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Class Farts and Other Awkward Yoga Situations

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People fart in yoga. It happens all the time. The statistics don't lie. In every single yoga class worldwide, at least one student drops a bomb.

If we all refuse to feel embarrassed from here on out though, then liberation will be ours.

You are not alone in your yoga class follies. As a class goer for eight years and a teacher for over three, I have heard, seen and smelled a lot. Let's explore, shall we?


1. Bottom flatulence
You're twisting, you're moving -- gas escapes. Even the ancient yogis knew about farting, aptly naming one folded asana, Pavanamuktasana, the wind relieving pose. It's best to empty the bowels before practicing and that's why having a daily practice at a set time is good. The body begins to adjust and a routine is created that's in line with your body's daily rhythms. Try also: eat well, digest well, fart less. Sometimes it can't be helped but this is a good start.

2. Female frontal wind
This happens all the time. Men -- get over it. Women -- get over it. It's not gross and it's not demoralizing, it simply is what it is. In many postures the vaginal canal opens and air gets in, especially for women who have had a baby or are older. Shoulder stand is a solid example of this. If the vaginal muscles aren't contracted then it's possible for the vagina to gulp in air. While rolling down and out of the pose, the air has to go somewhere usually resulting in a fanny fart. Engaging Mula Bandha while entering into and sustaining the pose might help you out of this situation.

3. Relentless sweating
If you're practicing yoga and you're pouring with sweat, it's not the end of the world. After time, your body will probably adjust and you'll sweat less. Bring a towel or two, use a wicked non-slippy mat, and just deal with it. Don't use lotions before class as you'll just be extra sweaty and slippery. If the teacher touches you, it's a safe bet they're doing it of their own free will. Don't be apologetic. They can see that you're sweaty and they don't care.

4. Falling out of a pose
This can feel like a complete failure -- like everyone is watching you and you've just tripped across the stage at graduation. Rest assured, everyone gets wobbly during asana practice. If you teeter or fall, don't even worry about it. Getting mad at yourself or embarrassed will not help you. Take a breath, let it go, and try again. You falling makes it okay for everyone else to fall too. You're a hero.

5. Falling out of your shorts
This may surprise you, but I have seen penises AND some of them have been at yoga. Short shorts, no underwear, and adventurous poses are sometimes to blame for this phenomenon. Usually though, the owner of the penis isn't embarrassed because they don't even know it's happened. It's up to you then teachers and fellow students to keep calm and yoga-on.

6. Ring ring ring on the celly
If your mobile is the culprit, it's best to just hop up, turn the phone off, and get back at it. Don't disrupt the class further by a) pretending it's not your phone or b) apologizing incessantly and making a scene. Shit happens. Learn from your mistakes.

7. A crying shame
I can't even count how many classes I have been to or taught where someone cried. Tears of joy and sadness are nothing to be ashamed of. Yoga is a practice of letting go and so if you become overwhelmed by emotions, simply let it happen. Instead of pushing the feelings away, take the time and space to experience whatever it is that presents itself. You are not alone. Yoga teaches us that much.

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