On Friday, I taught the “Funky Friday Flow” class at the Yoga Garden. It’s a relaxed atmosphere, without the seriousness and depth of a typical yoga class. What did my class do? We “re-connected with our inner child” and made NOISE. Specifically, animal noise.
We meow-ed and moo-ed in cat/cow warm ups. We made dolphin squeaks while doing dolphin dives. We stuck out our tongue in lizard, slithered in cobra, and did the funky chicken. We made puppy yips and big dog barks. And we laughed.
It’s amazing the courage it takes to make these sounds as an adult. Somewhere in growing up, we stifle our noises. We don’t laugh as much as children. We don’t cry as frequently as children, either. And oh my heavens, we NEVER let our BODIES make sounds. I know so many people who will not do yoga or have quit because of their fear of farting in a yoga class. Do you know what happens when you fart in yoga? Everyone stops, stares at you, and screams “Whoever smelt it dealt it!” and you have precisely three seconds to pack up your mat and walk-of-fart-shame your butt out of the studio. No, nothing happens. Absolutely nothing. It’s just like being able to reach your toes; it means the pose it working. (So please, fart at your leisure.) Also, P.S- Who knew I could rant so much about yoga farts?
We like being in control of our actions as humans. We like blending in to the background and noise just means we’re not wallpaper anymore. But if we want to take our practice to a deeper connection within ourselves, we need to let ourselves make yummy noises.
I worked with extreme noises in my class, saying if you don’t want to make an elephant sound, say “trumpet”. Gradually, people became more comfortable with themselves (and really, they could not have looked more ridiculous than their teacher) and it was a beautiful thing to watch. By the end of class when I cued an audible sigh, EVERYONE sighed. LOUDLY. And it was OK. Because who isn’t going to sigh when we just made monkey sounds? Srsly.
P.P.S- I mean what I said about farting.