Embarking on a yoga journey is often accompanied by the allure of mastering challenging poses and sequences. This is reinforced by the huge amount of social media content depicting yogis performing incredible feats of physical prowess. However, I believe there is a misconception that mastering difficult poses defines success in yoga. For me, yoga is a personal journey, on which everyone progresses at their own pace; and even the most experienced and accomplished practitioners are continually learning.
There is a profound connection between physical and mental health in yoga, and this is not restricted to difficult poses. The most basic of poses and sequences can promote mental clarity, emotional balance, and stress reduction - and the search for these things is one of the main motivations for people starting yoga.
I believe that the importance of consistent practice over time, finding ‘your yoga’ style and teacher, and focusing on the journey rather than the destination, are all far more important than being able to do a handstand.
As a wise person said,
“Yoga is not about touching your toes. It is what you learn on the way down.”