Yoga on the road ?

As a frequent driver, I experience my fair share of aches, pains and fatigue from prolonged driving position. I think yoga can help to keep the stationary muscles loose and reduce the aches, pains and fatigue after a drive. It can make the driver more focused and calm, this helps a lot in hectic traffic situations.
How should I be doing yoga while driving ?
Here are some tips.
At a fresh red light, if there is no interesting scenary to look at, I like to do some Bhastrika breathing to expand my rib cage to stretch our my intercostals muscles. To do this, contact the belly and keep it contracted, use forceful inhale and exhale to expand and contract the rib cage. I keep it to max of 10 inhale/exhale per round as it may feel a little light headed after it. Not advisable for people who has gastric, high blood pressure, menses, pregnant, cancer or empty stomach.
At a slow moving traffic jam or hectic driving conditions, I like to do some Ujjayi breathing to calm the brain and regulate my breath to a slower and smoother pace. To do this, I maintain a same duration of my inhale and exhale throughout my breath, force the air into the back of the throat, it should result in a soft hissing sound. When I have control over my breathing, my driving becomes more controlled.
Neck tension is one of the most common problems when I stay in a stationary position. So whenever I can I like to do some neck stretches during a stop at a red light, I slowly turn my head to the right as I exhale, look over my right shoulder, hold for 3 seconds and come back to neutral position and now for the other side. I would repeat the stretches if time permits. During the exercise I would keep my body facing forwards with hands relaxed on the steering wheel.
Tummy toning is one of exercises that I cannot do enough of to get rid of the belly fat, so whenever I’m driving, I squeeze my abdominals in and hold for 5 breaths and release slowly, I try to repeat this exercise whether I can.
Whenever I have parked my car and waiting to pick up my friends/family, I would do some stretches on the shoulder joints, I would raise one of my arms and have my palm on the back of the head rest, using my other hand to push the elbows back for a stretch, consciously not to over extend my shoulder joint.
Hope my tips have help improve your driving experience.
Namaste.
By : Ronald Tan (200hr Yoga TTC 07/14 weekend)

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