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4 Skills Every Trucker Should Have To Improve Truck Driver Health

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The trucking industry is often more competitive than people think. There can be a lot of individuals applying for the same preposition. Knowing the skills you need is essential beyond standard driving qualifications. And when it comes to skills, drivers should have skills to take care of truck drivers’ health is critical.

 

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4 Skills Every Trucker Should Have To Improve Truck Driver Health

First Aid

 

At this point, you might think, wait, I’m going to be alone for most of the trip. While this is true, it is worth considering what might happen if you end up in an accident. If you have a first aid qualification, you could provide vital support to anyone injured. First aid could be a critical skill for a truck driver.

Don’t forget; this does include yourself. It’s easy to forget that skills in first aid will ensure that you can provide primary care for yourself if you are injured too. You’ll know the proper steps to take. You can learn more about this on sites that offer first aid qualifications. Regarding truck driver health, first aid is essential; being certified could save a life or even yours. 

 

Customer Service

 

You might also want to consider your customer or client service skills. If you are new to the trucking industry, it’s easy to assume that there are virtually no interactions with other people. While true, you will spend most of your time on the road. You’ll still interact and engage with clients, customers, or colleagues. These interactions will impact how people judge and view your service. As such, you need to know how to interact with people at your final destination and on the road. Remember, your behavior will alter the perception of the business you’re working for. How people perceive you create an energy of how you are treated and when you are treated poorly or negatively, which can alter our mood, state of being, and overall truck driver health status. 

Consider taking a breath before you speak and ask yourself, is what I am about to say necessary and kind? You can be honest and kind at the same time.

 

Patience 

 

You must have patience when you’re a truck driver. There will be many times when you are stuck in traffic or when there are countless factors beyond your control. In times like this, mistakes can and will happen if you are not patient. It would help if you were willing to wait it out and have the mindset that some things can not be changed or fixed by you. This will also help you improve the quality of your driving. 

Consider practicing deep breathing like the 3 and 6 Count Breath to improve your truck driver’s health:

  • Inhale for three counts through the nose. 
  • Exhale for six counts through the mouth. 
  • Repeat this for one minute. 
  • Then observe how you feel. 

Do this whenever you feel stressed, annoyed, or low on patience. Mother Trucker Yoga has audio meditations for drivers to help you with patience! This is just one skill to have to improve truck driver health.

Mechanical Knowledge

 

Like first aid, you don’t need this skill as a trucker. But it can be helpful to have. Your employer won’t expect you to have mechanical knowledge, but it’s great if you know a little about how your vehicle works for a few reasons. First, it will ensure that you know the signs there’s a problem with the vehicle, which may mean it’s not safe to drive. Catching these signs early will help you avoid an accident. Second, it can ensure that you know what to do if your truck breaks down at the side of the road and may provide you can get it up and running again without waiting for support. 

 

We hope this helps you understand some of the skills you should have as a truck driver. By learning these skills, you can ensure that you are more likely to be hired for a position. You will also be more effective in any trucking job that you are chosen for.

Mental Health Awareness Month: Take A Breath Driver

Breathing is one of those things we all do, yet we rarely think about it; when a system like the respiratory works without us having to think about it or make it happen, it’s called “involuntary.”

The respiratory system has the unique ability to work all on its own without our help, unlike the muscular system, which works voluntarily.

This month is Mental Health Awareness Month and it’s a perfect time to tune in and tap into how powerful our breath actually is.

When we breathe, we get this precious gift called life.

Did you know?

We can survive 21 days without food, seven days without water but can only go one to three minutes without oxygen.

And at the 60-second mark, brain cells are already dying.

Yet after 20 years of teaching yoga to others, there is one thing I have come to find, many do not like to breathe.

 

I would often notice few would appreciate the art of breathing practices (pranayama) in yoga. You could see people start to fidget, become distracted, and even get annoyed at the idea that they weren’t “doing anything” during their yoga class. Yet without the ability to breathe, nothing on the yoga mat would even be possible. With May being mental health awareness month let’s take a few minutes today to focus in on simple strategies you can add to your daily routine today that cost you nothing and take minimal time and effort. 

It’s time you learn to breathe to improve your truck driver’s health!

Breathing is a tool. Those that learn to harness the device and tap into its vast abilities to improve, help and even heal the body get to reap the benefits of increased vitality, health, and happiness. But time and time again, I have observed others choose pills, alcohol, and even violence to manage what we all call stress or our emotions rather than tap into this tool we are all born with and have access to us at any given time. 

