Ask Aunt Yoga: How to Stop Vaginal Farts During Yoga

Plow Pose Can Cause Vaginal Farts in Yoga
Plow Pose - Halasana. Ann Pizer

Dear Aunt Yoga,

Sometimes when I am coming out of plow pose, my body suddenly passes air out of my vagina making a fart-like sound. It’s embarrassing when in a room full of other people! I tried keeping my pelvic muscles tight (because this has happened before, though luckily it was in my living room) when lowering my legs down in an attempt to stop this from happening, but no luck. Do you have any suggestions, is something wrong with my insides, and does this happen to other people?

 Thank you for your help!

Anon

Dear Anon,

You are suffering from the dreaded vart (that’s short for vaginal fart, also known as a queef). And no, it’s not uncommon to experience this when coming out of an inversion. Women who have had children are especially susceptible since pregnancy and childbirth loosen the pelvic floor.

You have several possible solutions. It sounds like you are already trying one of them: mula bandha. This engagement of the pelvic floor muscles isn’t called the root lock for nothing. It should prevent air from getting in as well as out if you can hold it throughout the pose. This takes some practice, but it is actually a recommended method, especially in Ashtanga yoga, to give your inversions lift, strength, and balance. You can also try doing Kegel exercises outside of class to strengthen these neglected muscles.

Two other ideas: If the problem is really mortifying and happens all the time, you can opt out of doing these poses in class and save them for your home practice.

Many women choose not to invert during their periods, so your avoidance of inversions shouldn’t cause any notice.

Finally, you can choose to laugh it off. Our bodies do funny things when they are moved in unusual ways (read about even more embarrassing yoga situations to make yourself feel better) and having a sense a humor about it is always the best approach.

I have heard that if the problem is especially persistent, some women will wear a tampon in class to prevent it. I can’t endorse this method, as it seems uncomfortable and it is not recommended to use a tampon when you are not menstruating.

Namaste,

Aunt Yoga

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