Gyms and exercise studios have reopened in many states and territories across Australia, but thanks to the still-present threat of COVID-19, hygiene practices have had to be amped up.
When it comes to exercise equipment, many studios are advising clients to bring their own where possible — especially items like yoga mats.
And if you’re a regular mat user, you may not even know when the last time you cleaned it was, beyond a simple wipe down.
While this will keep dust away, it won’t remove the build-up of sweat and bacteria.
If you’re taking your mat outside of your home to use, it’s important to thoroughly clean and disinfect it before the next use — for your health and those who working out near you.
Alexandra Champion de Crespigny, the founder of LUVe Yoga, has revealed how she cleans and disinfects her mat to make sure it’s bacteria-free and ready for a flow session.
“To effectively disinfect your mat, work from an already clean surface,” she told TheLatch—. “Then, to disinfect, try and use a natural substance such as pure vinegar, tea tree oil or pure alcohol (at least 70%). These substances can be used together and should keep your mat happily hygienic.”
Simply add a dash of these to fresh warm water and mix together. To add a scent to the solution, you could also pop in a few drops of essential oil like clove, lavender or thyme oil.
“Essential oils are not only anti-bacterial but antiviral and provide a helpful addition to your vinegar, alcohol and otherwise,” she said.
Be careful to not scuff your mat, or create any small holes in it as bacteria can hide in these nooks and crannies, says Champion de Crespigny.
“A good quality mat will not scruff or cut easily and so this shouldn’t pose a problem,” she said.
If your mat is looking a little worse for wear, consider investing in a new one, especially if it has holes in the surface.
The Natural Yoga Blue in Turkish Blue by LUVe Yoga is made of biodegradable, recyclable natural tree rubber and has a polyurethane coating. It’s ideal for most styles of yoga and is super grippy with great support and cushioning.
Another eco-friendly option is the Purple Ankara Yoga Mat from Culture Fit — a brand that uses West African print designs to showcase the founders’ culture. “We invite women of all backgrounds to enjoy our clothes. To celebrate not only our culture but to embrace all the different cultures of the world.”
Made with 6mm thick cushioning, this Premium Support Yoga Mat from Gaiam is designed to be extra comfortable. It’s great for beginner to intermediate level yogis and restorative to moderately paced practices. It’s also latex-free and free of six harmful phthalates, which makes it better for you and the environment.