Mother Trucking Yoga, the brainchild of two business minds at a rural Wisconsin business mixer, looks to bring shanti for America’s knights of the road and their strenuous lifestyle.
Truck drivers find themselves sitting behind the wheel for hours on end. In addition to the sedentary nature of the job, breaks can be far and few. Other than an occasional pitstop to stretch the legs, the time crunch to move loads usually costs drivers their overall health, mobility, and well-being while on the job.
An alternative to jumping jacks
Enter Mother Trucking Yoga (MTY) and its mission to help truck drivers “shift gears and change lanes regarding their health”.
The organization does not promote typical exercise regiments, like jumping jacks or sit-ups. Rather, MTY is all about fostering a foundation of yoga-based tools and techniques for drivers to integrate in their everyday trucking life. MTY dubs it as its “Fitness Toolbox”.
Coining it as “simple and quick”, MTY insists this foundation is easy and time-efficient for drivers to implement to their busy day-to-day. Spearheaded by CEO and co-founder Hope Zvara, a 17-year yoga veteran, drivers are introduced to a robust blend of yoga movements, core, and general mindfulness.
Yoga veteran founder inspired to integrate wellbeing into driver lifestyles
Zvara starred on a SupplyChainBrain podcast episode where she opened up, “I’ve watched my whole life hard working men and women, blue-collar workers, break their bodies for their job.” She went on to observe many drivers leave the industry not because of pay but rather the strenuous lifestyle. “Nobody is teaching them how to live [the trucking] lifestyle,” Zvara added.
That’s where Zvara saw an opportunity. Once fully mused with the idea, she approached businesses in trucking that were receptive to improving driver quality-of-life. These businesses, including carriers, were self-aware of many of drivers leaving the industry and were open to novel ideas, like Zvara’s, to retain their remaining workforce.
Zvara also has frequented truck stops across the country to talk about health and wellness directly to truck drivers. She stood front and center speaking to them about her messages of wellness.
It’s never easy at first, Zvarra acknowledged on the podcast. There’s typically initial resistance from drivers as trucking and yoga are quite an odd pairing. If the two were being compared on a chart, one would be in another room entirely.
However, Zvarra says once she starts talking to them they begin loosening up, asking her questions, and admitting to certain wellbeing woes, like trouble sleeping or back pain. She insists drivers don’t need to give up “the cowboy hat or boots” to make changes to their lifestyle and shouldn’t feel ashamed to take care of their health.
Towards the end of her podcast appearance, Zvarra alludes to the testimonials she’s received from drivers who have embraced MTY programs. She mentions how one driver says they could breathe better, another saying their back felt better, and one noting they’re less stressed overall.
In her words, that’s when Zvarra knew she had something with MTY. The mission works.
Truck drivers who subscribe to MTY’s content are given three-to-five-minute videos depicting various movements and techniques for them to follow. For any weary drivers, MTY insists there’s no fancy or difficult moves to master. Rather, a purposeful step-by-step process through each movement.
Many of the movements are also practical and can be done even while driving. For example, Zvarra mentioned a pelvic tilt movement where drivers can arch and round their backs while behind the wheel. The seamless integration of these tools and techniques is what Zvarra believes separates MTY.
It’s not just about setting aside extra time for exercises but integrating intentional movements into and throughout day-to-day actions, like driving—something a truck driver does quite a bit of.
MTY also recommends its programming to other professional drivers, like those with Uber or Amazon. For more information about Mother Trucking Yoga and its wellbeing services, please visit its website.
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