One of my favorite quotes is "Yoga is not just a work-out, it's a work-in, too." This amazing thing happens when you begin working on something new. Whether it's skiing, playing piano, painting or yoga; you feel that rush that comes as you begin to develop the skills necessary to accomplish the activity. In yoga, we refer to this as Tapas. It is zeal, energy, the desire to continue.
As we keep working, practicing and learning more, this zeal begins to fade. The task becomes more challenging. Our interest decreases. When this happens during our yoga practice it can be frustrating. We want to be better, to feel what we felt. We want to access that headstand, arm balance, bind. This is the point in our practice when it's time to begin Svadhyaya or self-study.
Yoga can be tricky. It offers us great gains, growth and wellness. Each of us has the ability to maintain and move forward on our paths. However, as theses tangible, physical rewards seem to decrease, the challenges begin. We must learn to honor our limitations, push ourselves further and work-in.
As your guide in this practice, I encourage you to ask the hard questions of your self. To continue to practice even when the zeal begins to fade and to study your self. The deeper you go, the better you will know your Self.