Later, as I discovered yoga, I noticed that I was still afflicted with this idea of achieving perfection. The drive to "get a pose" often informed my practice. "If I move my knee over the centre of my foot, open my chest like the teacher says, then, I'll have it." But then, the teacher would come over and offer some insight into the twist of my pelvis and I'd think: "Damn. I still don't have it"
Someone once said that it is called yoga practice, not yoga perfect. This is helpful to remember, especially if you aren't practicing because you think you'll do it wrong. (A very common concern.)
Practice means we give our attention to our bodies in asana. We nurture them. We explore the asanas with a certain generosity and kindness. If the pose challenges us, we stay. Even if only for a breath or two. Then, we reflect on what the pose has to teach us, whether physically, emotionally or mentally.
And then, we breathe.
BKS Iyengar says: "Change leads to disappointment if it is not sustained. Transformation is sustained change, and it is achieved through practice."
The problem with perfectionism is that it creates a belief that we should feel a certain way. That all planets and stars come together, align like a mobile and then, we'll be struck with enlightenment or wealth or whatever it is we seek.
Practice, however, is incredibly generous. Practice does not wait for the perfect alignment of stars. Instead, it waits for us to dust off our mats. And like a Divine hand, it gives us whatever is here now.