Forward bends teach patience. It takes a long time to enter them deeply. Enlightenment does not necessarily occur when the head reaches the legs, so there is no need to get it there soon, if ever. The realization of yoga is to be fully conscious, present, and content at whatever stage of the practice you have attained. Paradoxically, when you are truly satisfied right where you are, your pose often opens up and you can easily move forward. If you are in good physical condition and your alignment is good, one way to progress in forward bends is to vigorously practice standing postures, with a strong Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) between each posture.