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Reduce Stress and Overwhelm Blog MTY

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

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
banish stress instantly for truckers mother trucker yoga blog

4 Poses to Banish Stress Instantly While Traveling

Stress can be overwhelming and even debilitating. It can cause headaches, muscle tension, difficulty sleeping, and irritability. Obviously, we all know that stress isn’t good for us physically or mentally. So, how do we banish stress in our every day lives?

As a yoga teacher, I encourage others to live a life where they can stay grounded, focused, balanced, and content. Yoga has helped me a great deal with handling stress and the side effects of stress. It helps to relieve tension by keeping me focused on my breath rather than all the thoughts racing through my heads.

Whether you are at home, work, or somewhere in between, yoga is a great way to find stress relief. So, to help you on your journey of finding ways to banish stress, here are three of my favorite yoga poses.

4 Poses to Banish Stress Instantly While Traveling

Heart Opening Pose Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Heart Opening Yoga Pose – Shoulder and Upper Back Stretch

This pose not only relieves pain in my upper back and shoulders; I can feel my mind and emotions melt when I do this. This heart-opening pose is one of my go-to poses after a stressful day when I can’t sleep or help relieve the tension of carrying life on my shoulders. As I work to widen my knees slowly, I feel relief to feel such space (even if it doesn’t look like it). The freedom of my body letting go into the safety of the floor for a few minutes is all I need to feel more like myself.

Constructive Rest Pose Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Constructive Rest Yoga Pose- Reduce Back Pain

Constructive Rest pose is a simple pose to relax and separate from the day. It diminishes back pain and can ease the immediate discomfort mentally, emotionally, and physically life can bring about. Lying on your bed, widen your feet slightly wider than your hips and let your knees fall together and completely support each other. If your knees do not touch naturally, then place a pillow or rolled towel between them so your legs can completely relax. Do this pose on your bed or the floor and focus on your breathing or listen to some relaxing music or guided meditation.

Seated Forward Bend Traveling Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Seated Forward Bend – Complete Stretch from Foot to Forehead

 

Stress - Version 2 Seated Forward Bend Yoga pose Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

This pose is often used in yoga therapy to help manage depression. It is also known to soothe headache and anxiety and reduce fatigue. The feeling of bending forward eases the mind. Try to deepen your breathing during this pose and hold for one to five minutes. This pose brings me full circle to the simplicity that I am okay the way I am something we all can benefit from when stress steps in.

Be gentle to yourself so that life can be gentle back to you. Never force yourself into a forward bend, especially when sitting on the floor. With each inhalation, lift and lengthen the front torso slightly, with each exhalation release a little more fully into the forward bend. If you are new to this pose, it helps to hold a strap around the feel. If you are incredibly tight, place a rolled-up blanket under your knees for added support. The more you relax in this pose, the more naturally your body will open up.

You Are Worth It

Don’t overthink it. Sometimes you don’t have the time or the mental discipline to jump up and get a workout in, or strike a yoga pose. I get it. However, what I have discovered is that if you do make the time for yourself, you will see how yoga can help you physically, mentally, and emotionally. You are worth it and you owe it to yourself to make time for you. It can feel that if we work ourselves into the ground that we will somehow win an award. But the only award you will be winning is one of disability and mental uneasiness. I am telling you that it is OK and vital that you take care of you, and you can do that starting with just a few minutes a day right in the cab of your truck. 

If you want to get professional, inspiring, functionally-safe classes all in the comfort and privacy of your own rig. I invite you to check out Mother Trucker Yoga Online Studio Platform. No stress, no hassle, no sitters, and no fuss. This is not just another fitness program showing you moves from their gym where you try to figure out how to make this work in your truck.–it’s a fresh approach all done in and around the cab of the truck! I know that I know you will enjoy it. 

If you are experiencing stress right now, here are some other helpful resources:

10 Steps to Setting Goals as a Truck Driver

Benefits of Meditation- Simple Ways to Start Meditating

The 13th Step of Addiction Recovery 

3 Stretches for Wrist and Hand Pain Blog Post Mother Trucker Yoga

3 Stretches to Improve Hand Mobility While Driving

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 

 

How to reduce neck pain for truck drivers mother trucker yoga blog post

Neck Pain: 7 Ways to Drive Pain-Free

Neck pain can be a royal pain when it comes to driving. And when you are a professional truck driver a pain in the neck can absolutely put a halt on your plan to keep rolling.

