“Let the goal be to reach Perfection, but be content with a little progress toward perfection everyday.” B.K.S. Iyengar
How many times have you practiced the same asana over and over, but have yet to perfect the pose? Will perfection ever be reached in yoga or in life for that matter? But is it worth it to keep going and keep trying to do the best you can?
Life offers us a series of experiences in which some motivate us to grow and others ignite a feeling of defeat and retreat. But no matter what has happened, we greet a new day as we greet the mat, with another opportunity to try again. No matter what happened yesterday whether it was full of pleasure or pain, the present moment only feeds itself. The motivation can only grow if we choose to keep it alive just as the pain can only grow if we choose to keep it alive. What is watered will grow, what is practiced will be increased.
The practice of asana allows one to study them self and observe tendencies. The tendency to push too hard, to not push enough, to keep going until the goal is reached, to give up before attainment, to relax into the moment or to be so goal orientated to not notice the process at all. Who you are in your practice is who you are off the mat. Let us use the practice of asana to better the postures in a way where our practice of this thing called life can attain benefit as well.
B.K.S. Iyengar states, “If we are loyal to the path we are on, our lives will get better, and the light of distant perfection will come to illuminate our journeys.” He also states, “When a gardener plants an apple seed, does he expect the apples to appear at once? Of course not. The gardener waters the seed, watches it each day, and feels happy seeing growth. Treat the body in the same way. We water our asana and pranayama practice with love and joy seeing the small progress. While we know what the goal is, we do not focus on enlightenment. We know that when our practice is ripe, illumination comes. Patience allied with disciplined practices brings the required will power.”
As we continue our practice, growth is bound to come with dedication. The ever-eluding goal of perfection may never be reached but the progress made in the attempt should be valued and celebrated. Step by step goals are reached and improvement is made. Celebrate the growth no matter how little it may be and be content with the process itself on the long road towards perfection.