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Clean your funky mat!

By January 22, 2010Exercise, Yoga

{Image via Richard-}

The year 2009 for me was all about experimenting with my fitness (yes my fitness). Having never spent time in a gym that wasn’t required for credit or enforced by a burly woman who literally carried a sack of balls, I got a membership with Neil and against all insecurity decided to give it my best shot. I never thought I’d enjoy working out, be able to tame my OCD and get good and sweaty, and run a mile straight through. But I did it, and like any type of success, you have to grow it to keep feeling it. A few months ago, at my first yoga class (Power Yoga), the instructor mentioned that a new class was forming to practice Hot Yoga, which is Yoga practiced in a room at or above 98 degrees. I laughed openly. “Out of my league,” I muttered as I shuffled out of the room.

Several weeks later I found myself taking the class, and loving it. Great stretches, cleansing detox, and the fast and elusive sense of success again. I even bought my first yoga mat and felt pathetically cool toting it in the gym. After a few weeks of class however, the mat got a little funky and my first instinct was to wash it with a dish soap in the tub and hang it up over the curtain rod. It was wet for days, really messy and a hassle when I wanted to attend class several days a week. So I do what I do best, I googled.

There are tons of cleansers on the market, and they run anywhere from $10-20 per bottle, which to someone like me is out of the question. So I googled “DIY Yoga Mat clean” and found these little ditties I’d like to pass along to anyone in the same boat or who just realized now they’d never wiped down their mat.

Recipe #1:

  • Three drops of tea tree oil
  • Two drops of peppermint oil
  • Two drops of lavender oil
  • Distilled water

Recipe #2
This is for a stronger antibacterial/antifungal spray.

  • 1 part warm water with 3 parts white vinegar
  • Add 8-12 drops of essential oils like eucalyptus, lemongrass, lavender, mint, or tea tree oil

For both solutions, mix thoroughly and place the solution in a spray bottle.

Spray Cleaning Instructions:

1. Spray your yoga mat cleaner liberally over the surface of your mat. If your mat seems especially dirty, let the cleanser sit and soak in a bit before cleaning it off.

2. Wipe the yoga mat with a wet cloth or sponge. When the cleanser has been thoroughly removed, rub the mat down with a soft dry cloth, like a small towel or washcloth. Now repeat on the other side.

3. Allow your mat to air dry, which should take only about 5 to 10 minutes. If it takes longer than this, try rubbing your mat down more with the towel to remove the excess water and speed up the drying time.

{Via Apartment Therapy}

And while we’re at it, since I’m still a newbie, do you have any great Yoga resources, DVD recommendations, or positions you love and want to share? Feel free to leave them in the comments!


  • Samantha says:

    Any DVD with Rodney Yee is amazing. He’s the absolute best without making you feel inadequate. Oh, and my favorite pose is child pose…because I like to curl up in a ball and relax. I also like a pose that I forgot the name to. You need an open portion of wall that you don’t mind sticking your feet on. Stand with your back to the wall. Then you brace your hands on the floor (your mat) about shoulder width apart and then one by one position your legs above you on the wall and then walk them down until you’re in an L position. Takes practice, but it’s a lot of fun trying!

  • Erin says:

    Baron Baptiste seems to be the go-to guy at our house. Jade Yoga mats are a must- they stay sticky. Our house is littered with yoga books, not so many dvd’s unless you’re getting technical with the breathing. Bikram Choudhury is obviously a good resource for Hot yoga.

  • Jessica says:

    Erin, did you do yoga when you were pregnant with the boys? Did you find it helped overall (esp. with labor). I have a friend who is pregnant and I thought it might help her.


  • Erin says:

    Not so much because I was so sick I pretty much laid on the couch for 8 months- seriously no energy at all. My best friend was very good about going to her pre-natal yoga classes though. She found a great group of supportive women there that she is still friends with 3 years later. Not sure it helped with her labor (she labored for 45 hours- all natural at a birthing center). I had a C-section with the boys. Wyatt was breech and I didn’t want an emergency c-section after a vaginal birth if he didn’t turn so we played it safe. So no long labor for me, although I did go into labor.