Neck pain has an annual prevalence rate exceeding 30% among adults in the US; nearly 50% of individuals will continue to experience some degree of chronic neck pain or frequent occurrences. Says Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research.

The causes of neck pain can be vast from trauma, injuries, poor sleep position, medical conditions, whiplash, stress or muscle strains or pain and even nerve-related issues. When it comes to being a truck driver dealing with a stiff neck can often be a daily concern you just learn to “deal with” day in and day out. Getting stiff neck can often revolve around holding your head in a particular position for a long period of time, or even using one or both arms for long periods of time. Even having your torso rotated a certain way and when it comes to truck drivers, the constant impact of your driving conditions can and does play a large role in neck pain and discomfort.

When your truck is your workplace, home and vehicle learning how to prevent and treat neck pain can dramatically improve how you feel day today. Here’s how to reduce stress and neck pain so you can get back on the road feeling better than ever.

Neck Pain: Staying Pain-Free on the Road

Posture and how you sit in the driver’s seat play a large role in how your neck and back feel day in and day out. The constant stress caused by driving, gripping the steering wheel, leaning on the driver’s side door or only using one hand or arm for daily tasks associated with driving can contribute to neck pain. Adjusting your body and posture while driving can and will reduce pain and get you back on the road feeling relief.

Start with a good driving posture.

The best angle for the back of your seat is at 100 degrees, which is just shy of straight. Place your hands in the 3 and 9 o’clock positions on the steering wheel and elbows comfortably on the armrests.

Forawrd head for truck drivers blog post mother trucker yoga

  1. Reposition your head.

    From the desk to the driver’s seat, the forward-head position is a major cause of neck tension and pain. Think about your ears being over your shoulders. Making this adjustment is not so much a tuck down with your chin as it is sliding back. Check out this video on neck stretches to help you reduce the pain of postural changes.

  2. Use back support.

    No matter how nice your truck seat is, rarely are they truly made for ideal lumbar support. Sinking back into your seat in your lower back rounds back like the letter “C”. Our spine is meant to be like the letter “S” to help absorb impact and better support what is on top (our head). And if you are a truck driver impact is your constant enemy while driving. I absolutely love BackShield (use the link for 10% off and FREE shipping) back support, which puts your spine in the right position and also protects your back upon impact. Plus BackShield doubles as traction support to lay on after a long day.

  3. Adjust your mirrors.

    Move your side mirrors so you have the widest field of vision so you can minimize awkward movements with your head at sudden notice. Pay attention throughout the day if you adjust your mirrors for your ever slumping posture as the day goes on. You may need a mid-day stretch to get you standing and sitting tall somewhere along the route.

  4. Avoid eyestrain and impaired driving.

    There are many reasons you may be straining to see. If your vision is to blame, please seek proper professional aid to receive the proper support. But poor vision can lead to eyestrain while driving, which can cause you to lean forward and slide your head towards the steering wheel while driving. This forward head position puts major pressure and strain on the muscles of the upper back and neck. And also tightens and shortens the muscles of the front of the neck and chest. Use sunglasses if driving in bright light, and use the proper eye protection at night if night lights strain your vision.

  5. Take a break.

    If you start to get a stiff neck, are feeling neck pain, or better yet want to prevent it, pull into the next rest stop. Do some stretching and walk off the kinks.

  6. Ditch the pillow.

    After driving all day to consider going pillowless, even for just a few minutes or hours. When it’s bedtime our body recoils into it’s most comfortable position-meaning how we spend our time most. Head forward and knees tucked in and fetal like. Stretch out and lay flat. Slide the BackShield under your back for spinal relief and start to respond to your body properly rather than react continuously.

  7. Stretch.

    Yes, it’s not fancy, but stretch your muscles, moving your body in different positions than what you do on a daily basis can and will help you reduce pain and strain. Simple easy stretches just a few minutes a day can and will leave you feeling your best on and off the road. Try this one from our Fitness Minute at Instagram:

    Check out what Mother Trucker Yoga can help you with while you are out on the road. During this difficult time, we want you to enjoy a FREE 30 days with Mother Trucker Yoga. Simply use the code: CORONA2020.

