This is why I practice yoga and why I teach. I don't do it to master the shapes. I use my practice time to look inward, to reflect, and to study myself (svadhyaya). The work is to apply all the lessons you learn on the mat to your life. The intention is to use the epiphanies and break throughs that arise via the shapes to be a better human outside the yoga studio.
" The point of practicing asanas is to become sensitive, attuned, and adaptable. Whether we attain great gymnastic abilities becomes entirely inconsequential in the context of Yoga as a life practice. If we become enamored with the performance of advanced postures and fix our identity on these achievements, we have simply replaced one false identity with another. Many students new to Yoga also make this mistake when choosing a teacher, judging the teacher's qualifications purely through the evidence of his or her ability to do difficult movements. When we realize that what we are advancing toward is not some physical form but an inward recognition of the truth of who we are, then we will not feel ourselves to be failing if we cannot attain difficult postures. 'Advanced' practice is any movement that brings us closer to this recognition of our true self." ~ Donna Farhi
"What would happen if we never put our foot behind our heads, but we lived in a state of self love from the efforts that we made and the ways that we coped with our challenges on the mat?" ~ Christina Sell