Farting in Yoga
If you practice yoga, involuntary flatulence may be something that’s on your mind. Farting in a yoga class is actually really common, so much so that I don’t think I have been in a class (either as a teacher or student) in which it hasn’t happened for someone. Its also totally normal so nothing to be embarrassed about, though that may be easier said than done.
You are moving your body in new and sometimes unexpected ways. You’re also encouraged to try poses that will massage your digestive system, the side effect of which is gas. When you relax and stretch your body this can exacerbate any gassy symptoms. Any pose that encourages you to twist or fold will press on your intestines and the air that’s already in there has to go somewhere… so….. you know what comes next.
Does anyone care?
The really short answer is: No!
Absolutely no one cares. For the most part people are generally just pleased it wasn’t them. Whether you know the people around you or not may determine how you react if you’re the parp perp. Sometimes its good to keep a poker face when farting in a yoga class and sometimes erupting into giggles is the right way to go. If you want to try and move past it as quickly as possible (and you’re in a class of people you don’t know) my advice would be don’t acknowledge it. The accompanying “oops” will draw more attention to you. You’re teacher will be professional and move the class on to something else and before you know it your fart will be a forgotten thing of the past.
Poses that can make you fart
Some poses will put more pressure on the digestive tract and cause farting when practicing yoga. Not so great if you’re in a yoga class but actually if you suffer from trapped wind, IBS or other digestive issues these can be a bit of a blessing. So if you’re having trouble passing wind then the poses below are for you, whereas if you’re anxious about farting in your yoga class just be aware that these poses can be triggers.
Wind Relieving pose / Pawanmuktasana:
Laying on your back draw both knees into the chest, then as you exhale release your left leg and extend it along the floor. Hold for 3 breaths and then repeat on the other side. Finish by drawing both knees into the chest again.
Seated forward bend / Paschimottanasana & Standing forward fold / Utanasana:
Sitting on the floor extend your legs out in front of you. Flex your feet and slowly fold forward over your legs. Take care not to round your back.
Happy baby pose / Ananda balasana:
Lie on your back and as you exhale bend your knees to your chest. Grip the outside of your feet with your hands, positioning the ankle over the knees so the shins are perpendicular to the floor.
Child’s pose / Balasana:
Begin in an all fours position. Take the knees wide and allow the toes to touch. Walk the hands forward allowing the chest to melt down to the floor.
Wide legged forward fold / Prasaritapadottanasana:
Take the feet wide (about 3 to 4 feet apart). Rest the hands on the hips and begin to fold at the waist. Press firmly into the floor with the outer edge of your feet. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Don’t let it hold you back
Maybe its a case of once embarrassed twice shy, but don’t let that yoga fart hold you back from your yoga practice. Please go back to the class. You will not be defined by that fart! I’ve had a few students who have passed wind in class and then I’ve never seen them again. This always makes me really sad as no one’s lives should play out according to the demands of their bottom. Its all just part of moving your body in a different way as you progress on your yoga journey.
Top tips to hold back the fart
- Firstly don’t hold it in. Trying to hold it in will lead to a build up of pressure, abdominal pain and gas reabsorbed into the circulation and exhaled in your breath.
- If you feel discomfort and you’re aware you need to pass gas you can momentarily excuse yourself from the class and go to the bathroom.
- Note which poses are triggers for your gas and take it easy when you come to them.
- If it happens, don’t sweat it, no one else is!
As you push yourself further with your yoga practice you’re likely to come across yoga poses that challenge you in more unconventional ways. Your body and your relationship to your body is changing, so in order to get the most out of your yoga practice you might have to resign yourself to the occasional fart.
If you enjoyed this article you may also find YOGA FAQs of interest.
Has this ever happened to you?
Have you ever had an embarrassing moment in a yoga class? If so leave a comment below if you feel like sharing 🙂