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5 Ways to Feel More Confident When Doing Yoga

5 Ways to Feel More Confident When Doing Yoga MTY Blog Image 1

Many people, particularly men, would love to try yoga to calm the mind while strengthening the body. Still, they are too afraid to do so because they worry that they will feel uncomfortable in a room full of what they imagine to be svelte twentysomethings who can bend into the most mind-boggling shapes.

This is such a shame because yoga is for everybody, and it is possible to feel completely confident when doing it.

With that in mind, if you want to try yoga but you’re worried about not feeling comfortable, here are a few things you can do to feel completely confident while you’re doing it:

Try an app

These days, there are many excellent yoga apps (check out Mother Trucker Yoga’s app being released soon) that will teach the basics at home. You won’t get the same hands-on instruction you get at the local studio, but you will learn the basic asanas (poses) and some great routines that you can practice until you gain confidence. And as a driver, trucking yoga isn’t scary, it’s easy and can be done from your truck.

Dress comfortably

One thing that can make people feel uncomfortable about yoga is the perceived requirement to dress in figure-hugging lycra. This is something you do not need to worry about because you can wear whatever you’re most comfortable into your yoga class, whether that be yoga shorts for men or a pair of sweat pants and a comfy -shirt. No one will judge you, and you can wear what makes you feel most comfortable and confident for your workout. And when it comes to trucking yoga every movement counts.

Star slow

The great thing about yoga is that it poses to suit all levels and abilities. If you lack confidence, you can start slow with a few o the more accessible asanas and work your way up as and when you feel able to do so, gaining masses of confidence along the way.

Practice mindfulness

One of the great things about yoga is that although it can be a purely physical exercise to build lean muscle and flexibility, it can also be a mental practice. L If you concentrate on your breathing and the movement you are flowing through, mindfulness meditation.

If you lack confidence, focusing on the breath and flow intensely will help to keep you focused on what you are doing in the present moment so you will be less likely to worry about whether others are watching you or if you’re doing it wrong, which means you will naturally be more confident.

Remember, it takes time.

Yoga is a lifelong practice. You should not expect to be immediately good at all aspects of your practice; If you bear this in mind and start with a beginner’s mind and a willingness to learn, you will not feel like a failure if you can’t quite get into that challenging poses. Still, you will embrace the chance to learn and try again, and that is where true confidence lies.

Yoga is an excellent workout for the mind and body, so don’t let a lack of confidence put you off giving it a go!

Good Stress, Bad Stress and How to Manage It

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How to manage stress is not something we are “taught”. But everyday life can be stressful. Good stress, bad stress. Stress, stress STRESS. It’s everywhere. 

Job demands, relationships, life events, and social media drama are daily occurrences. Moreover, it can begin to feel like this is just how life is supposed to be, coupled with the stresses of living over-the-road as a truck driver. These things can often have you feeling like you are traveling down a never-ending, bumpy road called LIFE. It’s easy to see how stress can suck you in and not let you go.

good stess bad stress blog post MTY

While stress can help some people perform under pressure, too much bad stress can negatively impact a person’s mental and physical health. It’s common for most people to focus on the negative side of stress, but sometimes stress can be a good thing. Good stress can motivate a person and help them achieve more goals. BUT how can a person tell the difference between good stress and bad stress?

Understanding Good Stress vs. Bad Stress

Good Stress

Good stress, often called eustress, is stress that pushes a person to accomplish more. It helps a person achieve those hard-to-reach goals. Good stress also helps a person learn new things, adapt to change, and engage in creative thinking. In a situation where a person is experiencing good stress, they always have control over the outcome of the issue.

Bad Stress

Bad stress, often referred to chronic stress, can slow a person down and prevent them from doing the things that they need to do. It can often lead us down a winding road of helplessness and despair. Bad stress can be things like staying in an unhealthy relationship long-term, living with a difficult person, continual high paced (stressful) workplace, taking on too many things, and continuously unable to complete them. That is continually saying “yes” when you should be saying “no.” When the body feels like it is under too much bad stress, symptoms such as excessive sweating, anxiety, headaches, and rapid breathing begin to appear. 

Managing Stress

As a yoga teacher, I encourage others to live a life where they can stay grounded, focused, balanced, and content. However, sometimes I fail to implement these strategies into my own life. I take on too many things, try to please everyone else, and neglect my health and self-care. It’s a downward spiral, and before I know it, my daily life is fueled by bad stress. Can you relate? 

Unfortunately, stress is inevitable. It’s a part of daily life. The good news is that stress IS manageable. To manage the stress in your life, you must relax your body and mind. You must balance the scale and know what your triggers are and what to do to bring yourself back to center. 

What is center? Center is when you feel like you are on point when you feel like you are handling life and thriving. When you sleep well and respond to life’s circumstances with ease, most people that meet with anger or hate are dealing with something much more profound—usually, sadness or hurt. And in not dealing with those emotions and challenges brings about bad stress and unwarranted responses that hurt rather than help.

Here are three ways to manage stress so that you can live a healthier, stress-managed life.

1. Take a Break

When I say take a break, I don’t mean a break where you are scrolling through social media or watching videos on your phone. I’m talking about unplugging and walking away from all the distractions in your life. Do something for five to fifteen minutes that requires very little of you other than for you just to be yourself and to be present. Sit outside, take a quick five or ten-minute walk, play a quick game of “Go Fish” with the kids, or engage in meditation. And sometimes that break is to help your body to heal. Make sure you take a time out so your physical body can reset and heal as well. Check out STIFF Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream to give your body the boost it needs for rapid healing!

Stiff Mother Trucker

2. Put Away Your Electronic Devices

If you think about it, we live in a world where we have immediate access to almost anything we need. Instant information is available to use with the simple touch of an app on our phones or tablets. But at what expense? Being over connected has created a massive epidemic in our world today. An epidemic that has produced anxious stressed and technology-addicted teens and young adults that are not ok with doing nothing or being alone. The only way to break that cycle and bring more Zen into your life is to put the electronic devices down and slowly back away. Have a no-phone rule at the dinner table, limit screen time, keep your device in your pocket or bag when you are out with friends–whatever you need to do to stop looking at your device–do it. You’ll be glad you did.

