Don't Let Embarrassment Prevent You from Starting or Continuing Your Yoga Journey
Wardrobe malfunctions, concerns about flexibility, and even a little passed gas can make you decide that yoga classes just aren't for you. Although it's only natural to feel a little uncomfortable if these things happen to you, nearly everyone experiences at least one embarrassing episode during yoga class. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prevent future mishaps.
Keep Gas Under Control
Sometimes it's impossible to prevent an accidental release of gas during class. Moving and stretching your body places pressure on your abdomen, which can facilitate movement of gas through your gastrointestinal tract. Although flatulence is common during yoga classes, that doesn't mean it's not embarrassing when it happens to you. You may be able to reduce your risk if you:
- Avoid Foods That Cause Gas. Beans, broccoli, dairy products, onion, garlic, cauliflower, and apples are common gas-producing culprits. If you know that you're affected by these or other foods, don't eat them a few hours before class.
- Stay Away from Carbonated Beverages. Drinking carbonated sodas, beer, and sparkling water may increase your risk of flatulence.
- Try Charcoal Tablets. Activated charcoal tablets absorb gas in your gastrointestinal tract, reducing flatulence. You can find the tablets for sale in drugstores and health food stores.
- Skip Positions That Press on Your Stomach. If your stomach is unsettled, take a break while the rest of the class performs a pose that could cause a problem or perform a more stomach-friendly pose instead.
Take Advantages of Yoga Props
Are you reluctant to return to class because you knocked over two fellow students when you lost your balance and fell? Falls are another common occurrence during classes. It takes a while to master poses and perfect your balance. Until you do, there's no reason you can't use props, like blocks and bolsters, to help you maintain difficult positions and avoid losing your balance. Your yoga instructor may also recommend a few modifications that will make poses like the tree pose or side plank pose easier.
Props can also be useful if you're a little stiff and find it difficult to perform poses that require flexibility. Using blocks, bolsters, cushions, and straps can help stabilize your core and extend your reach. They may even make it easier to hold poses for longer periods of time. As you spend more time practicing yoga, your flexibility will improve, allowing you to decrease your reliance on props.
Go to the Back of the Class
Although yoga classes aren't about competition, it's only natural to feel a little self-conscious if you're new to yoga and having a little difficulty performing a pose. Staking out a position at the back of the class can help you feel more relaxed as you learn and master new poses. Be sure to arrive early to claim a prime location in the studio.
Wear the Right Clothing
Choose comfortable clothing that makes moving easy. Although yoga pants and tops are slightly form-fitting, clothing that's too tight may affect your ability to concentrate. When you're preoccupied because your waistband is digging into your abdomen, it's difficult to meditate or truly be present and in the moment when you perform poses.
It's also important to check that your clothing is in good condition before every yoga class. Because holes tend to form in the most embarrassing places, you may reveal a lot more of your body than you ever intended if you don't examine your clothes regularly. Small holes and loose seams can quickly turn into large holes the moment you perform your first asana of the day. Repairing damaged clothing or throwing out clothing that's beyond repair will help you avoid a moment that's memorable for all the wrong reasons.
Have you stopped coming to class due to an embarrassing situation? Don't let one cringe-worthy episode stop you from enjoying the many benefits of yoga. Whether it's been a while since you've been to a class or you're giving yoga a try for the first time, we offer a variety of judgment-free classes. Contact us for information on class times.
American College of Gastroenterology: Belching, Bloating and Flatulence
Prevention: Embarrassing Yoga Moments: Don’t Let Them Happen to You, 11/3/11
Women.com: 9 Embarrassing Moments You Will Experience in Yoga Class, 5/7/17