Truck drivers are the heroes of our highways and we so appreciate everything you do. But it is vital that you take care of yourself. Living over the road for weeks on end may not be ideal or “typical” but with a little prep and self-care, you can keep your health and physical body in check with as little as 5 minutes a day. You can avoid driving with neck pain by maintaining good posture and making the necessary driving adjustments that can and will take the strain off your neck.

 

Pain Relief Cream just for truckers!

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Stiff Mother Trucker 2oz bottle

Enjoy this post? Check out some of our other blog posts here at Mother Trucker Yoga

  1. Put Back Pain in the Rear View Mirror  
  2. Benefits of Meditation
Put Back Pain in Your Rearview Mirror

Put Back Pain in Your Rear-View Mirror

Operating a truck day in and day out takes a toll on a person’s body.  It’s not a secret that if you are a trucker, you sit a lot. It’s just the nature of the job. Stops to move around and stretch usually don’t happen. There just isn’t time for it. Then there’s the heavy lifting and loading and unloading of cargo. All of these things combined create the perfect storm–for back pain.

Unless you have ever suffered from back pain, you can’t really even begin to imagine what it feels like. Every move you make is a painful reminder of the toll that driving truck has taken on your body. Plus, if you don’t have a Backshield yet, you’ve GOT to get one! It will save your back from a lot of pain in the first place. Get 10% off at checkout when you use my link! 

MotherTruckerYoga Backshield Discount

Unfortunately, at some point, every trucker is going to experience some sort of back pain. BUT there are simple movements you can do to help keep your back in the best condition possible. 

Try these FOUR tips to help improve and/or alleviate your lower back pain. 

1. Pelvic Tilts

Pelvic tilts are my #1 go-to move for just about anyone with lower back pain. Pelvic tilts are a super simple movement that you can do WHILE DRIVING. Pelvic tilts require you to tip the pelvis back and forward at varying degrees to help release tightness and also build resilience and strength in the pelvic area, lower back and abdomen. They are a simple yet effective exercise for those seeking back pain relief.  

Back Pain Pelvic Tilt

Back Pain Pelvic Tilt

2. Strengthen Your Core

Your core strength is vital in maintaining back support and reducing back pain, yet few really truly understand where their core is, how to access it and how to safely use it. When you are in pain the last thing you want to do is hurt yourself again, so starting small is essential, but that doesn’t mean it’s not powerful. Bracing is a position or movement that teaches us how to co-contract our core (contract our entire core muscles simultaneously), that does not require us to suck in our push out. Bracing give us the strength and a feeling for what it is like to use our core in everyday life, exactly what we need to do in the future to not end up here again. 

3. Roll It Out

Using a soft foam roller allows us to access various levels of tissues in our bodies. It is often said that by using a foam roller, one can reduce the tension and pain in several areas of the body. Foam rolling allows us to release the “snag” and move the tissues (fascia, muscle, connective tissue) around in a way that will make it more pliable for movement and more user-friendly for stretching.

4. Stretch

I have been working with individuals for nearly 20 years with all sorts of ailments. Yoga is a mind-body therapy that’s often recommended to treat not only back pain but the stress that accompanies it. More specifically, addressing your hip flexors through yoga is vital to getting to the bottom of lower back pain. When our front butt is tight it can enable our back body to go haywire. Unlocking your hip flexors and psoas will not only help you feel relief in the lower back (and hip flexors) but also releasing your psoas– due to the nature of our psoas attaching into the diaphragm and ribs, is linked to better breathing as well. 

 

These simple tips could be the changes you need in order to put back pain in your rearview mirror for good. I challenge you to add them to your routine today!

 

10 Tips for a Functional Body

10 Tips for a Functional Body

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

Meditation for Truckers

Benefits of Meditation — And Simple Ways To Start Meditating

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

Pelvic Tilts Best Move For Truckers with Back pain Blog Post

Pelvic Tilts: Best Move for Truckers with Back Pain

When back pain is on the rise, Pelvic Tilts are here to save your back!

Pelvic tilts are an easy and very effective movement anyone and everyone can do, especially truck drivers when dealing with back pain.

 

I watched my father for years try to rearrange himself in his vehicle prior to his drive from Wisconsin to Indiana Sunday nights. He would be gone for the week and back hopefully on Friday night. 