Stress can alter just about any system in the body if we allow it to. 

Stress management sign mother trucker yoga blog

Stress can:

  • Raise our blood pressure
  • Increase our heart rate
  • Increase our body temperature
  • Leave us in physical pain
  • Can decrease our immune system
  • Give us stomach discomfort
  • Make it difficult to sleep
  • Can affect your libido 
  • Tense your muscles 
  • Cause weight gain 
  • Burden your nervous system
  • Leave shallow breathing

When is the last time you felt the effects of any of the above and thought you should practice deep breathing? 

When my oldest son was small, and he’d get stressed out, the first thing I would have him do is deep breathing. Three deep breaths, I’d say, and we’d do them together. He’s now nearly a teenager, and I have observed him repeatedly defaulting to deep breathing when he is stressed, angry, frustrated, or can’t sleep. He automatically uses this incredible tool we all walk around with every day but rarely tap use voluntarily. 

The average American breathes with less than 18% of their lung capacity. That’s what I like to call clavicle breathing. It’s no wonder we are a stressed-out, upset, unhealthy out touch society. I say these are the very things I have felt before yoga and learning how to tap into my breathing. And the same things I think when I’m not in my body, using my breathing, and feeling grounded in my skin. 

How do we breathe?

The average person takes about ten breaths per minute; that’s an average of 22,000-24,000 breaths per day. That’s a lot of breathing. And when we breathe, we inhale necessary oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide and toxins that our body wants to remove. When we breathe, our lungs expand and take in air, and our diaphragm lowers and expands as well, taking in oxygen to then be distributed out to the millions of cells throughout our body that need that fresh oxygen to live. 

Dr. James Hoyt, a pulmonologist, says, “Our respiratory muscles don’t have the luxury of being out of shape.” Yet how many people can say with certainty that they use them, work them, build them like their bicep regularly? There is a saying, “use it or lose it,” and it fits here with our breathing. 

 A recent study in the Journal of Neurophysiology may support this, revealing that several brain regions linked to emotion, attention, and body awareness are activated when we pay attention to our breath.

And, also nearly every system in the body is connected to our respiratory system or breathing. 

  • Our metabolism increases when we practice deep breathing.
  • Our autonomic nervous system regulates when we deep breathe.
  • Our digestion can settle and improve when deep breathing.
  • Our muscles relax and get total oxygen, helping them not to cramp.
  • Our lymphatic systems become stimulated, hand and hand, with our immune system, both stimulated when we breathe.
  • Our body is fully oxygenated when we deep breathe.

And one of our deep breathing’s most impressive features is that it stimulates our vegas nerve. 

What is the vagus nerve?

The vagus nerve is the longest of the cranial nerves, extending from the brainstem to the abdomen through multiple organs, including the heart, esophagus, and lungs.

It controls the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which contains your relaxation response. Most people never breathe deep enough to stimulate this impressive nerve.

We need the vagus nerve to be alive and working because the vagus nerve controls your mood, heart rate, digestion, and immune response. Stimulating your vagus nerve can help to regulate many functions in your body.

Vagus nerve stimulation has been linked to treating epilepsy, improving digestive conditions, reducing inflammation, and managing anxiety disorders.

The journal Frontiers in Neuroscience reported in 2018 that the poor function of the vagus nerve could lead to mood and anxiety disorders. But most importantly, when you stimulate the vagus nerve, you can reduce anxiety, stress, and mood disorders. All of this can happen when you learn to breathe more deeply and more often. 

WAKE UP, PEOPLE! BREATHING IS FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where does your breathing fall?

Clavicle Breathers: 

Those that breathe only into the upper chest, throat, and shoulders. These breathers often have lifted shoulders and a tense neck. 

Chest Breathers: 

Those that breathe into the center of the chest. 

Abdominal Breathers: 

Those that breathe deep into the belly and feel their lungs and abdomen expand freely. 

We have forgotten our unique ability to help and heal ourselves. When you were a baby, no one had to tell you how to breathe, yet there you were, breathing so deeply that your entire torso was expanding and contracting every breath you took. I have listened and watched my children as infants, and now adolescents get upset and even cry only to default to their breathing to calm them down. It’s in you; you have done it; you have just forgotten how to do it. 

