As someone who does yoga an average of 3-5 times a week, I think it’s fair to say I’m a yogi at this point. While my inversion practice has definitely seen some improvement, there’s one area that still needs some work: My yoga mat hygiene.
I used to go to a studio where they had spray bottles and paper towels available for a post-class wipe down, but when I switched studios I happily traded better teachers for a facility that provided no free after class cleaning products. My habit of wiping my mat down after each vinyasa, completely went out the window. So how often should I be giving my mat some TLC? Yogalosophy author, Mandy Ingber, told Self Magazine that mat maintenance ideally takes place after every class.
Boy, have I been missing the mark! If you’re like me and have not been the most sanitary yogi (I know I’m not alone), here are four ways you can clean your mat.
Editor’s note: Quality yoga mats are not cheap. Before trying to clean your mat with any of these suggested practices, look up your brand and see what the manufacturer recommends.
Many yoga mat companies sell their own sprays designed for their yoga mats. If you’re unsure about a DIY solution and want to preserve the integrity of your mat, this is a great option. Take the spray and wipe with a cloth or sponge. Manduka Mat Wash; $6
These are great for when you’re on the go and many studios will sell them in case you had an intense sweat session that you want to wipe off. Jo-Sha Wipes; prices vary
Soap and water
Grab an empty spray bottle and fill it with two cups of water and four drops of soap. (I’d recommend an all-natural soap). Spray and wipe the mat with a cloth. Take a towel to dry up any moist areas. You’re going to want to give it time to dry (about a day). Trust me, I’ve been slipping and sliding in class and it is NOT fun. (You can use any soap, but I’d recommend one that is all-natural.)
Utilize a Yoga towel
This doesn’t excuse you from cleaning your mat ever, but if you sweat a lot or take up Bikram it will help to catch some of that excess moisture that you see dripping off your forward every time you’re in downward dog. Lululemon; $38.00