Friday, March 24, 2006

Five Embarrassing Yoga Questions

1. I always seem to be farting in yoga class. Is there anything I can do?

Passing gas while practicing yoga is actually very common (Prenatal classes are the worst!). You’re moving your body in ways that will stir up your guts, which is a good thing. We’re all adults here, and farting is perfectly natural. I say, gauge the mood of the class and act accordingly, just like you would at, say, a cocktail party: if the class is light-hearted and casual, you might humorously acknowledge your emission. If the teacher and students are dead serious, pretend that nothing untoward has occurred. And maybe think about skipping those beans at lunch next time.

2. Someone in my regular yoga class has really heinous body odor. How can I get him to improve his personal hygiene?

Instead of trying to change someone else, see if you can work on changing yourself. The yogic principle of Pratyahara means withdrawal of the senses. You should try to be so immersed in your own practice that you are not disturbed by outside sights, noises, or even smells. While you work on achieving this ideal, try situating yourself across the room from the yogi with the stink on.

3. Every yoga class I attend seems to be a big thong show. Why is the thong the undergarment of choice for yoginis?

Many women find a thong to be the most comfortable underwear when exercising (or eating a sandwich). See the answer above regarding Pratyahara. If you find yourself unable to avert your gaze, might as well enjoy the show.

4. I really like my yoga class, but I can’t stand the music my teacher plays. What should I do?

You can certainly voice your opinion to your teacher, though it will probably be best to request no music rather than to object to his taste. Some yoga teachers play music, others do not. You may want to look around for a teacher who doesn’t use music.

5. I love yoga. Does this make me a Hippy?

Once upon a time, yoga outside of India was most often done on communes by vegetarians. Although yoga comes by this reputation honestly, these days everyone from doctors to CEOs is embracing it. So, no, yoga will not make you a hippy, though it can perhaps begin to tinge your everyday life with an attitude of peace and kindness. And is that really so wrong?

From Ann Pizer at Ann began practicing yoga when she moved to New York City in 2001 as an antidote to the stress of big city life. Soon after, yoga went from being an after-work hobby to a full-blown vocation.

No comments: