“Perfecting: Always Be Happy with the Smallest Improvement”
Let the goal be to reach Perfection,* but be content with a little progress toward perfection every day.
Sometimes our body is willing, but our mind is weak and makes excuses. Sometimes it is our mind that is willing, but our body is weak and says “I’m really too tired for all this trouble.” A practitioner must focus between the mind and the body, listening to the counsel of each but letting the intelligence and the soul make the true decision, for this is where real willpower and real dedication are found. Do to your capacity while always striving to extend your capacity. Ten minutes today, a few days later increase to twelve. Master that and then again extend. Find time everyday to do something to maintain the asana practice. Sometimes both body and mind yield to willpower, and at other times they rebel. Imagine physical challenges as you would a challenging child. Learn how to deal with it and nurture it as you would give extra compassion and attention to this “child.” Do not bother with failures either, they lead one toward determination. Be detached. Do not be afraid. Find the courage to come through it. When you experience fear, you must practice without attachment to the body, thinking of it objectively, as an opportunity for creative work!
Long, uninterrupted practice of asanas and pranayama, done with awareness, makes the foundation firm and brings success.
paraphrased from Light on Life by B.K.S. Iyengar
* Iyengar is not referring to perfection here in the usual way we define it, rather as our union with God and the dream of this union being inspirational in igniting one’s efforts toward transformation.