3. Be Positive

Is your glass half-empty or half-full? If it’s half-empty, it’s time to change your thinking. Keeping a positive attitude, shifting your negative thoughts to positive ones, and keeping your self-talk encouraging are great ways to reduce stress. For example, instead of thinking, “I can’t believe I made the same mistake AGAIN,” think, “Everybody makes mistakes. It’s ok. It is something that I can fix.” Developing an attitude of gratitude toward the people, things, and events in your life is also an excellent way to reduce stress. Write it down or take time to tell the people in your life that you appreciate them–trust me; it goes a long way! Finally, smiling and laughing also helps to reduce stress. I guess laughter is the best medicine. 

AND if you are ready to get crystal clear on your life priorities, health needs, and how to achieve your goals, my Practices for a Positive and Productive Life Masterclass is for you! In this sixteen-week program, we cover three key areas: Breath, Body, and Belief. All three of which are necessary for sustainable success!

Utilizing these three tips will help you begin to walk down the path of life a little less stressed and more positivity. 

Need a bit more encouragement? Looking for a quick listen to help you manage stress? Check out the Positive Positivity Podcast with guest Hope Zvara

Self Care is Your Business MTY Blog

12 Things to Say to Yourself Everyday

What we say to ourselves might be the most powerful thing we can do for our health and well-being.

Some joke about the current state of their health.

Some pretend it’s not an issue.

Some respond they had no idea.

But the truth is, bottom line, we know. We know if we are in a healthy state of being or not. I’m not talking about being a fitness model or professional athlete or size zero. The state of health I am speaking of says you can move, breathe and live with ease. You sleep well, feel good, and have a good attitude towards life and yourself.

Your Health Is Not a Means of Punishment

After spending more than half my life struggling deeply with addition, I 100% understand how the conversation inside your head plays into how you live life and the choices and actions you make that play into that.

It might seem silly, but you are enough. And many use their health as a means for punishment. Many choose everyone else and everything else over their health even when the reality is they can’t be 100% all-in when their health is less than optimal.

Today I’m not here to tell you to eat healthy, because correct me if I’m wrong. We all know we need to eat more fruits and vegetables, less processed and greasy foods. We all know we should be drinking more water and less soda. We know that! You know that! I know you do. So the big question is, why don’t we?

When I began my journey into recovery, I realized my choices were directly related to how I felt about myself. When I felt like I was a loser, ugly, a nobody, I made choices that reflected that. But when I had a moment that I felt good about myself, I made choices that reflected that.

On days that I am stressed, the moment I allow myself to “think about it,” I choose the couch, a snack, other needs above mine. But when I catch myself and act accordingly when I get up and move, eat the damn salad, I find I am a better version of myself. I have better internal conversations. And that is worth something.

If push-ups, sit-ups, and squats were the answer, then we’d all be fit.

If meal plans, food apps, and simply eliminating a food group were the answer, then we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

But it has to start with you.

The Link Between Thoughts, Feelings, And Behavior

An article on Forbes said: “Your thoughts are a catalyst for self-perpetuating cycles. What you think influences directly how you feel and how you behave. So if you think you’re a failure, you’ll feel like a failure. Then, you’ll act like a failure, reinforcing your belief that you must be a failure.”

The article discussed that once we draw a conclusion for ourselves, we are likely to do two things:

  1. Look for evidence that reinforces your belief.
  2. And discount anything that runs contrary to your belief.

Once you do that, you are going to act based on the above. It’s your thoughts that are determining your actions, your choices, not a fancy app or workout program. Those can help, but if they don’t help address the mental and emotional, you may find yourself spinning your wheels and wondering why nothing is changing.

12 Things to Say to Your Self Everyday Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Image 1

Shift Gears

When you find yourself stuck in a corner, reinforcing negative beliefs or thoughts that hurt you rather than help you challenge yourself, there are several things you can do that include self-talk.

  • Talk out loud to yourself.
  • Say CANCEL CANCEL; when you say that within 20 seconds of thinking or saying those negative thoughts, you can rewire your brain away from those thoughts.
  • Do it right away in the morning. When you start the day out on the right foot, the rest of your day is more likely to go that way. Drink a large glass of water, go for a quick 10-minute walk, deep breathe, recite positive affirmations like, I love myself, I am enough, I got this. 
  • Engage in activities, programs, and groups that don’t overwhelm you where they mean well, but you feel like you won’t be able to do that in the end. To figure this out, you have to listen to the conversation in your head. Sometimes, you need to push through, but make sure the pushing is through an overwhelm of information that you aren’t even applying. (Mother Trucker Yoga Program)

It must start with how you talk to yourself.

You are worth it.

You are good enough.
You can work out.

You can eat healthily.

You have what it takes!

That self-talk is the first conversation you should be paying attention to in your daily life and the one that creates all other conversations you have here on out.

Notice your internal response after reading those statements?

Are you rejecting them?

Embracing them?

Do they inspire you?

Or make you feel uncomfortable?

 

Get clear on that, and you, my friend, have your next step!

Things to say to your body everyday mother trucker yoga blog

If you think this is too simple. You are right. It is, and that is why most think it’s not worth it. But the truth is. What you say to yourself is worth focusing on. If your kids listen to everything you say, is your brain not listening to everything you say too?

