Progress takes time – this is one of the parallels that I’ve drawn between my yoga practice and life.
When I first started my practice, I recall placing a lot of pressure on myself whenever I could not perform certain asanas optimally (e.g. with my tight hamstrings, I wasn’t able to touch my heels to the mat in downward dog / touch my toes with my fingers in Uttanasana). I remember getting really impatient as I looked around during classes and saw that most of my fellow classmates were getting into the asanas so effortlessly. I often left classes feeling like I wasn’t good enough and was not able to enjoy the practice fully.
However, as I started to go for classes more often, I started noticing the little steps of progress made with consistent practice. My yoga practice taught me to tune inwards to focus on how I want to improve myself with each practice, instead of focusing externally on how I compare to others in a particular asana.
I started to notice that this new mindset was helpful in other aspects of my life too. Whenever I sense myself starting to feel frustrated because certain situations aren’t going my way, I would take some time to remind myself that progress takes time. Instead of focusing on why things aren’t where I want it to be yet, I remind myself to focus on the things I can control and do better to get the desired outcome that I am hoping for. With time, I’ve come to realise that I’ll always be able to see how far these efforts have gotten me when I look back!
In today’s world, many of us are often inclined to choose instant gratification over patience and long-suffering. With the need for instant gratification, we may feel easily frustrated and would tend to give up more quickly when we do not see instant results. Let’s all remind ourselves that progress takes time, to enjoy the process and be focused on the baby steps that would eventually get us there!