It's about self-acceptance.
As a teacher, this is one of the most difficult lessons for me to teach my stressed out, type-A yogis - but one of the most important!
Yoga is not like a marathon, where you strive to beat your best time. This isn't CrossFit, where you strive to lift more weight than you did last week. We do not chart our accomplishments and compete against ourselves in yoga. Nope!
Instead, yoga is our opportunity to learn about our bodies, and eventually our minds, in a way that no other practice allows us to do.
Through yoga, you will become aware of every single muscle, joint, and tendon in your body - even ones you never knew you had before! You will learn that you can make shapes with your body that you never even knew existed. You will learn that some parts of you are flexible, while others not so much (hello, hammmies!).
You will learn that some parts of you are strong, while others not so much. And most importantly of all, you will learn that every day is not the same for your body. Some days you will be able to do things that are just beyond your reach other days. And that is okay! Because the most valuable thing about yoga is that you will learn to listen to your body and understand the messages that it is trying to send you. And that way, you will learn to give your body exactly what it needs so that you feel your best every day.
Will you get stronger, or more flexible, or learn how to do some fancy poses? Absolutely. But that's all just icing on the cake.
The true power of yoga comes when you learn to let go of arbitrary goals and yardsticks, of the need to be "better" or "more advanced", and allow yourself to just be wherever you are in that particular moment. If you're feeling super energized, then awesome, give that headstand a go. If you're feeling kind of blah, then chill out in child's pose and give yourself a break. Either way, you will feel amazing after your practice, as long as you truly listen to whatever it is your BODY is telling you and learn to ignore the traps that your mind has set.
Remember, all it takes for you to be good at yoga is for you to show up on your mat.