Journal entry fron day 25. Original date: 1.25.10.

I’ve been hearing this term on some of the blogs I read: “yoga truck”. Metaphorically speaking, to say that you’ve been “hit by the yoga truck” means to have experienced a particularly difficult class. Well, I believe tonight was my first real and true encounter with the yoga truck. It may have been circling my block before, but tonight it was coming for me, and it NAILED me.

So let me set this up for you: Normally at this time of year the air here in New England is very cold and very dry. But today in good old Western Mass it was a balmy 53 degrees and rainy and damp outside- bizarre weather for late January. I was soaking this up, as I hate winter and am desperate for spring to come, but I did not stop to think for a second that it would have any bearing whatsoever on my practice tonight. Was I in for a rude awakening!

I have not practiced Bikram in the summer months yet, so I was not prepared for what was in store for me. But by the time we were into the floor series it was really starting to get to me how miserably, insufferably, unbearably hot I was. Hot, and bothered. Normally by this point in class I’m fully acclimated to the heat. I still sweat, of course, but I don’t really FEEL hot. Well, not tonight! My skin was on fire and ripping it off actually seemed like a good plan to try and get some relief. In every posture where my body was sort of folded close on itself – Wind Removing (Pavanamuktasana), Half Tortoise (Ardha-Kurmasana) – I could just feel the heat radiating off of me. And there was no escape. Even in Savasana I was painfully aware of how hot every inch of air was around me. It was almost suffocating.

I hated it.

For the first time since my first Bikram class ever I wanted to leave the hot room in the middle of class. I was playing the mental game of: I don’t really need to go to the bathroom, but I could just to get out of here for a minute. I don’t really need more water, but I could chug down what I have left just to be able to go and refill my bottle. I didn’t give in to this though. I looked around and Jenn and Audrey and some other veteran students were right near me in class, and Charlie was just on the other side of the teaching podium. I could see that they were all slogging though it, struggling just as I was, but they weren’t leaving. So I took a cue from them and kept it together as best I could. If they were going to do it, I was going to do it. We were in this together.

Posture by posture, Savasana by Savasana, we made it through the rest of class. All of us. And afterwards we all parked our soggy butts in the lobby, sucking down electrolytes and swapping war stories. Everybody was all amped up and talking excitedly about just how brutal it was! After telling how I felt like I wanted to rip my skin off, Jenn shared a similar desire she experienced during teacher training. Christine, a fellow Bikram 101 participant who tends to like conditions on the “juicy” side, was saying that tonight she was both loving and hating it at times. And Charlie, ever the wise professorial type, explained that it was actually the high humidity for this time of year– not the high temperature – that killed us.

I loved it.

The tough conditions tonight evoked a powerful group energy. It was palpable in the lobby after class, and I was a part of it. I felt like one of the cool kids. This was new territory for me. Because even though I’ve become friendly with the teaching staff and some of the regulars at my studio, I realized that during classes I’ve intentionally been trying to put a sort of bubble around myself for all these months. I thought that’s what I needed to do in order to focus. I considered other people’s energy a distraction and therefore detrimental to my own practice. Sometimes I did find the solace calming, but other times, particularly when struggling, it was lonely. Tonight I drew off the group vibe to help me get through, and it worked.

The bonds that tend to form between yogis are strong, and after tonight I better understand why. Although classes that are universally brutal for everybody aren’t the norm, the people who are always there mat to mat with you are fighting the good fight just like you are. They have their ups and downs, good days and bad days, triumphs and trials. So it doesn’t hurt to tap into that group energy when you need to. Yogis have to stick together, and tonight we all got hit with the yoga truck together. We all lived to tell about it though, and so personally, I’m grateful. Thank you, yoga truck. Tonight you burst my bubble.


  1. That darn truck seems to make the rounds, doesn't it! I love that you were able to put a positive spin on it though....

  2. thanks! it really did feel like a turning point for me. since then i've been feeling closer and closer to the people at my studio. and it's not that i've learned SO MUCH more about them, really. i mean i have a little, but there is just a connection there. and lately my studio is feeling like a home away from home. :)