I practice Bikram Hot Yoga and it's no secret you can sweat a lot in each 90 minute session. This can wreak havoc on your yoga mat.
I did some research about cleaning yoga mats. I had been rinsing mine off with a hose and hanging it in the sun to dry. There is a lot to be said for the sun. It is very purifying and better yet, it's free.
I went to a new studio (Bikram Yoga Danvers, MA) recently after moving north from my annual winter retreat in Florida where I frequent Bikram Yoga on the Island in Merritt Island, FL.
I noticed a bit of a change in my yoga mat and it could just be that I wasn't in the very strong Florida sun any longer which had a very cleansing effect on all that dried sweat.
I don't like to buy anything I don't already have so a scrounged around the house to see what I had that I could used for a cleansing yoga mat spray. I wanted to use some essential oils I had on hand and I had some tea tree oil which has a lot of antibacterial properties.
I know you can use witch hazel or vinegar instead of vodka. I decided to use vodka because I figured the alchohol in it will definitely kill the bacteria that causes that yucky old sweat smell. I recently researched some natural deodorant recipes that use vodka.
I love my yoga mat and don't want to buy a new one so I think I need something as high test as possible and that cheap old bottle of vodka was just gathering dust on a shelf. Maybe next time I make the spray I will try vinegar or witch hazel.
Melissa's Yoga Mat Spray
1 c. Spring water
1 c. vodka
40 drops tea tree oil
1 teaspoon lavender oil
1/2 teaspoon peppermint oil
1 Spray Bottle ( either reuse something you already have or buy one at the $1 store)
Put all the ingredients in the spray bottle and shake well.
I hang my mat on the cloths line in the sun with a pants hanger. You could use your shower rod in your bathroom too. I spray down the mat (both sides) and then hose down with my garden hose, let dry a few minutes and then give a light spray again. Let dry. The scent of the essential oils give your mat a nice clean fresh scent and you haven't used rough chemicals.
Happy Hot Yoga,