Deep Abdominal Breathing Technique:

This is the perfect technique to try for Mental Health Awareness Month.

  1. Sitting tall or lying down comfortably, place one hand on your belly and one hand on your heart/chest. 
  2. Exhale completely through your mouth and hear your breath move out of your body. 
  3. Inhale through your nose move your breath deeply into your lower hand (belly) and feel it expand. Continue to move your breath up to notice your upper hand (chest) rise. 
  4. Exhale slowly move the air out, feeling your belly collapse and your chest lower (in any order). 
  5. Soften your jaw and relax your body, focus on fully emptying your belly when you exhale, and fully expand when you inhale. 
  6. Work yourself up towards a count of four counts on the inhale and eight on the exhale. 
  7. Repeat this for two to five minutes. 
  8. Anytime your mind wanders, bring it back to your breathing. 
  9. Allow yourself to hear your breath each time you inhale and exhale. 

How to do deep abdominal breathing

To improve your truck driver health, continue this practice daily in the morning to wake up, when you are feeling stressed, waiting in traffic (minus the hands-on your body), or before you go to sleep to help you relax. 

You have tools to help you breathe, relax, fall asleep. The real question is, are you using them? 

Take inventory since it’s mental health awareness month, how is your breathing?

Deep Abdominal Breathing Benefits:

 Various deep abdominal breathing forms have been linked to cardiovascular benefits, including increased blood flow and improved blood pressure. Deep breathing is also a helpful tool for relaxation and sleep. Taking deep breaths can also help you manage stress and improve cognitive function like brain fog and lack of focus and concentration.

If every tool you are reaching for is outside of yourself, let me ask you, have you tried the tools you were born with? The tools you were given and are the very tools that make this life possible? The tool I am talking about is your breathing. 

Try This:

For one week, practice deep abdominal breathing at least one time a day. Work to practice it at the same time each day. Set the alarm on your phone or in your calendar and make it a priority. All too often, we say something doesn’t work or help, and we have never really tried it, let alone given it the attention required to see results. 

Trucking yoga can be as simple as paying attention to your breathing. Truck driver health does not need to be complicated. And you benefit from it the most!

After seven days, come back and let us know how you did. What changed, what you noticed or found. Every month can be mental health awareness month, don’t let your mental health slip away.

Now take a deep breath and start living! 

Mother Trucker Yoga LIFESTYLE JUMPSTART App and platform image

Resources:
https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/what_focusing_on_the_breath_does_to_your_brain
https://www.uchealth.org/today/understanding-breathing-and-the-importance-of-taking-a-deep-breath/
https://www.healthline.com/health/facts-about-stress#25.-Past-experiences-can-cause-stress-later-in-life
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.n
https://www.consumerreports.org/mental-health/ways-to-manage-stress/ih.go

Beat Stressful Times With A Good Stretch

We could all do with a more peaceful life, and there are many ways to try to get that. One of the most popular ways is with yoga. 

 

Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years and is something that everybody and everybody can benefit from. 

 

Often our attention is pulled in so many different directions. Our family needs us, work has issues, bills need to be paid, and you still need to think about what to cook for dinner. 

 

It all seems small at the time, but it builds up pretty quickly – until it can feel like it is unmanageable. 

 

Anxiety, stress, and feeling overworked and overwhelmed are no way to live your daily life. And when all of these things start to pile up, it can be too easy to find yourself turning to something to help you cope. 

 

One of the most common reasons people turn to alcohol and then to alcohol rehab is to use alcohol as a coping mechanism. 

take a deep breath mother trucker yoga blog

Why should you consider yoga?

There isn’t just one type of yoga; there are many different types, so there is something for everyone. It works on engaging more than just your body and seeks to engage your emotions and mental well-being. And with Mother Trucker Yoga- trucking yoga, it’s all about mindful movements, stretching, and fitness explicitly made for drivers just like you. 

 

Since yoga has many different types and intensities, you can explore what works. Typically, the right yoga style will leave you feeling calm, rejuvenated, and your body will indeed thank you. And as a driver, trucking yoga focuses on small, simple changes, the easy, quick exercises you can do in just minutes a day.

 

Yoga will focus on your breathing and help you learn how to control it. Careful breathing techniques are great at reducing anxiety and helping you focus on the moment. It is perfect for calming loud thoughts too. Trucking yoga focuses a lot on breathing because your breath is your lifeforce, and learning to control your breathing can alter how you think, feel and move every day.

