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The Fart that Woke Me Up

I was so grateful when the guy next to me farted.

Up until then I’d been going along with the yoga class, doing pretty well for a 51-year old with advanced degenerative arthritis, thank you very much. My body was cooperating, getting into various asanas—side angle, reverse warrior, even side plank, which I really hate. But my head, oh, the crap that was going on in there…

First I was made to wait in line to get checked into the class, held up by two outsiders—visitors to the People’s Republic of Boulder, no doubt, as indicated by their questions. I’d raced all the way here hadn’t I, hurrying up to relax? Finally in the studio, I noticed the woman behind me had her face completely made up, fake lashes and all. Who wears makeup to a hot yoga class?

The music was bugging me. I like lots of different kinds of music during class—it really does set a mood—I can chaturanga dandasana to Sting, classical, you name it. My most favorite yoga music is indeed Indian chanting, the deep resonant voice of Krishna Das or the melodious devotional music of Snatam Kaur. Today the sounds were somewhere in-between techno-pop (is that still a thing?) and bad disco. So there I was, completely in Judgment City. Of course, if I looked deeper, I knew that I was feeling angry. Not entirely sure why. Anger is like that sometimes, it just comes.

Two-thirds the ways into class, we sat down on our mats. After some ab-crunching stuff that always make me wonder just why crunches are part of yoga (and then I remember, oh yes, this is core power yoga), the instructor cued us for sleeping half pigeon. Ah, half pigeon. The pose most yogis love to hate. You start on all fours in a squared table pose, and then you slide the right knee forward toward your right hand. You angle your right knee at two o'clock and slide your left leg back as far as your hips will allow. After lifting your head and heart up, you sink down onto the floor.

Pigeon pose is about unlocking our deepest fears, traumas and anxieties, a pose that releases the pressures put on our lower two chakras. These lower two chakras—the root and the sacral—house the relationships with ourselves, and our relationships with each other. They say we women carry a lot of stress and shame and crap in our hips. Oh mama, if that’s the case, then do I have some stuff to work on. Oooh, ouch, but oh so good.

Lying there, I forgot about waiting in line and the Maybelline lady.

A really great piece of music came on, by DJ Drez, adapted from Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth." (Check it out here: There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear.

Then, the man next to me farts. Not a little puff of air, mind you. This was a really loud announcement of some serious gaseous fumes.

Holy wow! Instant Reality Check.

Stop it Lor, I said to myself. Everyone farts. People choose to wear make-up to yoga class. Who cares? Count your blessings. Your body still works and can get into most postures. We better stop, hey, what's that sound. Everybody look what's going down. Yes.

Finally, savassana. Corpse pose. Final relaxation pose. I call it thank god the class is over and I can lie flat-on-my-back pose. Ah, release, relief, acceptance. The guy next to me let another one out.

I smiled.

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