This post has been a long time coming. In other words, I’ve been neglecting doing this, finally got to it, and then wanted to share my experience and methods with you guys as soon as I could. And, since the New Year is upon us, causing many of us to reassess and to try to adopt new healthier habits, I thought this post would be very appropriate.
The activity in question–cleaning my yoga and workout mats for mold, of course. Not a chore that is very fun, but one that is extremely necessary, especially when you are highly allergic to any type of fungus, like I am. Or, when the telltale “mat stink,” coming from the combination of sweat (moisture and bacteria/fungus on your skin) and mold (the musty smell), becomes downright disruptive to your yoga practice.
Before I begin with my method, I want to share a few tidbits with you about lovely yoga and workout mats and why it is not only a good idea, but extremely necessary to do, both frequently and properly. According to a medical and microbiology professor at Rutgers School of Medicine, when tested for cleanliness, yoga mats have proven to be filthier, in terms of harboring bacteria and fungi than either airline seats or cell phones—two of the highest items on the contamination list. The reason being, yoga mats get more skin-to-skin contact than either of the other two items. Also, during exercise, more skin on your body is usually exposed; therefore, more skin is in contact with the mat. Human skin can foster many different organisms, among those are up to 14 different types of fungi. Combine that with sweat, an absorbent and porous surface, (aka the mat) and you have a recipe for bacterial and fungal disaster!