I first started yoga, I just thought it was a cool addition to this new Buddhism thing I was trying out. I never thought it was going to change my life. I never thought it was going to save me over and over again. I never thought I was going to drive eleven hours in one day just to take a yoga class. But here I am, nine years later, and I’m still learning more and more from this practice every day. If you’re ready for it, To Love and Let Go is a phenomenal book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sian Lile-Pastore

    tbh this was a bit triggering for me and i cried through most of it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Becca Ferguson

    I absolutely could not finish this book. I put it down and came back to it several times. My friend bought me this book hoping it would help me with the losses I’ve had and moving on. Well for starters I didn’t grow up rich and I’m still not rich. I could not relate to her at all. Honestly, the book made me more depressed. If I could travel and get away maybe I could heal. But since my life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows on a platter it was not for me. Maybe I’ll win the lottery and pick it bac I absolutely could not finish this book. I put it down and came back to it several times. My friend bought me this book hoping it would help me with the losses I’ve had and moving on. Well for starters I didn’t grow up rich and I’m still not rich. I could not relate to her at all. Honestly, the book made me more depressed. If I could travel and get away maybe I could heal. But since my life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows on a platter it was not for me. Maybe I’ll win the lottery and pick it back up but for now I’m giving up on this book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Brianna

    Such an amazing book from one of my favourite people! Had me crying at times, experiencing love and feeling like I could connect on so many levels. Love you Yoga Girl!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    It’s hard to rate a memoir, it’s Rachel’s story and I can’t really judge it? This is a very honest book— she’s been through a lot and talks about it in a way I think is relatable to many readers, especially her followers—and so kudos to her for writing so openly about it. It’s a very emotional book, and there are some proper gold nuggets in there to take away, for sure. (Bring tissues) But for me parts were waaaaay toooo new agey, but if you’re into that I’m sure you’ll love those parts too. I’m It’s hard to rate a memoir, it’s Rachel’s story and I can’t really judge it? This is a very honest book— she’s been through a lot and talks about it in a way I think is relatable to many readers, especially her followers—and so kudos to her for writing so openly about it. It’s a very emotional book, and there are some proper gold nuggets in there to take away, for sure. (Bring tissues) But for me parts were waaaaay toooo new agey, but if you’re into that I’m sure you’ll love those parts too. I’m not, those are the parts of yoga and meditation that I struggle to even—agh idk, accept?— so keeping from eye rolling my way through descriptions of shaman rituals, hallucinogenic rituals, seeing symbolism and meaning in exactly everything, and so on and so forth, was very hard for me. I’m gonna go ahead and be a bit of a hypocrite here too, because I’ve seen a lot of people thinking that she comes across as very entitled, and I had the same thought, and then I thought that well, so are probably most of her readers too (yes we are), which is probably why so many can relate to the book and the trauma in the first place, because it’s something most have gone through in one way or another, we’re not talking massive war trauma. (We’re talking death of loved ones and broken families.) My being a hypocrite part: I still thought it felt too entitled even though I know I am too? I was annoyed at her considering a home birth cause hospitals are too sterile, I bet many women wished they could have the safety of giving birth in a hospital with doctors helping both them and their children, especially if something goes wrong. I was annoyed at how ME ME ME ME ME these meditation retreats were, I get it, find yourself and bla bla bla (again, such an entitled thing to be able to fly across the world to meditate) and no, you can’t save everyone but maybe a bit of balance between taking responsibility even when it’s hard and not taking on too much? Idk, this isn’t a criticism on Rachel or the book, per se, more on the fairy egotistical philosophy and the whole culture surrounding these retreats (aimed at wealthy-ish, mainly westerners). I didn’t enjoy those parts of the book at all, mainly because reading about it doesn’t interest me. The other parts, where she gets very personal and writes about her losses or her childhood, her toxic and violent relationship and her decision to move from Sweden, however, I really did like. That felt genuine and relatable. So, excuse my rant, but I think if you’re a fan of Yoga Girl, if you’re interested in reading detailed stories from rituals and retreats, then yes, you’ll love it. If you’re looking for a profound book on how to deal with grief and loss... well, maybe read something else? Like it’s about that too, but not in a way that’ll give you healthy coping mechanisms or anything like that, it’s more watching someone else go through it, and sure, perhaps you’ll take something from that too. Idk, read it and take away the parts that speak to you and leave the rest behind.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Dur