 

I remember watching him try to adjust his seat. Those weird roller balls he had hanging over his seat. But mostly I remember his face when he would get (and out) of his vehicle anticipating that long drive or coming back from it. My father wasn’t a truck driver, but he laid sewer pipe for a living and drove all over the Midwest to do it. He lived in his little Horizon car. A 6’2” rough around the edges man tooling all over the open road to then climb down into the smallest, most dangerous spaces every single day. 

 

To say the least his body was his wrecking ball. Both on the drive and in the hole. But now in his 60’s, practicing a bit more self-care could have saved him one of his greatest assists…his body. 

 

I got into yoga nearly 20 years ago. And as I got older, I began to feel back pain of my own and realized that now more than ever I really needed to zone in on what works. And pinpoint movements that I could do within my daily life. Because time is precious and why not make the most of those in between moments. 

 

I believe that pelvic tilts are one of the fastest ways to reduce back pain and increase mobility. Plus, you can do them while you are driving. 

And the best part is drivers can do simple exercises just like this and then get out and stretch their legs. Afterwards, go into their favorite TA and take a look at the StayFIT Menu for a meal that is just perfect for them. The StayFIT Menu has dozens of healthy options on it made to order. So there is no need for fast food. Just another way to feel better, wherever you are. 

 

What are pelvic tilts?

 

Pelvic tilts are a super simple movement that asks you to tip the pelvis back and forward at varying degrees to help release tightness and also build resilience and strength in the pelvic area, lower back and abdomen.

 

Pelvic tilts are my #1 go to move for just about anyone with lower back pain. They are a simple yet effective exercise for those seeking back pain relief.  

 

As a truck driver time is of the essence. You have miles to get under your belt and a deadline to meet. So I like movements where you can double up. Moves that can be done safely while you are driving. 

 

While sitting many people struggle so much because their spine and pelvis sinks backwards into the seat. Taking their spine from an “S” curve, to a “C” curve, causing you back pain. And to further cause pain, that “S” curve is designed to help absorb impact, when you begin to lose that curve, pain begins to increase. 

 

Where can pelvic tilts be done?

  • Standing
  • Seated (in your truck)
  • Lying down (in the sleeper or on the floor)
  • On a large exercise ball 
  • In a Tabletop (all fours) position
  • In any of the Fitness Centers in the various TA’s located across the US.

 

Easy how-to pelvic tilts instructions:

  1. Sitting in the driver’s seat of your truck, sit upright and tall. 
  2. Notice your pelvis upright (sitting bones underneath you). 
  3. Take one nice full deep breath, in and out. 
  4. Inhale, and work to arch your lower back away from the truck seat (feel your belly drop forward). 
  5. Exhale draw your navel in and round your lower back towards the seat. 
  6. Inhale again and arch the back really exaggerating the arch and try to spread open your sitting bones underneath you and spilling your belly in-front of you. 
  7. Exhale and breathe out fully, rounding out your lower back. Imagine tucking your tail bone between your legs. 
  8. Repeat this for one to five minutes. As time goes on you should notice the stiffness dissolving and more mobility increasing. 

Pelvic Tilts Blog - Anterior Tilt

Pelvic Tilts Posterior Tilt Blog Post

Crossing Your Arms is Optional

I hear from many drivers it’s the discomfort while driving, but then those few minutes once they get out that they really notice the stiffness. And doing pelvic tilts regularly will dramatically help with that stiff feeling you get when getting out of the truck. 

 

Remember to breathe!

 

In anything that you do breathing is essential. The average person breathes 21-24,000 times per day. Imagine what merely tuning into your breath could do for stress, anxiety, fatigue, and yes, reducing physical pain. 

 

Shallow breathing can be linked to fatigue, dizziness, and anxiety. But it can also make using your physical body more challenging. Muscles need oxygen, breathing makes that possible. 

 

You’re Using Your Core Incorrectly

When you engage your abdominal muscles, make sure to focus and really engage them. Don’t just push your belly out or suck it in as you perform the movement. You’ll feel deeper muscles (transverse abdominus) working once you’ve fully engaged your core. Still not sure if your core is kicking in? Take a moment and with your hands on your waist cough and feel your core muscles contract as you do so. 

 

Need a Modification?

There are several ways you can practice pelvic tilts.

