OUR TEAM Our Teachers Rachel Brathen I am a Swedish Native, having moved from Costa Rica to Aruba in 2012 when I met my Aruban husband, Dennis. He and I founded Island Yoga based on a longing to create community here in Aruba. Before we opened our doors we were busy traveling the world, spending 40-45 weeks of the year on the road. After a few years, traveling that much just got exhausting! Island Yoga allows us to stay home and really set our roots (which is really helpful now that we have a baby!). I am the co-founder and CEO of Island Yoga and teach Vinyasa Flow, SUP Yoga, Yin Yoga and Meditation. My classes are always heart-centered, as this is how I choose to live every aspect of my life. The longing has manifested – I love how this community has come together through yoga! Watching everyone deepening their yoga practice, cultivating healthy habits and connecting to their authentic truth through this practice is my motivation every day. We have three dogs, two goats and a tiny baby. Life at our house is like a circus right now! Dennis Schoneveld I was raised in Aruba, but I’ve traveled a ton since meeting Rachel. I earned a degree in business administration, dabbled in surf shop ownership, and now keep these numbers and ladies in line at Island Yoga. I make coffee for the Island Yoga staff, and from time to time when I’m behind my desk, I watch soccer on my computer. I’m also a certified yoga teacher, talking people through poses every week (after my paternity leave ends). This studio has been a big dream of ours for many years. I love watching yoga grow on the island! I like short walks on the beach and rainy days. Brittany Waterhouse I grew up just north of Boston, Massachusetts. Working a desk job at a tech company, selling real estate, and teaching a little yoga on the side, the urge to shift gears grew quickly in my four years of working so many jobs at once. I wanted to teach yoga full time, away from the exhausting city-life vibes. My family has been visiting Aruba every year for over two decades, making it feel like my second home. After attending one of Rachel’s retreats in Bonaire, the stars aligned and I was asked to join the oneOeight team. When I arrived on the island, I knew without a doubt that this was where I had always been heading. After starting to teach a little SUP Yoga on the side, the tides turned quickly and I found myself solely teaching on the tranquil, beautiful ocean. I am now the lead SUP Yoga teacher for Island Yoga, managing and coordinating all things SUP. When I’m not on the water, I’m teaching in the studio. My classes almost always feature the use of energetic items such as crystals and angel cards, as well as highlighting the importance of manifesting with the Law of Attraction. The energetics of yoga are what keep me coming back for more, and what I know I am here to share in hopes of bettering the lives that cross paths with mine. Yoga truly is the most rewarding job I could have ever wished for. My mom called me Moonbeam when I was a child. As a Cancer sign in astrology, my heart and soul are the ocean and the moon that pulls it. On top of that, my last name is Waterhouse; anyone could have seen this job and lifestyle manifesting from day one! Ambre Van de Berg I was born and raised in the Netherlands, although I’ve long since donned the motto, “Always in motion, just like the ocean,” spending more time learning yoga and wellness and sharing it around the world in surf camps than at home. After completing Rachel’s first SUP Yoga Teacher Training, I brought SUP Yoga to Amsterdam for the first time where I now run my own business — bringing people through a floating yoga studio adventure. Originally returning to Aruba as an Island Yoga SUP teacher before the studio opened, I quickly made the decision to stay longer and teach SUP classes on the water and nearly every class style on the menu for the newly opened studio. In every class, I guide my students through the elements – external and internal – for a meditative dance that leaves you a little confused as to how you got so sweaty. My role has expanded to include program management, as well. My forthright and hardworking Dutch personality, coupled with my contagious laugh is fantastic at securing the best deals for our customers. I’m a community-builder through and through; in the office, I rally the team for Pancake Mondays and foster or adopt the puppies that our Sgt. Pepper’s Friends team rescues. In the studio, I motivate my students to enjoy the journey toward their goals and to never take anything too seriously. I am always up for a fitness activity or adventure, but you may have to wait for me to find my keys. And phone. And wallet. Don’t worry, I always find them eventually. Jess Rydh I come from a small town in Sweden called Sigtuna. There, I worked for then co-owned Power Yoga Sweden since I was 15 years old. I’ve trained in yoga and in leadership, utilizing and strengthening both through regularly teaching yoga and managing large programs and events. After assisting several of Rachel’s yoga events in Sweden, I was given the opportunity to come to Aruba to intern during the opening of Island Yoga. My internship quickly evolved into an official role on the team, which includes assisting everywhere I can – front of house, boutique, our studio manager…I love being everyone’s right-hand resource. I also teach! My classes are mainly the faster and sweatier ones, but I have also begun our Beginner Series, creating a safe and inviting space to begin one’s exploration of an intelligent and fun yoga practice. I’m easy to spot in the studio – I’m the one running around, dancing and singing loudly and off-key. When I’m not in the studio (which is very rare), I am in the water learning how to surf or bent over petting a dog. Mary Pucci Born in Venezuela, I studied law and played competitive soccer as team captain. When I moved to Aruba in 2009, my soccer passion grew to include pro beach tennis and pro stand-up paddle boarding. My love for movement also includes Antigravity Aerial Yoga and Mystical Yoga – a beautiful way to reconnect both children and adults with the earth and our roots. I’m a proud mom to my kids Paola and Andrea, the two who teach me the most about yoga and life. I am the Kids Yoga teacher! Working with children fills my heart unlike anything else. Yoga gives us balance, answers in life and the power to shine with peace and joy in our hearts. These are life-changing tools for people of all ages to become aware of, and it’s an honor to help our younger generations harness these tools early on. I’m so grateful to join the Island Yoga team! I feel such admiration for the yoga lifestyle