Do you ever speed in a rush to get to yoga class? (And pretty much everywhere else?) If you can relate, please take a few minutes to read on…

I see it every day when I’m at the studio. People walking in the door in a rush, (feeling the residual effects of their rushed journey to the studio through traffic,) flustered while checking in for class. Quite often, I’m that person too when arriving at my destination. Today, I had the opportunity to reflect on this. When I received my photo enforced speeding ticket in the mail along with a letter to sign up for a (self-described) “bad-driver” class, I certainly didn’t see it as an opportunity. I saw it as a huge inconvenience in my already busy life. I had to find a sub for my class so that I could attend the Photo Enforcement Traffic Safety Class. I saw it more as an opportunity to save some money on my fine and have it wiped from my driving record. In fact, this class ended up being much more valuable than that. It was an opportunity for me to learn and reflect.

I was caught speeding while doing something I do several times a week. I was on my way home from work. Not only that, I had my daughter in the car with me, as I had just picked her up from childcare before heading home. I was complacent in my focus with something I do every day, on a route that I take nearly every day, and I switched on “auto-pilot.” I was not aware of my actual speed in comparison to the posted speed limit. We all do it. Especially when you are driving “with the flow of traffic.”

I actually consider myself lucky to have received this ticket. I didn’t rear-end the person in front of me because of my speed and lack of time to react. I didn’t hit a pedestrian (or insert one of thousands of possibilities here.) I just got a ticket. I have a platform, (this blog and social media,) to share and to invite you to reflect on your own driving patterns as well.

I know it’s easy to speed. Literally everyone does it. The person behind you is on your tail, rushing you. (By the way – I kid you not – I was literally being tail-gated by a fellow speeder coming to the same class as me, just walking into the building! Yes, tail-gated while walking! I felt rushed and annoyed and naturally ended up picking up my pace also. This person obviously needs this class too and I hope they are impacted in a positive way after today as well.) 

I invite you to be a fellow leader, instead of a follower. We need more leaders out there.
Don’t let the person behind you make you push your speed faster than you feel comfortable.
You can’t control what other people are doing behind you, but you can take a deep breath
and not let them effect what you know is right.
Remember, we’re all in this together; We’re all trying to get from A to B while on the road.

Try to give yourself more time. If you have to be somewhere at 8:30 and it takes you 20 min to get there, leave by 8:00. Think about how much that extra time will effect your attitude when arriving at your destination, by not feeling rushed and flustered. I know, sometimes it’s just impossible. You get off work, and you have just barely enough time to make it to the studio for class. And to top it off, traffic sucks worse than usual. Taking a deep breath and refusing to rush might cause you to miss the opening to your class and arrive a little late. But it could also keep you from getting a ticket or worse – getting into an accident. It’s going to be okay. Reminding yourself to keep your cool is way better than one of the many tragic possibilities of what could happen otherwise. Going 33 mph in a 20 mph zone, (for example lol,) may help you get to your destination a whole minute or two sooner. But that’s it. A minute or two. Is it worth it?

At Firelight Yoga, we are okay with you arriving 5 min or so late. There are some occasions when we unfortunately have to lock the door when class starts, but we try as often as possible to be there to greet you regardless of what time you are arriving to check in. If you are running late, please pull over and give us a quick call to let us know! That way, we know to expect you and can lay a mat out to save your spot in a busy class, (near the door to minimize distraction to others.)

We don’t think less of you for being late. We get it. We’ve all been there.
We just want you to arrive safely!

Unfortunately for many of us, it takes a dramatic and emotional life event to help us achieve a dramatic personal change. I consider myself lucky, that today I had the opportunity to take a traffic class (that was actually very interesting,) to help me to be more mindful, instead of continuing bad habits and being responsible for something tragic. As I sat there in the class this morning, I couldn’t help but think that this was a very important moment in my life. That this was a blessing. I feel like the universe decided to give me a chance, instead of allowing me to continue on my path of “highway hypnosis” and end up in an accident.

I write this not to lecture or be annoying, but to hopefully remind and invite you to reflect on your own daily driving habits as well.

I now look at the photo enforcement van parked on the side of the road in a new light. I’m actually cheering it on and hope that the people who receive a ticket, take the opportunity to take the class and become more mindful of their day-to-day driving routine.

Thank you for reading ❤️

Holly Bussmus, ERYT-200 and FLY Co-owner