The Mental Yoga of Driving: 6 Tips for a Stress-Free Ride
The mental yoga of driving has the intention of keeping us calm and focused while on the roads. There are numerous distractions which can be catastrophic to us while driving and yoga make us centered. Here are 6 tips to reduce stress.
Life is already difficult as it is, add the sideshows and it literally takes us to our breaking point. But we are holding on strong, fighting every day to retain our sanity, strength, will, and to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. We all have different things that keep us grounded; top among them are yoga and physical exercises.
I recall an incident when I had just received my driver’s license. I wasn’t a pro driver yet and got into a small altercation on the road because of my skills. I was in the wrong, and I think what saved me from getting into a physical argument was that I apologized and the other motorist was reasonable enough to listen and understand my predicament. I was lucky, he understood and we even eventually became friends. He was kind enough to introduce me to mental yoga of driving, and since then I’ve never looked back. That is because using yoga to reduce stress is quite efficient in the majority of situations we find ourselves in. It’s safe to say stress and yoga are enemies; the two can’t coexist in the same body.
So, how does yoga help with stress handling when driving?
1. How Does Yoga Help With Stress – Removing Distractions
The mental yoga of driving focuses on keeping us calm on the roads. The ups and downs of life will tend to affect our daily activities, by keeping us distracted. Applying yoga to reduce stress teaches us to block such distractions. Pratyahara is an excellent exercise for doing so. It shows one to know how to control external influences. To stay focused, remove any distractions such as your phone, or if you must eat you can pull over or eat before driving.
2. The Mental Yoga of Driving – Breathing
There’s no denying that using yoga to reduce mental stress has proven to be very useful. The breathing exercises we learn in yoga classes can come in handy when we are stuck in traffic. It keeps us focused on the roads and calm at the same time. Chances are you’re getting frustrated by all the traffic but thanks to the breathing yoga exercises you get to remain centered.
Not all breathing yoga to reduce stress is appropriate or effective while driving. Pranayama or conscious breathing, Dirga Pranayama and Ujjayi Pranayama can be useful.
3. Yoga While Driving – Side Stretches
Side stretches are invaluable for keeping your spine in shape especially during long commutes. While sitting, we tend to position ourselves wrong which puts our spine at risk. To place your spine correctly and keep it healthy yoga while driving can help. Use the following steps to perform side stretches:
- Position both of your hands on the wheel
- Inhale deeply
- Stretch the spine by extending it
- Slowly exhale while leaning towards the right
- Inhale while slowly moving back to the center position
- Again slowly exhale leaning towards the left
While doing the above, your eyes need to be firmly focused on the road. To mindfully move and stay focused breathing exercises will be efficient.
4. Yoga While Driving – The Seated Twist
Yes, yoga to reduce stress is beneficial because it helps us change perspective. Scenarios that would otherwise be chaotic and bothersome become fun to do. The seated twist is a yoga while driving trick. When changing lanes, we are forced to make a couple twist and turns which we can do the yoga way.
5. Yoga While Driving – The Seated Cow
Another yoga while driving trick is the seated cow/cat. Using yoga to reduce stress keeps us open-minded to the many possibilities that exist. For instance, instead of your driving being uninteresting and tiresome try the seated cat/cow yoga posture to keep your breathing and spine in check, relaxed and healthy.
6. Yoga to Reduce Stress – Sankalpa
Be intent on staying calm and peaceful on the roads. It’s estimated that in the US alone there are over 1200 incidences of road rage. Well, it’s all about the stress that we experience that makes us rage. Well, how does yoga help with stress? Sankalpa, a deep state of relaxation keeps us focused on the intent of staying calm regardless of what we encounter on the roads.
It’s evident that yoga to reduce stress and anxiety is quite effective. We employ yoga to reduce stress on the roads because there are simple exercises we can do while driving ensuring that we stay grounded. Notice, that they are comfortable and simple to do on our own. So which yoga while driving has worked for you? Please share with us.