    Buy it, clear your schedule, be ready to open your heart and a new box of tissues. There is something so unique about Rachel’s authenticity, her real voice, her whole heart that comes through in not just her podcast but also her writing in this book—a heart wrenching and uplifting journey of loving deeply and lots of loss. If you have been following Rachel’s journey for years or if you’ve just come across her for the first time and if you are looking for inspiration for your own path towards hea Buy it, clear your schedule, be ready to open your heart and a new box of tissues. There is something so unique about Rachel’s authenticity, her real voice, her whole heart that comes through in not just her podcast but also her writing in this book—a heart wrenching and uplifting journey of loving deeply and lots of loss. If you have been following Rachel’s journey for years or if you’ve just come across her for the first time and if you are looking for inspiration for your own path towards healing and awakening, she will speak to you, you will resonate with her story. Again, and I can’t recommend this enough, buy her book and be ready to not be able to put it down. Thank you, Rachel, for opening your heart again and again and again.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marta

    2.5 -3 stars. I think you have to be the author's real true fan to enjoy it fully. For me, it just feels and reads like everything she's ever said on her podcast, written down and in form of a book. I heard all of these stories already and it's a bit (how to call it) boring? to be reading the same stories all over again. Some paragraphs are beautiful while others are a bit cringeworthy. It's a memoir and it's Rachel's story. Not for everyone, I'd say, you have to really dig the way she perceives 2.5 -3 stars. I think you have to be the author's real true fan to enjoy it fully. For me, it just feels and reads like everything she's ever said on her podcast, written down and in form of a book. I heard all of these stories already and it's a bit (how to call it) boring? to be reading the same stories all over again. Some paragraphs are beautiful while others are a bit cringeworthy. It's a memoir and it's Rachel's story. Not for everyone, I'd say, you have to really dig the way she perceives the world. And I just cannot stop thinking about white privilege, there. I said it aloud.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    5/5 to Rachel Brathen’s ”To Love and Let Go: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Gratitude”. (You might know her as Yoga Girl.) No words can describe the emotions that are stirring in my head and heart after having listened to Rachel read her life story (so far). My whole body resonates COMPASSION after this moving experience. Her narration is vivid and heart-breaking. It went straight to my heart and it broke me down but then instilled hope in me. I hope this audiobook (or book) will reach many more.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Rachel Brathen is the epitome of nearly everything I want to be. It always blows my mind when I read her musings or watch her life unfold on social media: this woman is the same age as I am, and she has everything I feel lacking in my own life. Wisdom, authenticity, confidence, a strong sense of spirituality, freedom, abundant joy, natural motherhood, relentless passion, a career she loves, the ability to express emotion (pleasant or otherwise) publicly and unapologetically. I’m sure she’d tell Rachel Brathen is the epitome of nearly everything I want to be. It always blows my mind when I read her musings or watch her life unfold on social media: this woman is the same age as I am, and she has everything I feel lacking in my own life. Wisdom, authenticity, confidence, a strong sense of spirituality, freedom, abundant joy, natural motherhood, relentless passion, a career she loves, the ability to express emotion (pleasant or otherwise) publicly and unapologetically. I’m sure she’d tell you she doesn’t feel all of that– what human does?– but she has this way of existing that is completely and totally HER. She radiates life, and it makes me crave that for myself. I knew I’d go through this book quickly (it took me 24 hours, for the record), and I knew it would be a challenge for me, also. Because I’m struggling to find my own identity and my own place in life, it can be quite painful to see someone my own age seemingly so much farther along in the process. This book made me ache in many ways. Don’t get me wrong– the ache is important. And it means that this is a well-written book, and well worth reading. Rachel’s story is incredible. It’s emotional and raw; full of joy, sorrow, and everything in between. And while I may never have a story that is interesting enough to share with the world in this way, I do sincerely hope I can manifest the kind of wisdom and perception that allows me to finally see such beauty and purpose in my own world.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Fiel

    I can see how this book might not be for everyone. You'd either have to be a fan of YogaGirl, a bit woo-woo, or a hippie. Being the highly emotional but also deeply critical person that I am, I did see the cheesiness, but also was able to see past it. I cried a bunch of times because we share similar traumatic experiences, or feel emotions the same deep way. It's written exactly how you expect Rachel Brathen to write about her life, with the same voice and vulnerability she uses on her online plat I can see how this book might not be for everyone. You'd either have to be a fan of YogaGirl, a bit woo-woo, or a hippie. Being the highly emotional but also deeply critical person that I am, I did see the cheesiness, but also was able to see past it. I cried a bunch of times because we share similar traumatic experiences, or feel emotions the same deep way. It's written exactly how you expect Rachel Brathen to write about her life, with the same voice and vulnerability she uses on her online platforms. Don't expect justifications of the supernatural/serendipitous moments that she believes to be her truth-- this is an autobiography after all, and she's writing about her life the way she perceives it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michele Rodriguez

