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Too Embarrassed to Do Downward Facing Dog

Yoga instructor notices that she occasionally experiences intense vaginal discharge. It is so intense, and is accompanied with an odor, that she fears her students are laughing behind her…behind. What can she do about this irritating issue, to get back to fighting form?

Case #: 786


I notice that once in awhile I experience intense vaginal discharge. The discharge makes me very self-conscious. And as a yoga instructor, walking around with a foul odor from the discharge is not optional. It’s downright nasty. My students must snicker behind my back because the foul odor it generates. And thanks to my self-conscious attitude about the discharge, I’ve started canceling classes. For someone who makes a living off of yoga, I need to work to survive and this discharge makes it impossible.


I think your problem is two-fold. The first has to do with your hormone levels throughout the month. The second has to do with the conditions of your genital region.

Mmm, Cervical Mucus

During the month, your body’s progesterone and estrogen levels fluctuate. Among other things, progesterone controls how much cervical mucus is produced. The more progesterone present at any one time, the more mucus that is produced, and the more discharge you’re going to have. And what feeds on vaginal discharge? Bacteria.

Normally, your vagina contains high levels of the bacteria lactobacillus. These bacteria has an acidic byproduct, which gives your vagina a high pH level, prohibiting the growth of other microorganisms and keeping you free from yeast infections. Problems arise when other bacteria begin to find your vagina a hospitable environment.

Excess vaginal discharge diminishes the acidity of your vagina, while at the same time providing a delicious food slurry for the damp, dark-loving bacteria in your vagina. This causes unwanted bacteria to begin multiplying and colonizing your vagina on their terms. The byproduct of these bacteria is smelly, and can be irritating to your vaginal and vulval area.

This cycle is the reason why many women experience yeast infections at some point during their menstrual cycle. It’s nothing you’re doing; it’s just too good of an environment for those little guys to pass up. That’s not to say that there isn’t a way to make your vagina inhospitable to them, and friendly to the lactobacillus bacteria you want.

Watch What You Wear

First off, as a yoga instructor, you’re probably often wearing tight, stretchy garb made of synthetic fibers as your bottoms. This is bacteria hot-spot number one. Synthetic fibers, while made to be breathable, unfortunately seem to hold in heat and moisture in crannies, which is exactly where you don’t want it. You’d be better off leading your class commando, in a pair of loose cotton or linen pants or shorts.

Breezy Does It

Your crotch needs a lot of ventilation, especially if you’re engaging in sweaty activities. A quick rinse after class and an air-dry will benefit you more than you know as far as keeping down bacterial activity. When you’re at home, try to go without underwear as much as possible, and wear loose skirts and pants that facilitate airflow. Don’t sleep in underwear, or even tight sleep shorts if you can help it.

Discard Your Discharge

The above techniques will help you with odor and irritation, but they won’t stop you from having the discharge altogether. The solution for that lies in balancing your hormone levels and detoxifying your body. I’m sure you’re a very healthy woman; your body just needs a little modulation. I’m recommending an herbal tincture designed to help women experiencing excessive discharge. (SEE: Vaginal Infection Odor Relief) It contains herbs specific to the female reproductive area, for purifying, and for regulating. I’m sure by implementing these techniques your students will soon have nothing to sniff at. Good luck!

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