8 ways NOT to Fart In Your Next Yoga Class


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8 ways NOT to Fart In Your Next Yoga Class

Have you ever been to a yoga class, and only to realize halfway through that you have an urge to fart? Or worse yet, you just did? Well, as embarrassing as it may have been, you’re not alone. In fact, farting is a very normal thing to do, even in a yoga class. So why do we fart in yoga?

There are several reasons why we fart in yoga. Top on the list is when we had our last meal. Yoga tends to be practiced in the morning on an empty stomach. So if you are digesting a meal, chances are you may fart. Additionally, some yoga poses are designed to de-bloat you, such as twisting poses.

A 1988 review article titled ‘Flatulence – Causes, relation to diet and remedies’ explained the most commonly asked questions regarding farting, or how it is academically known: flatulence. Here the author explains that:

“Flatulence (from the Latin, flafus – a blowing) is the excessive accumulation of air or gas in the stomach or intestines. By its very nature, it is a subject of acute personal embarrassment.”

And so there you have it. Even academically, farting is acknowledged as being rather embarrassing. And here is the question, what do we do if it happens in a yoga class?

What should I do if I fart in a yoga class?

It is not uncommon for people to fart in a yoga class. I have been teaching yoga for 6 years and in those years I have heard quite a few farts in class! Nobody says anything as it is acknowledged as being normal. And so if you fart during your yoga class, you don’t have to say anything or feel bad.

I still remember going to one of my very first yoga classes. And at some point to teacher said, ok let’s now do wind-relieving pose. I had a little giggle at the name of this pose and immediately realized that ok yes, this may in fact help people relieve their wind.

And so in your typical yoga class, you will be doing poses like twists and knees to chest, all of which are designed to de-bloat you.

And if you are wondering why yoga classes may encourage farting, well, according to Health: “Farting throughout the day and night is largely a good thing; the buildup of gas can lead to uncomfortable bloating otherwise. In short, breaking wind makes you feel better.”

Ideally, we won’t be relieving ourselves in the class, rather after class!

Additionally, according to Healthline, “Doctors say the average person farts anywhere from 5 to 15 times per day. Farting is a normal part of digestion that reflects the activity of the bacteria in your gut. You might also notice that you fart more when you eat certain foods that are more difficult to digest, such as beans or raw vegetables.”

And so the basic rule of thumb to not actually fart in your yoga class is to practice yoga in the morning on an empty stomach. Or at least, try to wait 3-4 hours after a meal in order to practice yoga.

For more information on what to eat before and after yoga, check out my article: What to Eat Before and After Yoga (Plus Yummy Recipes)

Let’s now have a look at the 7 main ways you can avoid farting in your next yoga class.

1. Avoid foods that may make you fart

8 ways NOT to Fart In Your Next Yoga Class

You may have noticed that certain food may make you produce more gas. And so as a general rule of thumb, try to avoid eating these before your next yoga class.

LegumesBeans and lentils
VegetablesAsparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage
LactoseMilk and cheese
Whole grainsBrown rice and oatmeal
StarchesPotatoes, pasta, and wheat

It is important to point out that these foods are part of a healthy diet. And so try not to remove them from your everyday diet. Rather, try to avoid eating them before yoga.

2. Eat slowly

8 ways NOT to Fart In Your Next Yoga Class

Apparently, when we eat, we also swallow air. And this may also lead to building up the air in our intestines.

The way to minimize the air we swallow is by eating slowly and mindfully. One basic component of this is to not eat on the go. And so try to avoid eating while you are walking in particular!

According to Flatulence Cures, “Digestion starts in the mouth, not in the stomach. Chewing breaks up the food into more manageable pieces increases its surface area and mixes it with saliva. This saliva contains the enzymes amylase, which starts breaking down carbohydrates in the meal and lingual lipase to begin the proper digestion of fats. The whole digestive process can be impaired when we are eating too fast.”

