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Why You Should Focus on Progress Not Perfection

Updated: Oct 8, 2022

Yoga helps you embrace that your life is a beautiful work in progress, it's not meant to be perfect, and that the only constant in life is change.

Woman in bright pink yoga top and blue yoga pants in Warrior 3 on a teal yoga mat on a wood deck with green trees in the background
Practice = progress. Progress = potential. Photo © Copyright by Laura Brown Photography.

The more I practice yoga, the more comfortable I become with the idea that life is a work in progress, not a quest to be perfect or to fit a certain standard. Instead, it’s a journey into the unknown, unfolding by the minute. And sometimes that can feel uncomfortable. I find myself constantly learning, refining, toning, forming, reformulating, evaluating and evolving —on the yoga mat and off the mat, too.

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For example, my evolution as a mom is a work in progress. My physical body and my feelings and thoughts evolved throughout my pregnancies and breastfeeding. Work in progress. With each stage of my kids’ development—caring around the clock for newborns, to working full-time with toddlers to keeping up with kids in multiple schools—my parenting intuition has evolved. Work in progress. My evolution as a mama comes from the everyday discoveries.

The only constant in life is change.

You might take several years to fine-tune a yoga pose, begin a meditation practice, heck, even organize your closets and cabinets. You know what? That’s OK. You get to learn more about yourself along the way at your own pace.

Life is a work in progress, a daily discovery of who you are, the world around you and how you can show up for yourself and others.

Can you find room for progress? Practice the balance pose below every day for a month to learn how practice can bring life to progress, and how progress might look different every day. Over the next month, track how your balance changes.

Practice It: Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III Pose)

  • Ground down through your feet in Tadasana (Mountain Pose).

  • Press into your right foot as you launch your left leg off the earth, and glide your torso forward.

  • As you ground through your right foot, activate your left foot, spinning your left toes downward.

  • Press your hands together at your heart.

  • To stay focused and maintain stability, gaze at a focal point a few inches in front of you.

  • Stay for three breaths. What sensations, thoughts and feelings come up? How can you get comfortable with change to allow space for growth?

  • Return to Mountain Pose, and repeat on the other side.

Note that this website and the Stand Up for Your Self-Care YouTube Channel are for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Speak with your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine or wellness plan.

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