Be mindful of your thoughts as they will become your actions.
I’ve just finished a 90 minute hot yoga class that has encompassed all aspects you want, relaxation, physical exertion, cleansing breaths, words of wisdom and of course the ending in shavasana.
I am blissed out, happy, content, satisfied, as well as hungry and very thirsty.
I get in the car and put on Pandora, Florence and the Machine station, continue my blissful state with good music and make my way home thinking of the gigantic breakfast I am going to fix to refuel my body and then….
“You son of a bitch bastard, cutting me off!” I say as I lean on the horn and have the overwhelming desire to just ram this individual who is apparently driving as if they are the only human being left on the freaking planet.
And I think to myself, where the hell did my bliss go?!
I am a very calm person by nature, very easygoing; I do not fly off the handle, and it takes a lot to get me upset or pissed off. But what is it about driving a car that can turn people into maniacs? I know it is not just me.
Any day on the road and you can see it in action, people flipping each other off, words being exchange, dangerous actions with a 2,000+ pound hunk of metal. I have been in the car with my fellow yoga buddies driving; I am not by any stretch alone in this. Granted people who do yoga tend to me a little calmer by nature of the practice, but we are all still human.
How many times have you come across a car that is driving like a little old lady/man, and as you pull up next to them, because you have to look, it happens to be a little old lady/man?
Then there is the one when you think, do they have their driver’s license yet? Sure enough, as you pull up next to them and stare, you see it is some pure teenager white knuckling the wheel. Then you have the car talkers, the car texters, the radio fumblers, the make up appliers… you get the gist.
I think to myself as I drive, I might need to go back to yoga and relax, almost as if it is a personal counselor. When the reality is I am the one who is in total control, or lack of control in these situations. All the power lies within me to relax and stay calm.
I use the following principals to help me through some of these situations:
Other drivers are not slowing me down. I should have left earlier.
It’s not your fault there is traffic. You should have planned better.
The fact that anger is only a sign of something else. Most likely, in this case, it is being scared, fight or flight response.
Relax and enjoy the ride. Take notice of a drive, even if you do it every day. Watch how the sun or moon is different day to day. Or, notice that lake you drive by but never notice.
The most important concept to remember is that no matter where you are going, you have people either waiting for you there or waiting for you to return. They expect you to return alive and in one piece. Be mindful of your thoughts as they will become your actions.
Remember, we are all connected on this ball of ours and our actions can have direct effect on those around us. So relax, and take your time as you make your way to wherever you need to go and realize getting there safe and sound is more important than getting there by setting a new time record.
Brian Edwardo, an IT geek with a yoga problem, currently earning his 200 hour yoga teacher training in order pass his love of yoga onto others. When not working on his inversions, you can find him on a trail with his crazy Chihuahua who loves to chase ground hogs, or a kayak, or a bike, pretty much anything that gets him outside. Unless there is good food involved then it is spent with family, friends and loved ones.
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Ed: Brianna Bemel