Yoga can be a great way to relax and find your inner balance. However, your peaceful poses may be under serious attack. Yoga mats can be breeding grounds for a multitude of bacteria and fungi. The sweat on your mat that you proudly drip after a tough session can become the new home for various germs responsible for spreading:
- Herpes infections
- Plantar warts
- Cold & flu viruses
- Staph infections (MRSA, impetigo)
- Streptococcus “flesh eating” bacteria
- Coryne bacteria (acne)
- Athlete’s foot, ringworm, jock itch
- Toenail fungus
What’s even worse is that these “microbes can double or triple their colonies during the time it takes a person to wrap up a typical yoga session. With the exception of viruses, most pathogens can also survive and thrive on yoga mats for days or even weeks.” (source)
We’re all about health, and that includes keeping your immune system intact. To battle these bacteria, we recommend trying a couple tricks:
Stop using the studio’s microbe-infested mats. Instead, invest in a machine-washable, eco-friendly yoga mat, like these ones from Yellow Willow Yoga. We love Yellow Willow Yoga and their philosophy for being eco-friendly, biodegradable, and 100% green!
If you can’t splurge on a new mat, don’t stress! Try using Gaiam’s Super Yoga Mat Wash. This spray has “antiseptic, antibacterial, and moisturizing properties to kill germs,” and won’t ruin the texture or fibers of your mat.