Open your eyes and see…. no, really, open your eyes and really see!

by Clive Bratchell

The ability to see your practice…. Fresh …. Every day…. Without judgment.. is it possible?

Why refreshing your practice is important

Looking back on my own yoga journey, with a daily practice, I have noticed that my asana practice goes in waves of enthusiasm and lethargy. I think this is inevitable given the pushes and pulls of the outside worlds and its influences.

As we move around on the mat each day it is important to understand the lesson that our practice is teaching us at that moment. Sometimes it tells us to listen more to our breath, and sometimes to focus more & be less distracted, sometimes it tells us to be lazy today and sometimes it says ‘go for it’.

When we build a new relationship with our body understanding what it is telling us we need to modify our practice without judgment; how we move from one asana to another, realising when there is a little extra tightness or tension in a joint or group of muscles, when we recognise that the extra glass of wine the night before is making a difference today, or the coffee just before practice made us vibrate as we started to move.

How do we modify our practice?

Drawing advice from your teacher over a long period of time is a good way or attending workshops that refresh your practice and get you to look again at how you are moving. Ultimately you are the best teacher, sewing all you have learnt into your yoga journey. Learning to listen to your body and mind takes time and practice.

I get it now My Work is Done !

When we have refreshed our practice our work is not done, the cycle starts again continually looping for eternity. I am always cautious when I feel like I have ‘nailed’ a pose, inevitably in a short while, where I was is no longer working for me. This is mostly true for a simple (so you may think) sun salutation. The nuances of this simple set of movement with breath is a lifetime of work aiming towards perfection. In my personal practice I take a sun salutation about 2500 times a year, and after many years of practice I still love it and I am still finding different ways to tweak and move my body so it allows the energy to flow freely on the day I am on my mat.

The ability to see your practice …… fresh ….. every day…… without judgment….


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