What is it about deadlines that make you want to check Facebook 100 more times a day than you normally do? I am currently working on a deadline, preparing to travel to one of the largest international fitness conventions a few days from now, and I couldn’t be more excited. Yes, it is incredibly stressful to get all of the loose ends together, knowing that I could be explaining our program to the head of Equinox gym across the table and there is no room for error! Deadlines are an inevitable part of our lives. Whether or not they are self-imposed or external, work related or life, there will be some period in your life when you have a deadline that you must meet. So what to do?

Obviously, you must complete the task before the deadline, but you have a choice to do it as a total stress ball or to deal with the pressure with style and grace. To avoid the stress, you must breathe throughout the process because the moment you forget to take a deep breath is the moment when your sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) kicks in and the stress hormone levels in your body skyrocket. As long as you keep breathing, you will maintain a clear mind to help get you through the task. When I am under lots of pressure, I do my best to keep my calm head, but sometimes it becomes too much. And that’s ok! We need to vent in the middle of stress, but if you are not able to come back to your focus, you may not be able to finish the task. My favorite way to vent is to call Mom and bitch (sorry). Works like a charm every time!

Our yoga helps us to deal with life’s stressful situations. Sometimes, your teacher will put you into a position that is uncomfortable or scary (in terms of going backwards or upside down, you should never be fearful of injury during class!). Your yoga mat is your training ground for the real world. Just like you go to high school before college, your yoga mat prepares you for what’s in the real world and how to handle it. Yoga helps us to come to terms with the idea that all things will come to an end. Whether it is a pose we love (Savasana!) or one we hate, you know that your teacher will move into another pose in a few minutes. All you have to do is keep breathing and relax into the pose. Now, take this idea off of the mat and into your life – when you are working on a deadline, you don’t really have the choice not to finish the task. All you can do is control your focus by staying relaxed, continuing to breathe, and getting the job done.