If you want to learn why Mother Trucker Yoga and how we are different than the rest. CLICK HERE 

A Truck Driver Must: Steering Wheel Hand Therapy

A Truck Driver Must: Steering Wheel Hand Therapy

Truck drivers are gripping and clenching all day long. This can cause many issues that drivers may not realize come from doing what seems to be nothing… Gripping the steering wheel.
Hours a day, your hands are left in a clenching (flexion) position, day after day. This causes the fascia to create pathways, making it hard to do other things with your hands when you need them most!
“Having a weak grip can be an indication of many things, including arthritis, a pinched nerve, or a nerve injury, among other conditions,” says DeLuca. “Assessing grip strength, along with the patient’s medical history and other presenting symptoms, can tell us a great deal about the person’s overall health.”
There are many reasons one’s handgrip strength could be declining aside from the long hours gripping the steering wheel day after day, year after year as a truck driver.

Possible Causes for Grip Strength Issues:

  • Weakness in the hands and forearms
  • A pinched nerve (in the upper back, shoulder, or arm)
  • Arthritis
  • Nerve damage
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Heart Problems
  • Fascial restriction/scar tissue
Self.com published an article that noted a study commenting on the following:
“Grip strength—or lack thereof—can actually have long-term health implications, too.

Research shows that grip strength is a good predictor of overall strength, which serves as a good predictor for overall health, including cardiovascular disease risk. In a large-scale study published in the journal The Lancet, researchers measured the handgrip strength of nearly 140,000 people across 17 countries and then followed subjects for approximately four years. The study findings revealed that lack of grip strength is a stronger predictor for death from any cause, including cardiovascular disease, than systolic blood pressure (the pressure in your arteries when your heart contracts).”

For drivers, this can be a great way to gauge one’s health and, more importantly, decide to do something about it sooner than later.

 

The good news there are many things you can do to improve your grip strength and many things a driver, even living over the road, can do to improve your overall health, wellness, and fitness.

Exercises Truck Drivers Can Do To Improve Grip Strength:

  1. Steering Wheel Hand Stretch

Pro Tip: Double down. While you are driving, use the wheel to stretch your hands REGULARLY! This is a great exercise to do (safely) while driving to help break up those moments of strain and boredom.
Steering Wheel Hand Therapy Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Hand Stretch
  • Holding the steering wheel safely, use one hand and press the thumb down again the wheel
  • Keep your wrist straight
  • Extend your fingers long
  • Place your thumb on the wheel & pull down
  • Repeat this with each finger individually and then with all four fingers together
  • Hold each one for 5 to 10 counts or unit the stretching subsides
  • You do not need to overdo this; make sure what you do is breathable
  • Repeat the opposite hand
  • Repeat 1-3 times a day
Do you love this move? There are more stretches you can do for your hands and wrists on our other blog post, 3 Stretches to Do to Improve Hand Mobility While Driving.
✋ Hands….they are quite important ❤️?

2. Scapulae Push-Up

Steering Wheel Hand Therapy Blog Post Mother Trucker Yoga Scapulae Pushup
The shoulder girdle is often forgotten about when it comes to arm, elbow, and hand issues. But it can be a big factor when trying to rehab issues in those areas. The Scapulae Push-Up is my go-to for everyone BEFORE they want to embark on doing Push-Ups, as most people do them incorrectly and are leading themselves down a roadway of future pain, injury, and wondering where this all came from. The Scapulae Push-Up strengthens and mobilizes the muscles on the front of the shoulder blade and around the shoulder girdle to help you hold a strong Plank, help you get up from your Push-Up, and give you relief in your driving life from a thing like a shoulder and a neck pain, or arm and wrist pain. This move is great for steering wheel hand therapy.
  • Come to a Plank position on your truck step or the ground
  • Turn the folds of the elbows forward and draw your shoulders back
  • Tip your belt line up and into your abdomen for more core support
  • Without bending your elbows, pinch your shoulder blades together behind you
  • Then broaden them without hunching your back
  • Continue to do this 5-15 times in a row.
  • Do not sag the head or belly, and this moving is only 1-3 inches (not big)

3. Strength Building Pinch Grip

Steering Wheel Hand Therapy Pinch Grip Mother Trucker yoga Blog Post
Building strength is crucial to help aid the decline of grip-related issues. Throughout the day, find ways to strengthen your hands by pinch grip lifting tools or heavier objects to challenge the muscles of the hands. This can be with any object or with a weight, kettlebell, or weight training specific tool. Don’t overthink this. A little goes a long way. And every bit counts. This is one move to rescue your hands and give you a great session of steering wheel hand therapy.
  • Hold a weight, kettlebell, or heavy object between your pointer finger and thumb.
  • Slowly and mindfully lift the object off the ground
  • Work to hold it for up to 30 seconds
  • Repeat this 1-3 times a day to continue to improve pinch grip strength

4. Forearm Curls

Steering Wheel Hand Therapy Forearm Curls Mother Trucker Yoga blog post
When the forearm is weak, this can cause pain and grip issues in the hand and issues in the shoulder. This is as simple as using a weight or weighted object and doing wrist curls one to three times a day to build up the lost strength and tone in the forearm.
  • Hold the weight in your hand.
  • Bring your elbow to 90 degrees.
  • Drop the hand to extend the wrist as far as you can
  • Next, curl the weight up and bring your knuckles into your forearm as close as you can
  • Repeat this 10-30 times
  • Then hold the weight verticle and your hand sideways
  • Repeat the same process, but this time moving right to left like a gate closing and opening
  • Repeat this same process on the opposite side.

 

By taking the initiative to do something about things like this, you can lengthen your career, and more importantly find relief to do your job without nagging issues like this.

Attention Trucking Companies

Trucking companies must find this a necessity to help take care of their drivers. More than 80% of work-related injuries are repetitive injuries, which means it’s what the employee is doing day in and day out. Drivers need relief, and that relief can be something the trucking companies these men and women work for can give them.

Does your trucking company offer driver fitness and wellness programming and seminars for you and your fellow driver? If not or you would like to see them upgrade what they offer. Reach out to us here at Mother Trucker Yoga. Here at Mother Trucker Yoga, we leave the trucking to the trucking companies and drivers, and that way with nearly 20 years of experience working with people just like you, with real jobs, real ailments, and real pain, you can leave the health, fitness, and healing to us! CLICK HERE TO find more out about our corporate programming!

