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How (And How Often) To Clean Your Yoga Mat

0 2 years ago

At the end of a long hard day, a yoga lesson is exactly what you need to destress and reconnect with your body. After a session of challenging poses, the instructor invites you to assume child’s pose and focus on your breathing. As you do, a thought occurs to you: What exactly are you breathing in? And touching? Is the yoga mat you’re currently sweating on dirty or germ-ridden?

It’s an understandable concern. The internet is rife with articles about the microbes lurking on your yoga mat. Those articles usually include links to pricey yoga mat sprays or recipes for homemade, natural cleansers. Some websites even recommend cleaning your mat after every use. But do you really need to do that?

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Shake well before use. Body Mist: Hold 4-5 inches from pulse points. Spray each pulse point once. Air Freshener: Simply spritz into the air to refresh the entire room. Linen Refresher: Spray (5-6 inches away) on sheets, cushions, pillows, etc. to refresh linens between washes.

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Only if you’re sharing your mat with other people, says yoga instructor and retired pediatrician Johanna Goldfarb, MD.

“If you’re using your own mat, you really shouldn’t worry about contamination,” she says. “I’m more likely to clean it because it’s dirty than because I’m worried about infection.”

How to clean your yoga mat

When a mat is dirty — following an outdoor session, for example — giving it a simple cleaning is a good idea. For this, soap and water are enough. To clean:

Put a few drops of dish soap in warm water.

Using a rag, gently scrub your mat.

Rinse your mat and let it air dry.

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