It happens to everyone and takes place when you least expect it to. It could be during your first yoga class or your 20th, but sooner or later it will happen to you. What “thing” am I talking about? If you don’t already know (lucky you), I’m referring to the “most embarrassing moment in yoga” — a fart or queef.
It’s time to clear the elephant out of the room, no pun intended. We all know both bodily functions are completely normal, yet when it happens to you, it can make you feel embarrassed or even ashamed. You might want to curl up into a ball and quietly roll yourself out the door.
Let’s face it, there is no way to control either action. And if you dare to try, the consequences can be far worse. Now, if you’re reading this and laughing uncontrollably, it’s probably because you feel where I’m coming from or it has yet to happen to you. But just wait… it will.
So, now that we’ve cleared the air, how do you handle the embarrassment of passing gas?
My suggestion is this: Simply ignore it and move on. I know it’s much easier said than done. But think about it for a moment, what else are you supposed to do? Stop the class and make an announcement?
It will almost always happen at what seems like the worst time in class, like when the teacher is giving breathing instructions and the room is so quiet all you can hear is the breaths in unison or, worst of all, when a teacher is walking over to you to give you an adjustment.
This all sounds horrifying, I know, but if you act like it didn’t happen, everyone around you will do the same. Remember, every expert was once a beginner and every teacher should have enough compassion and sense to understand.
You also shouldn’t worry about the other students; they should be focused on their own practice and not worrying about what’s taking place on someone else’s mat. Most of the yogis will be so focused on going inward chances are they probably won’t hear anything. If they did, no one is going to call you out on it. At the slight and very rare possibility they do, then that’s not the yoga community that you want to be a part of anyway, and you might want to look into another class or, if needed, more supportive studio options.
Your yogi community should always be supportive, no matter what’s going on in class, even for something as small as farting or queefing.