As the practice gains momentum in the form of an exercise, alternative medicine, and meditation for the mind, body, and soul, growing numbers of people are eager to partake in the art form. Unfortunately, many do so without considering the risks they may be exposing themselves to. For your healthiest practice, consider the following tips, and keep the asanas flowing for sessions to come!
1. Keep It Clean
The primary way to combat any illness is of course to take the right steps to prevent it! With sweat and moisture abound, any communal exercise studio is a breeding ground for viruses, funghi, and bacteria. Couple that with communal mats, and you’re practically rolling around in dead cells and germs left behind by the previous yogi (ew!). Don’t forget, this is your standard class we’re talking about. If hot yoga is more you’re style, the increased temperature and humidity boosts the germ count (and the ew factor) significantly. It’s a good idea to invest in your own mat, whether you take a class daily or prefer the occasional, at home meditation. However, the true key to keeping it clean still lies in a quality disinfecting cleaner. Be sure to purchase something safe for your mat, safe for your body, and still powerful enough to kill whatever may be lurking on the surface, waiting to strike.
2. Cover Up
While your favorite flowy crop top may scream yogi-chic, consider something a bit more modest. Next time you’re getting ready for class, opt for an ensemble that keeps your body covered. The less skin you expose, the fewer potential ailments you face. From acne to planter warts, ringworm to jock itch, and staph infections to “flesh eating” strep infections, a broad range of minor to severe conditions are initiated in the yoga studio. By wearing clothing that reveals more skin as opposed to less, you are increasing your exposure to harmful germs, and thus your risk of contracting something along these lines. To keep bacteria at bay, opt for comfortable, unrestrictive attire with longer sleeves and full length pants.
3. Don’t Forget Footwear
The custom of practicing yoga barefoot is rooted in the ancient Hindu tradition. The underlying idea is that shoes are unclean, and should be removed prior to the sacred practice. A number of cultures also view it as a sign of disrespect to walk indoors with shoes on, and maintain it as the norm for that reason. Still, there truly is practical logic behind it (sticky mats are made to work against bare skin so you don’t slip and can achieve your best pose). Unfortunately, athlete’s foot, along with an array of other podiatrist-treated fungal infections, are among the most commonly reported issues yogis face. To keep with the tradition, but also keep safe, try specially designed footwear. Yoga socks or shoes provide flexibility and support to actually enhance your balance and posture. Comfort, style, increased traction, and decreased germs all in one? Yes, please!
4. Listen to Your Body
You know when to push yourself, and you know your limits. We all have an internal discipline; we understand our strengths and shortcomings better than anyone. Our physical wellbeing is no exception. If you’re just starting off with yoga, you’ll need time to get comfortable with the poses and adjust to the postures. If an asana or flow is too advanced, simply perform an adapted version at your own pace or relax in a resting pose. I promise, no one will judge you for not attempting an inversion or skipping a move that just doesn’t work with your body quite yet. Challenge yourself to try new things and believe in your ability to advance with time, but don’t go so far as to put yourself (or those in close proximity!) in danger.
5. Take A Break
Finally, don’t be too strict with yourself. If your goal is to attend classes three times a week, don’t get discouraged if you need to skip a day. If you find your schedule is packed tight a particular day, you’re beginning to sense the onset of a cold, or you’ve had a particularly busy week at work, cut yourself some slack. Far too often, people over exert their efforts and burn out. If you push yourself too hard, it won’t be long before you exhaust your body, put yourself at increased risk of injury, or contract an illness that causes a greater setback in the long run. Life happens, so remember that it’s okay to live it. Your yoga will always be waiting for you with a welcoming Om.
As many know to be true, there’s reasonable logic underlying the age old cliché better safe than sorry. Particularly when it comes to your health and wellbeing, you don’t want to put yourself at an increased risk of anything. As the summer rolls in and temperatures rise up, the heat, moisture, and close contact in yoga studios will create the ideal environment for the colonization of bacteria, germs, viruses, mold, and mildew. To keep these pathogens and funghi at bay, keep your practice clean and healthy with Clear Gear Sports Spray. Simply spray, wipe, and let Clear Gear take care of the rest, so you can take Savasana in peace (of mind, body, and soul).
Article by Clear Gear Sports Spray