Truck life: yoga club

Fierce warriors

Life on the road is long and bumpy. The truck is not exactly the smoothest of rides. The further back you sit, the bumpier the ride. We usually have the sides rolled up, exposing us to wind and dust, tousling our hair generally wearing us out. Travel days vary from 5 hours to 9 hours. We usually wake up bright and early, pack up camp and board the truck. We stop for lunch on the side of the road and for occasional pee breaks and we keep on driving until we run out of daylight. By the time we set up camp again, as the sun sets, we’re usually pretty exhausted and sore.

Our remedy for all this travel wear and tear has been yoga club. I started my own routine when we were traveling SE Asia and I’ve been keeping it up since. Mark started doing it with me here in Africa and more people have kept joining in. After we get off the truck, before supper, we have a core group of around 7 people + a handful of casuals join in the 45 minute power yoga routine.

The first few weeks I taught the class and helped people with their postures. Thankfully people were patient and forgiving because I have no experience teaching nor am I technically qualified to teach. Another Canadian on the truck, Steph, is also a yoga fanatic and has been great support demonstrating and correcting. More recently I’ve stepped back from teaching and have been playing an iPhone yoga routine I put together using the Authentic Yoga with Deepak Chopra app. It keeps us flowing to tranquil music and describes many of the benefits for each posture. There are a surprising number of postures which help to relieve constipation which we get a kick out of because that’s usually not a problem for most of us. Haha.

We’ve done yoga in some pretty spectacular locations. Some of the most memorable so far have included moonlit desert yoga in the wide open bush-camps of Namibia. Extreme road yoga in Namibia where there were no flat areas for our mats except on the middle of the gravel road we drove in on. We only had to pause once for a false alarm oncoming car. “Game on”. “Game off”. Hippo beach yoga is also up there. While we were camping in the Okavango Delta a group of 10 of us trekked out with our mats to the banks of the delta where we were in plain view of a group of hippos. Concentration was difficult to maintain at times as we could so clearly hear and feel the roaring calls of the great water giants.

There have been a few locations where we’ve attracted local observers. They usually stick around only a few minutes before getting bored. In Vic Falls we had a Great Dane try to topple us by weaving through our mats. If I were practicing on my own, I’d probably be a bit self-conscious about people watching me stretch. Not so as a group. We’ve got safety and confidence in numbers, which has been great. It has helped break the ice for a few fellows who had never before tried yoga or who have been reluctant to try it. The group helps motivate me too. There are times I get into camp and feel too lazy to do yoga. But then people start asking ‘what time is yoga tonight?’ and I can’t let them down. I thank myself for it afterwards. Mark is now hooked. He did a headstand a couple days ago with ease.

Everyone has their own routine when we get off the truck at the end of the day. Yoga is great for some of us. Some yogis also run or jump rope. Others simply grab a drink and sit by the fire until supper’s ready. When it’s ready, we tend to inhale it, go for seconds and hit the hay, or Therm-a-rests. In bed and relaxed by 9, ready for the same thing next day.

Comments

  1. Brian R

  2. What time is Yoga tonight? I’d like to join in.

    Cool Meg! Maybe a silly question, but how does everyone have yoga mats? Are you using deflated thermarests? Good for you for taking on a leadership role! I bet you’re a great teacher. :)

    Good job Meggie. I was wondering the same thing as Sarah – where did you all get the mats from? A few of us did yoga on the beach in Suffolk the other day and it was fun. I’m going to get some yoga iPhone apps now too :) Miss you xoxoxo

  3. Mama KT

  4. What a great a move for everyone, I’m proud of you Meggie for keeping up with it. Ever do palates – my favourite? Doing yoga in Africa, completes the adventures of a lifetime that you are having there. Mind over body, all in one. Love Mom

    Cool meggio! Stretching is so good. Zach and I are leaving today! We’re in the border line right now waiting to cross to go to Sasquatch. I’ve geared up your super bike and will take good care of it. Love to u and mark and will look forward to catching up on your travels when we get back. Have fun!

    Hey Meg, think of Mark’s grandfather driving long-haul loads in a truck routed from Edmonton to Chicago to Montreal in the’50’s and me doing Tai Chi at 5:00am in Tai Pei in the’90’s. So what’s “the secret” You must be hiding an answer.

    Stretching is good! It helps fix things at the end of the day. We use grass mats that are on board. A lot of peops use them underneath their Therm-a-rests as an extra layer of cushioning. Good question. It’s often quite tricky terrain for yoga. Sand is hard eh? We’re falling frequently on the uneven ground. That’s why the road was so good;)

    No pilates although we were staying at a Backpacker’s the other day and there was a tv lounge with a ‘Yoga Dance’ tape. Didn’t do it. The two just don’t go together. Bon voyage Linny! Lovey.

    I smell a video re-make of a blur song coming on.

  5. Patricia Holland

  6. Hi Meghan,
    It’s Patricia & Bud from 25 Rupert Street. We had dinner with your mom and dad and your grandmother last evening. We were able to eat outside and got caught up on all the news. It looks as though you and Mark are having a great time travelling the world. Just wanted to say hi and we will follow your travels. Hugs!

    Trish & Bud

    Hi Meg,
    Thats so cool…you guys rock…Yoga in the wildest places of Africa…viddie in the making ???

  7. John Candy

  8. Ooooh, I can see the telly advert now — Yoga on the Serengeti, presented by 1024 Productions

  9. Vanna White

  10. Meg I loved reading about your yoga stories and the places you have practiced. I’m sure you feel lighter and brighter after your practice… have you incorporated chanting or oming? My yoga teacher supports a yoga school somewhere in Africa and she does fund raising twice a year by setting up large yoga groups in big malls and asking for donations for Africa… I will have to ask her where the school is. Keep up your yoga, it helps your mind to stay clear and your emotions even. Lots of love your way…namasta

    It’s been unreal and you’re right‚Äîit really helps clear my mind. If you find out where she does yoga please let me know. I heard of a couple fancy places on Zanzibar but I think those are geared towards tourists with lotsa money.

    just to let u know-that slide show of your two getting mreiard makes benita and i cry . we are immediately transported back to Vinnies italian restaurant in Southport on the Gold Coast, and you are both unraveling the story of your lives . we love you two thanks

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