With many of you having more time for your yoga practice during lockdown, I thought it would be opportune to mention the importance of cleaning and caring for your yoga mats. Looking after your mats properly is essential for both hygiene and making them last longer. It almost becomes habit just to unroll your mat for practice wherever that may be, whether in a yoga class (previously) or at home, whether indoors or outdoors, and then to roll it back up and pop it in the corner.
But think about the germs/dirt that may build up on your mat either from the floor it is laying on or from your hands and feet and that each time you unroll your mat for the next time you place your hands, feet and even face back on the mat! So when you think about it, cleaning your yoga mat regularly is an important habit to get into.
It is, of course, possible to buy ready-made mat cleaner sprays but these generally tend to be quite pricey and it is just as good to make your own natural eco-friendly spray with a few simple inexpensive ingredients that you may even already have at home.
What you’ll need:
An empty bottle with a spray nozzle (any size)
Water (distilled or spring water if available)
Tea tree essential oil
Lavender essential oil
Optional: witch hazel or white vinegar (for tough-to-clean mats)
Fill your empty bottle three quarters full with water, if using witch hazel or white vinegar then fill the remaining quarter with this. Add a few drops of tea tree essential oil, which is antibacterial and antifungal, and a few drops of lavender oil, which is also an antibacterial oil and which also has a relaxing and calming aroma. If you’re not keen on the smell of tea tree oil, you can always substitute it with another antibacterial oil like lemongrass, eucalyptus or peppermint if you prefer.
It is best to experiment with the number of drops you use to give the scent you like. You might need to add more if using witch hazel or white vinegar as these themselves have a stronger scent. Shake well to mix the oil with the water and each time before using.
How to use:
Simply spray the whole of your mat (both sides) with your homemade cleaner then wipe down with a damp cloth (clean sponge or microfibre cloth if you have). You will need to allow your mat to dry completely before storing it away. I either hang mine over a door or on the washing line if the weather is good.
Repeat this as often as you can to keep your mat clean and hygienic and nice and fresh for its next use.