Almost 7 years ago I moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Jacksonville, Florida. It was a real culture shock, as the two places have almost nothing in common. However, San Francisco, a peninsula, and Jacksonville, the “River City” are both places where bridges feature prominently as part of the landscape.

I’m thinking about bridges right now in a more metaphoric sense, as it is almost time to go back to work after summer vacation. This summer I gave myself a gift. Three weeks to go deeper into my practice of yoga by doing a 200 hour teacher training. All day to do yoga, talk yoga, learn yoga and hang out in the yoga studio with other lovers of yoga.

How can I take the mindset of yoga- no judgement, no competition, be in the present, focus on the breath, go within- and use it as a bridge to the usual stress of going back to school/work?

In yoga, the breath is a bridge of sorts. It is the breath that is used to connect the effort with the ease. The breath is always our connection to the present moment. And it is the present moment that offers the answer to the alleviation of most stress.

When I start to think about HOW MUCH THERE IS TO DO, the only response my mind can come up with is a mild form of panic. “I’ll never get it all done.” “It’s too much.” “I’m not good enough” and on and on with those kinds of unhelpful messages ping-ponging around my mind. Judgement. Competition. Worry. The antithesis of the calm, centered letting-go that is yoga.

I notice, though, that I have changed. This year, for the first time ever, I do not feel panicky about going back to school. I know that I always do the best I can. I feel grateful to have a job that I really love. I will cross each bridge as I get to it. This is my new strategy- to rely on being in the present moment, to trust myself and to trust the flow of life.



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