Farting in yoga?

A few months ago, I received a phone call from a potential new patient.  She had read about us on our website, and had a very embarrassing issue. She was training to become a yoga teacher, however when she did inversions she always produced vaginal farts, aka queefs.  She was so embarrassed that she hadn’t really talked to anyone else about this issue, but when she came across our website, she thought we could help.

To be honest, I had never seen a patient with this problem. I did a little bit of internet research and what I came across was not very promising. Most websites want you to just deal with it, they state that this is normal and common in yoga. Some other sites state that performing mula bandha can help – as this is more of a drawing up and in of the pelvic muscles. However, I also read that by doing mula bandha(also can be considered a kegel) it can increase the air flow into the vaginal opening. So if you are practicing inversions, and you do a kegel on top of that, you may suck in even more air. Once you return to an upright position, the air will be released and therefore cause expulsion of gas.

So what to do?  This patient came in for an evaluation. It turns out she had no idea how to activate her pelvic floor. On top of that, when she thought she was contracting her pelvic muscles, she was actually pushing them out, which is why she was leaking gas during yoga. I ended up seeing her for a few sessions and I was able to teach her how to contract and relax her pelvic muscles; eventually we progressed to doing this in inversions and various yoga poses.

The take home message: if you are leaking gas during yoga, whether it’s coming from your vagina or your rectum, getting your pelvic floor assessed by a trained physical therapist can help to fix your problem!