The practice of asanas – the known postures done in yoga classes- have not just mental, but physiological effects as well. One of the main benefits is the detoxification of the body through the skin by the sweat.
While it is common on yoga classes, however, you must be aware that your yoga mat will absorb your sweat on its surface in each practice. Not only that, but also tiny sand, dust, dirt, and others particles found on your body and from the environment you are practicing. Therefore, it is essential to clean your yoga mat frequently to avoid an incubation of bacteria and viruses, which can be harmful for your health.
For that reasons, mentioned above, you should clean up your mat quite often! Here is a tutorial on how you can clean your yoga mat to both extend its durability and keep a healthy practice.
1- Wipe off your mat after every practice
Through your practice you will realize that your mat will become slightly slider and smelly after a while. It is a sign that your yoga mat needs to be clean as soon as possible. Therefore, after practicing yoga, you should wipe it off with a yoga mat specific wipe. A habitual mistake is wait these signs show up to decide cleaning your mat. It affects negatively your practice – since you will get distracted by the odor, and slippery surface -, and decrease your mat’s life-spam as well.
2- Do your own vinegar cleaner solution
First of all, I’d highly recommend you to do this homemade recipe to clean your mat. Besides being a cheaper choice, it is also environmentally friendly and non-toxic for you. You will only need a bottle, water and white vinegar. You have to mix 1 part water to 3 parts of white vinegar, and store it on a spray bottle. You can drop in your solution some essential oils as lavender or tea tree, if you desire a pleasurable scent on your mat.
3- Spray your solution on your mat and rub it
Spread your mat on somewhere that allows you to completely clean it. Spray your vinegar cleaner solution on your yoga mat surface. Wait some seconds to the cleaner solution sit and soak in the mat before next step. After have done this, rub the yoga mat with a cotton cloth and wip until you completely clean it. Repeat the same on the other side. Let it dry for 10 to 15 minutes outside afterwards. Make sure to do not let your yoga mat dry directly by the sunlight, because it can damage your mat.
4- Once a month wash your yoga mat in the washing machine
Sometimes it is need to give your yoga mat a deep cleaning, and a washing machine is a perfect tool for that. You just have to throw your yoga mat in the washing machine and add a little bit of detergent. Then use the dryer in medium heat to dry it. You can let your mat air dry too, but it will take 24-42 hours. It should be done occasionally though. Also make sure to check out if your mat tolerates to be washed by a washing machine.