There should be a job where someone pulls over people who drive in the left lane really slow. Not a traffic cop, mind you. This profession should not be punitive; they should just ask the driver why they have chosen the left lane to continue their meandering pace when there is a perfectly wide-open middle lane or right lane available for their driving pleasure. I don’t think there is a job for this, but if you ever hear of it please let me know. I would like that job.
I know. This isn’t very yogish. But it is very human. I think for the most part I do well with my yoga practice. I teach several classes that I think are fulfilling and instructive. I focus a great deal on breathwork and meditation which continues to hone my breathwork. For the most part, I think I am pretty Zen. But when I get in the car this all changes. I sometimes forget every yogic practice I should be aspiring to. It’s a challenge.
I truly want to ask drivers why they lack consideration. It irks me. Cars have blinkers for a reason—why is it okay for you not to use them? Driving is not a competition; just because I drive past you does not mean I want to drag race. Why do some drivers feel the need to crank the base of their car stereo so loud that the car next to them has their windows shake? I support your need for expression, but there is no need to contribute to noise pollution and your own hearing loss. And why do people feel compelled when they see a car way ahead of them to drive up really fast behind them only to aggressively veer into the left lane and speed past them. There is no reason for it. It’s intimidating.
I am genuinely curious. I would love to unlock the secrets of what motivates this behavior—thus my application for the fictional pulling-over-for-research job. And now for my own personal yogic takedown. Why do I care? Why do I let this bother me? I don’t know any of these people. Why do I let this push my buttons? Ah yes, the humanity thing. I have pet peeves like everyone else.
But what I realize is that this should be and is a part of my practice. I acknowledge how a car and the environment of the open road can make me forget that I am the one choosing to be vexed. I can also choose to let go and just focus on my own driving and keeping those around me safe. I don’t have to give in to the rage even though it is so deliciously tempting. I can be mindful, and I can realize the road is just one more opportunity to practice calm and awareness. Maybe my fellow drivers will someday do the same?