Like a mystery shopper, I enjoy visiting different yoga studios, to try out their classes, assess their teachers, study their facilities and get a sense of what it means to have a space where conducive yoga is conducted.
One of the things I immediately get whiff off, literally, is the condition of the mats. Sometimes, that unpleasant odour emanating from the mats, really prevent me from wanting to Chaturanga! Or i find myself in a contorted child’s pose, just so I can avoid getting my face too close to the mat. I personally feel studios whom do not bother maintaining their mats, are in fact not respecting their space and ultimately, the yoga practice. Unfortunately too, these are the types of studios that I would stop frequenting, and i have avoided a few studios simply because of unclean smelling mats!
Did you know that the mat is probably filthier than a toilet seat? Bacteria grows in warm moist environments that is the mat, the perfect breeding ground for sorts of allergies, rashes and illnesses! Our sweaty selves allow bacteria to thrive, and worst still, fuelled by a round of hot yoga! Mentally, the ickiness about having FULL ON skin contact with the mat, practically ruins my yoga session.
At Sweatbox Yoga, they place an emphasis on maintaining good studio hygiene. The yoga mats are ALWAYS sanitised well after each use. The owners take extra care in ensuring that only happy noses leave the rooms. They shared that they spare no expense on hygiene standards, investing in high grade tea tree oil based solutions to get that deep clean. They insist on not using any chemical that may damage the mat material (they invest in good quality yoga mats) and our skin!
Everyone can DIY their own mat cleaner, at a low cost too! Soap and warm water mix usually does the trick but Sweatbox Yoga prefers the milder, holistic version of utilising natural oils. Always use a stronger antibacterial base cleaner like tea tree oil, combine it with whatever aroma you fancy such as peppermint, lavender or citrus, follow by mixing with a cup of water into a spray bottle and mist it liberally all over mat. Clean off with a dry towel and air. Repeat if necessary and don’t forget to clean BOTH sides! Do this diligently after each use to ensure your mats stay clean as well as to prolong the shelf life of the mat.
So, the next time you step onto the mat, you’ll know with peace of mind that where you stand, lay and touch has been nicely sanitised, and that you can now focus on what you came for, yoga.