This is Why We Call it Practice.

get elephant's newsletter


rachel brathen infinity pool greece do not use

Practicing yoga means doing our best—every single day.

It’s called a practice because we’re never finished.

It’s a continuous string of moments and movements and breaths that make up this life we choose to lead and it changes all the time.

Some days doing your best means a solid hour and a half of intense movement on your mat followed by a day of eating well and working hard. Other days, doing your best means five minutes of sitting on your bed focusing on your inhales and exhales.

Some days it’s simply taking a break from trying to change who you are.

It’s meditating to keep your ego from spinning out of control. Allowing yourself to cry when you need to and laugh at the madness of the life situation you’ve found yourself in. It’s moving into the uncomfortable and directing our focus towards the things we prefer not to look at.

Practicing yoga and doing our best today is not going to look the same tomorrow but that doesn’t mean we’re going to give up, does it?

Let yourself have slow days. Adapt your practice to how you’re feeling right now.

But no matter where you find yourself at—keep practicing. Keep practicing. Keep practicing. Move your body and breathe deeply and stay present and go into the tight spots and release and stretch and let go.

Do the best you can with what today has given you. Your body, your heart and your soul will thank you.



Love elephant and want to go steady?

Sign up for our (curated) daily and weekly newsletters!

Editor: Renée Picard

Image: courtesy Rachel Brathen

is a new feature on Elephant Journal—enabling you to instantly share your mindful ideas, photos, art, YouTube videos/Instagram links & writings with our 5 million readers. Try it Now.

Write Now

About Rachel Brathen

Rachel is a yogi on a world tour. Born and raised in Sweden, she currently resides in the beautiful island of Aruba where she is busy teaching yoga at a resort in the mornings, coordinating retreats at noon, taking her three somewhat crazy dogs to the beach to keep up with the surf in the afternoon and trying to survive as a vegan (where no vegetables grow!) in the evenings. She firmly believes that life is not black or white – it’s black and white and blue and yellow with rays of pink and sparkle in between. You can teach yoga and still be a party animal. Meditate and ignore your spending problems. Be vegan and eat too much chocolate. Have a Swedish passport and live in the Caribbean. You can do anything, as long as it’s you! You can find Rachel on the beach, probably practicing her Astavakrasana, or on


3 Responses to “This is Why We Call it Practice.”

  1. Barbara Selvin says:

    Why the skinny bikini-clad model in the photo?

  2. Brian Westbye says:

    Your writing is such a beam of light and inspiration. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.