Despite its totally zen reputation, yoga can actually be pretty stressful slash traumatizing. There's the whole farting thing, for starters. Sample convo with self: "OMG. Totally just let one rip as I was stretching and everyone heard. What do I doooo???? Do I awkwardly shift around and feign ignorance? Do I say something? Do I bolt outta here and never look back? OMG OMG OMG. THIS IS SO STRESSFUL…" (Oh, just me? Okay then.)
And that's not all: There are other equally OMG-inducing scenarios, too. Here, Nancy Elkes, a certified yoga and pilates instructor at Crunch in New York City, explains how to handle the most ommm-barrassing yoga moments.
You fart and everyone hears
See above re: the humiliation factor. But what should you do? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. "It's an unspoken rule of yoga that when you fart, you shouldn't do anything. It happens to everyone since you're shifting around so much and things are moving, so it's really not a big deal," Elkes swears. Don't believe her? How's this: "I teach this class on Wednesday mornings, and it's like the Fourth of July for women in that room -- everyone's exploding! But no one says anything. They don't even acknowledge it. It's pretty wonderful," she continues. If that doesn't convince you to keep calm and carry on, nothing will.
Your teacher's all up on you
When your teacher adjusts your form, you may feel a little weird and uncomfortable. You may flinch or your breath may get short -- and your instructor is supposed to be trained to pick up on that and stop touching you ASAP. Problem is, they don't always catch your vibe. "Sadly, not all teachers listen to the energy you're sending out. So it's actually best to come right out and say, 'Please don't touch me,' or even 'I'm not into the adjustments today, thanks,'" Elkes advises. You don't even have to say why -- saying not to is enough.
Everyone's chanting and you feel awkward
It's tempting to kind of mumble your way through and hope for the best. After all, you don't want to just stay silent when everyone else is going to town. But that's actually disrespectful because it shows that you don't really want to in the first place, says Elke. "The worst thing to do is go against what you're feeling. Instead, you should either stay totally silent, which is absolutely acceptable, or get super into the chant -- nothing in between."