That’s right people, I’m sure you’ve guessed it. I’m about to write about farting… tooting, if you will. Yup, the ollllle booty tooty topic that no one ever wants to talk about- including me! But I’ve come across some insight that I think is far more important to share than to hide behind for fear of an… *ahem*… awkward silence………….
Anyways, let’s just rip (no pun intended.. okay, maybe a little ) this bandaid off shall we?
So there I am. Ready to get down on some serious yoga. I’d been stressed out over some pretty serious things that were going on in my life and I desperately needed this yoga practice to unwind, refocus, and recenter. I’m not a fan of feeling like I’m off balance and when I step onto my mat, it’s like I’m grounded right in the place that I’m supposed to be. It’s an incredible feeling really… like the cushion of that rolled out mat has my toe prints and body shape already imprinted on it with invitation, just waiting for me to settle in and enjoy the positive energy rushing through me, squeezing out any negative or distracting thoughts, feelings, or emotions. When I leave yoga, I often times very legitimately feel like I’m on a high, and it carries me through the rest of my day with the utmost mindfulness, love, and clarity; more than I could ever hope to take from a cup of coffee or tea (despite how delicious they may be! I’ll still take my down dog please ).
As I approached this practice in particular, I was ready for all of that amazingness and then some to take me over and take me away into bliss. The class was a little bit crowded, but I never mind that because by the time I’ve finished my first sun salutation, I’m the only one in the room, and by the time we finish our shavasana (that final meditation), I know that I’m surrounded by even more positive energy than I would be in a less crowded room because everyone else is feeling as fantabulous as I am. So I gladly slid in between two people in the only spot that I could find room enough for little ole me and I smiled to let them know “I come in peace” and also, “I promise I’ll be careful not to smack you in the face as I swan dive into forward fold… I’ve got you, friend.” They smile in acceptance of my peace offering, and we begin.
The entire time I’m focused on each and every posture, mindful to move with grace and passion, being sure to make the most of each and every twist, bend, fold, and balance. Focused, motivated, and feelin strong… I was READY for this!
We step our feet wide apart from top of the mat to the bottom, ready for a wide-legged fold, which is just one of the many that forces us to reallyyyy get to know our neighbors if we’re close enough and distracted enough to notice. I, for one, was determined to remain focused on my own practice as I slowly bended over, sharing my rump side with my dear new peace-friend girl behind me and accepting the same from my man friend in front of me. We were to stay there for a good 5 breaths and I was loving the recovery offered in this pose. 1, inhale, ex-hale… 2, inhale, ex-hale… 3, inhale, ex- TOOT.
… ummmm, what was that?… WHAT. WAS THAT??
Yep… ohhhh yes… yeah, he definitely did.
The man in front of me, you know- the one with his bum in my face- definitely just tooted.IN MY FACE!!
It took absolutely everything I had in me not to laugh… I actually think that the irony of the fact that I wasn’t “supposed” to laugh (not in yoga class, and especially not at the embarrassing expense of someone else) made it even funnier, if that were even possible. I had to finish the rest of my practice with a cheesy weight-bearing grin on my face that was working overtime to keep the secret of giggles from escaping my lips for another 30 minutes as I moved through my practice, hoping and praying that nothing further “escapes” from my windy neighbor… but also, sort of secretly hoping that it would happen again and provoke the laughter of someone else so that I could finally be relieved of my agony with less guilt.
It was awesome. Why? Because truthfully, it was enlightening. I know, I know, crazy, right?! But it’s true! That fart in yoga class put a new spin on my perspective that I think was much needed.
You see, yoga is meant to provide so much more than simply stretching and muscle toning. There’s so much more to it that can be tapped into if you’re truly interested and open to receiving all of its amazing benefits, and that typically takes a lot of discipline, practice, and focus, especially at first. So it’s important to practice this mindfulness as you work through your sessions in order to develop that sustainable motivation, but you know what? It’s also important to laugh. Laughing is one of the most natural stress relievers one can ever have the pleasure of engaging in, and when we take ourselves and our situations too seriously, we limit our potential to tap into that wonderful, blissful pleasure. And that fart totally broke the serious ice for me. For the rest of that practice, I may have been a little less “focused”, but I was also still fully enjoying each move, only in a more playful way, which was actually just what I needed. When I would stumble and fall in a balance pose, I laughed it off and didn’t even need to practice “forgiving myself”, because there was nothing for me to forgive in my mind- so I fell. It happens. So what. Get em next time, tiger. Andddd moving on.
It was an awesome new twist that I couldn’t have anticipated, nor could I have forced. Sometimes it takes something completely unexpected and something that may even be seen as a “fault” or “mistake” to come into our lives and shed some beautiful light that we hadn’t even considered viewing anything from. I’m grateful for that toot that day. Never thought I’d say anything like thatttt, but hey, the truth is the truth! It’s been said that laughter is one of the best medicines… and while I don’t quite know the logistics of any studies related to that statement (I’d be happy to personally test it out for you all and post results later ), I personally believe that it’s absolutely true, and that Farty Marty in my class fully provided that for me (whether he meant to or not).
So thank you, airy neighbor. I don’t want to practice next to you any longerrrrr, but I appreciate you. So… you know, thanks for that.