I have an irrational fear of farting in yoga. There, I finally said it.
(Don’t we all feel so much better?)
So much so, that I actually avoid doing yoga.
Something I know will have daily and lifelong benefits for me. Something I think I’d enjoy.
How I developed this, I am not quite sure. I roll out my purple mat and can’t seem to relax into a downward dog or even consider standing on my head for friggin’ Sirsasana because of the huge “what if it happens” lingering in the air.
The more I talk about it, the bigger the fear grows.
Yes, odds are high that by being contorted in a new position something unpleasant or unexpected might happen. But rationally, I know I can’t physically combust.
Truth is, I created this flatulently inflated failure scenario. It came after trying yoga and feeling totally uncomfortable. That mirror reflecting twenty eyeballs watching me put pressure on how I expected myself to perform. I found myself holding my breath, and evidently my ass.
So what is this madness about?
It’s about caring way too much about what people think. It’s being uncomfortable putting it all out there and worrying what will happen if I do.
I’m dragging my farty yoga scenario around other places too. It’s my permission slip to avoid trying things I’m meant to do. That I would love to do. For fear of “blowing it.
Perhaps it is high time for me to take some lessons from the guy with with the sweaty back hair and too tight nut huggers that doesn’t give a damn. He’s getting his yoga on and I’m not.
Unlike the freedom Mr. Sweaty Back Hair enjoys, I am just sweating it. I subconsciously process what people will say if I fart – um fail. That’s when the noose of a million little excuses begins to restrain me. I start to turn down yoga invitations. I start to make excuses for not trying again. I start saying no to opportunities.
Ultimately, all staying in my comfort zone is doing for me is denying the possibility for something great to happen. Like maybe I can totally stand on my head and do a leg split once I let one rip.
I am sure the Yoga masters did not expect that this is how I would find transcendental enlightenment. My bad. Didn’t get that memo.
I did get the memo that says, like farty yoga, life is uncomfortable.
I will be put in positions that feel unnatural. Awkward. Pressure filled.
Those are the edges where I will expand.
And, you know what? I finally did it. I farted in yoga. I lived to tell about it. My friends did not abandon me. My husband did not divorce me. The yogis in the room didn’t issue me a dreaded scarlet letter “F” to emblazon my yoga top. Because you know what, everybody farts. Everybody blows it at some point.
Interestingly enough, once we blow it, we see it wasn’t so bad. Then the good stuff usually starts to happen. We are free. We can breathe again.
So, as my husband says, “get comfortable being uncomfortable.”
As I say, life is too short to hold it in.
Personal update: I am now doing a 28-day yoga challenge and beginning my first book. Both totally uncomfortable and both totally worth it.