STIFF Mother Trucker Wrist Pain Graphic MOTHER TRUCKER YOGA BLOG

14 Ways to Reduce Overwhelm and Stress | As a Truck Driver

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Overwhelm and stress. Stress can be overwhelming and even debilitating. It can cause headaches, muscle tension, difficulty sleeping, irritability, and negatively affect our immune system. We all know that stress isn’t good for us physically or mentally. However, how do we keep stress from manifesting itself into our daily lives?

Reduce Stress and Overwhelm Blog MTY

Life Is About Choices

The great American philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, wrote a letter to his daughter who was worried over a mistake she’d made. This is what it said:

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders, losses, and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can.

Emerson’s quote serves as a reminder that we must give ourselves permission to make a few mistakes, be imperfect, and “fall off of the wagon” from time to time. Accept what you were able to accomplish and leave yesterday in the past. Do not let stress and mishaps prevent you from moving forward. 

An article that appeared in Medical News Today discusses how “overwhelm and stress, in common terms, is a feeling that people have when they are overloaded and struggling to cope with demands. These demands can be related to finances, work, relationships, and other situations, but anything that poses a real or perceived challenge or threat to a person’s well-being can cause stress.”

You may not always be able to control what happens in your daily life, but you can practice healthy habits to manage stress.

14 ways to reduce stress and overwhelm get up early MTY blog post

14 Ways You To Reduce Stress and Overwhelm in Your Life:

  1. Get up a few minutes earlier than planned and take some time to be silent, meditate, and visualize how your day is going to be great.
  2. Learn to say “no.” Say no to projects that won’t fit into your schedule, your vision, or may compromise your mental and emotional health.
  3. Allow others to help you. If they didn’t want to help, they shouldn’t have asked. And that my friend is not your concern.
  4. Have a backup. Have a backup plan, a backup car key, a backup babysitter, a back up a ride home. We think that it takes too much time to prepare. But did you have the time to figure out a half a$$ solution thereafter?
  5. K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble, concern, and pain. Ask yourself: “is what I am about to say helping or hurting”? And go from there.
  6. Eat right. Start with one right choice. An apple. A glass of water. No need to bulldoze your life today. Just add in one new food or drink more water and see where it takes you.
  7. Listen to relaxing music or guided meditations (Check out MTY’s guided meditations made just for drivers). Choose uplifting or motivating broadcasts or shows. Stay away from music, radios, and entertainment that only causes more pain, confusion, agitation, and anger. You can choose what you listen to.
  8. Laugh—every single day. Laugh. Laugh so hard you cry. And better yet, laugh with a friend. Laughter releases endorphins that you desperately need to stay happy.
  9. Keep a gratitude journal. When is the last time you stopped and reflected on all you have to be grateful for? The news and social media do an excellent job of showing us where we are imperfect and lacking. Remind yourself you have so much to be grateful for.
  10. Surround yourself with people who lift you rather than tear you down.
  11. Take ONE DEEP BREATH before you say or do anything more.
  12. Be kind to unkind people. Kindness matters. Being kind doesn’t mean you agree with them or even want to be their best friend. But if you won’t be helpful, then who will be?
  13. Slow down. Most of us are all in overdrive in multiple areas of our lives. What’s the hurry? What if you will get there at the exact right time, every time?
  14. Meditate, pray, practice yoga. When is the last time you unplugged with something that will plug you back in? Make sure you check out Mother Trucker Yoga’s Online Membership site were drivers just like you can come together and get fit- inside and outright from the cab of your truck

Finding the best overwhelm and stress relief strategies may take some time. Don’t give up if one doesn’t work; move on and try another. However, it’s essential to keep looking for the tools that will help you manage life’s ups and downs healthily. Keeping stress at a manageable level is vital for your overall well-being. 

Surround yourself with people that support you in your journey and leave those that don’t, behind. You won’t regret it. 

Resources: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/145855.php

3 Stretches to Improve Hand Mobility While Driving

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Pain can halt any job dead in its tracks. But when you are a truck driver the last thing you need is to come to a dead stop. Having a good grip is one of the number one things a truck driver needs. Why? Because controlling that 18 wheeler while out on the open road requires several things, one is gripping the steering wheel. Having good hand mobility includes your fingers, wrists and arms.

Sure it may seem insignificant, but not being able to grip the steering wheel, ratchet down your load, or open your truck door all require your hands to work properly.

If you find daily tasks difficult to do because you suffer from stiffness, swelling, or pain in your hands, the right exercises can help get you back in motion.

Repetitive strain injuries are not just for those who type on a computer or hold a hammer. Continuously holding your steering wheel in a particular way can also cause pain and discomfort. And the lack of having full range of motion regularly is a big part of the problem with anyone with hand and wrist issues.

Taking a time out and stretching your fingers, hands, and wrists is one of the best ways to keep pain and discomfort at bay and increase hand mobility and function.

Below you will find five commonly recommended exercises for hand and wrist problems. However, if your hand condition is painful or debilitating, it’s best to get exercise advice from a physical therapist. All exercises should be done slowly and deliberately, to avoid pain and injury. If you feel numbness or pain during or after exercising, stop and contact your doctor.

FINGER  AND HAND STRETCHES:

Most of the time the only way we are moving our fingers is into flexion. AKA curling them into the grip. When you repeatedly do something over and over you create a pattern. Like driving a dirt bike on the grass over and over, you eventually create a dirt path within the grassy ground.

TRY THIS: Open and outstretch your hand as wide as you can. Look at it from the side and see if all of your fingers straighten up. Is it hard to do? When is the last time you stretched (extended) those joints? Did something that didn’t require you to “grip”?

PRO TIP: Twice a day stretch your fingers, you can pull back on each finger one at a time. Or you can also use the steering wheel and stretch each finger again the wheel. Try to hold the stretch for at least 10-20 seconds each.

