Kick your shoes off, ground through your feet, lift through your crown, palms open, and breathe. Yoga creates space for the mind and body to find harmony; a quality mat creates a secure foundation for a full practice.
Once upon a time yogis practiced on deer and tiger skins. Rugs, wooden floors, and earth were also traditional platforms. In recent decades, modern yoga mats evolved out of the western world, fusing tradition and innovation with functional comfort. Lululemon’s luxurious mats boast superior grip and cushioning. If you choose this tool for your practice, you might be curious about some options for keeping it clean, and why you’d want to.
Lululemon yoga mats and tiger skins have some things in common…
These days, Lululemon yoga mats are waaay more popular than tiger skins. It’s a mind-bender to even compare them. But if you look at yogic functionality, it’s actually easy to see how they share similarities. Soft, stable, grippy, and flat.
Platform performance matters. Since Lululemon yoga mats are in good supply (tigers who expired from natural causes-not so much), let’s consider their specifics:
- They offer stability, which means that they won’t be sliding out from under you while you’re in your warrior pose.
- Lulelemon makes a reversible mat, with one side being softer and the other side being grippier. This is helpful with a diverse practice:
- The grippier side is a better option for active yoga styles such as Ashtanga.
- The softer side is ideal for a slower practice like Yin.
- The mat lays nice and flat when it’s unrolled, regardless of which side you choose to use.
- Extra long, extra wide options are available. Individuals who are taller or broader tend to find the standard size mat to be inadequate for some poses. Having an option for a ideally sized mat will generate increased comfort and confidence in your practice.
- The density of the Lululemon yoga mat is such that it provides a soft surface without the “quicksand” feeling that comes from being overly squashy. The Lululemon yoga mat works with you, rather than against you. As Goldilocks might say, “It’s just right!”
The yoga mat defines your space in class and home practice.
For some people yoga is a physical expression of spirituality. In this school of thought, bathing prior to practice in lukewarm water is part of preparation. Arriving on the mat in a fresh and comfortable state honors the practice and sets a tone for deeper connection. It follows that starting with a cleansed mat is an essential step in yogic approach.
For others, yoga is less about spirituality and more about a quality workout. Yoga will definitely strengthen, tone, and sculpt. But part of keeping yoga healthy is to keep your mat clean, and here’s why…
You may also like: How to Create a Meditation Space
Yoga mats can harbor bacteria.
Uncleaned yoga mats can be a hotbed for bacteria. When we sweat on our mats and then roll them up, they become a breeding opportunity for fungi, viruses, and bacteria.
Purchasing and using your own personal yoga mat is an effective strategy to avoid the possibility of catching a communicable disease from a communal mat. Even still, if you are practicing at a studio, you’ll be laying your mat down in a communal space. Keep in mind that studio floors are well trafficked.
Some yoga studios have “hygiene manifestos” to encourage folks to diligently bathe, launder, and scrub prior to class. But the reality is that lots of folks are pulling out mats that have never seen soap, and feet that have been pressed into warm sweaty boots for full work days.
There’s wisdom in embracing what we can’t control, and taking charge of what we can…
You may also like: How to Host a Yoga Party
So, how do I clean my Lululemon yoga mat?
There are several options for cleaning your mat, depending on how much time you have and the state of your mat.
Quick Wipe Down:
If you’ve been practicing at home, you may just want to give your mat a quick once over.
-Wipe both sides of your mat using a damp cloth and then either pat or hang dry
On The Go:
If you’re leaving the yoga studio and want to freshen your mat with a quick spritz and polish before heading out, try using one of these two mat sprays.
- Lululemon sells an 8 oz bottle of plant based cleanser for $14 on their website. This non-irritating, portable cleanser is infused with bergamot, juniper and sandalwood. This spray breaks down dirt, oil, and dust. (Spot test on the corner of your mat prior to using, if no discoloration occurs, it is safe to spray your mat).
- Mix up your own DIY essential oil spray using 1 part white vinegar to 4 parts water. Then add 20 drops of your preferred essential oil-preferably one with antimicrobial power-such as orange or tea tree. Pour the liquid into a spray bottle.
- Shake the bottle
- Spritz the top side of your mat
- Wipe dry using a microfiber or otherwise lint free cloth
- Repeat on the other side
On a day that you have a bit more time on your hands, give your mat a bath.
- Fill your tub with a little bit of warm water and a squirt of castile soap. If possible, use peppermint or lavender castile soap because both essences have antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties.
- Toss your mat into the water and submerge
- Let it soak for about 10 minutes
- Grab a soft cloth and wipe the entire front and back sides of the mat
- Let the mat soak a few more minutes
- Drain the tub
- Thoroughly rinse all the soap off mat
- Hang the mat to dry in a shady place, or…
- Towel dry then hang over the shower bar until all moisture is gone
DIY Lemon Scrub:
Baking soda and lemon are as regal as king dancer pose when it comes to deodorizing and brightening surfaces. These agents are inexpensive, natural, and non-toxic. Baking soda is a wonderful deodorizer and excellent for lifting dirt and gunk. The lemon is a natural antibacterial cleaner with an uplifting scent.
- Combine 1 teaspoon baking soda, one cup water, and the juice of one lemon
- Drizzle this mixture across your Lululemon yoga mat and use a cloth or sponge to work the mixture into your mat.
- Let sit for a few minutes
- Grab a fresh damp cloth and rinse. (You may want to have a bucket with warm water available to make this process more efficient)
- Hand dry your mat or hang somewhere away from direct sunshine.
Yoga mat no-no’s
You will notice that all of the methods suggest drying your yoga mat either in the shade or away from direct sunshine. This is because your Lulelemon mat is made of about 60% natural rubber. Direct UV light can damage the surface of your mat, causing it to become less grippy, more porous, or even discolored.
Chemical wipes, like clorox, will leave a chemical residue on your mat. It’s best to avoid this as a cleaning option. If you do use clorox or other chemical cleaners, make sure you rinse all the residue off after they’ve had ample time to disinfect. Chemicals can soak into your mat and later irritate your skin or cause damage to your mat.
Now that we’ve covered the benefits of the Lululemon yoga mat and care methods, the only thing left to do is unroll that beautiful expanse and let yourself sink into relaxation and wellness. You might notice your heart rate slow and self-awareness quicken. As you stretch and compress through the poses, other physiological changes begin to happen. Specifically, your immune function, reflexes, and learning receptivity quietly improve.
Every day can be different on the mat, but with each day one thing is consistent: “All the joy and good in me bows to all the joy and good in you” (Namaste).
I’m excited to announce that I am one of Google's paid early testers for their Thank with Google pilot program. This is an experimental feature that allows my readers to purchase a virtual sticker and show your appreciation for the content on Crafty Little Gnome.
There are many cute stickers to select from and each time you send a paid sticker, you can add a personal message to me. These virtual stickers translate into direct revenue to support the work that goes into Crafty Little Gnome.
You can find the Thank with Google feature in multiple places on my website including at the top of this post.
Let me know if you try it out. I love getting feedback from my readers and knowing you are finding the content we are putting out is valuable to you!