For first-time yogis who probably haven't read these articles, though, farting in class can be enough to make them never want to go back — or even have them bolting out the door, as mom blogger Laura Mazza did.
She starts simply enough, by explaining why she even decided to give yoga a chance. Mazza has abdominal muscle separation, which sometimes happens to people who have given birth. The muscles along her abdominal wall are like "Moses parting the Red Sea," she wrote. She's trying to get more fit to tighten them back up.
So Mazza joined a yoga class and at first it was all going well, even though there were awkward moments anyone new to yoga may feel — it seemed too "enlightened" for her, the yoga instructor already knew everyone else, and her mom bod and hairy toes felt out of place in a room full of slim women with perfectly manicured toenails, she said.
Then the class started, and it seemed to be going really well.
"We started doing these random positions, moving into the upward facing dog and I feel a nice crack in my back, thinking i can do this...I totally love yoga. I am a yoga girl!! Look at me so fit right now," Mazza wrote.
It was when they moved into downward facing dog — you know, the position with your butt stuck high up into the air — that things took a turn.
She started feeling a rumbling in her gut, and had been having bad Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms for the past week, so she was pretty sure she knew what was coming.
"My farts stink like something mixed between a rotten egg and an incineration plant," she wrote. "And somewhere between the dolphin position and the three legged dog two of those burning garbage eggs slip out and I fart.
I farted. I farted at yoga. I'm a walking cliche. My pelvic floor has failed me."
Luckily for her, at least, the farts made no sound. So even though they smelled, no one could really know it was her.
"They're quiet, so I'm thinking holy fuck, thank god for that," she wrote. "But then we move to some position where my heads between my legs, and the smell hits me like a punch to the nose. I died inside and now I officially smell like something has also died inside."
She had some thoughts along the lines of "Do I leave the country?" but decided to stick it out.
"Okay. I gather my resolve and say you know what? Whatever. Everyone farts and I can't help it. I continue attempting these ridiculous positions and suck in my core. Fitness here we come," she wrote.
But then, it got worse.
"We then go down on this position where we stretch right out but our legs are like a frog on the floor. The teacher then came around and pushed everyone down lower... I thought oh good, gonna get a nice crack in my back again. I hold in my butthole nice and tight to make sure no farts escape again," she wrote.
"She comes over... pushes my back down... And buuuuuuuuuurrppppfffffff. The loudest trumpet comes out of my ass."
For a moment, Mazza froze.
"[I] thought oh my god. Oh my god. OH MY GOD. Sweet baby Jesus. What just happened. I'm dreaming. Surely. I'm in a nightmare."
After a brief moment of silent embarrassment, Mazza stood up, threw her yoga mat to the side, grabbed her shoes and her bag, and ran out the door.
"I turn around just as I'm closing the door and look up embarrassed to see everyone on their knees wide eyed staring at me in shock... (or in an awake coma from the smell)," she wrote. "And guru ashram yoga teacher looks at me, bows her head and joins her hands together and says 'namaste.'"
Instead of bowing back, she ran out of the building, drove to McDonald's and ordered an ice cream sundae.
"I'm never ever ever EVER, doing yoga again," she wrote. "Fuck the muscle separation."
After she was able to get over the initial shock, though, and talk to a few people about the reality of yoga toots, Mazza says she'd be willing to give it another shot.
"But first I need to practice at home in private so I can get my butt to play nice!" she says.
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