Finger Stretches Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

WRIST AND HAND STRETCHES:

Most of us have jobs where we use our body by folding inward. Bending forward. Rounding forward. Gripping. Internally rotating. Not only does this create patterns in our body to where we start to stand, sit, move and exercise with those patterns, it also plays a negative role in how we feel. Closing off the chest, can increase anxiety, depression and decrease breathing.

When it comes to the wrists we need to reverse it. if you want to increase hand mobility and if you suffer from tennis elbow, wrist strain, or even shoulder strain, a little extension in the wrists could bring relief.

TRY THIS: Next time you are standing next to your truck, a wall, or even use the steering wheel, turn your forearm up and stretch your palm/wrist out. Try to keep the fold of the elbow facing upward and if you are using your truck, lean your elbow into your body to brace the stretch. If you are in your truck create a full extension on your elbow and keep the eye (the fold) of the elbow facing upward.

PRO TIP: Do this at least twice a day and try to hold this for 30 seconds to one minute. You may notice a ripping like feeling. Don’t be alarmed, that is the fascia of the body stretching and releasing. Think of it like fuzz melting off. If you haven’t melted the fuzz in a while, it’s going to be sticky!

Wrist Stretch Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Wrist Stretch in truck mother trucker yoga

SHOULDER & UPPER ARM STRETCH:

When there is physical pain, oftentimes those in pain only look to where they “feel” pain as the culprit of the pain. But when it comes to the shoulder, elbow, and wrist, any one of the three just listed can cause another pain. So next time your wrist or hand is giving you grief, look up a little higher to the shoulder. Tennis elbow? Could be the shoulder to blame. Hand mobility doesn’t just mean you have a hand issue, neighboring body parts can be to blame.

TRY THIS: Next time you are waiting to load or unload, have a little downtime or are on break, try this quick and easy shoulder and upper arm stretch. Simple cross one arm in front of your chest and latch it in with the other, hugging it tightly. Try to straighten the arm that is laying across your chest to increase the stretch. Hold it for at least 30 seconds. And then repeat the opposite side.

PRO TIP: While stretching, it is important to try to relax your shoulders and breathe deeply. Hold the stretch until the initial pain drops at least in half. Look towards the stretching arms side to get the neck involved as well.

Shoulder Stretch Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Don’t let pain be the reason you stop doing what you love. Or keep you from your job. Taking preventative measures is one of the best ways to keep your body working with you and not against you. Regular stretching not only is good for the body, but it releases endorphins to the brain and leaves you happier and healthier.

The next time your wrists and hands start calling a TIME OUT, remember these simple easy stretches you can do no matter where the open road takes you.

And don’t forget about our Stiff Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream, perfect to use after you stretch your hands, wrists, and arms. Stiff Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream was specifically formulated for professional truck drivers to meet their body’s pain in contact. We believe that every driver can feel better wherever they are with simple easy stretches and practices, one of them being pain relief cream.

No matter where you are, on the road or at home, remember there are simple and easy things you can do today to start to feel your best.

 

Want to read more from Mother Trucker Yoga?

10 Tips for a Functional Body Blog 

 

Corporate Yoga for Drivers and Desk Employees

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When people hear about the benefits of yoga most are still imaging a yoga mat, yoga pants, and serene yoga music. But bringing yoga to your company doesn’t look quite like that. Mother Trucker Yoga’s corporate wellness programming brings amazing techniques and benefits right to the desk of the employee.

Yoga is by far one of the most commonly recommended activities to help with any number of issues from stress to flexibility, toning to weight-loss. Mother Trucker Yoga believes in simple easy moves drivers can do while inside their truck, some even driving to help them feel better, wherever they are. But it doesn’t have to start with the driver. Those running the drivers, finding loads, and filtering calls, paperwork and the dozens of other tasks to keep a company running smoothly yoga can be a tool in the company’s toolbox that can meet the need of every employee from the desk to the driver’s seat. 

 

It’s a growing issue and I think it’s about time we give it more attention with followed up action. At any given time, as many as one in six working people suffer from stress and other symptoms related to mental illness, researchers note in Occupational Medicine. Yoga is one of many approaches a growing number of employers are using to combat stress and improve workers’ mental health. 

 

As someone who has been practicing and teaching yoga for nearly 20 years, yoga helps the body, mind, and emotions. Some argue that our mental health is somehow separate from nutrition, or physical fitness, but I beg to differ. When someone makes any number of positive changes in their lives it affects all aspects of themselves in a positive light. 

 

University of Bristol researchers did a study looking at employees who exercised before or during work hours. And what they found was those who exercised during said times were better equipped to handle whatever challenges they had to face that day. It also found that their general mood improved on days they worked out and were less calm on days they did not. I call that a win! 

 

Jo Coulson, a Research Associate in the University’s Department of Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences, said: ”Critically, workers performed significantly better on exercise days and across all three areas we measured, known as mental-interpersonal, output and time demands.”

 

YOGA IN THE WORKPLACE

The health of any company or organization heavily relies on the health of its employees. Those that are constantly sick, fatigued, taking PTO for issues relating to their jobs like repetitive strain injuries or mental health days are costing your company’s bottom line hundreds if not thousands of dollars. 

 

As more and more organizations understand the impact of employees’ health on the companies’ performance, there are steadily more employers who have integrated different physical activities into their corporate wellness programs. But it can’t stop at just putting up a gym at your companies headquarters, especially if you own a trucking company. Ask any driver who drives for a company who has a corporate gym how many times they use it and they will most likely tell you zero. Ask any corporate employee how many times they use their company gym and I can guarantee it’s far less than you would think. 

Yoga has been continually an opportunity for its participants to achieve physical and mental wellness. And in today’s society yoga is increasingly finding its way into the workplace. Leading successful companies like Nike, Apple, Google, and Forbes have introduced Yoga into their corporate wellness programs and have reaped benefits like improved productivity and increased employee motivation.

