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Are you ready to make consistent progress towards your goals

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Today’s guest is hyper-interesting because she runs a company called MOTHER TRUCKER! Now you are probably wondering how this has anything to do with making consistent progress toward our goals, but it does when she is working with people across the country who want to get healthy but are in unusual circumstances that make it fairly challenging to get up and go to the gym multiple times a week or cook nutritionally dense meals 3 times a day. This is a company that works with long-haul truckers… but she helps them find movement throughout every single day!  This information she has to share is simple and attainable and you don’t have to be stuck in the cab of a truck to implement these tools into your everyday life.  Hope will help you find the way to make time for even the smallest things. 


Hope Zvara is the CEO of Mother Trucker Yoga, a company devoted to improving truck drivers’ fitness and wellness standards. Her practical strategies show drivers how they can go from unhealthy and out of options to feeling good again, all while living over the road as a trucker.

What made you think I need to work with truckers?
I am not a truck driver nor is anyone in my family. But I am in recovery, and I was looking for something, something to help me, give me hope, something to grab onto. Out of options, someone said I looked like someone who would practice yoga. At the time, I had never even heard that word before that day. So, I looked up a class, found one, and showed up but something magical happened that day in that yoga class.  For the first time in forever, my mind felt clear!  This set me on a journey to really dive into yoga.

I started recognizing a different approach to yoga.  The idea of breaking things down into bite-size pieces.  I was trying to bite off this idea that health and wellness was this box that I had to fit into perfectly.  I could get outside of that box. I was learning to change little tiny things in my life and teaching others to do the same.

Then, I met a guy, and he asked if I had anything for truck drivers to do in the cab of the truck. I took on that challenge and Mother Trucker Yoga was born. Since then, I’ve been helping truck drivers that are living a sedentary lifestyle with small simple changes that they can do right from the cab of the truck ever since!

I have four essential movements that I believe everyone has to do in order to help with healthy aging, called foundational movement.  You don’t need equipment to do any of these things and they can be done anywhere at any time.
1. Squatting. – Our body is designed to squat. Where can we add in a squat or 2? Where can I sprinkle these things throughout our day?
2. Reaching – How many times a day do you reach out overhead?  We stretch our lower back when we do this. How can you add more reaching in? Sit at your computer and stretch your arms overhead and pull them back!
3. Bending – How many times forward can you bend at the hip? (not rounding and slouching) But where can I bend to stretch my hamstrings and back?
4. Twisting. – How can I twist in my seat, on the couch, or throughout the day?

All of these movements count. Our culture on a daily basis moves so little and I am a big proponent of the lifestyle movement.

“I believe that the epidemic that’s plaguing us right now, depression and anxiety as two of the leading mental health issues is because we as a culture just don’t move enough.  When we start moving, we boost oxytocin, we boost serotonin, and dopamine in the brain neurotransmitters, which make us feel good.

And when we feel good, we’re not reaching for the crappy food and when we’re not reaching for the crappy food, we make good choices.  This is the right cycle that we want to be in. You don’t need a scientist or a doctor to tell you that.  Stop eating the crap and you’re going to feel good. When you feel good, you’re gonna go for a walk with your dog. When you go for a walk with your dog, you’re going to feel amazing and then have a smoothie instead of 12 cupcakes!”

These simple movements do not require a gym membership, they don’t require special equipment!  What does your day look like? Can you pack this in?  The same is on the food side.  Do a little at a time, adding 1 extra cup of water, adding 1 fruit and 1 vegetable every day if you don’t usually eat vegetables.  You don’t have to do all this dramatic stuff right away.  Ease into it, a little at a time.  You can’t wake up one day and run a marathon without having run a day in your life. This goes the same for your nutrition and movement.

I really believe in the practical small, momentum-building changes that we can make in our health. Whether you’re a schoolteacher, a plumber, a truck driver, or an accountant, it doesn’t matter, we can all make a decision to change one thing in our lives today. Because here’s the beauty. If you change one thing and you add one thing to your day, every day for an entire year, at the end of that year, you are 365% better than when you started. I don’t know about you, but that’s a big improvement. Really big improvement and consistency are where it’s at.