 

There might be some meditation in your yoga practice, which will help you to highlight negative thoughts, what triggers them, and how you can remove them. 

 

And of course, the most significant part of yoga is the poses. The poses will release tension in your body and increase your core strength and flexibility. There are some easy beginner poses, and then there are those that require more focus and effort. 

 

Health benefits of yoga

Everything that we gain from doing yoga is positive, and it is well known for offering some of the easiest ways to beat down your stress levels. 

 

Improved fitness is one of the things you will get from doing yoga regularly. It helps with range of motion, flexibility, and balance. And when it comes to driver fitness, yoga is one of the best ways to get moving again, no matter your age or body type is. 

 

Stress reduction is the number one benefit of doing yoga. After even one yoga session, you will get a sense of calm and well-being, and the more you do it, the more often you experience those moments. 

 

A complete yoga flow will help you calm your mind, control your breathing and work out tension in the body. And it has been shown to help improve anxiety, migraines, stress, depression, and sleeplessness. 

 

What makes yoga a great choice is that each pose can be modified to work with what your body needs. 

 

Small changes like adding a yoga flow or drinking more water make a huge difference to our bodies and minds; read more: National Drink Water Day – 6 Reasons Science Says You Should Drink Water

 

All you need to know about the benefits of yoga for travel

Traveling is a life-changing experience. It can be physically and mentally stressful. Such planned experiences can sometimes not go according to plan or loop us into exhaustion. From finding it hard to sleep in unfamiliar places to spending long hours in traffic, finding an activity that grounds you to your core and helps you overcome the adversities that come along with traveling. Here is where trucking yoga comes along. If you want to know more about the benefits of yoga for travel, keep on reading!

Five benefits of yoga for travel you should know

It reminds you to breathe.

Breathing is a vital part of yoga practice. Learn to focus on your breathing- it can make solutions far more accessible. When you focus on your breath during yoga, challenging poses become easier. The same is the case with travel. Difficult situations arise all the time and can knock the wind out of us. In those moments, trucking yoga can help you assess conditions very calmly through deep breaths.

Try this:

  1. Sit tall
  2. Relax your shoulders
  3. Relax your face, jaw, tongue
  4. Close your eyes
  5. Take a deep breath in through your nose and work to fill your belly and lungs as much as you can with fresh new prana (oxygen).
  6. Now slowly work to breathe out through your nose, making that exhale slightly longer than the inhale
  7. Repeat this again two more times.
  8. How do you feel?

It makes you appreciate the present.

If you ask me what yoga teaches, I would say it teaches you to be present in your current state-mindful of what the heck you are doing in your life, your thoughts, your actions in this very moment. You’re supposed to live in the present and find steadiness at the moment and you can’t do that when you are rushing a million miles an hour each day (that’s why we breathe). When you’re traveling, that’s exactly what you need. It can be tough to devote an hour to yoga on the road, but trucking yoga can be quite helpful in these cases. Appreciating what you have in front of you and being grateful for it can make a huge difference in your outlook on life, especially while traveling long distances. 

So what can you do today?

Try this:

  1. Sit tall
  2. Inhale and reach your arms up overhead
  3. Interlace your fingers and press your palms up to the sky
  4. Drop your shoulders and try to be as tall and long as you can
  5. Breathe for five breaths
  6. How do you feel now?
  7. That’s yoga.

It eases muscular tension.

Are you traveling with backpacks? Sitting behind the wheel for a 12-hour road trip? The weight of physically carrying yourself from one destination to the other can create a lot of tension in our muscles and limbs. This could cause further fatigue and injury if the tension is not released. So what is the benefit of yoga for travel in this case?

Stretching can alleviate the stress in your body, and what better way to stretch than a few minutes of yoga? If you establish a yoga habit, your muscle tissues will thank you for the extra strength in them! Poses such as (half) downward-facing dog, and figure-four stretch will help reduce stress and tension in your tissues. And don’t forget to ease your muscles with STIFF Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream thereafter. 

All you need to know about the benefits of yoga for travel downdog and figure 4 pose mother trucker yoga blog hope Zvara

For step by step instructions on these poses and more check out Mother Trucker Yoga LIFESTYLE JUMPSTART Membership Platform & APP

 

It can be practiced everywhere.

trucking yoga simple fitness for the long haul book mother trucker yoga hope zvara

Grab your copy!

