Although most people come to the practice of yoga with some sort of goal, it usually becomes clear that there is so much more to the practice than any one particular goal can encompass. But it can still be easy to fall into a pattern of striving to achieve a certain (fill in the blank here) with our practice, especially when it comes to the yoga postures, or asanas.

You may have seen someone doing a pose that looked, to you, perfect. Or maybe you admired a photo or video of a yoga practitioner demonstrating a “perfect” pose. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the desire to achieve that which others have achieved before you. Unfortunately, when your mind is preoccupied with such a goal, your yoga practice will suffer.

Instead of striving to attain a perfect pose, let your practice be one of observation and acceptance of your current state. By moving your perspective from a hypothetical future situation—you striking the perfect pose—to your current, real situation, you will begin to notice the perfection of your imperfection. Notice your attachments and aversions, and try to let those dissolve as you fully embrace where you are right here, right now.

You will begin to see that this practice is not about getting anywhere or checking anything off your list. It’s about coming back to yourself in a raw, real, and nonjudgmental way. Let go of your preconceived notions about where this practice is taking you. They will only distract you from where you are really going. Yoga is a journey, with every step along the way meant to be the destination.