“Use your F***ing blinker, a** hole!”

Oh and namaste.

It’s hard to remember that I’m a yogi when I’m trapped in Miami traffic… in fact there are several other moments in life when I have to remind myself that I’m a yogi (and an adult for that matter). It’s easy to want to have a full fledged tantrum, especially when I’m stuck in stop and go traffic behind an erratic Toyota Corolla with no visible functioning break lights or turn signals. Mostly I just want to use my arsenal of impressive and innovative swear words (and two specific fingers) to give my fellow drivers a piece of my pissed off mind.  And, if we’re being honest (and aren’t I always) I often do.

Find below what I consider to be some typical internal dialogue during one of my many daily commutes.

Oh! I love this song! 
Cut off by a Range Rover.
What the hell?! Seriously, guy, what’s wrong with you? F***ing psycho.
Long pause. Deep breath.
Calmmmm yourself, Heather.
Another long pause.
Stopped at a red light.
Bizarre dancing ensues.
Foot goes out the window and I begin to sing loudly to one of my favorite yoga jams.
Nearly side swiped by an old white pickup truck.
Foot is scared back into the cab for the safety of my entire leg.
Long pause during which I find myself happy to be alive.
What the hell, man?! Come on! F*** you! Jack A**! Get a fucking hold on yourself!
Drive along side the old beater of a truck & notice a little old man is driving next to me.  Immediately feel terrible.
Maybe he’s going blind.
He probably shouldn’t be driving.
F***ing Miami.
Calmmm yourself, Heather.

Sudden downpour begins. Have to bring the windows up (though the driver’s side window doesn’t have that functionality).
What?! Where did this hot mess come from?
Getting rained on through the 2-inch crack between my window and the frame of the truck door.
It’s so humid!
Try the A/C. It makes a terrifying buzzing sound and dies.
I take a sharp turn and a yoga mat tips over onto me from my passenger seat.
I get startled.
Swerve into the other lane…
Calmmmmm yourself, Heather.

Do you get the idea?  Can you understand why I find myself needing yoga?  And, honestly, this is why all of us need yoga.  No, not just because of terrible drivers, sudden rainstorms and gravity – but life.  We need yoga because life gets in the way of us being happy and calm and centered.  It gets in the way of us living our best possible lives and finding happiness in every moment.  We’re human, so someone nearly running us off the road or even failing to use a blinker when they intend to switch lanes can make us angry, irate and down right pissed as shit.

Life makes it hard for us to be happily alive.

What yoga does is teach us to take a moment; take a breath and relax. Before every class I tell my students to allow everything from the day to melt away, to clear their minds and be present in that moment.  I’m asking a lot more of them than I can do myself, but simply by asking it of them I’m reminding them of how important it is. Life is a collection of small moments, seconds all stacked one on top of the other and that’s it.  Those stacked seconds come together to create a life.  That’s it. That’s life. Seriously.

And sometimes those seconds are filled with road rage, and spilled things, and break ups and good byes and hellos and deaths.  And if you spend every second of your life mindlessly thoughtlessly reacting to terrible drivers or knocked over glasses or painful good byes it’s going to be more challenging than you want it to be.

Yoga lets you sit back and accept that the terrible driver next to you is the same as you.  And the shitty moment you’re having in an even worse day is just exactly the same as the great moment you had a month ago.  Yoga allows you to realize that every second counts, so you might as well make the most of every single one.

And while we can’t be in control of our reactions all the time, it’s nice to be reminded of it in a nice sweaty yoga class, right?  I like to think so!

Heather C