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Aldo

Grunting and farting during yoga practice

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In several yoga classes that I take, I notice some slightly overweight people grunting and farting during some of the more strenuous poses, particularly involving forward bends and twists. Is this acceptable behavior, and if not how should it be dealt with?

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While I'm certainly not an authority on the topic of acceptable behavior, I feel anyone willing to put in the effort...and we all know how difficult yoga can be...deserves respect.

Whether someone is overweight or not, attending a class is a personal struggle to improve themselves and should be praised.

Grunting might be offensive to you, but it's the individual's way of dealing with the strenuous nature of the pose (most professional athletes grunt...watch a championship tennis match).

Flatulence is natural and at times, especially during some poses, can't be prevented. 

My advice is to learn to accept it.

If it's too much to bear, try another class or move to the far side of the room.

The worst thing you can do is to tell the person of your discomfort as they'll be embarrassed and will feel awful. I'm sure they knew they made the noises (and are probably embarrassed already), so what can be gained if you tell them?

There are millions of people out there and given enough time, I can find something that each one does that annoys me. If I let it get to me, I'll be miserable 24/7.

Better to find the beauty in their struggles that they are attempting to overcome and honor their accomplishments...then to get annoyed by a noise.

 

I imagine the "noises of passion" one hears during close interpersonal intimate behavior (I'm trying my best to put it delicately) doesn't offend anyone, in fact, the sounds significantly enhance the pleasure of the shared experience.

As to the other noise...who hasn't burst out laughing at an inappropriately timed (be it their own or a friend's) "gas leak"...I don't think I can hear that sound without laughing...enjoy it with a smile...and move on

Celebrate life and enjoy the sites and sounds...don't let little things ruin your day.

mimisouth, Tyra and YogaByCandace like this

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I find a lot of people tend to grunt, I was next to a very 'sporty' looking man last time and he was grunting a lot. I figured he's probably pretty new to yoga and he's discovering new sensations and discomfort! I agree with Larry that it's wonderful that they're even attending and it's obviously pretty difficult for them but they're still giving it a go, I think good on them. I understand the grunting, especially if it's loud, can be off-putting for your own practice so I'd probably look for elsewhere to sit if I know an individual is a particularly loud grunter or farter.

Robbie and YogaByCandace like this

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One final suggestion ...some folk's metabolic and dietary clock will unfortunately coincide with your class.

If you want to avoid such annoyances, try an early morning class, before people will have eaten.

Then again, I can never tell when a post such as the one at the top of the thread is legitimate...or intended to get a rise out of the audience (trolling)

YogaByCandace likes this

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Yeah the only thing I'd add is that with yoga having you twisting and turning and putting pressure on the abdominal area, there's likely to be some farting going on. It happens, just move on... if it bothers you a lot I might go to the other side of the room (but maybe wait until that person finds a spot so you don't have to move right in the middle of class - that'd be so distracting). As for the grunting - might be something the instructor could address, as it's a sign that the person isn't breathing properly, so I'd talk with the instructor about that one.  :)

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I used to attend a regular yoga class in a gym where it was the same 6 students each week - 4 ladies and 2 guys and we were all of a similar ability.

The gym decided to run a free introductory session to try and increase class numbers and so the next week there were another 6 guys added into the class. I think these guys were more used to the culture of lifting weights and, oh man, the grunting! I had never heard anything like it in a yoga class. It was like listening to pigs truffle hunting!

The feel of the class had changed from the gentle inhale and exhale of waves crashing on a shore, to an alpha male testosterone fuelled gut busting competition. The instructor really had her work cut out for her trying to get everyone to breeeeeaaaaaaaathe and reeeelaaaaaax.

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I recently went to a couple of yoga class and quickly remembered this and smiled. 'What is going on at the back of the class!' There were two people, yes they were men, at the back of the class. There was others in between myself and them but I could see how the grunting may be distracting if it was closer. This didn't go on for very long before the teacher was back there telling them to take it easier. I didn't hear exactly what was said at first but the teacher did say 'someday you two will learn'. (I think the teacher knew the students very well, it wasn't a harsh comment). After that they did better. Given some time maybe they will figure it out.

In these situations I think it is something that the teacher should handle. If you are not satisfied with the way the teacher runs her/his class try to kindly ask the teacher about it.

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