It is the World Yoga Day today and given the times we live in, it’s all the more important that we follow the ancient Indian discipline that helps keep our mental, physical and spiritual health at peace. Given the times we live in, it’s extremely important that we keep a check on our mental health and Yoga is a great way to do that. Today stress and anxiety levels can increase from smallest of triggers, and unfortunately, our roads have plenty trigger points to stress you out when driving. It’s all the more important than that you keep calm and drive with a sound mind. Now, we understand that busy schedules and unending traffic jams can barely help with following an exercise schedule, and that’s why we listed some of the quick and easy yoga exercises that will help you stay fit and healthy when on the driver’s seat. Instead of cribbing your way through those traffic snarls, here are five yoga exercises that you must do when on the move.
Also Read: International Yoga Day: Tips For Stress-Free Driving
Concentrating on how you breathe can be a challenge but it’s the biggest helpers of all. A simple exercise which involves breathing in and breathing out could help calm you down. Breathe in and out for the same count with the same intensity. To help you understand this better concentrate on the movement of your stomach. Breathe in and the stomach moves out, Breathe out and the stomach goes in. This is usually done with your eyes closed, but you’re out on the road, so never shut your eyes. A thing to note here is not to do it excessively as this is just for temporary relief and will help in calming you down and deal with the traffic conditions till you get home. But do try it out and you’ll feel the difference.
Hand And Leg Stretching
Sitting for a long time in the car takes a toll on your joints, hands, legs, neck and the spine. We’ll get to the rest later but let’s start with the hands and legs. Please note though, that this exercise can be done only when the car is at a standstill (that is if you’re driving). Stretch out your hands on the steering wheel and open your fist and close it five times. This will help stretch the joints in your fingers and also the elbow and shoulder joints. Then, you can start to rotate the wrists in a clockwise and anticlockwise manner. Similarly you can stretch your legs too and move the toes up and down and then rotate the ankle joints in a clockwise and anticlockwise manner. These small stretching exercises will help in making blood flow in a seamless manner and keep you from getting worn out because of the traffic.
Post stretching the legs and hands, it’s time for the spine. Now the lower back gets affected the most when driving and this cat pose. To do this, keep both hands on the steering wheel at the same level. This will help in stretching out your hands and will also straighten the spine in the bargain. Once you’ve done this take a deep breath and bend your back while rolling the shoulders back slowly, then exhale and let the shoulders roll and form a hunch forward. This helps in stretching the back nicely and one thing to remember here is to keep breathing. At no point in time do you need to hold your breath.
Often you see drivers clutching onto their necks because yes, traffic strains the neck muscles. A quick stretch will relieve you of these problems. Please note that people who have spondylitis or any neck problems should not attempt this. Keeping your shoulders straight, touch your chin to your chest and then rotate your neck in a clockwise manner. Try and touch your ear to your shoulder without stretching your shoulder and keep rotating. Do it 2 or 3 times clockwise and the same number anticlockwise. This will help stretch the neck muscles and you’ll feel better instantly.
The side stretch is mainly for those who are driving long distances but if you’re in choc-a-bloc traffic, then you can do it too. Keeping both hands on the wheel, take a deep breath extend the spine and exhale slowly leaning to one side. While doing this, please remember to keep your eyes focused on the road. Inhale and come back to the center then exhale and move to the opposite side. It’s simple and the side stretch does wonders in letting go of your fatigue.