Getting stuck in traffic is enough to turn your hair grey. Blood pressure rises, muscles tense, and a positive attitude plummets when your car is at a standstill. Thankfully, there are things you can do to make the experience more pleasurable, and gain some health benefits while in the process.
The following are three easy yoga inspired exercises you can do the next time you find yourself wedged bumper to bumper.
Scoot your hips back so that your spine is upright against the seat of your car. Lift the crown of your head toward the sky as you inhale deeply, and press your hips down into the seat as you exhale fully. By doing this, you are creating space and decompression between each vertebra. As a result, you will gain energy, not to mention have to readjust your rear view mirror to take on your new height.
Now that your spine is stretched and lengthened, it’s time to add a twist. If you are at a stopping point where you don’t have to keep your eyes on the road, start to twist your body to the left. Reach your right hand for the top of the steering wheel, and your left hand on the headrest. Use your arms to gain a little bit more leverage for your twist. Take 3 to 5 deep breaths before switching sides.
This yoga inspired exercise will keep you from experiencing rage when the rubber meets the road. Place both hands on the steering wheel in the 10 and 2 o’clock positions. Hang on with a firm grip and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Lift your chest up slightly and, if appropriate, look up towards the sky (great if you have a sunroof!) Hold for 3 to 5 breaths.
Extra Tip: If the traffic has got the best of you, practice a few rounds of Lion’s Breath. Inhale deeply, and then exhale loudly to make the sound of a lion roaring. This will relieve tension and help to lower your blood pressure. You might actually get a laugh out of it, or at least the person in the next lane over will be chuckling.
February 7th, 2013