that Rachel and Dennis have worked hard to create in Aruba, and I’m so excited to continue growing this community. Through my classes, I am here to help kids believe in their gifts, to love themselves and accept others with respect and compassion, and to look at life through the lens of a peaceful heart. You may see photos of me as you arrive at the Aruba airport, as I’m the local influencer for the Aruba Tourism Office for Latinoamérica! Traci Andrushko Hailing from New Jersey, I now reside in Aruba full time. Prior to my transition here, I was a hairstylist for the last 13 years. Although I loved the creative outlet hairstyling brought me, I longed to have more balance in my daily routine. Ten hour days on your feet becomes exhausting and physically takes a toll over time; hence the obvious introduction to yoga. Ever since, my practice has followed me around the world. From workshops to retreats, my dedication to being a student has guided me to be taught by my greatest influencers. After participating in the 108 salutations back in January, Island Yoga felt like the perfect yoga home for me. My background as a teacher is in Vinyasa. I completed my 200-hour training in 2012 and have been leading classes ever since. My intention is to offer a fun and down to earth vibe combined with creative sequencing. Music is in my soul, so expect to flow to an eclectic mix! Off my mat you can find me eating, traveling, looking for iced coffee on the island and making the most of this precious thing called life. Laura van Leeuwen Born and raised in the Netherlands, the opportunity to move to Aruba and live the island life reached out to me in 2017. When my yoga journey first began, I started slow with one class a week. The benefits of yoga soon became apparent to me and I began to practice more frequently. Now you can find me on my yoga mat everyday. A few years into my practice, I craved an even deeper sense of knowledge and completed a Yin Yoga Teacher Training. Yin Yoga is my true passion and I am grateful every time I get to share a softer side of yoga within this community. Furthering my knowledge since then, I was accepted into Island Yoga’s first Yoga Teacher Training. This experience left me more motivated than ever to continue spreading yoga and it’s message of love to the world. For me, yoga means coming home. It grounds me, calms me, and allows me to reconnect with my body to fully embrace every aspect of myself. When you practice with me, you will experience a class full of self love mixed with a fun, gentle flow and the added touch of music and cards. When I am not on the yoga mat, you can find me near the ocean looking towards the sky; at the clouds rolling through, the vibrant colors of a perfect sunset, or the moon in all her wisdom. Our Team Amelie Rehnvall I am from a small town in the south of Sweden’s countryside – always surrounded by nature and animals of all kinds. I worked in my parent’s restaurant since I was a young child and then in fashion for 11 years, before I suddenly decided to change my whole life direction. I was introduced to yoga in 2009, instantly fell in love, became a certified teacher, and was soon recruited to manage a yoga studio in Denmark. A few months after attending one of Rachel’s retreats in Costa Rica in 2013, my life brought me to Aruba to work on Team Yoga Girl®. I am now Island Yoga’s manager, which largely means you will see me in every room around the studio…at the exact same time. I’m very fast. I live and breathe my work, and my devotion for this yoga community fuels me like none other. Soon you will see my name on the teaching schedule, too! I want Island Yoga to be a key wellness center in the world, and I know it is possible. This studio, its founders, and its team embody the values and methods that will get us there – Be straight from the heart, and always be honest. Yoga has changed my life for the better in every way, and I am honored to help create a welcoming, beautiful space for everyone to come and experience its magic. I’ve been co-existing with animals my whole life. In Sweden – horses. In Aruba – my two Italian Greyhounds, Tico and King, the loves of my life and copilots on my life’s journey. If I’ve stopped moving, it’s because we are at the beach blissfully watching the sunset or floating on the ocean. Michiko Eman I was born in the Netherlands, but I moved to Aruba when I was just seven years old. I returned to the Netherlands after high school to study Human Resources, moving back to Aruba 10 years later. I’ve been back on the island for a little over one year, working with Island Yoga ever since. I initially applied to Island Yoga for an “in-between” job while I resettled into life here, but I quickly realized I was in it for the long haul. No longer pulled toward the corporate HR world, I wanted to work alongside these dedicated change-makers. My main title is HR Manager, although it could also be “the one who is always on the phone translating, striking deals, and putting out fires”. Working with yogis has really added new perspectives into my life! Someday I will also be a certified yoga teacher like the rest of our team. From witnessing the healthy benefits that yoga has brought into my own life, I’m excited to help usher this forward with and for the rest of our local community. My name is Japanese, but I am half Indonesian and half Dutch. I’ve explored my roots in Sumatra, Java and Bali; Japan is next on the list! Nat Vorsteveld I grew up in the very small town of Sun Valley, Idaho, now residing in Vermont after six months in Aruba. I’m currently studying entrepreneurship and small business management with a dream of creating my own stand-up paddle board adventure company. I’ve always been an island child, spending six months in Mexico not too long ago. When the itch returned, I applied to intern at Island Yoga. I filled many shoes – from assisting oneOeight production shoots and SUP Yoga classes, to logging thousands of miles around the tiny island running errands of any and all kinds, to capitalizing on my fine-tuned organizational skills in administrative assistance – I lived each day ready to help my team with whatever was needed. I also worked my skills as an extreme barista inside Nourish Café and a star-tender at our outside bar. Now, I continue to provide administrative assistance and my main role as manager of all shipment-related ordeals, providing both sides sustained peace of mind when FedEx pulls up to the front door. My truest love and happiest place is on my paddle board. I also continue to shock the social media scene with my epic nature photos taken on my ancient iPod touch. Oh, lastly – keep the beaches clean!