Yoga Farts and Other Embarrassing Topics

Embarrassed Yogi
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When you join a yoga class, there are many things that you will experience beyond the poses and asanas your teacher instructs you in. Some of these can be rather embarrassing, including the occasional yoga fart. You may not want to ask your teacher or classmates about such matters, so read on for answers to the most common (and awkward) questions about yoga.

What Can You Do About Farting?

Passing gas while practicing yoga is not unusual. In fact, in prenatal yoga classes, it is more common due to the pressure of the baby on the organs. But in any class, you're moving your body in ways that will stir up your guts, which is a good thing.

The side effect is that it can cause anyone to pass gas on occasion. We're all adults here, and farting is perfectly natural. You might, however, consider your pre-yoga diet and think about skipping those beans at lunch next time.

When faced with an embarrassing moment during yoga class, gauge the mood of the class and act accordingly. If the class is light-hearted and casual, you might humorously acknowledge your emission. If the teacher and students are deadly serious, pretend that nothing untoward has occurred.

What About Varts?

The vart (a vaginal fart) is just as common as a normal fart and nothing to be overly embarrassed about. There are, however, a few things you can do to try preventing varts, though there are no guarantees.

What If Someone in Class Smells?

Instead of trying to change someone else, see if you can work on changing yourself. The yogic principle of pratyahara means "withdrawal of the senses." Try to be so immersed in your own practice that you are not disturbed by outside sights, noises, or even smells.

Pratyahara takes time and practice. While you work on achieving this ideal, try situating yourself across the room from the yogi who's a little odiferous.

Why Do Yoginis Wear Thongs?

Many women find a thong to be the most comfortable underwear when exercising (or in everyday life). Wearing a thong also eliminates the panty line that can show if you choose to wear undies under tight-fitting leggings. See the answer above regarding pratyahara and do your best to ignore the show. Who knows, you might even try it yourself to see if it's truly more comfortable.

What If You Love Your Class But Hate the Music?

You can certainly voice your opinion to your teacher, though it may be best to request no music rather than to object to their taste. Some yoga teachers play music, others do not. You may want to look around for a teacher who doesn't use music.

Can You Leave to Go to the Restroom?

It is perfectly acceptable to leave class for a few minutes to attend to your bodily functions. There is no need to ask the teacher's permission to go to the bathroom. The best time to go is when there is a period of rest, either in child's pose or downward dog. You will not earn your teacher's respect if you routinely dodge out during difficult poses or skip part of savasana.

What If You Don't Like Partner Stretches?

If your teacher loves partner stretches but you don't want to pair up with a sweaty stranger, you have a few options. You can find a new teacher, You can position your mat next to the least sweaty stranger in the class. You can invite your own partner to class, such as a friend you don't mind sharing sweat with. The last option is to simply learn to love it. Also, keep in mind that you are someone else's sweaty stranger, too.

Does Loving Yoga Make You a Hippie?

Once upon a time, yoga outside of India was most often done on communes by vegetarians. Although yoga came by this reputation honestly, these days everyone from doctors to CEOs is embracing it. So, no, practicing yoga does not make you a hippie. But it can perhaps begin to tinge your everyday life with an attitude of peace and kindness. And is that really so wrong?

A Word From Verywell

Yoga tends to foster a close-knit community and most people are willing to help newcomers. Feel free to ask your instructor or another student you trust about things you may be a little embarrassed about. It's very likely that you're not the only one with these questions and most are just a normal part of the practice.

By Ann Pizer, RYT
Ann Pizer is a writer and registered yoga instructor who teaches vinyasa/flow and prenatal yoga classes.