And so the next time you have a meal, especially if this is before your next yoga class, try to sit down and take your time. Chew slowly and mindfully and enjoy it!

3. Avoid fizzy drinks

8 ways NOT to Fart In Your Next Yoga Class

Have you ever noticed that you burp more after having a carbonated drink? Well here’s another fact. Some of that air in the air bubbles may make its way through your digestive tract, thus also leading to farting.

And so try to avoid drinking fizzy drinks before your next yoga class.

4. Avoid dairy

8 ways NOT to Fart In Your Next Yoga Class

Milk and dairy products may be something to avoid before your next yoga class. The reason for this is that in some people, dairy causes excess bloating.

And if you feel like you are alone in this, think that according to Healthline, an incredible 75% of the human population is estimated to be lactose intolerant.

So perhaps wait till after your yoga class for that latte and cheesecake!

5. Practice on an empty stomach

8 ways NOT to Fart In Your Next Yoga Class

It is recommended to wait 3-4 hours after a meal before practicing yoga. If you practice in the morning, then ideally you should try to practice on an empty stomach.

We want to practice on an empty stomach because otherwise the energy the body needs for digestion should not be taken away from our yoga practice.

What happens if we don’t give our body enough time to digest, is that any form of bending and twisting will most likely feel very uncomfortable.

This is something most of us learn the hard way when we first start practicing yoga! If you have your yoga class coming up and you feel a little hungry, then you could try to nibble on something small and light.

For more information on what to eat before and after yoga, check out my article: What to Eat Before and After Yoga (Plus Yummy Recipes)

6. Take a break and go to the bathroom

8 ways NOT to Fart In Your Next Yoga Class

Whether you followed the advice above or not and you’re in class feeling like you’re going to fart, then excuse yourself and go to the bathroom.

You may be able to release any built-up gas. However even if not, even just the notion of giving your body a break from the twisting and stretching you were doing may be enough to calm the urge to fart in class.

7. Keep up with your yoga practice

8 ways NOT to Fart In Your Next Yoga Class

Three are two key reasons it is important to maintain a regular yoga practice. Well, to be honest, there are numerous important reasons to maintain a regular yoga practice! But for the sake of farting, there are two main reasons.

The first is that by moving our bodies as we do in a yoga class, we help our digestive system do its job. Well, that is given that you are not practicing on an empty stomach!

And so by keeping up with your practice, each class will be able to assist your digestive system and hopefully help relieve any bloating.

And now the second important reason to practice yoga for bloating is that digestive issues are many times related to stress. And as research has shown, yoga helps reduce stress.

If you are interested in more information on that, you may find my article interesting: 12 Reasons Yoga Is Calming & How It Reduces Stress (Science-Based)

Indeed, according to Healthline, “Some people experience symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome — which includes excessive farting — when stressed. Some people may also engage in habits that cause excessive farting when they’re stressed, such as smoking, chewing gum, eating sweets or drinking alcohol.”

And so if you were looking for that extra reason to keep up with your yoga practice, then there you go!

8. Practice wind removing poses before class

If you feel a little bloated before your yoga class, you could try some wind-removing poses at home. The two top examples are twists and the actual wind removing pose. Stay in each for a few breaths and repeat if you like. This way, you may notice that you are able to remove any excess wind.

This is a wonderful twist to try out.

8 ways NOT to Fart In Your Next Yoga Class

And for the actual ‘wind-removing pose’, try to bend the knee of the leg you bring into your chest. And stay here for several breaths.

8 ways NOT to Fart In Your Next Yoga Class

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Alexia Koletsou

Alexia Koletsou is a Level 1 Authorized Ashtanga Yoga Teacher with a Ph.D. in Science Communication. She received her blessing to teach Ashtanga Yoga in 2019, from the Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, India, where she has had the honor of practicing with R. Sharath Jois multiple times over the years. She is the owner of her own Shala in Greece and now shares her knowledge on yogamyoldfriend.com and her YouTube channel Alexia K Yoga.

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