Trucker balances driving with yoga while over the road

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Ty Hooks uses her yoga practice to help her stay grounded in her trucking career. (Image Courtesy of Ty Hooks)Ty Hooks uses her yoga practice to help her stay grounded in her trucking career. (Image Courtesy of Ty Hooks)

Truck driver Ty Hooks has more credentials than just her CDL. The Dallas, Texas-based driver is also a certified yoga instructor.

While she drives locally now, she previously drove nationally and brought her yoga practice with her while she was over the road. While other drivers may bring along a pet or rider, Hooks always had her trusty yoga mat.

“Some people have their dogs and pets. I have my yoga mat. It has been everywhere all across the country. I became certified with that mat,” Hooks said.

Hooks is certified as an instructor under the Kemetic yoga system, an ancient Egyptian style of yoga that focuses on discipline and control. Kemetic yoga is her foundation but she also practices other yoga styles, including ashtanga and vinyasa. Right now she is focusing on her own yoga practice and continuing to teach herself rather than leading a class at a yoga studio or teaching students.

“I’ve kind of made it my own little private practice,” Hooks said.

It’s no secret that trucking can sometimes be a demanding and stressful profession. Yoga helps Hooks stay relaxed and focused while she’s driving.

Hooks keeps her yoga mat with her so she can practice out of her truck. (Image Courtesy of Ty Hooks)Hooks keeps her yoga mat with her so she can practice out of her truck. (Image Courtesy of Ty Hooks)

“It’s more of helping you stay calm and controlled and centered when you’re in traffic or when you’re dealing with difficult shippers or receivers,” Hooks said. “Life happens on the road. It helps you stay balanced and controlled on and off the mat.”

Yoga can help drivers recover from the physical demands of their job as well as the mental ones, Hooks says. Doing a stretch during your pre-trip routine can help you stay energized so that you may not need as much caffeine to stay awake, for example. When she was over the road her yoga practice helped her have the energy she needed to drive coast to coast.

Anyone at anyone skill level can take up yoga, she says.

“Yoga is as simple as breathing. Taking the time to just stop and breathe. As long as you have breath in your body you can do yoga,” Hook said.

She endorses YouTube as a great beginner’s resource. Most YouTube videos are free to access and if you search “beginner’s yoga” you’ll get thousands of results.  Hooks wants her fellow drivers to know that yoga is about more than just flexibility and advanced poses.

“What I want to tell people is that yoga doesn’t require as much flexibility as people think. It’s just a matter of the mind and wanting to try something different. It really helps with everything. It’s not just cool poses,” Hooks said.

Hooks drove school buses in Arkansas before deciding she wanted to see the country. She acquired her CDL two years ago and now drives for a local beverage company out of Dallas.

“Nature is my office. I am not confined to four walls. I can turn my music up and just let the windows down and let the wind blow through my hair,” Hooks said.