There are many yoga studios you can drop into, books on the subject that could guide you through the poses, as well as formal classes where you could learn to stretch your body. But the best part of doing yoga is that it doesn’t require any more than your body and some space to stretch. This makes it your travel best friend.

 

Yoga improves blood circulation.

So far, you know how well stretching does for your body but did you know it also improves your body circulation? Sitting behind the wheel for hours can increase the need to have better circulation in the legs and arms to avoid fatigue and body ache. Yoga would solve those problems for you, so honestly, there are no more excuses to avoid trucking yoga any longer.

 

You can do this. 

Travelling can be fun when not coupled with unwanted fatigue, muscle tension, and stress. Yoga is what can keep those issues at bay for you, and it never takes too much space or time to practice the art of steadiness. So what is stopping you from including trucking yoga in your travel itineraries, especially with all these benefits of yoga for travel?

Traveling with tools can make any trip more manageable, don’t forget to check out Mother Trucker Yoga LIFESTYLE JUMPSTART Membership Platform & APP available on all devices!

Use CODE: MTY30 for a FREE 30 DAYS on the last wellness and fitness platform you will ever need!

Mother Trucker Yoga LIFESTYLE JUMPSTART App and platform image

 

Stress Management: HowTo Do Deep Abdominal Breathing

Stress Management: How to Do Deep Abdominal Breathing

Breathing is one of those things we all do, yet we rarely think about it; when a system like the respiratory works without us having to think about it or make it happen, it’s called “involuntary.” The respiratory system has the unique ability to work all on its own without our help, unlike the muscular system, which works voluntarily.

When we breathe, we get this precious gift called life. We can survive 21 days without food, seven days without water but can only go one to three minutes without oxygen. And at the 60-second mark, brain cells are already dying. Yet after 20 years of teaching yoga (Mother Trucker Yoga’s Membership) to others, there is one thing I have come to find, many do not like to breathe. I would often notice few would appreciate the art of breathing practices (pranayama) in yoga. You could see people start to fidget, become distracted, and even get annoyed at the idea that they weren’t “doing anything” during their yoga class. Yet without the ability to breathe, nothing on the yoga mat would even be possible. 

Mother Trucker Yoga Audio Bundle

Breathing is a tool. Those that learn to harness the device and tap into its vast abilities to improve, help and even heal the body get to reap the benefits of increased vitality, health, and happiness. But time and time again, I have observed others choose pills, alcohol, and even violence to manage what we all call stress or our emotions rather than tap into this tool we are all born with and have access to us at any given time. 

Stress can alter just about any system in the body if we allow it to. 

Stress management sign mother trucker yoga blog

Stress can:

  • Raise our blood pressure
  • Increase our heart rate
  • Increase our body temperature
  • Leave us in physical pain
  • Can decrease our immune system
  • Give us stomach discomfort
  • Make it difficult to sleep
  • Can affect your libido 
  • Tense your muscles 
  • Cause weight gain 
  • Burden your nervous system
  • Leave shallow breathing

When is the last time you felt the effects of any of the above and thought you should practice deep breathing? 

When my oldest son was small, and he’d get stressed out, the first thing I would have him do is deep breathing. Three deep breaths, I’d say, and we’d do them together. He’s now nearly a teenager, and I have observed him repeatedly defaulting to deep breathing when he is stressed, angry, frustrated, or can’t sleep. He automatically uses this incredible tool we all walk around with every day but rarely tap use voluntarily. 

The average American breathes with less than 18% of their lung capacity. That’s what I like to call clavicle breathing. It’s no wonder we are a stressed-out, upset, unhealthy out of touch society. I say these are the very things I have felt before yoga and learning how to tap into my breathing. And the same things I think when I’m not in my body, using my breathing, and feeling grounded in my skin. 

How do we breathe?

The average person takes about ten breaths per minute; that’s an average of 22,000-24,000 breaths per day. That’s a lot of breathing. And when we breathe, we inhale necessary oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide and toxins that our body wants to remove. When we breathe, our lungs expand and take in air, and our diaphragm lowers and expands as well, taking in oxygen to then be distributed out to the millions of cells throughout our body that need that fresh oxygen to live. 

