If you’re a skilled yogi (definition: a practitioner of yoga), you know the importance of keeping your yoga gear in tip-top shape. But if you’re just embarking on the yoga path, you may not be aware of just how essential cleanliness and proper care can be.
Let’s go over the basic yoga equipment that most yogis utilize, and the best ways to preserve the life of that equipment.Yoga Mat
Now this one is a must! Not only does the yoga mat provide you with a sturdy, stable, non-slip foundation for performing yoga moves, but if it’s properly cushioned it can help protect your knees and other joints. There are tons of choices out there for yoga mats – from the very inexpensive to top-of-the-line; but you can generally find a mat in your price range that will meet all your needs. Many are even “eco-friendly” and can be found in latex- or silicone-free options.
Yoga Mat Wash
To protect the integrity (and sterility) of your yoga mat – especially after those particularly intense (aka: sweaty) sessions, you’ll want to make sure that you keep your mat clean and remove any bacteria, dirt, and other impurities. There are many mat “washes”
out there, but it’s important to use a non-toxic variety that is free of alcohol so it won’t dry out your mat or block. To wash your mat, spray directly on the mat, let sit a few seconds, and then wipe off with a clean towel or paper towel. It’s important to do this after every use.Yoga Totes
If you go to a yoga studio or other facility (rather than practicing at home), you may want to protect your yoga mat by carrying it in a tote or similar carrying case
. This will help protect it against unnecessary wear and tear. Like the mats, these totes are available in a variety of styles and colors (and prices); and some even come with extra storage options for keys, sunglasses, towels, and any other small accessories (like your mat wash).Yoga Blocks
You may not be ready to use a yoga block (or brick) just yet if you’re a yoga novice, but once you get a little more accomplished this option can help take your yoga to the next level. These blocks/bricks can help provide support, stability and height for a number of yoga poses. When shopping for a yoga block, make sure that you choose ones that are made of toxic-free materials, and that will hold up under regular use. As for care, you can use your yoga wash to help keep your block clean and sanitary.Towels
It’s important to remember that yoga IS exercise, and that you most likely will sweat! That’s why it’s essential to have a towel close at hand
during your workout. A soft, cotton towel works the best and can be easily laundered. But remember, you should always have one towel for your body, and one to wipe your mat – never use the same one or you’re just defeating the purpose!A Few More Tips
To preserve the life of your mat and blocks, make sure you don’t have any strong lotions, creams or oils on your hands or feet before using them. In fact, it’s probably a good idea to wash your hands and feet before embarking on a yoga session. It’s ok to dry out your yoga mat in the sun for a short period of time, but try not to leave it out there for an extended period of time. And never put your yoga mat in the clothes dryer!