The Zen of Winter Driving

We all know how stressful it can be driving in the snow.  Especially here in the Fraser Valley where we rarely see much snow.  Locals in BC even admit to being terrible winter drivers. It becomes our practice when getting behind the wheel to be safe.

Most folks reading the Live Yoga blog have practiced some yoga and can relate to being calm and aware after yoga practice.  Zen practice is the study(or meditating on) of ourselves, and our environment so here are some winter driving tips that relate to our yoga practice.

Sauca (cleanliness) – we keep out practice area clean and tidy while doing yoga. Putting props or blocks away allows us to  have a clutter free area to focus.  The same can be said for cleaning off your car after a snowfall.  If you can’t see you will be a terrible driver there is no questioning that.  In fact it is illegal to drive without first clearing all snow from your vehicle as it could be hazardous for others on the road.  Cleanliness brings the clarity to see and reach our destination safely.   

Non-Reactivity – During postures or meditation we practice feeling and work on not being overly reactive to the situations and feelings that arise.  This is a great practice for driving on snowy and icy roads.  Over reacting, like punching the gas pedal, cranking a sharp corner, or hammering on the brakes is very ineffective way to ensure traction. In other words you will be skidding and spinning out all over the road if you react too quickly or with more force than needed.  So sit back take a deep breath and drive with more subtle actions like coasting slowly into a corner, tapping the breaks to check for ice when stopping, and observing the actions of others on the road around you.

Relaxation – Relax, take your time, let your nerves settle.  These are instructions we often relate with Savasana or relaxation posture.  When driving in winter conditions it is best to slow down and not race to get where you are going.  Calming the mind and the nerves will let you go at your own pace so you have time to stop at that red light, slow down for a corner and most importantly avoid the ever so common fender bender.  So take things SLOW! We don’t rush our yoga practice why rush our driving.

Does philosophy and winter driving mix.  Not really but it is fun to see how what we learn through practicing yoga, being in our body, developing clarity and awareness lends a hand in other parts of our lives.  With all the snow this Winter 2017 we can use all tools bestowed upon us to drive safely.

If you are still in need of winter driving practice you can hang up those keys, roll out your mat, and enjoy the company of yourself leaving the blustery weather conditions for others to worry about.