Yoga has done so much more for this chick than make her bendy. (End 3rd person narrative here). The practice has translated into my life in so many unexpected ways…
I’ll admit it, for the longest time I thought Road Rage was in my blood, part of my DNA. Someone would cut me off and my blood would boil. The murderous glares would start, and the tail riding would ensue. “They are gonna KNOW just how mad I am! I mean if looks could kill!”
Now I just have to laugh.
(not in order):
1. Non-violence. When someone flips you off return the one finger wave with an open palm. Smile and Wave. Maybe they have had a bad day. Violence and anger are not appeased with violence and anger. Ahimsa anyone?
2. Humility. Practice letting someone else speed away from a stoplight BEFORE you. I mean are we really in a race here? Is your ego that big?
3. Patience. Are you late, are you late, for a very important date? Go the speed limit. I guarantee the 2 extra minutes you’ll gain speeding (that is if you don’t get pulled over) will do nothing to impress those waiting for you. Patience my dear Watson.
4. Conscious Observation! I know I used to have those moments of getting to my destination and not remembering the journey. “how the heck did I even get here?” moments. Try to observe more than just the bumper in front of you as you drive. What colors are the cars, what is the weather like, how vibrant is the energy on the road, how green are the leaves of the trees, how clean is the side of the road. Oh, and there is always the breath to notice.
5. Gratitude. Gratitude for the ability to travel distances to see friends, family, go to work. Gratitude for the cool breeze outside your window, gratitude for sun shining through the glass, gratitude for heat in winter and AC in summer, you get the drift.
6. Abstinence or Moderation. Try not to ditch the auto all together for reasonable distances. Instead hop on the bike or take a leisurely stroll. Directly this relates back to Bramacharya-Having an awareness as to when enough is enough is a huge part of the bramacharya practice and ultimately allows us an increased sense of vitality and well being.
7. Silence. Try to turn inward. Shut off the radio, forget you have a horn, turn the cell phone off or put it on vibrate. Let yourself sit in the “now” instead of the distractions.
8. Cleanliness. This is one I still need to tackle. We spend more time behind the wheel than we think. Treat your space with respect. Keep your car clean and tidy and you may feel better about the time you spend there, less distracted, and more open to #1-7. Directly this relates to Sauca, Sauca has a deeper meaning, with both inner and outer aspects of a person included in it. Outer cleanliness refers to personal hygiene, while inner cleanliness indicates maintenance of a healthy body and mind, with positive thinking. Cleanliness of mind is achieved by the removal of mental impurities, such as jealousy, pride, anger and so on.
9. Non-covetousness. Instead of checking out the cool BMW or Porche next to you with envy, be happy with the fact that you have transportation, whether it’s your car or the city bus or your own two feet. Being mobile is cool enough. when we let go of something or someone or some idea (what car we “should” drive, what life we “should” be leading), we have space in our lives to grow. Aparigraha– non-attachment.
10. Alignment. Align your body and your mind. Check out how your posture has slumped or how your back is rigid, maybe your shoulders are rounding forward. Let the posture return and the body-mind connection soften and re-connect. The rest will fall into place.
I hope Patanjali would approve. Use your niyamas, your yamas, your common yogic sense. Really it all boils down to awareness!
How do you practice yoga off your mat and in every day life? Comments and questions area always welcome 🙂