When you are laying down ready to go to bed, bend your knees and practice pelvic tilts. Inhale and work to arch your back away from the bed like there is a pin behind your lower back. Exhale and press the pin into the bed without lifting your hips. 

 

You can also try this standing. Either lean against the wall with your feet angled out. Or standing, bend your knees and plant your hands on your knees bracing yourself. Now move through the pelvic tilt sequence several times.

 

While standing and kneeling pelvic tilts can be a little more of a challenge, they’re a better option for people who are pregnant or unable to lie on their backs.

 

Always check in

As always, check with your doctor before starting or intensifying a workout routine, especially if you have conditions, injuries, or are healing from surgery involving your neck, spine, abdomen, or pelvis. And if you are wanting to lie down and practice pelvic tilts, check out one of TA’s various indoor fitness centers available to you along with other great health and fitness options through TA-Petro’s StayFit menu. Just don’t forget your mat! 

 

Why this works

Trucking can wreak havoc on many drivers bodies, particularly your lower back. Long-term sitting and poor posture is a recipe for many drivers leaving them with pain, stiffness and unwanted injury not because they didn’t exercise. But because they weren’t moving the body enough during the day. 

 

Pelvic tilts are an easy movement that keeps the lower back and hips mobile, increases circulation in those areas and reduces stiffness when you get out of the truck. And practices like yoga are a great way to help decrease the effects of back pain and stiffness many drivers are struggling with. 

 

Try It Out

Pelvic tilts can be done anytime, anywhere. No need for fancy equipment. No need for a gym membership or a personal trainer. All you need is your body, driver’s seat and an intention to move the body more. 

 

Making the commitment to insert just a little more movement into your day will make a big difference when you do it consistently. Every move counts. And it’s about the consistency. Can you see yourself doing this regularly as you drive? While you are laying down in the sleeper before you go to bed? Wherever you are. 

 

This simple move could be the difference between you throwing your back out, you getting out of the truck stiff and immobile for three minutes while you try to go from sitting position to standing. Pelvic tilts could be the one simple change that you make that takes you down the road to an improved routine of your personal self-care. 

 

Where do you see pelvic tilts fitting into your day? 

I challenge you to add them in today.

Want to learn more?

Join Hope with Mother Trucker Yoga, alongside TA-Petro and St. Christopher Truckers Fund for all things truckers and health at participating TA-Petros this week and throughout the month of September!

Check out Travel Centers of America’s Facebook Page for details on each of the upcoming events!

 

 

7 Yoga Poses for Bedtime Bliss for Truckers

Sleep Over the Road: 7 Yoga Poses for Bedtime Bliss

Have you ever tried to get sleep while traveling over the road? If so then typically bedtime is not something you would describe as bliss by any means.

But what if there was something you could to to help even just a little bit, take the edge off falling asleep?

Would you try it?

What about for one week, seven nights, to see if it would help you fall asleep?

It can be difficult to sleep anywhere, but when your sleeping quarters consist of a small cubicle on wheels parked next to an idling truck or busy highway. It can be even more difficult.

I have been working with individuals for nearly 20 years with all sorts of ailments, issues and concerns and sleep is one of the top complaints. Yoga or yoga like practices can help dramatically help those choosing to practice fall asleep faster and sleep more restful.

We all need a few minutes each day to decompress, clear our mind, but even more so, stretch and relieve tension from our physical body.

When we choose to not do those things it can be difficult to turn our mind off, relieve that nagging back pain that will keep you up all night. And most importantly we all need some sort of practice to help our central nervous system relax and reset as well.

Or we may end up reliving today, tomorrow all over again.

Here are Mother Trucker Yoga’s Top 7 Moves For a Better Sleep Over the Road:

Bedtime Yoga Pose #1: Standing Stress Relief Forward Bend

Trucking Standing Forward Bend Bedtime

Standing Stress Relief Forward Bend

With soft knees, exhale roll your body forward clasping opposite elbows, allowing your head to hand heavy.
Remain here with your eyes soft (or closed) for five to ten breaths. Inhale, gently roll up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bedtime Yoga Pose #2: Daily Devotional

Trucking Back Stretch Bedtime

Daily Devotional

Feeling gratitude for the day exhale, sit back towards the heels, knees as wide as comfortable, outstretch the arms and relax the head, feel your breath and you continually soften your entire body from the day. Remain here up to one minute. (Feel free to place a rolled blanket or block between the heels to sit on)

 

Bedtime Yoga Pose #3: Bound Angle Bedtime Back Stretch

Trucking Bound Angle Back Stretch Bedtime

Bound Angle Bedtime Back Stretch

Place the bottoms of the feet together.

