Thursday, July 27, 2006


filth & brie

"research has not confirmed the link between unclean yoga mats and fungal, bacterial and viral infections better known as jock itch, plantar warts and staph infections. nor can dermatologists and podiatrists conclusively trace these ailments to dirty yoga mats.

still, some are making unofficial connections. a handful of dermatologists and podiatrists say that in the last two years or so they have noticed a rise in the number of skin infections in their patients who practice yoga and use public mats."

and here's a bccy shout-out to my long-time yoga buddy heather s., who's nicely quoted in today's nytimes article about the health hazards of dirty public yoga mats. the only reason researchers can't confirm this issue is because they ain't looking very hard.

long-time readers know i have complained about yoga hygiene here before, and even offered a link to a recipe for d.i.y. mat spray. i have also suggested that those who go to yoga carry baby wipes with them to wipe their hands and feet before and after class: before to remove city dirt and germs; after, to remove stuff you pick up from public mats.

but naturally i agree with heather -- the main problem isn't so much the mats as the blankets. the mats you can avoid or deal with if you carry spray or wipes. about two weeks ago i was moving from crow to tripod headstand in a friday class.

when my head came near to touching down on the blanket (i always use one as a crashpad in this vinyasa -- no need to break your nose, after all!) the most amazing mushroom-y smell ticked my nostrils. it was the delightful scent of warm brie, in fact.

and lemme tell you i stopped cold. dead cold with my head 1/4-in. above the blankie.

because yoga blankets shouldn't smell like moldy french cheeses. unh-unh.

i mentioned this fact to the yoga teacher on my way out, and to her credit, she must have told the studio manager -- because when i went into class on sat. afternoon, they had been washed.

as the red stripe commercial might say, boo smelly yoga blankets, hooray clean ones! because god knows there's no such thing as "yoga blanket spray."

unless we all wanna start carrying febreze. . .but does that actually disinfect as well? yes! it does!

hooray, febreze antimicrobial! but should we yoga students really have to lug a bottle to our classes?

let me once again encourage everyone to buy their own mat. long-time readers know i love the manduka black mat, and carry mine with me everywhere in a mat bag from bheka.

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posted by fortune | 10:32 AM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 0 comments

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