Inspiration Yoga Practice

Looking for Progress, not Perfection

I’ve always struggled with motivation. I’ve bought and tried various fitness programs, only to quit after a of couple weeks. I end up feeling like I have to start all over again from day one because I’m not doing everything just right. As a result, it begins to feel tedious and as if I’ll never reach the finish line. Then one morning I saw a quote online:

“Strive for progress, not perfection.”

And it struck me to my core. If I needed more rest days than outlined or if I took 3 weeks to complete something that was “meant” to take 1 then who cares?! Why am I judging myself so harshly? Why do I have this blinding desire to be amazing at everything from the get go? Everything takes time and everyone has their own pace in life.

It’s hard to not get caught up in the fact that every time you get on your mat you’re not even close to those jelly-spined Instagram yogis. However, as Bad Yogiss we must remind ourselves that it’s not about the perfect pose or trying to do things with your body that it just isn’t ready for yet. We have to strive for progress not perfection. It’s about baby steps to whatever goal we all carry.

But what is progress?

For me, it’s not sinking further into a particular pose by an inch week by week or seeing just how close you can get to doing some super complex pose. [tweet_dis]It’s about getting on your mat that day because life is hard sometimes.[/tweet_dis] Whether it’s relationships, work, family or a multitude of other things, it can get really hard to prioritize yourself at the end of the day. Especially if you have a very giving nature!

[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]Progress is about not beating yourself up when you’ve fallen off the wagon.[/tweet_box]

Rather, it’s getting back on it regardless after a few weeks of hiatus. It’s about becoming in tune with your body and its needs. Sometimes that means modifying every move because you’re just too damn stiff that day. Progress is about always trying!

At the end of the day we all know the benefits that we get from our practice whether it’s mental, physical or spiritual. Sometimes when the mat looks daunting and it feels like we’ll never be able to do the splits no matter how hard we try, that it’ll be years before we see a real difference, remind yourself that getting on that mat for even 10 minutes that day is still progress. It all adds up and it all counts towards your goals.

Next time you fall off the wagon of a particular program, maybe try just picking up where you left off. It will feel much less daunting! If you’re thinking negatively about how “you’ve been lazy” or “made excuses lately,” STOP! You have done nothing wrong. Instead remind yourself of achievements in other aspects of your life that you’ve made in the meantime. Every achievement should be celebrated whether it’s on or off the mat, no matter how small!

If you’re really struggling with trying to get back on the mat, just sit on it. You don’t even have to have the intention of doing anything while you’re there. Just go to your mat for 2 minutes. If you begin meditating while you’re there, great! If you just feel like having a little stretch, great! Even if you get up after 30 seconds and just can’t do it, you still tried that day!

You don’t need to feel like a failure because you couldn’t hold the pose for as long as you wanted to or because you couldn’t finish your practice. You did SOMETHING! [tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]Every achievement no matter how big or small is still a thing to be proud of.[/tweet_box] So, when you do your practice next or if you’ve already done it, no matter how far you’ve fallen behind or how tedious it may seem, you are amazing for giving it a go!

Photo from Bad Yogi community member Christie Prestidge

Yogis, how do you pick up where you left off after a break? Tell us in the comments!

[Free ebook] Stop worrying whether you’re doing a pose right, or if you are doing something that will eventually require a few trips to the emergency room. 🚑

Download our free yoga form guide — over 50 yoga poses broken down with pictures.

1 Comment

  1. Amanda Sides

    Amanda Sides

    July 12, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Everything adds up! I read The Slight Edge for the first time a few years ago, and the principle applies to everything in life: every day, we perform little actions that either take us up and forward, or down and back. The results of these actions aren’t apparent in the same day, so it’s easy to say, “oh, it’s only one day, this isn’t working/this won’t affect me.” But those days add up to something big. Progress is the little daily actions that keep us moving up….and yes, one “down and back” day doesn’t hurt, as long as we get back on track.

Leave a Reply