Car yoga: top yoga positions for safer driving
Every day driving isn’t always the most peaceful experience. If you’re commuting, running late or stuck in traffic driving can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. Driving while you’re stressed and unfocused can be dangerous for you and other road users.
To help keep your mind clear and your journeys as safe and relaxed as possible our yoga expert, Evangelia Kokkinou, has put together some simple car yoga poses. We know that no one has time to do a long yoga session before heading off so these stretches and breathing exercises take almost no time at all.
**All of these exercises should only be done while you’re stopped and not while you’re driving. **
Before you drive
To begin your journey we have two simple yoga exercises to calm your mind, lightly stretch your body and put you in a relaxed mindset for your trip ahead.
Palm tree pose
Start in mountain pose with your feet hip width apart. Take a few deep breaths and interlace your fingers. Slowly bring your arms up, raising them straight above your head with your palms facing upwards.
**Tadasana Gomukhasana **
Start in mountain pose, or if you’re in palm tree pose slowly lower arms, bringing you back to mountain pose. Raise one arm above your head and reach around your back to grasp your other hand
Yoga before you start driving
Stuck in traffic
If you drive you’re eventually going to run into a traffic jam. They can be a real nightmare but there’s not much you can do to change them. Better to refocus your mind and keep calm. With each of these stretch be conscious of your breath and feel the tension ease out of your neck and back.
Start by looking straight ahead and gently pull your head to the side with your hand, applying light pressure, until your ear is almost touching your shoulder.
Posterio Shoulder Stretch
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Link your fingers and bring your hands above your head with your palms facing up. Slowly bend at a little your waist bringing your arms forward at the same time until they’re stretched out in front of your face.
Yoga for traffic jams
Combatting road rage
Did someone just cut you off or is the driver in front of you going as slow as possible? You might feel the stress and anger start to build as you’re driving. But remember, you can’t control how other road users drive, only how you respond to it. Better to take some calming breaths and get on with the trip.
When you start to feel the stress building up, concentrate on your breathing. Take a few deep breaths in and out, put on one of your favourite songs and try thinking of something that brings you joy.
To release some stress rubbing your temples, jawline or eyebrows can help. People have the tendency to clench their jaws or hold tension in their face when stressed so a gentle face rub can do a lot to help. Only do these exercises when your car is stopped.
Yoga against road rage
End of your journey
You’ve arrived at your destination! But before you move on to what’s next you can take a small break to stretch and decompress, ensuring you’re fully relaxed and ready. Hop out of the car and move through these simple exercises.
Stand with your feet hip width apart, arms by your sides and palms facing forwards. Take a moment to breathe deeply.
Standing side bend
Standing straight, lift one arm up and bend your body to the side. If you’ve lifted your left arm then bend towards the right. Return to an up right position and repeat on the other side. Remember to be mindful of your breathing.
While in mountain pose, roll your head in a slow circular motion, stretching your neck muscles.
Start in mountain pose, then step your right foot back, bringing your right foot’s heel to the floor. Bend your left leg’s so your knee is over your ankle. For more stability you can use the back of your car and lean against it with both hands.
Once you’ve finished don’t forget to thank yourself for staying calm and safe during your trip.
At LeasePlan, aiming to make our fleet the safest in the industry and we’re serious about accelerating change by calling for low-speed communities and working towards zero road traffic injuries by 2030. Our SafePlan Zero strategy includes content, tools, guidelines and reports on the three major safety areas: the driver, the vehicle and fleet management. Join us in our journey to zero by learning more about what companies can do to make fleets safer.