November 1, 2012

Why Yogis Shouldn’t Drive. ~ Michelle Marchildon

Yogis and babies make poor drivers.

Having teenagers who are learning to drive is a very humbling experience, especially when you’re pulled over for speeding while taking them to soccer practice.

“Do not,” I told them, “ever do this.”

There’s nothing like setting a good example for your kids.

That’s how I got to spend the better part of a beautiful day in Bad Yogis’ Driving School. You see, this was not the first time I was speeding on the way to soccer. So when I appeared before the judge he glanced at my record, and at me, and said, “You’ve got to be kidding.”

“I think there was a mistake,” I said.

“Which time?” he asked. Our soccer schedule has been very demanding.

Why do yogis make bad drivers? It might have to do with presence.

You see, most of my traffic violations come either before or after practice, which is pretty much all the time.

The last time this happened I had to do community time which consisted of making some adorable stuffed dinosaurs for children at Christmas. When my kids saw those critters, they cried, “Why didn’t you ever make us little dinosaurs?” Um? Because I wasn’t going to jail?

This time, I stayed out of the pokey but I had to take an Adult Defensive Driving Class and submit a paper to the judge showing what I’d learned. I learned that I never want to come back.

I know this is going to be upsetting to the people who believe that yogis are supposed to be good drivers. I’m sure I read that in the Yoga Sutras. The truth is, I’m a New Yorker, and you know what that means in terms of my driving!

The first thing I learned when I got to driving school was that of the 30 people in the course, absolutely not one of us thought we should have been there.

First there was the young man who said he wasn’t drunk, even though he was driving the wrong way on a one-way street. Then there was the man who had eluded police in a 20-minute car chase. There was the woman who set her cruise control to 80, because she thought there was a 15-mile per hour “grace” zone. FYI: In a bad economy there is no “grace” zone.

Then there was the man who hit the car in front of him because he was “distracted,” which meant he was shaving. Shaving? People are shaving in their car?

In my case, I was sure the police officer who clocked me at 50 in a 35 mile per hour zone had made a mistake. There is no way I could have been over the limit while trying to serve as a good role model! But after listening to everyone else I thought I should admit to not paying attention, although not being present is an occupational hazard for yogis.

I am now further along on the path to enlightenment which means I am better at paying attention to things like speed limits. And, it seems like I was a good role model after all. My children are now excellent drivers. Apparently, they saw me spending my weekends making stuffed dinosaurs or going to driving school, and they must have figured it would be easier not to do the crime, than to serve the time.

Editor: Lynn Hasselberger

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