 

Mother Trucker Yoga believes that like with our driver programming and orientation seminars, those behind the desk shouldn’t have to have complicated pathways to mental and physical wellness. Our corporate wellness programming: Employee Stress to Workplace Success is built for trucking companies, shippers and logistics companies and aims to equip the employees behind the desk with tips, techniques, 

 

BENEFITS OF YOGA IN THE WORKPLACE

Maybe you have never considered yoga as being an option for your company’s wellness plan. If you haven’t, I urge you to consider the benefits from the desk to the driver’s seat. 

 

ALLEVIATES ACHES AND PAINS FROM DESK JOBS

Like truck drivers hunched over the steering wheel, office workers to spend long hours hunched over their desks straining their neck much like the drivers of their companies. From repetitious mousing to hunching over the computer screen and long term sitting, this unnatural posture is wreaking havoc on their bodies one mouse click at a time. This daily build-up for strain and pain creates unnecessary stress and PTO that could have been avoided if those at the desk were armed with simples moves and exercises they could do right at their desk, none of which require a gym on-site or even yoga clothes. 

 

INCREASES ENERGY & REDUCED FATIGUE

Working non-stop throughout the day is bound to create stress which can lead to lower energy and burnout in the long run. It is proven that doing any form of physical activity every 30 minutes, including stretching or even standing up, greatly increases blood circulation and promotes oxygenation which is crucial for energy production.

 

The benefits to yoga are endless and you don’t need a 60-minute yoga class to reap what yoga has to offer. 

  • Yoga can increase blood flow
  • Yoga can reduce muscle strain
  • Yoga can reduce fatigue and eye strain
  • Yoga can improve posture and digestion 

Yoga Stretch MTY Blog

IMPROVES CONCENTRATION & FOCUS

The constant need to meet deadlines fix problems and diffuse other work-related situations on top of their own constantly piling workload can create frustration, mental clutter, anxiety, and physical tension and tightness. All of the above can hinder productivity, creativity, and communication, something no company can afford to lose. And something no company should sacrifice with the right tools, programs, and processes in place. 

  • Yoga can improve brain function
  • Yoga can improve mental clarity 
  • Yoga can reduce stress and anxiety 
  • Yoga can improve problem-solving skills
  • Yoga can reduce strain and pain

 

PROMOTES COMPANY CULTURE & MORALE

Improving company culture requires an entire company to focus on improving itself at an interpersonal level first. And when a company promotes an environment that supports such efforts, everyone benefits. 

Stressed employees are more likely to be aggressive, hostile, short-tempered and make mistakes which disrupts any opportunity for a healthy work environment. A successful workplace is one that its employees enjoy waking up and going to each day. You can love what you do, but not enjoy where you do it. I believe that the increase in people leaving the corporate work environment is in part due to the culture in which they work. 

 

By both drivers and desk employees learning yogic techniques they can do right at their desk that can be done in one to three minutes throughout the day can help to elevate mood, and improve company morale.

 

  • Yoga can reduce cortisol levels (the stress hormone)
  • Yoga can lower blood pressure
  • Yoga can diffuse tempers
  • Yoga can instantly accessible outlets for frustration  

 

YOGA, GOOD FOR BUSINESS AND YOUR BOTTOM LINE

The bottom line is your company is only as healthy as the people that run it — Your employees. 

 

The power of providing resources and opportunities for your employees to feel appreciated can go a long way. People work for people who feel appreciated. And on top of that if you own a company that deals with the trucking industry isn’t it time we start to appreciate all the people behind that which drives America?

 

All it takes is teaching your company crew how they can improve physical and mental well-being right from the driver’s seat and desk in just a few minutes. And you, the company owner gets to reap the benefits of a happy and healthy functioning workplace. 

 

Teaching things like simple yogic breathing practices, easy yoga stretches, and short meditations can become a game-changer in the long run.   

  • From burning out to breathing exercises 
  • From stressed out to stretching out 
  • From medication to meditation. 

 

Mother Trucker Yoga’s Employee Stress to Workplace Success Seminars and Workshops help your company vitals stay above sea level. 

 

For more information on our corporate Yoga, set up a time to chat with Hope here.

10 Tips for a Functional Body

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Did you know that there are over 7 million truck drivers on our roads? Sadly, truckers are one of the unhealthiest populations in our country. The long work hours, little to no time to rest or stretch throughout the day, and the obvious requirement of sitting for long hours on end do not help matters much. These forces work against drivers maintaining a functional body, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Yoga has been around for nearly 5,000 years. Yoga is comprised of different poses that help different parts of the body. Most people start to incorporate yoga, or other mindful movements, into their daily routine in order to benefit themselves both mentally and physically. 

It isn’t a secret that life on the road as a trucker isn’t easy. Deadlines quickly become the priority and your health and overall well-being takes a backseat. BUT you don’t need a gym or a yoga studio to stay healthy. There are many things that you can do to help keep your body functional and healthy while on the road. 

Here are 4 changes you can start to make today to start living life on the healthier side of the highway. Get a functional body in no time!

 

  1. Do Something While You Are Driving!

    Now please don’t take this the wrong way. Safety should ALWAYS be your #1 priority. However, if you can multitask while driving I encourage you to do it. Get the most out of the time you have by utilizing hand weights, resistance bands or mindful breathing exercises while driving. Better yet, tune into Mother Trucker Yoga’s Yoga in Seat Guided Audio that guides you through simple exercises to help keep your body and mind limber, happy and healthy while on the road.
  2. Move

    How many trucks have ever considered yoga? Probably not many. It’s ok–believe it or not, I’m not shocked. However, yoga is for everyone–truckers included. Truck drivers sit all day, have limited movement opportunities, incur broken sleep patterns, and have added stressors that continually take a toll on their bodies. There are also limited resources available to them to make the changes they know they need to make. Incorporating yoga movements will help you to increase wholeness and wellness. If you are looking for a starting point, the Mother Trucker Yoga Online Studio only costs $7.99/month and you will receive professional, inspiring, functionally-safe classes accessible wherever you go. 
  3. Shed Your Shoes

    After a long day on the road, take off your shoes! Our bodies are like rubber bands; the tighter a rubber band gets on one end, the more it will pull on the other end. If our fascia becomes stiff, the more we feel that sticky stiffness in our bodies. So what I’m saying is: if your hips are tight, your feet will react, and if your feet are tight, your hips will react. Get the point? So in the end, shed those shoes! And if you suffer from foot pain, know that pain relief is not far.
  4. Strengthen Your Core

    Your core muscles to help support you in everything that you do. Strengthening your core helps to improve your posture, decreases lower back pain, and improves your overall stability and posture. As the creator of the Core Functional Fitness Program, I have over a decade of experience teaching and practicing functionally fit exercise. 

