The Ashtanga series was my first considerable investment in a yoga practice. It was physically demanding and the learning curve was steep. The achievement of poses became benchmarks as an affirmation of my progress.
After a year of dedicated practice, I hit a plateau. I didn’t see the same degree of evolution in my poses. Instead, they seemed better or worse depending on my state of mind. The rough days were amongst the most valuable in my personal development, as they forged tenacity into my practice.
All the while, the core of my practice was getting stronger and I began to appreciate the transformative effect of the practice on my state of mind.
A decade later, I’m still practicing the same poses. My physical practice hasn’t changed nearly as much as my awareness within the practice. I have a clear vision of what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. That clarity lends itself to all other aspects of my life and that's where I discover the real value of practice.
So here’s the moral of the story: Put effort into practice, and progress is a sure thing.