“You smell nice!” The words heard as I walked into a favorite class, Yoga and Meditation. A yogi to the right of me commented on the pleasant smell that came from my direction. A compliment, well received. The pleasant scent might have come from the use of an essential oil. Or, the use of scented hand wipes provided at Whole Foods.
Yoga studios, at best, may smell of incense or the wood floor. That’s because yogis often, but not always, take steps before class to not smell. Take a shower. Wear clean clothing. Use deodorant. Avoid wearing strong-smelling perfumes.
Not long ago, I made an effort to keep the surrounding space smelling nice. What effort did I take to keep a pleasant smelling space? Well, one thing I did was to tighten my butt sphincter muscles to keep the fart(s) in. A well-practiced skill learned as an elementary school teacher. We hold our pee and farts.
SILENT OR LOUD
Is holding a fart a good practice? Maybe yes or maybe no. Few would even want to spend time discussing that point. No one can argue, though, with wanting a non-offensive smelling yoga area. No need to stress! There are a few ways to maintain the good yoga studio smell. Let’s talk about ways around the need to fart.
Avoid eating one hour before class; two hours if your digestion is slow. If you have to eat before class, then eat what your body digests easily. Eat non-gas producing foods. You alone know what that means for your body. But, if you don’t? Google is your friend.
TOO LATE, YOU ATE!
There is always water at the table outside of most studio entrance door. Use that as a nice excuse to go outside, to free your fart, to get some water, and then return to class.
Not enough privacy? Then, the bathroom is convenient and offers more privacy.
RELEASE THE KRAKEN!
Not enough time? Can’t hold it in? Don’t want to disturb the flow of the class by leaving the room? Too late, the pose is Downward Dog? Or, Wide-Legged Forward Bend? Happy Baby? Easy Pose? The fart is coming. Just ‘release the kraken!’ Farting is a natural process. Silent or loud, many fart in a class. All know about farts. Take care of yourself. No one will single you out. They may laugh to themselves and may think “better you than me.”
Did you know that three are some, for medical reasons, bloating and/or gas, have an actual need to fart. There are a few yoga asanas that actually help you to release the wind. Practice those and let your private studio space smell as it may.
Citizens shall be allowed to pass gas whenever necessary. – Emperor Claudius
This advice may not seem to add to the smell of yoga. I have often said things that sound like farts and then comes regret. Regret breeds stress. Whether your farts are verbal or actual, the one activity that always helps with the decision to not stress is breathing. Breathing as if you’re in nature.
What ever you decide to do with your farts, focus on the breath. You are in a yoga class where every, and I do mean every, teacher emphasizes breath work. Every asana uses the breath: nose breathing or combination nose and open mouth; before, during and/or after.
Inhale – (Fill the chest cavity, the lungs, rib cage, and diaphragm)
Exhale – (Empty the diaphragm, the rib cage, the lungs, and chest cavity)
Love the smell of yoga!