Lora Hogan > Yoga  > Progress vs. Stagnation: What to do when you feel like you aren’t making progress

Progress vs. Stagnation: What to do when you feel like you aren’t making progress

Progress can seem so relative.  Take these two silly photos of me in half-moon pose (Ardha Chandrasana.)
The top photo was taken of me in 2008-2009 with my right leg as the standing leg.

The bottom was taken two weeks ago with the left leg as the standing leg after dinner with friends.

At first, besides the change in outfits, camera angles, and decor (obviously my living room is not the best place for yoga photos), there doesn’t seem to be much difference. To my keen alignment eye, all I can see is the places in need of growth. 
My standing leg is straighter in the top photo (I am really lifting that knee-cap up), but I am more vigorously pressing through my foot and heel in the bottom photo.  The top photo has greater hip rotation, but in the bottom photo my entire torso is much longer. I instantly judge and dislike the top arm in both photos–ha!
Where am I going with this, you may ask?
You can’t just judge the OUTWARD signs of progress.
Progress is not something you can always physically see. Real progress happens on the inside.
The top photo was taken when I was insecure, suffering from eating issues, in a bad relationship, and generally unhappy.  The bottom photo is me as I am now–happier, healthier, and on the road to living the life of my dreams.
The internal progress has been the most important.
When we move forward, we must remember to reward ourselves for BABY steps. So what if you run the exact same half marathon time over and over? Are you happy? Does it feel good? Is your form improved, perhaps? Or your ability to smile through the run? What are the SMALL internal victories that you can celebrate them?
It’s important to relish our small steps.  Our internal happiness. And the progress we are making to feel good on the inside.
Do you remember to look at your inner signs of progress?  Do you remember to congratulate yourself for your inner progress? (And, while we’re at it, to support your friends inner progress, as well?)


  • Nichole @ casadecrews.com

    May 1, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Totally needed this today, Lora. Thanks 🙂

  • Stacey Merrill

    May 1, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Another uplifting, thought provoking post. Thanks for sharing

  • Jennifer Pug Pug

    May 1, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Very well said. And a beautiful illustration of the point. Thank you for sharing.

  • Fantastic point! Your example toward the end really hit me. When I run 5ks, I judge my progress (or lack thereof) based solely on what time I finish in. There are so many other indicators of progress that I don’t even think about! Thank you for this food for thought. 🙂