When it comes to health, fitness, and well-being in general, you simply can’t ignore the fact that regular physical activity plays an absolutely vital role in all of the above, and much more besides, which is why as a nation we’re finally waking up to the benefits of regular exercise and are becoming more active. As far as popular forms of exercise are concerned, Yoga is without a doubt an incredibly popular example which has been practiced for centuries upon centuries. Yoga can benefit people of all ages, genders, shapes, and sizes, and yet there’s one problem associated with Yoga, which can quite easily be avoided, and that is hygiene. You may not realise it, but by not cleaning or caring for your Yoga mat, you’re putting yourself at risk for all sorts of complications, and so to emphasize the sheer importance of good hygiene, take a look at the following reasons why you should clean your mat regularly.
Even though Yoga is a decidedly slow paced, low-intensity physical activity, yoga practitioners still sweat pretty profusely after a while, and so if you imagine laying down on a yoga mat whilst caked in sweat, you then realise where the sweat then ends up. If you happen to be practising Bikram Yoga, which is a form of Yoga practised in high temperatures, the amount of sweat you lose will be quite astonishing, and again, much of that sweat will end up on your yoga mat. Sweat is full of bacteria and other unpleasantness as that is where many of the toxins that were once inside of our bodies are flushed out, leaving via our sweat glands. Each drop of sweat that soaks into your yoga mat is caking it in various bacterium and toxins that could attack your immune system and make you very ill. On top of that, when you lay your yoga mat down on the ground, it’s then coming into contact with whatever was on the ground to begin with, and even though the floor may look clean, that doesn’t mean it is clean.
When you go to the gym, or just work out in general, once you get home you strip off, throw your workout gear in the wash, and then jump in the shower and wash yourself. You wouldn’t wear the same sweat-soaked clothes again without washing them so why should you use a sweat soaked, dusty, and possibly dirty yoga mat without washing it? If you don’t wash your yoga mat regularly, not only do you risk your health, you will also risk your hygiene as it will begin to smell and so by default, when you use it, you too will smell. It will also stink out your gym bag, or wherever else you store it so the best advice would be to always wash it following each yoga session.
General yoga mat care tips
Before we wrap things up, let’s take a look at a few general yoga mat care tips that you can try yourself to ensure your yoga mat remains as clean and hygienic as possible.
Yoga towels – One of the best ways of helping to clean and care for your yoga mat is to use a yoga towel which you place over your mat which will then absorb most of your sweat and various other contaminants.
Wash your hands before use – If you have dirty hands when you unroll your yoga mat, the germs on your hands are then transferred to your mat. To help ensure it’s hygienic, wash your hands before touching your mat.
Invest in an effective yoga mat cleaner – If possible, it’s recommended that you always invest in a top quality yoga mat cleaner such as Yoganet. These cleaners contain essential oils, natural anti-bacterial ingredients, and are so easy to use as you basically just spray and wipe.