Dear Yoga Yenta,
I started taking a Power Yoga Basics class a few months ago. There are certain sweeping movements – and forgive me for not knowing the names of the poses yet – during which my leg is way up in the air and my hips are open when I can literally feel my vaginal wall opening and the air rushing in and then being expelled as I move down into the Pigeon Pose, sometimes with an extremely embarrassing burping noise. Today as I breathed, it kept happening to the point that I almost started laughing, hoping no one heard (I’m sure they did) or at the very least, just didn’t know which person it was coming from!
Is it my physiology or does this happen to most women? Are some of these poses meant to open and/or exercise the vagina? My instructor has stated from the beginning that yoga is a personal practice, requiring no judgments, leaving our ego at the door, so I’m taking this in stride, but I suppose it would help a little to know that I am not alone in what I am experiencing at times.
Dear Anonymous (I would be too),
If ever there was a reason to go to yoga classes in which they play loud music, you’ve nailed it. Oh my! For those of you who thought farting in yoga was your biggest fear, think again. Of course, I can only imagine this experience since it’s clearly impossible for such a horrifying sound effect to come from a dainty yogini like me. Okay, maybe just once. Ummm…twice? But I’ve completely avoided inversions in yoga ever since – especially if there’s a cute boy in the room.
What you are experiencing is totally normal. Practicing yoga helps the energy flow more freely in our bodies and often moves bad toxins out, whether we like it or not. Lord knows we all have some extra hot air that needs releasing. Yoga also helps us to challenge our judgments, egos and needs for control. We learn to gracefully accept ourselves, a particularly confronting task on those occasions when our bodies will just not listen to our minds. So if you’re unable to mask those embarrassing noises with a diversionary sneeze, cough or dramatic lion’s breath, look on the bright side, at least there’s no odor involved!
Om Shanti & Infinite gratitude,