Kerri Verna—perhaps best known as @beachyogagirl on Instagram—has a lot of people watching what she’s up to. In less than 4 years, her account garnered over 900,000 followers. Based in Lake Worth, Florida, Kerri has taught yoga and pilates for the last twelve years. She travels the world offering daily inspiration as a teacher, photographer, inspirational speaker, wife, and mother of two young boys. Way of Gray caught up with her to learn more about the beach loving woman we’ve come to know online.

Tell me what Beach Yoga Girl is all about.

KV: I do a little bit of everything. I post my fitness and yoga journey to inspire others. I host monthly yoga challenges on Instagram to encourage people to practice. I share openly about my life as much as possible to connect with people who may be searching for something deeper in their lives. I want people to feel empowered to reach for their dreams—because if I can do it, anyone can! 

On the subject of sharing openly, you’ve got almost a million followers! Many of the people who follow you on Instagram mostly see the beautiful pictures of advanced poses and stunning sandy beaches. Sometimes it just looks too good to be true! Your life looks perfect. Do you ever feel vulnerable and emotional?

KV: Oh yeah … I probably cry daily, about something. Yesterday I was reminiscing about my French bulldog Max, who died last year. We just got a new puppy that I adore, but I do still miss Max.

I know you of course love the sand and surf. Sharing photos in swimsuits that show skin can take guts. Have you always been confident when it comes to your body?   

KV: I struggled most of my life with how I looked until I was about 35. At that age, I began a spiritual journey that moved me past my physical appearance and made me more aware of my true self and my true purpose in life.  

Wow! That’s incredible. It sounds like when life became less about your body, you were able to feel more comfortable with your body. That’s great! If you could say something to the woman you were before you began that life changing spiritual journey, what would it be?

KV: I would tell her to search for God before she searched for a man. 

What’s your favorite indulgence? 

KV: Gosh, that is a hard one. I do love chocolate and soy ice cream! 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

KV: Hmmm … I’m not embarrassed that easy. I have no idea. I usually laugh everything off! 

What is one thing you wish your following knew about you?

KV: I’m actually extremely shy and introverted. The comments, emails and messages my followers send me give me the encouragement to keep sharing. 

For people just starting to pursue their passion, what advice would you offer?

Just to be themselves and never settle for second best. 

Keep up with Kerri’s adventures on Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Periscope.