Implementing Yoga Techniques While Driving
Whether you’re a passenger in a car, or you’re the one driving, you’re probably familiar with the sound of traffic. ZOOM. SWOOSH. BEEP BEEP. The sound of honks and people racing by ringing in your ears can potentially leave you with a headache. Some would even agree that their body is tense when they drive in the traffic to and from work. Besides the physical effects of traffic, there are mental effects that tag along such as anger, rage, sadness, anxiety, and impatience.
But do not despair, there is hope. The key is yoga. Through the implementation of yoga techniques before, during, and/or after driving, you can reduce some of the side effects that come along with a hectic traffic rush.
Set your intention:
Before embarking on your journey through a hectic traffic jam, set your intentions for your drive. In yoga, this is done before every class. An intention is a few short sentences that foreshadow how you would like your practice to go. For example, a good intention to repeat before driving is, “I am calm. My drive will be okay. I will not let the driving of others affect my mood. I am at peace.”
When you are driving and start feeling tense from the hectic driving scene, take a moment to breathe. In yoga, one takes a deep breath in from the nose, and then releases it through the mouth. By doing this breathing technique, you can focus on your breath and your own driving.
Play relaxing music:
In yoga, instructors normally will play soft, relaxing songs that emulate nature. A study by scientists at Newfoundland’s Memorial University found that reaction time can slow as much as 20% when someone is listening to loud music. When driving, consider playing songs that will relax you.
Do a post drive stretch:
Is physical discomfort a symptom of being stuck in a traffic jam? Try out a post-drive stretch. When we are stuck sitting in the same position over a period of time, it can cause cramping or a tense sensation. Step out of your car and send your hips in a circular motion. Do this clockwise and counterclockwise. You should feel a sense of release.
Driving shouldn’t be stressful, but unfortunately sometimes other drivers can affect us. Try implementing at least one of these yoga techniques during the next time you drive. See if it works out for you!