People say two things to me, when they find out I practice yoga.
1. “I need to do yoga.”
2. “Do people fart a lot in class?”
I had 2 goals when I started practicing yoga. Don’t fart and don’t fall. I didn’t care about touching my toes or doing a handstand. I wasn’t focused on flexibility or stress management. Two things only…don’t fart and don’t fall.
I’m sorry to report that as of last month, I did not achieve either of those goals. It was a good run, but a win was not in the cards for me.
Let’s talk about falling first. I was in a packed class one Saturday morning. A good friend of mine was practicing behind me. The teacher encouraged the class to try some handstand kick ups. He did. He kicked up…and over…and landed on top of me. He looked at me sheepishly and then we both dissolved into laughter.
Consider that falling is not failing. Falling may be the purest version of the pose. My first fall in a yoga class was a zealous Leap Frog that resulted in “hang time” and then an ass over teakettle landing. It was awesome. No one got hurt and I got over my fear.
Falling means that you’re trying. It’s an outward expression of an inward desire; is there more for me in this pose. It is a metaphor off your mat as well. Are you doing something scary? Out of your comfort zone. Let go of the need to look good or get it “right.”
Which brings us to the next failure…the fart.
Let me give you a little back story. I was in a relationship for 10 years and never farted in front of him. (Exhibit A for why the relationship failed. I was such a tight ass.) This may explain my yoga goal (obsession) of never farting in class.
Jump forward…a trip to Africa in July of 2017.
I’d been in Nairobi, Kenya for about a week. I was there on a service trip with a team of 16 people from the States. Our team had the opportunity to take a Master class from a well known yoga instructor, Barron Baptiste. Unfortunately, I was experiencing some “stomach issues.”
(Do you notice when women have stomach issues, 99% of the time it’s gas?)
Let me clarify, the tummy issues were not a result of being star struck. They were a result of my inner fat kid. The little girl inside that decided to fully experience, all of Kenya’s cuisine. The same little girl who discovered there was a grocery store on the bottom level of our hotel!
However, I regretted these food choices as soon as I lay down on my mat. I did not want to be “crop dusting” during his 90 minute, 95 degree power yoga class. But, alas, somethings cannot be controlled.
And so it happened. A series of duck toots escaped throughout the class. I felt sorry for the young man practicing behind me, but I also believe in karma. So, I know it will come back to me at some point. I accept my fate.
I could have skipped the class and hid out in the bathroom. Spent 90 minutes watching dog videos on Instagram, or window shopping my Tinder account, but there’s no growth in that. I’m so glad I didn’t.
I’m not advocating a heavy bean burrito binge and then a 90 minute yoga class. But, there are worse things in life and I’d rather you show up to my class than sit it out.
It’s good advice on and off the mat. Show up, do your best, let it be “Perfectly Imperfect” as Barron Baptiste would say.