In the modern world we tend to associate this notion of “progress” with the idea that “more is better” and we get caught up in the idea that if we are doing more it means we are getting better
Contrarily, progress along the path of Yoga doesn’t amount to “more.” We don’t progress by doing “more postures” or “more difficult postures” or “more practices” or “longer practices.”
Progress on the path of Yoga is determined by the internal condition of our mind and attitude.
When we can be completely satisfied with exactly what we have and who we are at any given moment then we are starting to walk along the path of santosha (contentment) the second niyama, and that is the sign of real progress. We will be happy to practice less with more awareness, instead of more with less satisfaction.
A student practicing basic asanas can be learning more, and growing more by focusing on the internal form and starting to “still the fluctuations of the mind, then a student who may be practicing an advanced asanas but who is still fixated on the external form without developing any kind of control over the mind.
The “inner asana” is what we must strive to perfect. When we can humbly surrender to a practice, and commit ourselves to following one method and one teacher, this “inner asana” the “seat of God within” gets perfected. Gratitude grows when we can accept what we have been given instead of always acting from that deeply ingrained pattern (samskara) of asking and wanting and taking more and more.
“We should strive to be a “person of the needs, and not the wants.”