Practicing in a studio is great because you get to feed off of the positive energy of your fellow yogis and you get a supportive, encouraging community to help you keep going, but you can also fall victim to negative judgments, looking unfavorably on your own practice compared to some of the more advanced students in the room.
The best way to get better, and the way that will make you feel good throughout your journey, is to let go of where you want your practice to be and focus instead on where it is. Forget about how good the people around you are and just do the very best you can do, knowing that you’ll probably be a little bit better when you leave class than you were when you came in.
When we think in terms of ‘stages’ and ‘levels of expertise’ we fall victim to the trap of viewing yoga as something with a definite starting point and definite ending point. But actually yoga is a continuum and everyone finds themselves at a different point on it, beginners and advanced practitioners alike. This continuum does not have an end, just a cutoff due to the reality of physical death.
If you view your practice as a continuum, not a desperate race where the goal is to reach some distant finish line, you’ll immediately relax those negative judgments and expectations, instead just focusing on enjoying your journey one step at a time, fully inhabiting your present tense, realizing this is the best route to one day achieving the mastery over your practice that you desire.