If we were to make a very general list of the essential elements for a successful yoga practice, these elements would be flexibility, strength, balance, determination, stamina, and focus. Maybe there are a few lucky souls out there who are naturally gifted across the board, and for these people asanas would be a breeze from the get go.
But most of us are not naturally gifted across the board, we have some areas that require more work and we also have some natural abilities that make things come easier, allowing for a high ceiling. I remember having a conversation with a gifted yoga practitioner where I asked him if he’d always been flexible. He responded that he wasn’t actually that flexible at all, and despite all the work he’d put in he’d probably never be as flexible as some of the practitioners he admired, but he was awesome with balance and had used this natural propensity to develop an amazing repertoire of inversion poses.
If you can figure out where your natural gifts lie from the list above, why not capitalize on them, why not spend a significant amount of time developing them further? What often happens in yoga and in the wider sphere of life is that we take our natural talents for granted, thinking that since we are already good these talents require no more attention, that we can move on to other things.
Obviously a well-rounded practice is important but one way to take your practice to the next level is to really pay attention to improving upon the area with the highest ceiling. It’s not like any of these areas – flexibility, strength, balance, determination, stamina, focus – exist in a closed system. When you improve upon one of them all of the others benefit too because they are all intertwined. Keep working on improving your practice as a whole, but don’t leave the area alone where you have the most potential just because it comes easiest to you.