Dr. James Hoyt, a pulmonologist, says, “Our respiratory muscles don’t have the luxury of being out of shape.” Yet how many people can say with certainty that they use them, work them, build them like their bicep regularly? There is a saying, “use it or lose it,” and it fits here with our breathing. 

 A recent study in the Journal of Neurophysiology may support this, revealing that several brain regions linked to emotion, attention, and body awareness are activated when we pay attention to our breath.

And, also nearly every system in the body is connected to our respiratory system or breathing. 

  • Our metabolism increases when we practice deep breathing.
  • Our autonomic nervous system regulates when we deep breathe.
  • Our digestion can settle and improve when deep breathing.
  • Our muscles relax and get total oxygen, helping them not to cramp.
  • Our lymphatic systems become stimulated, hand and hand, with our immune system, both stimulated when we breathe.
  • Our body is fully oxygenated when we deep breathe.

And one of our deep breathing’s most impressive features is that it stimulates our vegas nerve. 

What is the vagus nerve?

The vagus nerve is the longest of the cranial nerves, extending from the brainstem to the abdomen through multiple organs, including the heart, esophagus, and lungs. It controls the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which contains your relaxation response. Most people never breathe deep enough to stimulate this impressive nerve. We need the vagus nerve to be alive and working because the vagus nerve controls your mood, heart rate, digestion, and immune response. Stimulating your vagus nerve can help to regulate many functions in your body.

Vagus nerve stimulation has been linked to treating epilepsy, improving digestive conditions, reducing inflammation, and managing anxiety disorders. The journal Frontiers in Neuroscience reported in 2018 that the poor function of the vagus nerve could lead to mood and anxiety disorders. But most importantly, when you stimulate the vagus nerve, you can reduce anxiety, stress, and mood disorders. All of this can happen when you learn to breathe more deeply and more often. 

WAKE UP, PEOPLE! BREATHING IS FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where does your breathing fall?

Clavicle Breathers: Those that breathe only into the upper chest, throat, and shoulders. These breathers often have lifted shoulders and a tense neck. 

Chest Breathers: Those that breathe into the center of the chest. 

Abdominal Breathers: Those that breathe deep into the belly and feel their lungs and abdomen expand freely. 

We have forgotten our unique ability to help and heal ourselves. When you were a baby, no one had to tell you how to breathe, yet there you were, breathing so deeply that your entire torso was expanding and contracting every breath you took. I have listened and watched my children as infants, and now adolescents get upset and even cry only to default to their breathing to calm them down. It’s in you; you have done it; you have just forgotten how to do it. 

Deep Abdominal Breathing Technique:

  1. Sitting tall or lying down comfortably, place one hand on your belly and one hand on your heart/chest. 
  2. Exhale completely through your mouth and hear your breath move out of your body. 
  3. Inhale through your nose and move your breath deeply into your lower hand (belly) and feel it expand. Continue to move your breath up to notice your upper hand (chest) rise. 
  4. Exhale slowly move the air out, feeling your belly collapse and your chest lower (in any order). 
  5. Soften your jaw and relax your body, focus on fully emptying your belly when you exhale and fully expanding when you inhale. 
  6. Work yourself up towards a count of four counts on the inhale and eight on the exhale. 
  7. Repeat this for two to five minutes. 
  8. Anytime your mind wanders, bring it back to your breathing. 
  9. Allow yourself to hear your breath each time you inhale and exhale. 

How to do deep abdominal breathing

Continue this practice daily in the morning to wake up, when you are feeling stressed, waiting in traffic (minus the hands-on your body), or before you go to sleep to help you relax. 

You have tools to help you breathe, relax, fall asleep. The real question is, are you using them? 

Deep Abdominal Breathing Benefits:

 Various deep abdominal breathing forms have been linked to cardiovascular benefits, including increased blood flow and improved blood pressure. Deep breathing is also a helpful tool for relaxation and sleep. Taking deep breaths can also help you manage stress and improve cognitive function like brain fog and lack of focus and concentration.

If every tool you are reaching for is outside of yourself, let me ask you, have you tried the tools you were born with? The tools you were given and are the very tools that make this life possible? The tool I am talking about is your breathing. 

Try This:

For one week, practice deep abdominal breathing at least one time a day. Work to practice it at the same time each day. Set the alarm on your phone or in your calendar and make it a priority. All too often, we say something doesn’t work or help, and we have never really tried it, let alone given it the attention required to see results. 

After seven days, come back and let us know how you did. What changed, what you noticed or found. 

