Spotlight On… Clive Bratchell
1. Describe your yoga journey. Why; who; how?
It was while working as a horticulturalist that I discovered yoga – I joined a local Ashtanga class to help me heal back twinges from all the digging & weeding. After practising many led classes I started to explore this traditional yoga in more depth, developing my own self practice. With regular visits to my teacher in London – Hamish Hendry (the only KPJAYI Certified Ashtanga teacher in England) he helped me establish a daily Ashtanga self practice. I approach teaching yoga the same way I approach tending my gardens – with joy, love, precision & care.
2. Which is your favourite class to teach?
Ashtanga Vinyasa Mysore style.
3. What’s your favourite pose?
I am working on non-attachment so this question is tricky. Choosing a favourite pose is like choosing a favourite plant for me, it changes as the seasons change.
4. What do you bring to your class that makes it unique?
Parampara is a word that describes a passing down of information from teacher to student. I hope this traditional communication happens when I teach from the source of my teacher in Mysore to the students in Guildford.
5. How often do you practice?
6 times a week, Sunday to Friday.
6. Top tip for a mindful practice?
Breathe well & focus on your own practice.
7. What would your advice be to beginners?
Breathe well, be patient, practice something daily – 5 x Sun salutation A, 3 x Sun salutation B, sit and breathe for 15 steady breaths. Rest 5 mins.
9. How do your workshops/courses enhance students’ practice?
When thinking about courses and workshops I have tried to balance both sides of yoga, the physical and the mental. I created the chanting workshops to give students something to explore beyond what we were learning with the daily asana practice. In the workshops we have more time not only to learn the chants but to explore more about where they are travelling in their yoga journey. Our Chanting Courses are now a regular fixture on the RHY schedule.
I am very much looking forward to Floating & Flying this spring where we will take time to explore the fun transitions of a Vinyasa class and how to find that magic ‘lift up’. By giving students the building blocks to take into class hopefully one day they too can ‘take off’!
Also on the horizon is 3 Essentials of Yoga Practice – we’ll be looking at the internal mechanics of practice. Truly understanding how to Breathe correctly, use your Core effectively & how to Focus can transform your practice. I really enjoy being able to take the time to explain how the ‘tritsana’ is central to a holistic practice – workshops are a great way to get under the surface and really develop an understanding of our practice that we can take back onto the mat with us.
10. How do you relax at the end of the day?
The more I practice the less time I feel like I need to ‘relax at the end of the day’ – my day is not stressful so I do not make a separate time to relax. Socially I enjoy going to the Opera, visiting gardens and being with nature.
Clive teaches Traditional Mysore Ashtanga & Mindful Flow, both Open level classes – find this week’s timetable here. If you’re interested in deepening your practice why not join Clive on one of his popular workshops & courses – coming up: Floating & Flying on 12 May; 3 Essentials of Yoga Practice on 23 June; Ashtanga Vinyasa Primary Series Special Class on 21 July; Chanting Course – a 2-part exploration – on 13 October. Click on the workshop name to find out more & book your place.