The other day I drove to Helena, MT, in the rain and snow for some DiscoverEase in Movement classes I was teaching. I passed a lot of trucks spitting up more water onto my windshield along the way, and it was snowing as I approached MacDonald Pass, at 6,300 ft. The pass winds down a steep grade with sheer drop offs on the side and just a low barrier. It was hair-raising driving it in the summer, let alone in the snow, so I was pretty worried as I got to the top.
As I drove past the trucks flinging up water and not wanting to go to fast anyhow on the wet road, I found myself tensing my shoulders, gripping the steering wheel and leaning slightly forward with my eyes locked on my lane. Luckily I have the tools of the Alexander Technique to deal with it, though! Each time I noticed myself getting stressed and tensing up, I invited ease in my neck, back and around my eyes. I remembered my back and allowed it to ease back toward the seat instead of hunching over the steering wheel. This gave me better control driving and helped me to broaden, instead of narrow, my vision.
I used the same technique as I drove down MacDonald Pass, and I surprised myself by not being scared at all, even in the snow! And on my way home, again asking for ease in my eyes, I was able to enjoy the astonishingly beautiful scenery along the way as the sun broke through the clouds.
In my Helena workshop, we actually experimented with a more easeful way of sitting, seeing and being when driving in the stress of heavy traffic.
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