Exhale roll your body forward allowing your arms to reach outward feeling length and release through your hips and entire spine.

Don’t worry about how far you can fold or reach.

Remain here breathing calmly for up to one minute.

 

Bedtime Yoga Pose #4: Driver Hip Flexor Release

Trucking Hip Stretch Bedtime

Drivers Hip Flexor Release

Place block or stack of hand towels or even a pillow placed under your sacrum.

Gently draw your right knee in to your chest as you reach out through the opposite heel.

Working to keep your hips stable. Feel length and release in the hip flexor (front of the hip), remain in the stretch breathing calmly for up to one minute.

 

Bedtime Yoga Pose #5: Bound Angle Bedtime Bliss

Reclined Bound Angle Trucking Bedtime Pose

Bound Angle Bedtime Bliss

Place a block or stack of hand towels or a pillow under the sacrum.

Let the knees fall open and the bottoms of the feet come together. Adjust the feet from the pelvis to accommodate the knees.

Breathe deeply and your body falls away from the stress of the day. Remain here for one to two minutes.

 

Bedtime Yoga Pose #6: Taming Tension Release Breath

Trucking Bedtime Tension Release

Taming Tension Release Breath

Seated, draw the arms outward from your body.

Inhale through the nose and mindfully drop your breath into your heart.

Retain the breath and silently repeat “I willingly and consciously release all harmful tension”.

Now exhale visualize the tension rolling down the arms and out the palms like toxic waste.

Repeat this for three to six times and then take three to six natural breaths. Repeat as necessary.

 

Bedtime Yoga Pose #7: Full Body Bedtime Breath

Relaxation Pose Trucking Bedtime

Full Body Bedtime Breath

Lying on the floor or in your bed, separate your legs and turn your palms to face up; inhale and imagine drawing the breath up through your feet, legs, pelvis, abdomen, throat and to the crown of the head.

Exhale and draw the breath back down the entire body being mindful of each body part the breath travels through all the way out the bottoms of the feet. Repeat this three to ten times feeling more and more deeply relaxed.

And make sure you are doing this on a quality mattress. Because every driver deserves a better bed. Good night!

You may have read this and are thinking “I can’t do yoga”. Then I want to encourage you to not look at it as yoga. But look at it just like brushing your teeth. The long term effects of not brushing your teeth are, you will lose your teeth.

The long term effects of not giving yourself even just five minutes of stress relieving, sleep educing activities will leave you sleepless, agitated, and at risk of getting into an accident because you are not fully able to drive that eighteen wheeler down the road safely.

To help you even further check out Mother Trucker Yoga’s audio made just for relaxation of body and mind.

And for reading and sharing this blog post you can grab it:

>>>HERE<<<for FREE by using the code: MTYSLEEP

Count Breath Meditation

Mother Trucker Yoga Benefits of Yoga for Truckers

60 Benefits of Yoga for Truckers

Yoga has been around for more than 5,000 years, but it has transformed into many things over the last decade.

So what is yoga?

To some it is exercise and stretching.

To others is quiet time, and relaxation.

And to others it looks like a contortion practice that they will never be able to achieve.  

To me, it is a lifestyle. An opportunity to get quiet, move your body, and listen to something I believe many of us are lacking and craving in this overstimulated world. Yoga is something that any truck driver, making long hauls day after day, could benefit from.

 

For the average trucker, who couldn’t use a little time to stretch, relax and decompress?

