Above images are courtesy of Nicole Lapierre Photography
Recently I had the pleasure of being invited to an overnight eco-tourism retreat at Oceanstone Seaside Resort with Ford Canada to focus on wellness and learning about some of the features that Ford offers to make driving easier and less stressful. We enjoyed a Mala bead making workshop, spa treatments and a yoga class that incorporated a bit of car yoga into the session.
Going from an easy commute of five minutes walking door-to-door from our old condo to a commute in the car that can range anywhere from fifteen minutes to forty minutes is quite the adjustment for me. I went from six years of driving very little to driving (or sitting in traffic) everyday in the morning and I can tell you that I'm so happy we didn't end up finding a home even further away from my work. Do you want to know what I didn't realize until Emilie from Shanti Yoga was introducing the yoga session? The emotional and physical connection I didn't realize I had with driving and sitting in traffic!
Let me take you through a typical morning and how I'm feeling for most of it. I'm terrible for setting an alarm because Jon wakes up and is out of the door by 6:30am most mornings so since he walks like a rhino, It's a given that he will wake me up before he even leaves the house. BUT on those random days when I'm just too tired from the night before or ill, I will sleep in and wake up in a panic. Already my day is starting out on a stressful note and now I have to make sure my child is changed, fed, packed up for daycare and that we get out of the house remembering to let Lily out to pee and making sure she is fed. Oh and coffee or breakfast for me before we leave for the day just never happens! So I finally get Mia into the car and if I'm lucky she is agreeable to it that day and doesn't need to be bribed with another Band-aid (if you follow me on Instagram you will know I have a Band-aid addict on my hands) and we start hitting the road. Of course we are running late so I'm tense and anxious about how bad traffic will be and if I will be late for work that morning. I sigh a lot because I'm impatiently waiting for the slowest driver in the world to make a turn so I can follow her and don't miss the light. I have a slight case of road rage (which I have censored quite a bit since having a child in the vehicle with me) so I always have an underlying angry meter going off inside of me. I finally get to her daycare and of course all possible parking spots are taken aside from a tiny space between two other cars. My first thought is great, I'm a terrible parallel parker on the best of days and I have to be to work in 7 minutes and I really don't have time to do a 40 point parking job (yes, this has happened to be before haha) just to get into a space.
Well, if I was driving a Ford vehicle with the Park Assist feature at least that would one less thing for me to worry about because it literally allows the car to scan for a parking space, tell me if I can fit into it, parallel (or perpendicular) park for me and even safely get me out of the parking space when I'm ready to go. Like, where has this feature been all of my life?! I will admit, I was super scared to let go and allow the car to just take over and park for me! It was so nerve wrecking the first time I did it, but after doing it once or twice I don't think I can continue life without it.
Image: Nicole Lapierre Photography
I have never heard of car yoga until this retreat, but you know what? It totally makes sense to have a go-to set of stretches and positions to use on your driving breaks during a long road trip. Emilie showed us a pose to help stretch out those hip flexers that could get tight from sitting in a car too long (demonstrated in the photo above) and reminded us to reach high with both hands and lean to either side to allow our torso to have a good stretch too because we tend to slump and hover over the wheel when we drive long distances. Personally the "O" and "R" resonated the most with me because when I get anxious, I ten to forget to be present and breathe because my mind is running a mile a minute into the future. Such great reminders that can make any road trip more comfortable in the long run and I hope that some of these reminders resonated with you too!
I was invited on this complimentary retreat by Ford Canada with no obligation to write or post. Thanks for supporting the brands and companies that support my blog.