 

Making these small changes today will lead to a lifetime of benefits, both physically and mentally. Don’t waste any more time–start today and work on your functional body!

 

Here are some other great resources to help you get started:

Smart Ass Core 20 Minute Workout Video

Attention Truckers: Step It Up with Interval Walking

Pelvic Tilts: Best Move for Truckers with Back Pain

7 Little Changes Drivers Can Make To Improve Their Health

10 Steps to Goal Setting as a Truck Driver

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Goal setting can seem like a mountain to climb, but it doesn’t have to be. So much of what we want to accomplish, achieve and get to is available to us. But it is in m experience that if we right from the start don’t set ourselves up for a successful path it’s going to be less than blissful and may end up being one of the 92% that give up on their New Year’s Resolutions.

I don’t like resolutions, I prefer goals because rather than telling myself I’m bad and suck here so I should change. I like to look at what I want, and how to get there.

Seven months ago I closed my yoga studio of 14 years. It was hard, and for two to three years prior I talked about doing it. I knew deep down it was what needed to happen for me to reach my bigger goals and dreams, but I was scared. Yep, long story short, I was scared and afraid. I chased my tail, stood still and felt lost, I wasn’t taking action, I never created a plan of how to get there. I just floated through mad because I wasn’t there yet. And frustrated because I saw others making changes I wanted to make and I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t happening for me.

I know now. I want to share with you what I figured out when it comes to goals, changes and dreams. What I wasn’t doing and should have been. What I recognized I did do in other areas of my life but I wasn’t applying to this particular situation and once I did, everything changed.

10 Steps to Setting Your Goals and Reaching Them:

    1. Choose ONE goal. Yes, choose just one goals. You may have many, but today just choose one to focus on. If you can’t decide, write them all down in a notebook. Yes, buy a notebook and write all of this down in ONE place. Write down all your goals and then looking at them choose one. What you may discover is that many of then feed into each other. So it will help to see them down on paper. When you choose one goal you will accelerate the process faster. You can only put so much energy into something at once time: exercise, studying for a new career, learning how to food prep, etc. For now, just choose one.
    2. Know where you are staring from. There is a reason addicts that truly hit rock bottom are the ones that make it out and fully recover. Because in that moment they decided to get well, they knew exactly where they were starting from. I tried for years to “get better” get into recovery, and it wasn’t until I truly hit rock bottom that I saw my life as it actually was and I didn’t like it. So I stepped through my anxiety, and guilt and got help. Real help.
    3. Make a timeline. A time line gives your goal an end date. Now be realistic, where are you right now and what would it take to get to where you want to go? Once you decide that…WRITE IT DOWN. Yes, don’t just think it in your head. If that method worked you would be there already…am I right? Yes, of course I am. In that notebook you invested your all of $2 to buy, write down your goal and an end date next to it.

  1. 10 Stepping stones. What are ten things that need to happen in order for you to get to your goal, your dream? What has to happen today, tomorrow, a month from now to get there? I like to work backwards. To lose 100 pounds I need to be working out five days a week and clean eating. Well I don’t recommend doing all of that all at once like a magic trick. Work backwards. Well to clean eat, I need to stop eating at the truck stops so much. Well to do that I have to buy healthy food. Well I can’t do that until I buy a frig to fit in my truck. Well I can’t do that until I reorganize my truck. See the path. This is not to cause frustration, but rather help you see a clear path to get to where you want to go. The same can be true about exercise. Because you know you need to do that to get to your 100 pound goal in one year. Decide if food happens first or second to exercise. Once you do that, working out five days a week. I need to figure out what to do. I need to enlist an expert or follow and work with Mother Trucker Yoga (shameless plug). Then I need to map out my days, even if that means I do it always the night before because my days are different (no excuses right). Research what truck stops have fitness centers and walking trails. Call my buddy and ask to walk and talk at 5pm each day. See what I did there? You can do this too!
  2. Once you set that path, ask yourself what is is achievable today? What can I do today to influence the outcome tomorrow? And just start. No more BS, just start!
  3. Recognize that 70% of the choices we make are actually habits. Yes! Habits! Not choices. You keep saying you are going to walk once you park each day, but you don’t. Instead you eat, shower and watch T.V. Why? Well, because it’s a habit, it’s what you have always done. You are choosing it before you even see it is a choice. So set your alarm, change your shoes mid day so you are ready for action. And when you park, hit the Jon, but don’t take in your wallet and get your a$$ moving and start walking. Call your buddy and chat it up for 30 minutes while you walk and talk. Make a new habit.
  4. Remember it’s a decision. You are not “trying”. When you try, you are giving yourself an out. You are saying that if you fail, it’s OK. A decision is a decision. There is no going back. You are all in. So when you look at your goal in your notebook each day (yes every day) and write it down like it happened each day- you are not “trying” you have decided!
  5. Write it down EVERY SINGLE DAY. Yes every day you have to write down your goal and write down what step you are on like it has already happened. Remember that sub-conscious part of our brains, well we remember things too. So do you want your brain to remember that you are “working on it”, “trying” or ARE there?
  6. Motivation comes from within. If you are waiting to be motivated by someone or something, you will be waiting for a long time. I love inspiring people, helping others to see things differently, but ultimately I cannot “motivate” you. I can’t force you out of bed. This is exactly why rehab doesn’t work for those who aren’t ready. They aren’t yet in a place of motivation. They have not set a goal. They don’t yet see the point. But you my friend, you do.
  7. Balance is bull sh!T. Yes, here is a yoga teacher by trade telling you balance is bull. It is, having balance as a goal in life will drive you bat sh!T crazy! I tried this path for more than ten years and just felt like a failure. It’s about learning to ride the waves with grace and swing with the pendulum. Some days life will take you one way and you learn to adapt. Other days you will swing the other way, and just go with it. Because now you have a clear goal, you have a plan and know where you are. So no matter what, nothing it going to get in your way. And if it does, get up and begin again.

