First off, a personal mat enables you to individually select features that fit your body, taking into consideration customized size, material, thickness, and texture. You also gain the convenience of being able to practice your sequences wherever you so desire, which can lead to a more calming and peaceful session, helping you reap the benefits of relaxation and stress relief. As an added bonus, you can express yourself by choosing a mat that suits your sense of style.
After you purchase a mat of your very own, the next thing to consider is how you’ll care for it. Proper cleaning and storage is crucial to not only keeping your mat in in pristine condition, but also extending its longevity. Follow these five simple care instructions, and keep your favorite mat a part of your practice for years to come!
1. Wipe It Down
When speaking of yoga mat care, the first thing to come to mind for most is the aspect of cleanliness. Yoga can be a great way to sweat out bodily toxins, which makes your mat a breeding ground for illness causing bacteria and infection causing fungi. Combine this with the fact that yoga is typically practiced barefoot, and it’s easy to see why a sanitary and safe mat is the primary concern for many yogis. To avoid buildup of harmful bacteria and keep your mat odor-free, be sure to clean frequently. Use a disinfecting cleaning solution that is yoga mat safe, and gently wipe down the surface of your mat after every use.
2. Air It Out
A thorough cleansing is a two-step process. It beings with the washing, but is only complete after drying. If you fail to fully dry your mat, trapped moisture can lead to accelerated bacterial growth and formation of mold and mildew. The best approach to drying is to simply hang it up and let it air dry, avoiding direct sunlight that can break down fibers.
3. Flip It Over
To extend the life of your mat, be sure to give it a flip from time to time. This is often overlooked, particularly if a mat has a design or pattern on one side, as people are inclined to always use their mat with the same side face up. However, doing so will actually break down the fibers on that side much quicker than if you were to alternate, allowing for more even wear down. This simple trick will ensure maximum support from your mat for a longer period of time.
4. Store It Straight
While rolling your yoga mat makes for efficient travel, folding or hanging it is the best option for longer term storage. When you roll your mat, bacteria transfer from the side that was on the Extending the Life of Your Yoga Mat ground, to the side that you lay your face and body on. Folding it protects the side you just performed poses on from exterior dirt and germs that were simultaneously picked up from the floor. If possible, hang on a towel or drying rack when not in use or allow it to ventilate in the open air.
5. Guard Against the Elements
When transporting your mat, a protective case is essential to keeping out external contaminants. Utilizing a bag designed for your yoga mat will not only keep it safe from dirt, dust, and insects, as well as other air pollutants, but also provide a safeguard against wear and tear that could shorten the lifespan of your mat. A yoga towel is another great option for adding an additional moisture-wicking layer between you and the mat to prevent sweat contamination during use, while also serving as an additional barrier when not in use.
Having begun the practice of yoga, you’ve already taken a favorable step towards improving your overall health. In order to prevent illness that can cause setbacks, give your yoga mat the care and attention it deserves. To keep it clean and protect your practice, check out Clear Gear Sports Spray. Safe for your mat, safe for your skin, and safe for the environment, Clear Gear will keep your yoga and your life happy and healthy.
Article by Clear Gear Sports Spray
Photo cred: bromeleighhad