There are numerous reasons for practicing yoga, but picking up someone else’s germs is definitely not one of them. "Yoga Journal" says cleanliness is an essential part of the yoga self-discipline. Even though yoga studios clean and sanitize mats, floors and facilities, yogis can still develop infections. Don’t stop doing yoga because of the threat of germs, but do learn how these microorganisms are spread and what you can do to protect yourself.
What Types of Infections Can You Get?
If you are using a communal mat at the yoga studio, you are increasing your risk of developing viral infections such as plantar warts and herpes along with bacterial infections such as Staphylococcus and impetigo. Athlete’s foot, toenail fungus and ringworm are the more common fungal infections found lurking on yoga mats. Communal mats are also breeding grounds for the common cold and influenza.
How Are Yoga Mat Infections Spread?
According to "Yoga Journal", the majority of germs are spread through either direct contact with a person carrying the disease or indirect contact from touching an object or surface contaminated with germs. Bacteria will live on surfaces anywhere from hours to days after a contagious person was last in contact with them. That’s where the yoga mat comes into play. Most fungal, viral and bacterial organisms prefer the humidity and warmth of yoga mats. You touch your hands to your face, body parts and floor repeatedly during yoga poses, which increases the risk of infection. If you have either dry skin that is cracked or wet skin, you are even more likely to develop an infection.
There are a number of preventative measures you can take to protect yourself and greatly reduce your chances of contracting an infection from a contaminated yoga mat. The first defense is to purchase and use your own mat and don’t allow anyone else to use it. Second, clean your yoga mat after every session using our Mat Cleanse--just spray and wipe with a clean towel. Our yoga Mat Cleanse contains pure essential oils and other natural ingredients with proven antiseptic, antibacterial and moisturizing properties to clean your yoga mat while maintaining its nonslip surface. A great way to clean up after hot yoga classes. The fresh, uplifting aroma from pure essential oils is an added bonus!
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