Anyone can do anything for a day or a week or maybe even a month when someone’s really forcing them. But it’s the person that does it for them that will do it for the long haul. It’s the person that keeps doing it when the challenge is over, and the excitement fades and the cameras are gone. Nobody’s cheering them on and they keep showing up. Why not commit to one thing, other than promising yourself the moon while trying to do 10 things at the same time? Then fail at all of them, at which point you have decided that health is not for you, and then wonder a year from now, why you’re worse off than where you were before! Do small things at a time.

This is why I love the book, The Power Of One Thing, by Gary Keller.  What is the goal you are trying to achieve? List all of the things you think or know that are going to get you to your ideal health.  What is the one thing that is going to be the domino? If I do this one thing well, what is it going to tip over next and next?  If I skip the first dominos instead of starting at 1, I will have to keep going back to the drawing board.  Start at the lowest hanging fruit, what is the easiest thing for you to start to build momentum?

We have this perception of what it takes to be healthy, and it’s so outside of what the majority of us need.  When I’m working with drivers who are everyday people like you and me, they just have a unique work environment.  I am teaching them, let’s get 1 fruit and 1 vegetable, let’s drink 1 bottle of water, and let’s turn off our electronics 15 minutes earlier. When you get up in the morning, do 2 simple stretches to reduce back pain.  This is how we create longevity. You reduce pain, you start feeling good, and you have more energy.  It’s things no matter where you are, what your situation, no matter hell or high water, you can do these things.  That is healthy living, that is a healthy life.

And this all goes back to the 4 essential movements, squatting, bending, reaching twisting.  Can I do those things?   How easy is it to do those things? Do I experience discomfort when I do those? Explore and pay attention to why it is you can and cannot move with ease.  Just because you can run 20 miles and lift heavy weights, if it hurts to go upstairs or get out of the truck, that is not healthy my friends. It’s time to reassess that.  We want to work smart, not harder.  We need to move more but move smarter.  We need to move more frequently so that we can make sure that we are moving with ease.

In our society today, we all have the capability to do that, but it comes down to whether we are CHOOSING not to.  If a truck driver can get more active and add movement into his day, then you can too.

You can have off days. You can have a good day and make not-so-good choices. That can happen simultaneously.  I try to promote this to my drivers.  You can still not feel your best, and still, go and walk outside.  You can still not be in the mood to eat healthy and just eat a dang orange. Just because you don’t like water, is not a good enough reason to not drink water.  We have to get in our heads and call ourselves out.  Why do I think this, who told me this, and why am I acting like this?  I am an adult, a grown-ass adult, not a kid.  You can make your own decisions, so start making better ones.

I want you to stop and think about what the story is that you’ve created in your head. When I really stepped back and observed my thoughts throughout the day, even how I was responding to things like emails or not responding or my kids like, I really started paying attention. I realized that 90% of how I was responding to the day was made up of false beliefs. Yeah, I actually made up some reason as to why I can or can’t do something or should or shouldn’t do something when I had my yoga studio.

When the weather was bad, or I was really feeling sick. I always told myself that I’ve got to show up, because my students are gonna be mad. Because somewhere in my head, I told myself I have to show up through hell or high water. And I was killing myself trying to do that. And then just like that, I asked myself, who said that? Who said that you can’t cancel the class because you’re not feeling well? Who said that if the weather’s really shitty, and you don’t want to drive, you can’t do that.  I had all of these fake things in my head and I really started unpacking them.  I had to connect to health and wellness and connected to me not letting myself live the life I want and be me.

Somewhere along the lines, we have this idea that if we are a type of person or changed too much, people won’t like them.  Take inventory and really look at your life and you may be surprised at what you see.  What works for you may not work for someone else. And vice versa.  What does health look like for you? What does exercise look like for you? Cut yourself some slack.  It doesn’t have to be hard every day of the year. You can be a truck driver or a busy mom, it’s the simple little things you can do daily to just feel better. So many of you put all these parameters to be healthy and it’s not the case! It should not be challenging.
What is one thing that makes you feel magical?
When I take a shower, wash my hair, curl it or straighten it, put on a nice pair of jeans or blazer and I look as good as I feel. And not on a superficial level, I feel like I am showing up for life.  These days I can uplevel myself a little bit, but I notice a mental shift for me. I feel so good. It reminds me that I can rise, that I am the person on the outside that I know I am on the inside.  I love those moments because it doesn’t happen every day.  I feel like I am stepping into that next level of myself when I do that!


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