Yoga mat and germs

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Do you have your own yoga mat or you borrow one when you go to the yoga studio? If you have your own yoga mat, how often do you clean it? Did you ever think how many germs can be on the yoga mat?

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Yes, today article is about hygiene, your own hygiene , and we will start with the yoga mat. Lately, i am teaching asana class at the yoga institute, sometimes class has more than 70 students, and 99 percent of those students take mat from the yoga institute. I think its never occur to those students that yoga mat is something intimate, like bed sheets for example. We are all unique, we all have germs, and those germs easily travelling on the surfaces that we are sitting on, lying on or standing on.

We all been there, when you running to a yoga studio on your lunch time, or after work, and gosh, its such inconvenient to carry yoga mat , better i rent one from yoga studio. Did you ask how often those mats have been washed and disinfected? Just out of curiosity. Its not like they will tell you the truth))) I was working in many yoga studios, and I will tell you that yoga mats are not washed every time after a person step on it. Sometimes they are not washed at all, and when you do child pose, you are wondering…what is that smell?!

A yoga mat is a perfect incubator for many of our skin infections. The yoga mat is a very fertile source for infection, mainly because people sweat on them and they rarely are cleaned.  In the world of microbiology, a yoga mat is considered to be a “fomite,” which is  defined as “basically, an inanimate object used to spread an infection”. What that means is that if, for example, someone has ringworm or a staph infection, works up a sweat doing sun salutations, and then kicks back in Savasana on a mat, whoever lies on that mat next may contract ringworm, staph, or any of a wide variety of bacteria, viruses, or fungi. That’s definitely something to meditate on while standing in mountain pose or in sitting pose.

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Yoga practitioners are particularly susceptible to spreading and catching infectious microorganisms, because they expose more of their skin to the mat, including the body’s oilier areas that tend to have more organisms on them, like feet, backs, foreheads, and chests.

Yoga. It’s great for strengthening the body, soothing the soul and balancing the mind. It’s just too bad it’s practiced atop one of the filthiest surfaces imaginable.

I dont want to scare you with all the infections that you can get from uncleaned yoga mat, but internet is there, do some research on your free time. Statistic shows, that as yoga getting popular, dermatologists got much more work to do,….good for them)))) but , we as yogis, should be aware of our actions, our health, our surroundings. Its our duty to ourselves and to others to have a clean environment while we are practicing asanas to have a clean surface to be on.

Next time you feel like you dont want to carry your own yoga mat, just think of the germs that you are receiving with the community mat, love yourself.

To end the topic, I would like to share a natural way to clean the mat after every yoga practice you do))

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Mix  to clean your mat:

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 to 5 drops of essential oil (optional)

Love and Light!

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About oksanawd

Namaste, My name is Oksana Wadhawan and I am originally from Kiev, Ukraine. I presently reside in Mumbai, India, with my husband since October, 2014. I started doing Yoga from 2007 in Cyprus. I was reading a lot of literature on meditation and asanas, trying to do home practice. I was lucky enough that I didnt get injured through my home practice. I started learning Yoga from 2009 (Hot Yoga and Iyengar Yoga) in Kiev, Ukraine. After 3 years of learning, I commenced the yoga teacher’s training course in YogaHot Centre, Kiev, Ukraine (2012). I became a certified yoga teacher and began practicing master classes of Iyengar yoga from 2012. My classes were taught by great Iyengar teachers such as Igor Podmazin, Irina Korovina, Oksana Bogush and many others. In 2013 and 2014, I also went on a 7 day Camp to Yoga Institute, Santacruz, Mumbai, India. I studied Ashtanga Yoga with Lesley Fightmaster in 2013-2015. My teaching experience includes 2 years of Hot yoga, 1 year of Ashtanga yoga and 1 year of Restorative Yoga or Yin Yoga. I am regularly attending and practicing Iyengar Yoga since 2009. As a teacher, I conducted a yoga retreat for a month in Kiev, Ukraine (May, 2015) where I shared my daily experience and knowledge with my students on asanas, pranayama and meditation. In August 2015, I did my first retreat in Goa, India. I believe in words of K. Pattabhi Jois "Do your practice and all is coming." Its slowly coming for me! I learn and experience through my body, my emotions, my pain, my enlightenment, what it is Yoga! Yoga is my way of life! And I can show you a way that Yoga can be your way of life as well))) Love and Light!

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