Yoga Mat Maintenance

germophobe vivolumio

With gyms and outdoor sports being shut down under quarantine, gym-goers and sports enthusiasts have had to be more creative with staying fit (and let’s be honest, sane). Many have migrated their workouts to their personal spaces, and with home workouts becoming the norm over these past few months, there’s been an observable spike in the purchase of personal gym equipment. 

Since the pandemic seems to be stretching into the unforeseeable future, and social distancing along with it, conscious consumers would understandably be looking to preserve and maintain the longevity of their equipment. Investing in quality instruments often don't come cheap, and one would be remiss not to see to it that good equipment stays that way, and performs in the way it was made to. 

Some may opt to support their local gyms and studios by offering to rent their equipment out long term or even purchasing their equipment outright, while their operations remain suspended.

Doing so has many benefits such as:

  • Providing your local gym/studio with disposable income to retain their staff and cover for overhead expenses
  • Freedom from high costs of purchase of brand new equipment
  • Gives you the option of returning the equipment when gyms re-open, saving you from the need to carve out storage space for bulky machines
  • Limiting your environmental impact from the manufacture of new equipment that may not be in line with your fitness goals 2- 4 years in the future

With the wide range of equipment at our fingertips, this article will cover how best to maintain the life of one of the trendiest equipment in the athletic sphere: your yoga mat.

Loss of our physical yoga studios has definitely been a blow to many of its practitioners with its many benefits being of extreme importance, especially in these trying times. It’s been such a blessing to most that many studios have opted to migrate to online experiences, in order to support others in maintaining their practice.

As mats are a suggested tool in yoga, and something you use ideally every day, it would be advisable to, at the very minimum, clean it after EACH use. Wiping it down with a cleansing solution made up of distilled water, vinegar, and tea tree oil or an anti-bacterial baby wipe will do the trick. Some opt to mix a few drops of environmentally-friendly detergent, which will act just the same.

Be sure to do the same to the side facing the floor, as dirt tracked from this side can very easily be spread onto the top side.

Simply leave it to dry and voila! 

Given that your yoga mat absorbs a good amount of dirt, grime, and oil—the perfect breeding ground for bacteria—cleaning it after each use prevents getting colonies of that on your face and body on your next practice.

The last thing we want is to develop warts, athlete’s foot, or a staph infection from contact with our own dirty mats.

Some tips given by other practitioners include:

  • Folding the mat in half first, top-side in and covered, then rolled the usual way. This attempts to limit the contact between the top-facing side and the floor-facing side.
  • Investing in a mat towel that can easily be washed and put in the laundry
  • Investing in a mat that can be placed in the laundry

When your mat has started to develop a pungent smell, we recommend giving it a good scrubbing with a soft micro fiber towel or an old tee shirt, using some dishwashing soap and water on both sides, then letting it airdry away from direct sunlight. A light scrubbing should do, in order to keep the material intact.

Keeping our mats in good shape ensures that we guarantee its longevity, and gives us the freedom to know that we are getting the most out of our practice on a clean surface.

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