One of my friends said to me over the weekend they would like to take a yoga class, but she does not trust the anal exhale. Well my friends, I am here to tell you that anal exhaling, and yoga go together like popcorn and movies. It is very common during yoga and you are not alone. As explained by James Roland (2017)1, this happens because of gas build-up in our bodies due too, swallowed air and /or due to carbohydrates that are yet to be digested. Yoga is not the only form of exercise that can bring this on as gastroenterologist Dr Indraneel (2016)2 describes “exercises tend to speed up the digestive process helping food pass through faster through the digestive track and thus to release the gas that gets caught in the digestive tract”. This can especially happen when you perform core exercises or as mentioned previously, by swallowing air and heavy breathing through the mouth.

Whilst we cannot eliminate the natural process of our bodies, we can try to reduce the odds. Here are somethings you can try, that aren’t just about avoiding beans:

  1. When practicing yoga, the breath is usually taken in through the nose and out through the nose. Known as nasal breathing, is healthier than mouth breathing and it will allow you to swallow less air and in turn have less wind to release (2010)3. So next time you want to take a breath in through the mouth during class, think about those anal exhales!
  2. Try to avoid gas producing goods such as, lentils, wheat, broccoli and cabbage before the workout. Also avoid, carbonated beverage such as beer and soda.
  3. Eating slowly and mindfully will also assist with swallowing less air, than if you were to eat fast (2017)4.
  4. Prior to class, find a spot where you can do an anal exhale check by completing a few rounds of Wind-Reliving Pose (Pawanmuktasana) (2018)5. Yes this is the proper name for it, I did not make it up.

REFERENCES

1)  Roland, J. (2017). Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/why-do-we-fart

2)  Taradfdar, T. (2016). The Health Site. https://www.thehealthsite.com/fitness/why-cant-i-stop-farting-during-workout-fitness-query-t1216/

3) White, M (2010). Breathing. Retrieved from https://breathing.com/pages/nose-breathing

4) Osborn, C. (2017). Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-stop-farting#1

5) Shankar, S R. (2018) The Art of Living. Retrieved from https://www.artofliving.org/us-en/yoga/yoga-poses/wind-relieving-pose 

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