Fart sounds were abundant during my yoga class this morning. There’s a subtle difference between the sound of a sweaty human on a yoga mat and a fart. I think I detected both. It can be really challenging to keep my composure when I hear a fart slip out, but I always do my best because I know we all find it terribly embarrassing to fart in social situations.
A couple students and I were discussing the embarrassment of a toot slip and even feeling awkward about the mat squeaking sounds. I was reminded of an Indian man who came to one of my classes and freely burped and farted, acknowledging it as one of the benefits of Yoga: to release gas. Really it is counterintuitive for us to suppress the urge to fart when we’re making conditions perfect with our deep breathing and compressing the belly. I wish farting was more socially acceptable. But then, socially acceptable doesn’t always mean “right”, does it? If it’s ever going to change someone is going to have to lead by example… it might as well be me…?
As I said that aloud my student said, ‘Just so you know, if you fart, I will laugh because I think farts are funny.” I agree! Farts are funny! So maybe I’ll start some of my yoga classes by saying: Feel free to fart and have fun.
I won’t lie, it’s not comfortable to consider even farting aloud so being a leader of such a movement is daunting. If ever I need to toot while teaching currently, I either ‘swallow’ it (which makes my tummy poof and ache) or, if I’m sure nobody is watching, I’ll grab a bum cheek and with lots of control let it seep out slowly, hoping with each passing second that it stays silent. But being the leader of yoga with pure honour of the body, including when it needs to release, is a worthy cause.
Later that day, after discussing our collective embarrassment about farts, I had a hair appointment to attend. I changed nothing about my outfit except for the occasion except adding a bra. I hate that I felt pressure to do that. My husband tried to reason with me, “It’s your appointment, what does it matter?” I considered how I’d feel sitting in the salon with my breasts obviously unbound and it made me feel as though I’d be judged as being a sloppy person. But then, I’m already a contrast to the woman who does my hair. She always wears body hugging trendy clothes, a full face of makeup and has bleach blond hair. I wear whatever I choose for the day, which is usually very comfortable, and I rarely wear makeup. We get along just fine.
It got me thinking that wearing a bra is similar to suppressing farts. I only wear one for society. I don’t need to for any other reason, and I don’t want to, but I do to fit in. I don’t fart when I need to in order to fit in. Cheers to my journey of releasing that pressure.