When your body erupts during yoga, here's what to do

Yoga.  It’s all about acquiring self control.  But all that twisting like a pretzel and stretching like a giraffe can produce the opposite result – bodily eruptions that are awkward at best, highly embarrassing at worst.

Yoga is meant to reduce ego, but we all have our limits.

So let’s go there, ladies. Here are the things all Yoginis need to be ready for … and how to disguise them

1. Farting

Admit it. You’ve done it. We all have. One of my favourite poses in yoga is the ‘wind relieving pose’. I love it because it involves lying down, but I hate it when it works too well.  Regular practitioners are skilled at disguising their wind with a well-timed cough and a poker face but if that’s too difficult don’t worry. I have a friend who met her boyfriend at a class where she let rip. If you’re a bit prim about this bodily function then set up your mat at the back of class, well away from others.

The Bondi Hipsters open their root chakra

2. Fanny farting

I stopped doing yoga classes that demanded head and shoulder stands many years ago and not just because they were a pain in the neck. Special female farts are less common but much harder to hold in than a regular toot and far more embarrassing. I had a wise teacher whose mantra in certain poses was "hold your legs together and squeeze, ladies".  When that didn't work for some poor lass she quoted Shrek: "Better out than in I always say, Fiona".  The only way to be totally safe is to stay upright and keep up your pelvic floor exercises. Which brings me to ...

3. Weeing

Do not look up this problem on the internet, it will lead to porn suggestions you just don't want to know about. But if vigorous yoga leads to a bit of leakage, again: pelvic floor, pelvic floor, pelvic floor. Also, wear dark pants. If it can't be avoided then perhaps pose with poise ladies. (I have not been paid extra for that lame quip.)

4. Sneezing

Who cares, but if it leads to number 3 then repeat your pelvic floor exercises. Again.

They say seven sneezes are equivalent to the next bodily eruption, which is rare but far the most fabulous of all …

5. Orgasming

Some women get all the luck, they can orgasm from yoga. The phenomenon has even been named - coregasms or yogasms - so it must be true. Think about it and you know it makes sense. That beautific, ecstatic smile on that girl who seems to come to every single class is probably not because she likes pushing her head onto her knees. It's more about what all that contracting of her abdominals are doing to stimulate her pelvic floor.  Yoga can be a Kegel exercise with a happy ending.

Some Yoginis swear they can go further and have a  full body orgasm when they align all their chakras in class. The closest I've come to coming was in a Bikram hot yoga class on a humid day. I was lying in a pool of revolting stinky sweat and the teacher opened the door; the wave of cool fresh air made me quiver all over with pleasure.  If this happens to you, then congratulations! Enjoy! No one need ever know. Just don't go all Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally.

I'll have the dog pose she's having

6. Giggles

Sometimes it's the holier than thou, calm sweet voice of the teacher who thinks he's a guru, sometimes it's the thoroughly Aussie chick trying to pronounce Pariv?ttabaddhap?r?vako??sana and sometimes it's just the sheer ridiculousness of doing dog pose in a class of humans. Whatever the cause, I often get the giggles in yoga. Last week I actually spilled into semi-hysterics when a teacher waxed lyrical about what yoga can do. I know it can make me flexible, strong, happy and calm but when she vowed Eagle Pose could get me pregnant I unwrapped and fell over because I always assumed you needed sperm for that. Advice - if you think you're going to giggle, think of sad things like how you will probably never wear a crop top like the teacher's again in your life.


7. Crying

This happens when I go to yoga to calm down or because life is getting me down. It's the backbend that gets me.  All that opening of the heart chakra can lead to hot full tears falling on my mat. Sometimes there's nothing as good as a silent weep. Let it go girlfriend, you deserve it.

8. Sweating

Unavoidable, especially if you do Power, Bikram or Vinyasa Yoga, which involve doing a sequence of poses in a heated room. Dark clothes are best to hide the sweat stains around breasts and crutches.  Teachers often say "don't wipe your sweat, let it cool you", but please, in the interest of others to whom you are meant to be developing compassion, I beg you not to flick or drip your sweat on your neighbour. I once thought there was nothing worse than having spicy Thai take-away sweat from the night before drip into my own eye while in Triangle Pose but there is - having a splatter of someone else's sweat land on my face while I'm in any pose at all. Gross.

9. Swearing

While being sweated on is likely to lead to swearing this one is actually a no no. Swamis don't swear. So if you pull a muscle, hurt your neck, push too far or fall on your face, hold in this bodily eruption. Or turn the 'sh..' word into an utterance of 'Shiva' before you get to the 'it'.

Cat Pose

10. Vomiting

A dry wretch can turn into a spew when someone is sweating on you and it's 38 degrees and you are twisting and crunching your inner organs. Breathe to control if you can. Or run. Run like the wind.

11. Heavy Breathing

That's what you are there for. Go for it. Sighing releases muscles and stress. Enjoy. In through the nose and out through the mouth.

12. Grunting

I do yoga because I hate all the constipated grunting sounds men make in the gym when they lift weights. They freak me out. If you are grunting in yoga I reckon you are trying too hard. It's not a performance sport, it's a practice. Stop, I beg you. Unless you are going into labour. Then grunt away.

13. Birth waters

I went to yoga to try and bring on childbirth with my first baby. It took 12 hours to take effect. If your waters break, mop up and get out.  And congratulations - your baby may be a reincarnated yoga guru.

14. Blood

Preparation. Dark towel, dark pants.


15. Snoring

Am I the only person who has fallen asleep in Savasana? I do it often. The level of relaxation after a class is so blissful, consuming and calming it's often hard to stay present. But be aware, back sleeping can lead to snoring and slobbering. A man next to me once snored so loudly he took away all my post class bliss. Stay awake or away from the red wine the night before class.

00:00 / ???