Thursday, June 2, 2011

Yoga Behind the Wheel

Being a dedicated yogi/yogini on the mat is a piece of cake, but are we applying lessons of inner peace on the road?

Don't worry I'm not suggesting you put on leg behind your head, or try touching your toes when you're operating a motor vehicle.  Here are five of my favorite ways to practice yoga when traffic has me screaming.

  1. The Lions Breath:  This pranayama exercise is not appropriate for going 70mph on the highway, but it is a great way to relieve stress when you're stuck in rush hour traffic.  Take in a deep breath and roar it out!
  2. Practice Mindfulness:  Turn off the radio and focus your attention on the road.  Be present, try to hold back from letting the mind wander, and observe the world around you.
  3. Mantra/Affirmation:  If you typically practice with a mantra, affirmation, or intention driving to work is an opportunity to practice this exercise in repetition.  As you repeat words with every exhale take notice of your breathing patterns, and your physical bodies reaction.
  4. Yoga Music:  Turn on ambient sounds you find relaxing, sing along to some kirtan, listen to music that lifts your spirit.  My favorite on the road sing-a-long is the album Elephant Power by MC Yogi.
  5. Practice Ahimsa, Non-Violence:  Be loving, forgiving, and non-violent in your action, speech, and thoughts.

I hope these tips help your morning commute feel a little less like a chore, and a little more like a mind, body, spirit practice.  If you have practice for your drive please share!



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