How to Stop Vaginal Farts During Yoga

Women practicing downward facing dog in yoga class
Awkward Yoga Problems. Hero Images / Getty Images

You're in the middle of yoga class and coming out of plow pose when suddenly a little air passes out of your vagina, making a fart-like sound. It's embarrassing, but rest assured that you are not alone. This is known as a "vart" (that's short for vaginal fart) and it happens to many women during yoga.

What Causes a Vaginal Fart?

A vaginal fart is sometimes also called a queef. It can happen whether you're doing yoga or not.

The vagina is an opening in the body and air can get trapped inside. When the air is forced out during a bend or inversion, for instance, it makes a little noise, just like the other type of flatulence. The good news is that this one doesn't come with the gassy smell.

The dreaded vart is common in yoga, particularly when coming out of an inversion. Women who have had children are especially susceptible since pregnancy and childbirth loosen the pelvic floor.

How to Prevent It During Yoga

What can you do about this embarrassing situation? First of all, you can choose to just laugh it off.

Our bodies do funny things when they are moved in unusual ways and yoga is filled with twists and turns. It's really just one of those embarrassing yoga situations that can happen during your practice. Everyone in the studio has probably experienced it and having a sense a humor about is always the best approach.

Yet, there are a few tricks you can try out to see if they help.

Lock Your Pelvic Floor With Mula Bandha

A good technique to work on is called Mula Bandha. It engages the pelvic floor muscles and isn’t called the "root lock" for nothing.

Mula bandha involves keeping your pelvic muscles tight. This should prevent air from getting in as well as out if you can hold it throughout a pose.

Many women have found this to be especially helpful when coming out of an inversion.

Admittedly, this takes some practice to hold, but it does become easier if you work at it. It is actually a recommended method, especially in Ashtanga yoga, to give your inversions lift, strength, and balance.

In addition, you can also try doing Kegel exercises outside of class to strengthen these neglected muscles.

Opt Out of Inversions

If the problem is really mortifying and happens all the time, you can opt out of doing these poses in class. Save them for your home practice while you're working on strengthening and controlling your pelvic floor.

Not doing a pose in class is nothing to feel bad about, either. Many women choose not to invert during their periods, so your avoidance of inversions shouldn’t cause any notice.

Tampon? Not a Good Idea

Some women have resorted to wearing a tampon if the problem is especially persistent. In theory, this works because you're blocking the vagina. However, it's a method we're not going to endorse here and will actually discourage. It's mentioned strictly because you might hear it in the yoga rumor mill.

It is not recommended to use a tampon when you are not menstruating.

This is because misuse of tampons is one cause of toxic shock syndrome (TSS), which is very serious and potentially life-threatening. In the long run, a little embarrassment is a much better option.