When you roll out your yoga mat, you’re laying out a personal sanctuary on which to align body, breath, and spirit; a haven for focusing on yourself and letting go. It’s important to keep your mat clean and fresh, so you can maintain a healthy practice and reap all the benefits of yoga.
Whether used at home or in a public class, yoga mats are a breeding ground for germs. They are coughed and sneezed on. They come into contact with dirty floors, sweat, and bare feet. The gathering bacteria can cause staph infection, ringworm, and athletes foot. Fecal matter and yeast growth have even been discovered lingering on some yoga mats in a lab test.
There’s no reason to worry however, because most yoga studios will provide you with antibacterial wipes or a mat spray. Make sure to use these at the beginning and end of every class, especially when renting a mat. For your at home practice, making your own yoga mat spray is cost efficient and simple.
Fill any size spray bottle about a quarter of the way with white vinegar (substitute witch hazel) as a disinfectant. Fill the bottle the rest of the way with clean, purified water. Add 3-5 drops of both eucalyptus and lavender essential oils and shake the bottle to mix it up. Spray lightly on both sides of your mat and wipe clean with a cloth or paper towel.
Many essential oils carry anti fungal or antibacterial properties as well as uplifting or relaxing scents. You can also use lemongrass, tea tree, or peppermint oils in your yoga mat spray if you prefer. Lemongrass is extremely uplifting and is great for vinyasa practices while lavender oil is perfect for relaxation and unwinding! Find a combo that suits your practice best.