Daily commutes can be stressful.
What starts as a great morning can quickly turn into a chaotic mess, especially if you’re driving or taking public transportation during rush hour traffic. What if, however, you could get to work relaxed and refreshed, even after a hectic commute? All you need is to create a ritual every day. In our ‘5 Steps to Your Home Yoga Practice’ post, we mentioned how it’s important to make a commitment and put yourself first when it comes to taking care of yourself. You can do this by practicing yoga every day, as it will help you stay calm amidst all the chaos and improve your morning and your focus at work.
The benefits of yoga for focus and concentration are well documented.
A study by the University of Illinois found that practicing yoga a few times week can improve cognitive functions, your body’s response to stress and psychological wellbeing.
In this regard, new connections between mental health and learning success have sparked a better understanding of how psychology impacts education. Maryville University’s overview of the relationship between psychology and workplaces, discusses how the above correlations have done the same for analysts in the private sector. As such, the psychological benefits yoga provides can help you stay more focused at work and improve your productivity. While not everyone has time to practice yoga every morning, today we’d like to share with you some yoga poses you can do while commuting, either in the car, bus or train.
Threading the Needle
When you’re stop at a red light or stuck in traffic, keep your left hand on the steering wheel and bring your right hand underneath the left. Slowly walk your right hand as far toward the back as you can, using the driver’s door for leverage. This exercise spreads your right shoulder blade away from your spine and is great for upper back pain. Repeat with the left hand.
Cow Face Pose
While standing on the bus, keep your feet flat on the floor and bring your left arm behind you so that your hand lies across the center of your back. With your left palm up, bring your right arm up and over your shoulder to your back and try to clasp your left hand. Louisiana Motor Coach says that this stretch will open up the intracostal muscles between your ribs, your shoulders and upper back. Even if you’re not quite flexible to make the grab, you’ll still reap the benefits by just trying. Switch arms and try again.
This breathing method is an effective technique for removing both stress and toxins from your body. While you can do this technique anywhere, you should do it in the comfort of your own vehicle, as it can get a little loud. This breath is a forced exhale followed by a natural inhale while bringing your navel center towards the spine during the exhale. This creates a warming sensation in your body and helps clear out toxins. Try it in four 30-second increments and you’ll be amazed at how calm and invigorated you’ll feel.
Cupping the Eyes
This is a rejuvenating technique and is suitable whether you’re driving or on a bus. Rub your hands together vigorously and then cup your eyes for 30 seconds or so. According to NDTV’s guide to yoga for your eyes, this method can provide relief from eyestrain after staring into a screen for a long time or too much reading.
This is a good way to keep your spine healthy while seated during long commutes, whether in the car or on the train. Stretch your arms forward, either on the steering wheel or the seats in front of you, and take a deep breath while you extend the spine and lean to one side while exhaling slowly. Inhale as you straighten your back to center then exhale again to the opposite side.
Written by Alyson Cara
Exclusive for rageyoga.com