Monday, 30 April 2012

Yoga, a gaseous affair

WARNING:  This is an IBS-specific post, and may contain TMI - Too Much Information.  

Is it possible that I have found a subject perhaps even more taboo than the bowel movement?  A friend of mind confirmed today that yes, this is, in fact, the case.  Passing wind, tooting, farting, letting ‘er rip – all terms to refer to flatulence.  It is difficult to write a blog about IBS without ever touching on this subject matter.  So, I will be completely honest, on occasion, I toot.  I call it toot because it sounds a little more sophisticated than some of the alternatives listed above.  When you have IBS this can be one of the biggest, and most embarrassing, challenges you face.  We have all had that awkward situation where you are doing everything in your power not to do so.  You have also, no doubt, been in a situation where, horror upon horrors, one has escaped.  Extreme and utter embarrassment.  For some of us with IBS you go through bouts where you are gassier than others, for whatever reason – too much fibre, not enough fibre, not enough water, something you ate, too much air intake, stress, backed-up etc.  So, without further ado, I am going to tell you about my last yoga class…

As with any physical activity, I plan my meals ahead of time in order to facilitate full digestion.  Last Thursday I did exactly that, I had a 7:30pm yoga class, I got home from work at 5pm – this gave me two and a half hours to attain full digestion.  One would think this should be enough.  Please keep in mind, whenever I have a fitness activity I always eat something with very little fibre and arguably nutrients, basically, I choose straight white carbs because, for me, these are the most bowel friendly.  With this in mind, I ate two pieces of white toast with peanut butter.  But then I did something I should not have done.  Peanut Butter Captain Crunch – one of life’s greatest meals; I adore it so much that my American mother-in-law mails it to me because you cannot buy it in Canada.  In my heart I knew this would be a bad move, but there was exactly enough for one more bowl, I still had about two hours to go, so I ate it.  As I was leaving for yoga I started to realize that I would not be able to digest this meal, I tried several times to have poopy success, but, it was not to be.  With a feeling of impending doom, I left for yoga. 

Has any yoga instructor ever mentioned to you that certain poses help to facilitate digestion?  This is completely and utterly true.  It is also one of the last things you want to hear as you butt-clench your way through a yoga class, trying not to rip ass in the middle of all these zen-loving strangers.  Bearing this in mind, I would like to say that Yoga Thursday was one of the most uncomfortable experiences in recent life.  I felt ready to explode for the entire duration of class.  Gas can be manageable if you are doing poses like warrior, however, very difficult to ignore in child’s pose, or even worse, in downward dog.  In down dog you are in the perfect position to happily relax and let your body do exactly what you both want it to do – if you are in the comfort of your own home.  I managed to fare all right up until the superman pose where you lie on your stomach and float your legs/arms out behind you.  Essentially, you are rocking on your stomach; this is tantamount to becoming a human whoopi-cushion.  As I lay there trying not to rock I looked at the bum of the woman in front of me.  Unbeknownst to her, I was eyeing her rear end thinking, if I were to projectile vomit right now, it would definitely land on that bum.  Even worse would be projectile vomit coupled with one rip-roaring fart.  I obviously decided to stop the pose and just lay there.  Good life decision. 

I did manage to get through the whole yoga class without tooting, and I can honestly say that I have not done so in a class before.  I can also tell you that I wasted no time in getting myself to the safety zone outside my car, where with a great sense of relief I finally ripped one good under the cover of a darkened parking lot. 


  1. Yeah I guess it's kinda normal for people to fart when they do yoga. I remember my teacher Alana telling the class, during the first class of a series, that people could just feel free to fart if they felt like it or felt the need. No problem... haha. Needless to say I wasn't overly comfortable joining in!

  2. I've farted in yoga class before. I think it's very normal and to be expected. Nobody minded. But it wasn't a really huge one or anything - I can see how that would be embarrassing.

  3. I love that I've found your blog! Random post to comment on, but it seems appropriate ;-).

    I am a fitness nut and I've suffered from IBS for the last 14 years. It's not as sever as yours, but my partner has REALLY severe IBS. Mine seems to be sort of under control, but it definitely weighs on my mind before a run and, of course, in yoga! I can so relate to this post.

    I'll be back to the blog for sure :-)

    1. Omg - were you just on #findyourpeak chat? - if so - I am impressed, you are an excellent multi-tasker. Thank you so much for commenting and I am so pleased that you found like you could relate. It is too bad you also have IBS, but I am glad that you found me, that is one of my goals with this blog! Definitely check out more posts, I would guess some of the other posts will ring true as well.