Saucha (also known as cleanliness) is an important aspect of yoga practice. Saucha helps purify the body and mind and promotes a more balanced lifestyle. Many individuals believe that cleanliness helps open up charkas and deepen yoga practice. To help maintain Saucha in your yoga practice, here are some helpful tips for cleaning your yoga mat, as well as some eco-friendly mat cleaner recipes.
The best way of keeping your yoga mat clean and sterile is to wash it by hand. Washing by hand will help prevent bacterial growth and will enhance the longevity of your mat. The easiest way to clean your mat is applying a cleaning liquid (you can either buy a detergent from the store or make it yourself). Start by submerging your mat in a tub of lukewarm water. Add a few drops of cleaning liquid. Let your mat sit for a couple of minutes to fully absorb the water. Gently rub both sides of your mat. Use a soft-surfaced sponge or cloth. You can also use your hands if you prefer. Once thoroughly cleaned, rinse your mat to wash away any residue. To dry your yoga mat, place your mat on a dry towel and roll them together. Squeeze out any excess water. Unroll and hang to air dry. Make sure your mat is completely dry before storing it way (it takes approximately 48hrs to dry completely).
If you are interested in making your own homemade cleaning detergent, there are plenty of easy-to-make recipes. One of our favorites is a lavender spray that comprises of three drops of tea tree oil, two drops of peppermint oil, and two drops of lavender oil mixed together with distilled water in a spray bottle. This solution is great for cleaning your mat after a sweaty yoga workout. Remember to shake well before applying the spray.
Another great homemade cleaning recipe is combining one cup white vinegar, three cups distilled water, one teaspoon tree oil, and 10-30 drops (depending on preference) peppermint, lavender, and thyme essential oil together in a spray bottle. This is an excellent eco-friendly recipe that works well for removing sweat residue and bacteria.
With these great recipes and mat cleaning techniques, you will be sure to achieve Saucha when practicing yoga. If you are interested in learning more tips about yoga, please visit your Vancouver Teacher Training studio. We will be offering a new yoga teacher training program starting May 4, 2013. Please contact us for more information.