Years ago, road rage did not exist, not in theory and not in definition. People took Sunday drives, drivers let others cut in front of them at intersections, and people reserved honking for times when safety was compromised. However, as the population continued to boom and peoples’ lives became increasingly hurried and stressful, road rage went from being nonexistent to plaguing our city streets. Having been given its own encyclopedia entry, road rage can now be found as an explanation used in courtrooms, news desks, and hospitals.
By definition, road rage is the term used to describe criminally violent behavior by the driver of a vehicle. It’s a term that is usually synonymous with “aggressive driving” and one that often results in car accidents. While many people assume that road rage behavior is limited to driving, those who possess it often have underlying issues, a hidden problem that prevents them from remaining under control in stressful situations.
With the recent announcement that the US population has reached 300 million people, it’s easy to assume that roads are going to become even more subject to grid lock.. As more and more cars fill up lanes of traffic, road rage will likely continue to fester, making itself an epidemic plaguing our nation’s highways.
While road rage can be the reason for accidents, tickets, hospital stays and, in worst case scenarios, death, there is some good news about it: road rage is preventable.. In a world filled with epidemics that have no cures, we have the ability to eradicate road rage – in the form of a steering wheel – literally in our hands: all it takes are some mindful manners on the road.
Yoga and Road Rage
You may think that yoga has little to do with road rage, with both entities residing on separate sides of the cool, calm and collected spectrum. But, yoga greatly has the ability to influence road rage by helping you to minimize stress and practice self control. Yoga provides a vehicle for relaxation, taking away the vehicle filled with rage.
The term “Just Breathe” has been used throughout the ages, establishing itself as an act used to calm people down. It is a term that has built a reputation based on effectiveness: breathing does facilitate calmness. This is because it helps to remove negative energy and stale air out of the body, replacing them with positive energy and rejuvenating oxygen. Breathing also facilitates circulation, helping the body to rid itself of tension and become more relaxed, less rigid, and far less likely to succumb to the stress of a traffic jam.
A major part of yoga is breathing; it is as essential to yoga as it is to human life.. Because yoga teaches you how to get the most out of each breath, it helps the body to utilize the benefits of oxygen, leaving people naturally more calm and refreshed.. Through conscious breathing, a practice taught in yoga, you learn to focus on the characteristics of each breath you take, helping to remove external stress factors, including that car honking in the background.
Be Self Aware
Yoga is a practice that allows you to know yourself, getting in touch with who you are and your capabilities. While this kind of life lesson can help in all walks of life, it can also be helpful in thwarting road rage. When you know yourself well, you are better able to understand when you may be on the brink of losing control, allowing yourself to work at calming down or, if need be, pulling over and letting the stress subside. When you are self aware, along these lines, you are better able to put things into perspective, grasping onto the concept that a traffic jam is just a traffic jam and not the end of the world.
In addition to helping you become self aware, yoga also helps you to become more aware of your surroundings. When on the road, being aware of those around you is essential to safety and driving defensively can save your car and your life. By knowing your surroundings, and anticipating the moves of your fellow drivers, you may be further able to avoid overly aggressive drivers, drivers who probably don’t practice yoga regularly.
Yoga is an activity that transcends several parts of life, making those who practice it more efficient on all sorts of levels. Because it is an empowering activity, those who take yoga are benefited with a new level of control, proactivity, and productivity. These all work together to help you plan ahead, giving yourself enough time to reach your destination.
A main cause of road rage is people rushing to get somewhere and becoming irritated at slow moving traffic or slow drivers. Some people may never experience road rage unless they are at risk for being late for something. Because of this, planning ahead, and giving yourself enough time to get where you need to go can greatly decrease the rage you may feel when traffic rolls to an unwanted stop.
Some road rage may be unavoidable; when drivers around you are driving aggressively, you may become a victim of road rage from no fault of your own. However, for the road rage incidents that lie within, you have the key to turn off the ignition. By practicing yoga, and applying the principles you learn in yoga to life on the every day road, you can do your part at making road rage pull over for good.
About us: TWISTED is a medical yoga studio at the Center for Osteopathic Medicine in Boulder, Colorado. Twisted integrates osteopathic medicine, Hatha yoga and mindfulness practices to teach optimal balance between physical, mental, and emotional health. It aims to educate and help people to live a healthy life from the inside out. Rehabilitation programs offer a comprehensive treatment regime for the whole being, empowering each person one breath at a time to stimulate the body’s natural healing potential.
Jennifer Jordan is senior editor of http://www.yogatwisted.com. Specializing in articles that not only teach yoga techniques, but also teach techniques on fulfillment and enrichment, she aims to educate students proudly enrolled in the school of life.