Goals are for the motivated. Goals are for those who want more than what they have. If that isn’t you, no worries. Keep loving life exactly where you are! Love that! When I get to my end goal, I will surely do the same. But for those of you who are ready. Let’s jump in. First things first, buy the darn notebook. Buy a pen just for that notebook, and write down your goals.

Don’t think you have any? I beg to differ, I bet you a steak and salad that you have goals, you just have never taken the time to ask yourself what they are and then given yourself permission to write then down and see them with your own eyes.

I’m over here, believing in you. Cheering you on. You got this. You got this because you now have an actual goal. With an actual end date. With an actual plan and steps to get there.

You got this!

Benefits of Meditation — And Simple Ways To Start Meditating

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When your profession demands for you to be on the road for the majority of the year, your physical and mental health can take a turn for the worst. As previously mentioned on the Mother Trucker Yoga blog, “while out on the road, movement can be limited and stress can be high.”

Thankfully, Mother Trucker Yoga has brought mobility and good health back in drivers’ lives. But if you would like to practice another stress-relieving method in addition to our easy workouts, consider adding meditation to your daily routine.

You might be asking yourself, why choose meditation? Can’t I just take deep breaths whenever I feel stressed? Though a post on Pain-Free Working indicates that simple breathing exercises could temporarily alleviate stress, practicing meditation strengthens the mind to cultivate inner peace and improve mental well-being in the long run.

The Benefits of Meditation

The benefits of meditation are limitless, and given the sedentary lifestyle of truckers, there’s a lot that can be gained. The road is long and lonely, and it can negatively affect your state of mind and physical health. However, with the help of meditation, truckers can get the job done while still taking care of their mind and body.

Based on scientific studies, here are the benefits of meditation, as shared by Healthline:

  • A good way to manage stress
  • Minimizes anxiety
  • Improves self-image and promotes a positive outlook on life
  • Increases self-awareness
  • Increases your attention span
  • May decrease age-related memory loss
  • Promotes kindness
  • May help battle addictions
  • Improves sleep
  • Helps manage pain
  • Can decrease blood pressure
  • Can be practiced anywhere

Different Forms of Meditation

Believe it or not, there are numerous forms of meditation; so if one form doesn’t work for you, there are still plenty to choose from. One of the more well-known forms is yoga meditation. The controlled breathing exercises and postures focus the mind on the practice and calm the mind, all the while promoting flexibility. Yoga is also a type of movement meditation, which is where you draw mindfulness from movement. Tai chi and martial arts also fall under this category. Spiritual meditation is often a huge part of Eastern spiritual traditions, such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism. For religious meditations, this often involves prayers to divine power. For non-theistic traditions, self-awareness and self-actualization are the focal points of the meditation.

Another form is zen meditation. It can be part of Buddhist practice, where meditators must be mindful of their thoughts without judgment. At the same time, focus on their breathing and maintain a
comfortable position. According to Medical News Today, zen meditation requires more discipline and practice, and practitioners often prefer to study under a teacher, considering all the steps and postures that must be followed. With that in mind, this may not be the best meditation form for truckers. To see what other meditation forms could potentially work for you, check out this blog post on MindWorks.

Tips for Beginners

As straightforward as deep breaths in and out may seem, meditation is not as simple as you would think. But by starting off small and practicing every day, you’ll get the hang of it, and eventually, you’ll open your mind and body to new techniques.

To help you get started on meditating, here’s what you can do:

1. Designate one area, a comfy chair or cushion for meditation

Getting into the habit of meditating can be difficult; however, creating a small relaxing environment can help set you up for a successful practice, whether that’s just a chair in your living room or a cushion next to your bed. Cushions are definitely recommended for truckers since you can take them with you wherever you go. Eventually, you’ll have the ability to meditate anywhere, but for now, setting up the scene will help you get in the right headspace.

2. Start with just two minutes every morning

Before you go about your day, begin your morning with meditation. Doing it first thing in the morning will naturally become part of your daily routine, giving you a positive mindset to tackle the stressful drive ahead. As for the meditation itself, rather than following a specific type or technique right away, just spend two minutes listening to your own breathing. Take note of the movement of your body as you breathe in and out. When your mind wanders, and it will just bring your thoughts back to breathing. You could even count each breath. Do this for the first week or two, increasing to five minutes in the following, then possibly move on to guided meditations.

3. Stay connected with a meditation journal

A journal is a great way to track your progress, as your entries offer clarity and insight on how you might need to adjust your meditations and how far you’ve come since the beginning. Daily journaling gives an opportunity to reflect, gain perspective, and most importantly, be positive and kind to yourself. As for the entry format, it’s entirely up to you. It can be as simple as including the date, type of meditation, and comments on the practice, or you can use a guided format. With all these benefits and tips in mind, it’s clear that regular meditation is an easy way to achieve a good work-life balance, practice gratitude, and maintain a positive mindset as you trek across the country on your own.

 

4. Benefits of Meditation

If you are wondering how has meditation helped others? Check out Healthline’s benefits and stories from people just like you. And learn how meditation has impacted their lives. HERE

Article written by Mandy Rudd
Only for the use of mothertruckeryoga.com