Now take a deep breath and start living! 

Resources:
https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/what_focusing_on_the_breath_does_to_your_brain
https://www.uchealth.org/today/understanding-breathing-and-the-importance-of-taking-a-deep-breath/
https://www.healthline.com/health/facts-about-stress#25.-Past-experiences-can-cause-stress-later-in-life
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.n
https://www.consumerreports.org/mental-health/ways-to-manage-stress/ih.gov/29593576/

 

Tips to Get the Best Results From Your Yoga Session

Tips To Get The Best Results From Your Yoga Session

 

Yoga has been gaining popularity over the past decade because it provides a unique form of exercise and relaxation. Studies have also proven that it is a great workout that helps eliminate body aches and pains. The history of this workout style has also shown that yoga is more than exercise and can help you connect with your inner self. As studies have proved and practice has shown, yoga can be very beneficial; and you must gain all those benefits. On that note, here are some tips to help you get the best results from your yoga session.

Yoga Session Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Know your physical limitations and pay attention to your body

 

Yoga can get quite intense, and you need to know your physical limitations and pay attention to your body so that you do not push your body past its true limits. For those who have medical conditions, such that they may need to use a posture corrector app or other forms of assistance, you must be cautious when practicing yoga to avoid hurting yourself or aggravating an injury. You should be concerned about how your body reacts to each pose and session. Relax and allow your body to express itself and when it hurts, stop, and take a breather to change your pace.

 

Have no expectations

Yoga combines exercise with meditation; that is how it works. Having expectations before you begin will throw a spanner in the works, and you could lose your zen. So, it is better to have no expectations when you start a yoga session. Instead, look forward to spending time connecting with yourself. Have an open mind and enjoy the experience.

 

Create a relaxed atmosphere and avoid distractions

Yoga is centered on relaxation and meditation. So, create the right atmosphere where you can relax and connect with yourself. Yoga is therapeutic, and as such, where you practice must set the mood. It is advisable to dedicate a space solely to practicing yoga to evoke a sense of calm and relaxation. This area must be free of noise and other distractions so that your meditation can proceed uninterrupted. Distractions in this regard are not limited to noise alone. Uncomfortable clothes, taking a break to pee, and devices such as phones that do not contribute to the process all count as distractions. Before you begin a session, be sure you can complete it without getting distracted by anything else.

 

Breathe

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This sounds very easy, but often people forget to breathe naturally, as they get so focused on the moment. This is simple and very important. Just continue to breathe naturally, and you will remain composed and balanced. Breathing also helps you to practice within your capacity and allows you to enjoy the experience.

 

To get the best results from your yoga session, do not just “go through the motions”; relax and enjoy the exercise rather than rushing through. Focus on the experience and dedicate your all when practicing. Also, before you begin or end a session, do not just jump in or out. Take some time to gradually get in the zone and do the same when you finish a session.

 

4 Simple Steps to Mindfulness In A Stressful World

The idea of being “mindful” is now just as common language as “ya all” or “selfie”. What used to be the art of paying attention has morphed into the art of mindfulness. But what exactly is mindfulness? But what does mindful mean? And I know what you are thinking. I’m not about to ask you to wear yoga pants, sit on a yoga mat, and chant the night away (although it might do a few people some good).

Dictionary.com says

mindfulness

mahynd-fuhl-nis ]
Is the state or quality of being mindful or aware of something.

Psychology.

  1. a technique in which one focuses one’s full attention only on the present, experiencing thoughts, feelings, and sensations but not judging them: The practice of mindfulness can reduce stress and physical pain.
  2. the mental state maintained by the use of this technique.

This way to mindfulness blog mother trucker yoga

The simple art of paying attention, being alert, present, and aware in a non-judgemental way. In yoga and mediation part of the practice is to observe, notice, and just take in. For most of us, we cannot help but float back into the past and drift off into the future when various things arise. The idea of replaying what happened, or predicting what will all while mixing in our feelings with what is.

To me, mindfulness is the practice of separating from all of that. Not to be dull and lacking in life. But the opposite. The art of seeing, feeling, and being a part of what actually is. I believe that nearly all frustration comes the moment we step out of them now. Mindfulness says stay with me, breathe and take it one breath at a time.

