Wow, have I ever learned the truth of this article. I am writing this comment with an IV stint in my arm. I am currently battling MSRA in my knee, having contracted it from my yoga mat. I am on day 5 of IV antibiotic treatment and am still fighting the infection. I had been doing a lot of vinyasa and developed rough cracked patches on my knees. Through the compromised skin I contracted MSRA. Lesson learned. Clean your yoga mats!!
The myth about bed-bugs being found in "unsanitary" places is one that needs clearing up. Bed bugs can appear anywhere at any time and do not make distinctions between clean or unclean. They are attracted to human warmth, and can come attached to a human host's clothing. They can also remain dormant for long periods of time, and are easily missed even if a studio is fastidiously clean- they can be found inside cracks of wood, in changing rooms, behind shelves etc. Cleanliness is not the solution for avoiding bed bugs- the disturbing thing is that not much you do can leave you exempt from bed bugs- except for the fact that unless people are sleeping in the studio, the bugs have no host and will be forced to go elsewhere.
If you use a Microban Yoga Mat it supposedly repels bacteria & fungus, leaving your mat cleaner in between cleanings. I love mine and use it all the time in Bikram Yoga Class...I haven't noticed the usual "sweaty" smell on it after class like I noticed on my other yoga mats. They sell them at YogaDirect.com :)
lynne batstone, Vancouver
I put a cloth dampened with vinigar, soap and water in a plastic bag in my yoga bag and clean my mat after use. I sometimes put my mat in the rain and that is very refreshing.
Trudy Scott Prevost
I would hate to breathe a chemical disinfectant while I was doing my yoga. I use vinegar and water and soap and water for my mats and no one has had a problem.
hildegard van nylen
Thank you so very much for writing and publishing this; it is very practical, uplifting information to me and, indeed, absolutely "yogic" to include this in your lifestyle...Especially nice to read now, right before Divali, the Hindu feast of Light before which people traditionally clean themselves and their house thoroughly :)! Love and blessings, Hildegard.
Wow, what an eye opening article! I have passed it on to our managers and instructors. Thanks!
Thanks for this article, I'm going to wash my mat RIGHT NOW! I will be giving this article to my manager, in hopes that used mats are cleaned more often. :)
I totally agree that thoroughly washing hands (and feet) before and after teaching a class. I do not use an anti-bacterial soap. These soaps can dry the hands causing cracking, sensitivity, ecxema etc... thereby INCREASING the potential to pass on bacteria.
one of the most unhygenic habits I notice a lot in yoga studios is students going into the bathroom without shoes and then coming back to their mat. Gross!