A few years ago, my friend Neepa gifted me a beautiful Manuka travel yoga mat. It’s a lightweight mat that packs well and I’ve used it ever since. It’s pretty thin but it’s great for doing yoga in the grass or at the park. Since yoga outdoors is my favorite thing ever, I haven’t had a need for a thicker mat. Plus, I just love the one I have.
I’m sure a lot of you out there do yoga. But, how many of you regularly clean your mat? If you’re moving your mat from studio to studio, or park to park, you’re likely picking up some really gross stuff. Some concerns include fungus, like the type that causes athlete’s foot. It’s more common for those types of infections to grow in damp, warm climates (hot yoga, anyone?).
I would always recommend bringing your own mat and cleaning it regularly. Communal mats are the worst offenders! Including the mats that you use at the gym to do your sit ups or push ups. Cleaning your mat can be a simple as using a wipe or spray and letting your mat dry fully. If you can, put your mat in a sunny spot so it can air out and dry after cleaning.
Ideally, you should give your mat a quick wipe down after every use. My favorite way to wipe down my mat is a simple mixture of water, witch hazel (or vinegar) and essential oils. Essential oils that have antimicrobial properties are best. Research suggests that peppermint and eucalyptus oil are effective against 11 types of fungus. You can include tea tree, sweet orange lavender, lemongrass, citronella and/or geranium. There are so many options!
You’ll notice that all of my oils are different brands – I’m not partial to any one brand and I tend to buy most of my oils from Mountain Rose Herbs. I’m also really excited about the glass spray bottle you see in my photos. I’ve been looking for a glass spray bottlefor ages and I’m so happy with my purchase. Thanks, Amazon!
- 1 part witch hazel or white vinegar
- 3 parts filtered water
- 20-30 drops of Essential oils (I like peppermint, eucalyptus and lemon - adjust the amount based on the size of your spray bottle)
- Combine your ingredients in a glass spray bottle.
- Store in a cool, dark place and spray down your mat regularly.
Your turn: what is your favorite type of yoga? When was the last time you cleaned your yoga mat?