I went to a yoga class yesterday which reminded me of a bad experience many years back when I was struggling to get pregnant and trying to “Just relax,” which was the going advice for women like me, diagnosed with unexplained infertility.
I wrote about it in the first edit of my book but it probably won’t make it into the final version so I thought I’d share in case there are others out there with embarrassing yoga stories…
Here it is:
Driving up to the studio, I noticed a familiar feeling of anxiety in my gut that I could never quite pin down. Was I anxious because I might never be able to have a child? Or because my neighbor just gave me a dirty look? Or because my sister-in-law didn’t invite me to her barbecue? I fixated on these questions as I walked up to the studio. The space was small but clean, the floors a shiny oak, the walls a muted shade of vanilla.
“Welcome,” the receptionist smiled, her dreadlocks pulled back in a ponytail.
“Are you new?” she asked.
“Yes,” I answered.
“Great, you can put your personal items in the cubbies over there.” She pointed to a small room where people in yoga clothes were coming in and out.
“Thanks,” I headed in to find a cubby. Then I followed the others into the studio and unfurled my yoga mat. Everything went fine for the first 40 minutes of the class. That is, until the instructor asked us to line up along the wall.
“If you are on your cycle, go ahead and leave your legs against the wall.”
Many of the women stayed there, legs against the wall, butt tucked into the corner. But I needed to “just relax” damnit so I continued to the next part of the exercise.
“When you’re ready, go ahead and gently walk your feet up the wall and use your hands to lift your head off the ground.” The instructor spoke in a gentle, sing song way. “Your arms should support your body weight. The wall will ensure you don’t fall. See how you do balancing on your head.”
As I walked my legs up the wall and positioned myself into a tentative head stand I congratulated myself for not taking the easy way out like the women around me. “They can’t all be on their periods,” I thought smugly, sneaking self-righteous glances at them.
And then a very large gush of wind entered quickly through my vagina. I tried to stop it by squeezing as hard as I could, but this was futile. Even though I was starting to feel light in the head I knew I couldn’t make any quick moves. I looked at the ladies on each side of me, their legs against the wall. Did they know something I didn’t? I no longer judged them, I envied them.
Slowly I pushed, trying to expel the air without making a sound. I spent a few more seconds pushing until I was satisfied the coast was clear and then walked my feet down without making any fast moves, following the rest of the class back to the middle of the floor for our final stretches.
As I sat on my mat in lotus holding my feet and bending my upper torso over my body, the rest of the air from what must have been the innermost depths of my vagina made its violent way out of my lower torso unleashing itself onto the entire room of unassuming yogis. I froze hoping that if I didn’t make a move, they wouldn’t notice it was me. Then an aftershock of air boomed out of me in one long winded fart. When I thought it was done, I let out another loud boom as if my body wanted to punctuate the end.
There was nothing I could do but wait it out as I hid my beet red face in my stretch. The room was eerily silent. Aside from a few involuntary glances my way, everyone pretended nothing was happening. I wished someone would laugh or the teacher would say something to mollify my embarrassment like, “No more head stands for you, girlfriend!” I have never wanted to flee a building so badly. But I stayed until the end of shavasana wishing I really was dead. Back in the changing room no one made eye contact with “the girl who farts from her vagina.” I might as well have been wearing a scarlet F on my face.
The humiliation of that hour-long class did take my mind off things. I drove home reliving the previous 30 minutes over and over until something about the weather or the song on the radio or the smell of the car triggered my mind to spin again, wondering if I’d ever have a baby or what I did to annoy my neighbor or who went to my sister-in-law’s barbecue. I drove the rest of the way home, a humiliated mess in a state of panic because I still couldn’t just relax.
Thank you for the laugh-out-loud giggles, Amy! While I don’t remember actually having this experience in yoga class, I’ve definitely had it elsewhere. Way to look for the bright side of humiliation – it’s a total mind-changer!!
At least it made a good story, right?!
So funny – most likely because it is so true of things that happen in real life Amy. I’m sure many of us have had such a thing happen but might not be keen to mention it to anyone. I was making my way to the toilet at a family gathering on my husband’s side some years ago. 2 of his sisters stopped me to chat and seemed intent on keeping me there talking.
I accidentally let out the smelliest (though silent) fart imaginable! (I’d eaten garlic the night before….I never do that now if I will be around people or in someone else’s home the following day).
I tried to pretend nothing had happened but of course they both knew who was responsible. Eventually one said “let’s move, it stinks in here!”. I could hardly get away fast enough and dash to the toilet!! Good on you for being brave enough to share your blooper! Thanks.
Amy! I don’t remember signing up for your emails… BUT I AM SO GLAD I GOT ONE TODAY… because it was hilarious!!! Thank you for being authentically you. I love your journey and your manifesto. Coaching saved me too. Or rather, my ability to recognize my own greatness did… and following my own curiosity about how to be the best version of me in this world cracked it wide open.
Looking forward to your next email. May the queef be with you!
Ha! Thank you Jennifer!!!
Touche for the “queef” in motion @ the yoga class!! Hilarious fun!! I have much appreciation for such humor, of the female sort!! Bravo for gifting me with a huge grin, laughs, and several memories of this kind! Sharing such fun stuff is a sure fire way to model good livin’!!
The type of humor my mother had NO appreciation for, whatsoever–which makes it even more enjoyable!!
Keep on rocking YOU!!
I LOVE it Michelle. Thank you!! Don’t tell your mother 🙂
That story was hilarious, Amy. I hope you were able to get a good laugh, too, eventually. You’re post was right on time. I haven’t really posted on social media because I didn’t have enough perfect moments to share. First I have to make up my bed or arrange the pillows on the sofa just right, then I have to make sure my hair is combed, my lip gloss if fresh, the dogs are groomed, and the lighting just right. Not only is that too much work, it’s not me. But my goal is post more this year – awkward, imperfect, and all. Thank you for that!!
Yes! The vulnerability bloopers are the most fun! Post and email me when you do so I can follow you!!