Mindfulness also asks us to be kind. To be kind to ourselves, to others, and to the world. [Check out The Daily Meditation and what Hope had to say about Gratitude…]

One of the best ways to practice mindfulness is to apply this idea to the little things. Because it’s the little things that add up to big things over time. If you don’t want cavities when you are older, focus on brushing your teeth today, and when brushing your teeth, do just that. Treat your teeth, the action of brushing with the utmost reverence and importance. And notice how you feel afterward.

4 Simple Steps to Mindfulness

1. Start now. Start simple.

Many people decide to step into mindfulness and create this elaborate plan of how they are going to meditate 20 minutes twice a day, and go for long nature walks, and do an hour of yoga daily. Adapting all those things has never done any of them, even in the slightest is a recipe for failure. Most won’t even get out of the gate and decide that it’s too much. I prefer to focus on keeping things KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid. Now I’m not insulting your intelligence, but rather suggesting we start simple.

Instead of starting to apply the practices of mindfulness when you are the most stressed, the most overwhelmed, the most distracted. Start when it’s easy, when and where you don’t have to change much of anything. When you brush your teeth, only brush your teeth. When you go to the bathroom, just go to the bathroom (I know crazy right). When you are cooking, or eating just do that one thing. Pay attention to every aspect of it. Be present. You may be surprised by how you feel after. Taking an everyday task you already to and turning it into a mindful one.

 2. Approach With An Open Mind.

We as humans like to predict. We like to know all the answers… Well most of us do. And I want to challenge you to approach one situation each day for a week with a completely open mind. Notice if you start to predict how the situation will play out in your head before it’s over. Take note if your mind has already predicted the future before anything has even happened.

Take inventory of your feelings before, during, and after and how do you feel? For me, the practice of mindfulness is not sitting on a cushion in a dark quiet room. Mindfulness is me being more present, more alert, more aware, and more engaged in what I am doing, how I am feeling, and despite all of that continuing. Mindfulness has given me more confidence in hard situations, ones I would normally avoid otherwise.

3. FOR Peace Breathing.

Pause F.O.R. Peace Breathing was introduced to me when I first started on my yoga journey. It wasn’t fancy, it wasn’t complicated, and it didn’t require any equipment. All it needed was you and your willingness to step back and breathe.

When you stop and take a breath in a stressful situation, you stop the hormones released by the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response) and start to live again. It is a simple tool that you can use every single day to prevent and release stress when it starts to bubble up.

Steps of F.O.R. Peace Breathing

Pause F.O.R. Peace Breathing un-complicates what our minds often make complicated. It makes you STOP and use the tool you were born with to deal with stress in your life.

What Does “F.O.R.” in Peace Breathing Stand For?

1. FOCUS

Focus on one, long, deep breath. Inhale deeply, feeling your diaphragm and belly expand (not your chest). Exhale through your nose or mouth for the same count, or longer. Be fully conscious of this breath.

2. OBSERVE

Observe your mind. Does it wander during this breath? Where does it go? Can you try again to be right here, right now?

3. REFOCUS 

Refocus if you need to. Bring your mind back to your breath. If your mind wanders, return to one deep breath.

4 Ground yourself physically.

Sounds silly, but we are all a part of something greater than ourselves. And science has already proved that we are all made up of energy. And when we are in nature our bodies have a way of restoring that energy within us with the positive energy around us. Ever been around someone who you felt like just zapped the life right out of you? Have you ever gone into a building, or slept somewhere were you just felt drained the next morning. Or the opposite. You are around someone who just lifts you up. Or slept somewhere and said that was the best night’s sleep ever. That might not be a coincidence.

Today, take inventory of who and what you surround yourself with. If all you do is spend time in a concert jungle, it might be time to step out into nature. Pull off at an oasis with a small park or grassy hill. Layout in the sun, or take a bit of time and reconsider who you surround yourself with. Being mindful asks you to do things with a purpose. And that purpose may be for you to take better care of you.

Take the Mindfulness Challenge!

Do you want more practical tips for being more mindful and peaceful in a stressful world? Join our 5-day Mindfulness Virtual Challenge September 7-11, 2020! Click HERE to sign up to join us!

 

What does mindfulness mean mother trucker yoga blog

Continue down the mindfulness path to a happier and healthier you with some of Mother Trucker Yoga’s other great content!

14 Ways to Reduce Stress and Overwhelm Blog

10 Tips for a Functional Body Blog

10 Steps to Goal Setting as a Truck Driver

 

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