Thursday, December 15, 2011

How Yoga Has Changed My Life

There's a small chance I would not be alive to write this if not for yoga. But don't let my boyfriend know that, or my mom, or they will "told you so" me to death over my driving habits, and then we'll be right where we started this post. Dead.

But enough with the melodrama. Here's what happened:
Tuesday in Houston was this terrible day. It was foggy and cloudy, with this thin mist of rain coating everything all day. We aren't used to fog or mist or cold, we have sun or torrential downpours (but lately, mostly sun).
So anyways, I like to go to yoga on Tuesdays at 5:45. But yoga is by my house, which is 30 minutes (on a good day) from work. I like to leave work by 4:30. This gives me time to actually go to my house and change clothes in the privacy of my own bedroom. Want to guess how often that happens? (Answer: Never)  If I leave by 4:50ish then I can make it to yoga in time to change in the bathroom at the studio or in my car in the parking lot. If I leave at 5 I have time to make it to class, but I have to change at the stoplights.
So Tuesday I, of course, left work at 5:10. Whoops.  And then it was misty and dark and there was traffic.

Old Stephanie would have driven like a madwoman to get to yoga. Old Stephanie learned to drive on the mean streets of South Florida where people have the soul of a big city taxi driver and the heart of a soccer mom who's star goalie is late for the big game. She automatically adds 10 mph to every speed limit sign she sees, and then acts surprised when she gets pulled over for this. She thinks of driving from point A to point B as a game, where the object is to get there as quickly as possible. She bought a turbo, which has made this habit easier, but it doesn't have 4WD so it also makes driving like that in the rain a bit like playing Russian Roulette.  Chances are you hate Florida Driver Stephanie.
As New Stephanie (alternately "Temporarily Insane Stephanie") I decided not to do that. I decided to accept that I wasn't going to make it to yoga. I realized there's no point in rushing like crazy and risking your life to get to yoga, if yoga is supposed to make you calm and centered and happy. (Side note: You're probably not supposed to use yogic principles to skip yoga, but I'm gonna do it anyways!) So I drove safely, I let people in, I used my turn signal. And I passed the yoga studio 15 minutes late. Oh well. I accepted it as a sign from the universe that I had other things to do and I should let them take priority (like working late, like frosting my dessert competition cupcakes, like attending fitblog chat). And I made it through 45 minutes of rush hour traffic without even the slightest hint of road rage. Believe me when I tell you, this has never happened before.

I say Temporarily Insane because I probably will not keep this new outlook on life driving. Sometimes I will likely drive really fast, just for kicks. And I hate letting people in when they turn out to be people who drive 5mph below the speed limit. But at least for one wet, misty commute, I did not die in a fiery crash, thanks to the things yoga has taught me.

1 comment:

  1. Good job keeping your cool. I'm a new to FL driver and I've picked up some bad habits already!