 

Yoga for Truckers - Warrior II

Here are 60 Benefits of Yoga for Truckers (Reasons to Make Mother Trucker Yoga Part of Your Daily Life):

  1.   Yoga improves flexibility
  2.   Strengthens muscles, conditioning us from arthritis and back pain
  3.   Aids in realigning the spine & help to distribute weight evenly
  4.   Yoga moves all 300 joints
  5.   Helps to keep your spinal disks supple giving them the nutrients they need.
  6.   Yoga offers natural weight-bearing exercise, increasing bone density
  7.  Gets your blood flowing, getting more oxygen to your cells and helps boost hemoglobin & red blood cells.
  8.   Assist in increasing the drainage of lymph, helping to destroy & fight cancerous cells
  9.   Yoga gets your heart rate up lowering the risk of heart disease
  10.   Yoga gets you breathing
  11.   Lowers blood pressure
  12.   Yoga lowers cortisol levels, helping with long term memory, also fighting depression
  13.   Turns up the heat to help to burn calories
  14.  Gets you to become more conscious of your being: eating, social, presence
  15.   Can lower blood sugar & LDL & boosts HDL (“good” cholesterol)  
  16.   Improves coordination, reaction time, memory and even IQ
  17.   Helps you to relax, shifting from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic nervous system
  18.   The practice can aid in increasing body awareness
  19.   Yoga reduces chronic tension, muscle fatigue, soreness in the wrists, arms, shoulders, neck & face.
  20.   Becomes a way to cope with the business of life
  21.   Can improve immune function
  22.   Helps to expand lung function and breathing capacity above the normal 18%
  23.   Yoga and meditation help to build awareness
  24.   Helps to reduce anger and replaces it with compassion
  25.   Yoga helps to change self-image
  26.  Helps you stand and sit a bit taller
  27.   Can assist you in breaking free from dependencies in life and addictions
  28.   Can help release emotional tensions
  29.   Assists one break away from the ego
  30.   Can naturally lubricates joint
  31.   Yoga increases the recovery rate of the body
  32.   Reduces the effects of aging
  33.   Helps with increasing coordination
  34.   Is an effective ways to cope with stress
  35.   Improves endurance
  36.   Teaches you nothing is impossible and everything is attainable at some level
  37.   Can help to warm the extremities
  38.   Increases heat that can then kill bacteria in the body
  39.   Can normalizes and stimulates endocrine glands (thyroid) activity by compression & decompression of the neck)
  40.   Increases the serotonin to the brain lifting your mood
  41.   Teaches you how to build and attain goals
  42.  The practice invites what is unconscious to the surface so it can be integrated into conscious awareness
  43.   Helps cultivate self-love
  44.   Works on all 700 muscles: strengthening, stretching, toning
  45.   Can aid in regulating hormonal activity
  46.   Assists your meditation practice
  47.   Yoga can teach us how to act without judgment & help us to truly flourish in life
  48.   Yoga helps reduces the risks of heart disease
  49.   Can assist in stimulating the organs of elimination, promoting regular bowel movements
  50.   The nervous system is toned an the lumbar nerve plexus is stimulated, promoting overall vitality of the kidneys and reproductive organs
  51.   Can be a natural way to reduce and eliminate bloating, abdominal discomfort and fatigue
  52.   Helps release shoulder tension
  53.   Helps cultivate body awareness
  54.   Promotes self-discipline, only you know if you are challenging yourself or not
  55.   Refreshes blood flow to the brain refreshing our thinking process and mental attitudes
  56.   Helps to regulate menstruation, reducing pain, discomfort & mood fluctuation  
  57.   Can help assist women through the transition into menopause naturally and easily
  58.   The practice helps cultivate contentment
  59.   Can be practiced anywhere
  60.  Finally, yoga is about you a practice ultimately created by you, for you and to benefit you-a lifestyle approach

 

Let’s not forget the opportunity that yoga has to offer you.

While out on the road, movement can be limited and stress can be high. So it could be a natural solution to both. Time to decompress and breathe, all the while stretching and meeting some of the daily movement requirements of the body.

More than 80 percent of truckers who started on a yoga exercise plan reported reduced stress as a result of practicing yoga. Read more about the benefits of yoga and statistics related to the trucking industry here.

Mother Trucker Yoga isn’t fancy. And it’s no where near complicated. Mother Trucker Yoga is created with simple, easy moves that directly target a truckers biggest concerns while sneaking in some much needed stress relief, breathing and enhanced sleeping opportunities.

Because honestly, who out there doesn’t want to feel at least a little better than they currently do?

What if 3-5 minutes could make all the difference?

And when you do it regularly, imagine how you could feel then?

Don’t be shy about considering adding a little yoga into your life. Because Mother Trucker Yoga wants you to keep on trucking. And one of the best ways you can keep on trucking, is with a little (Mother Trucker) yoga in your life!

Yoga for Truck Drivers | Mother Trucker Yoga

 

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