Well, if you have your own yoga mat, it can help keep you healthier than using a mat at the gym. We’re not talking about how yoga itself keeps you healthy, but about the actual yoga mat. Fair warning: it’s about to get a little icky here.
When you use a yoga mat at the gym, it’s safe to assume someone else has used it recently. Is it safe to assume they’ve cleaned it after they’ve used it? Hmmm. How many times have you watched someone at the gym get off a piece of equipment and just walk away from it without cleaning it for the next user? Probably more times than you really want to think about, given the number of times you’ve used gym equipment without cleaning it first! You see where we’re going, right?
Yoga mats, like any other piece of exercise equipment at the gym, are a host for bacteria, viruses, and germs that can cause all kinds of illnesses, from a mild cold to full-blown infections caused by skin contact. In an August article by Dr. David Greuner, it is suggested that dangerous infections like staph and strep can be communicated via a dirty yoga mat. Cleaning the mats are a must, but there is a better alternative.
Owning your own yoga mat means you’re the only one using it. You don’t have to worry about what might be incubating on your workout surface when you’re ready to practice. And for less than the cost of a month of gym membership, you can have this peace of mind. It’s really kind of a no-brainer. Of course you can spend more on a yoga mat, but if all you need is the basic mat and the knowledge that you’re practicing on a safe and clean yoga mat, you don’t have to spend a fortune.
With your own affordable yoga mat, you can practice at home, at the gym, or at the studio without worrying about what little organisms are sharing your mat. Stay healthy.