Having a peaceful mind despite a sometimes chaotic environment while driving, is a hard job. But, with the right techniques, you can gain composure more than you realize. A yoga practice and pranyama can help you to stay calm and focused on the road.
Getting stuck in traffic is one of the most displeasing situations to find yourself in, especially, if you’re late. In such an occasion, at the slightest provocation, you can easily insult your fellow drivers, or even raise your middle finger at them, or at the least, feel stressed, stuck or frustrated. Yoga can help alleviate such stressful moments and work to get back into a place of love and compassion, to replace any negative feelings the arise because of traffic and road rage.
Yoga and pranyama are recommended as remedies for stress in general, and can help with car related stress. With practice, you can be in a position to be elevated, and the stress caused by traffic experience can be transformed into a joyous and healthy driving experience. While being in a state of joy and love while driving or stuck in traffic, might sound impossible, it is possile, and feels much better than feeling mad or stressed in your car.
Here are 5 tips to help stay calm and focused on the road.
1. Get Rid of Your Disruptions
As you drive, you need to abolish any form of distractions and remain focused on the road. Make sure that you have cleared all disruptive tasks before embarking on your journey. An example can be your playlist; make sure that it is well updated before driving so that you can avoid shuffling through your phone for your radio.
Cell phones in this modern age, have become gadgets that are both useful and dangerous when it comes to driving. They are distractors, and for you to stay focused, ensure that your phone is far away from you as possible. In case you need to make an urgent call, ensure that you do it before you begin driving.
2. Take Deep Breaths
Deep breathing and pranyama techniques are excellent for drivers, especially when they are stressed out because of various conditions. According to research, breathing consciously can be used as a remedy to stay calm and improve your alertness on the road. In case of a traffic jam, not all techniques of yogic breathing are helpful but here, are some of the practices which are considered safe behind the wheel.
These two are well designed to soothe your nerves and calm your brain by enabling you to refocus your frustration to calmness.
Ujayi (Triumphant) breath
Dirga (Three-part) breath
3. Be Kind, Compassionate and Loving
Through the teachings of yoga, we learn to be kind to other people, even when you are in a vehicle. This can be quite simple to forget when you are interacting with other humans in the comfort of your car, battling with other cars to get where you're going as quickly as possible.
Practice love and compassion with your fellow drivers, adhere to the rules of the road and be courteous to other drivers, just like how a friend is polite to you. Give it a try and you may find yourself feeling better behind the wheel.
4. Sitting Posture for Safe Driving
As you are driving, you need to be aware of your sitting position, as it may affect your calmness and focus. An example can be when you are leaning forward; you might strain your spine and shoulders and put your body in a more stressed position. Postures that subtly make you take shallow and short breaths are not ideal for relaxed driving
By sitting upright with your head parallel to the roof, you can feel your ribcage widen and contract with ease, allow for deep breathing, and generally feel more calm and focused on the road.
5. Kapalabhati Breathing
This breathing technique is so effective in blowing off steam, it deserves it's own category. This is technique is designed to remove toxins in you body and either create or release internal heat (exhaling out of the nose creates heat, while exhaling out of the mouth releases heat). This type of breathing involves an inhale that is natural and passive, followed by a forced, quick exhale.
When you are in traffic, if your tension builds up to levels that you begin to get angry, try this. You may start to notice that your anger slowly gets replaced by calmness.
By doing this procedure for about 30 seconds, you will begin to feel a change in your body and a lessening of stress. If this method causes you to feel dizzy, it is best not to try it while driving and you can do it briefly before you get in the car. For most, it will be safe.
Yoga is mainly meant for calming the mind regardless of life's circumstances. Driving with a calm mind is quite difficult, but with yoga, things can be more peaceful and joyous. With the right methods, even if the road is boring and stressful, your mind will remain focused and surprisingly calm. In case you lack sources for yoga and pranyama practices, you can use helpful yoga apps, like YogaDownload's app, that you can use just before embarking on your drive.
Have you ever lost focus or experienced stress while driving? How did you handle the situation? Feel free to share with us in the comments.
By Scott Pine
Scott Pine is a teacher and a writer who loves to explore absolutely new areas of writing about yoga, travel and lifestyle. Scott is also the owner of AutoExpertGuides. Follow him on Twitter.
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