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Keep Your Yoga Mat Clean!

By Sara Butler

Yoga is a great form of exercise. The chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic are big fans of the benefits of yoga to your health and wellness, from increasing flexibility to helping you to deal with the everyday stressors of life. But there may be one thing about your yoga practice you're neglecting that can have a huge impact on your health -- your yoga mat. Keep every aspect of your yoga practice healthy by heeding a few tips for keeping your yoga mat spic and span.

Why You Should Clean Your Yoga Mat

Your skin isn't just skin. It also plays host to a variety of microorganisms such as viruses, fungi, bacteria, and even tiny mites that can't be seen with the naked eye. These things are normal to have on skin and are usually harmless, but they can and do get on your yoga mat while you're using it. If they're allowed to stay on the mat, then they can grow, thriving on the moisture of the environment. A dirty yoga mat may not make you sick, but it certainly can cause issues such as ringworm, athlete's foot, or a nasty rash. Plus, an unclean yoga mat probably won't smell very good and that's certainly not going to add to your enjoyment of it.

How Often To Clean Your Yoga Mat

How often you should clean your yoga mat really depends on how often you use and it and how intense your yoga sessions are. The rule of thumb is to clean your yoga mat at least once per week, but if you do a lot of sweating (hello hot yoga!), then you may want to wipe your mat down more often.

How to Clean Your Yoga Mat

Cleaning your yoga mat is very simple. You can buy a specialized cleaner for your mat or you can mix together warm water with a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle. Spray down your mat and wipe the surface with a soft cloth. You can rinse the mat with a clean, damp cloth and allow it to dry fully by hanging it over your shower rod or laying it out flat. No matter which you choose, make sure the mat is fully dry before you roll it up.

Keep practicing yoga -- it's good for you! But make sure that yoga mat is equally good for your health by cleaning it regularly.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Aurora, Colo.

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