    Rachel Brathen’s memoir was .. raw, real, emotional, joyful, soul breaking and soul redefining. There are parts of Rachel’s story that I couldn’t relate to living in a city in New Jersey, but I can say that it must be amazing being able to experience yoga and meditation retreats around the world, and in the jungle. Her spirit and heartache are real and I can relate, as I am currently going through something emotionally painful. Her joy in the end provides hope to the reader, and the best part is Rachel Brathen’s memoir was .. raw, real, emotional, joyful, soul breaking and soul redefining. There are parts of Rachel’s story that I couldn’t relate to living in a city in New Jersey, but I can say that it must be amazing being able to experience yoga and meditation retreats around the world, and in the jungle. Her spirit and heartache are real and I can relate, as I am currently going through something emotionally painful. Her joy in the end provides hope to the reader, and the best part is that it’s true joy in someone’s actual life; it isn’t fiction.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ariel

    I mean, don’t judge me on this one. LOL. It’s the first book I’ve read by an Instagram celebrity. I needed something “easy” to read in parallel with that rough book about public lands. The book has its flaws, but the story is consistent with her online persona. If you follow Rachel on Instagram, this is just a bigger, deeper dose. She’s honest, thoughtful, and open. It was exactly what I expected it to be. No surprises here. ;)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I followed Rachael for years on Instagram and found yoga because of her. I listen to her podcast and read her other book... however this book I enjoyed at first but then it got more and more annoying. I did learn to appreciate life a little more but then Her best friend died very sad, her grandmother died very sad, her dog died very sad, I get the grief tore her down but balling your eyes out to the point you sleep on your dogs grave, that your husband had to pick you up? Really!? You technicall I followed Rachael for years on Instagram and found yoga because of her. I listen to her podcast and read her other book... however this book I enjoyed at first but then it got more and more annoying. I did learn to appreciate life a little more but then Her best friend died very sad, her grandmother died very sad, her dog died very sad, I get the grief tore her down but balling your eyes out to the point you sleep on your dogs grave, that your husband had to pick you up? Really!? You technically cheated on your husband twice? Really? Then not telling us how you fixed it! Then the whole living in Costa Rica and having to decided who eats the dog or you but still having a apartment in Sweden, poor life choice. Her mom suicided attempts were heartbreaking but it was not her job to fix it! This book I heard all these stories on her podcast, it was a waste of 25 bucks. She sounds like a spoil brat in parts that I couldn’t believe it, crying in the airport because your dog needed to have papers to fly and you didn’t know this.. to the point the airport security just let you go so he didn’t have to deal. Her true colors showed, Just listen to all her podcast don’t waste the money. She is a very privilege girl who at times acts like it, when she doesn’t get her way all while trying to live freely and spiritual as a yoga teacher.

  25. 4 out of 5

    ✨ kathryn ✨

    Amazingly honest and oh so touching

  26. 5 out of 5

    LonesomeOcean

    To Love and Let Go is compelling for the same reason that Yoga Girl's podcast is so compelling -- Brathen isn't afraid to be raw and broken. To Love and Let Go is compelling for the same reason that Yoga Girl's podcast is so compelling -- Brathen isn't afraid to be raw and broken.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Morgan

    Knowing "Yoga Girl" from social media is entirely different than knowing her from her amazing book! The journey, her journey, she took me on in her novel was daunting, invoked a lot of emotion, but was ultimately a great inspiration! A read for anyone experiencing loss or grief and wanting to come out the other side with gratitude and acceptance. Knowing "Yoga Girl" from social media is entirely different than knowing her from her amazing book! The journey, her journey, she took me on in her novel was daunting, invoked a lot of emotion, but was ultimately a great inspiration! A read for anyone experiencing loss or grief and wanting to come out the other side with gratitude and acceptance.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Marena

    Rachel is an overcomer, a survivor, and a leader. This was a moving book that I really liked, but not loved. Why not loved? Because she was so blessed with so many things (in the material & non-material) that it often ticked me off that she would wallow in her misery instead of live in gratitude. But that's me being judgy. She is only human after all. I did like this book & could hardly put it down. Liked, not loved. Rachel is an overcomer, a survivor, and a leader. This was a moving book that I really liked, but not loved. Why not loved? Because she was so blessed with so many things (in the material & non-material) that it often ticked me off that she would wallow in her misery instead of live in gratitude. But that's me being judgy. She is only human after all. I did like this book & could hardly put it down. Liked, not loved.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany Rose

    I picked this book up and found it hard to put down to eat. I needed this book. It fell into my hands at the perfect time. I read spiritual insights the author had and I went yes, I understand, that's what I needed to hear. This memoir is insightful and beautiful. You feel like you are talking to a friend. I would highly recommend it. I picked this book up and found it hard to put down to eat. I needed this book. It fell into my hands at the perfect time. I read spiritual insights the author had and I went yes, I understand, that's what I needed to hear. This memoir is insightful and beautiful. You feel like you are talking to a friend. I would highly recommend it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    Have tissues ready for this one. 💙 I felt Rachel’s journey pretty intensely all the way through.

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