Your Relationship With Your Mat Is Important
Firstly, let me just say that even though I do always carry a small number of spare mats, I always encourage students to bring their own mats along to classes.
Your mat is your place of healing, of santuary, it is a private space (like a bubble) that you should never let another in to with out your consent, This area becomes a place where your energy is absorbed in to. Whenever you feel you need time out, a recharge, a refocus etc, an unrolling and using of your mat is a good place to start. That space is already associated with your yoga and meditation practise. it is a place where your thoughts are sorted and where emotional and physical releases natural happen. Treat your mat as a proctective bubble and only let in the people who bring you joy and healing.
Furthermore, don’t step on (or in) another persons mat (or bubble), respect their healing journey andf their personal space, especially if you aren’t feeling very positive or well yourself.
To cleanse your mat of unwanted energy, sprinkle it with salt (preferably outdoors and in the sunshine) and leave for ten minutes. When you shake your mat clean repeat the following sentence either in your head or out loud:
‘I let go of what no longer serves me, this mat is my place of sanctuary. I allow protective and positive energy to become part of it’.
Which Mat Do I Need?
It’s a difficult one…
If you aren’t sure whether you will continue a class or if the budget is tight, there are many affordable options, lightweight and made of foam with different thickness options, start from around £10. These are always good to have in the cupboard to use as travel mats but tend to have a short life if you are attending classes more than once a week on a regular basis.
If you have a little more to spend it is worth investing in a mat with a top rubber surface, although they are heavier to transport, their life is long, they are less slippy against the ground and underfoot, and they don’t tend to start rolling up or lifting as you use them. These can range from £50 – £200.
How to clean
Foam Mats – Very lightweight mats can be put in a washing machine on a 4o* cycle, The only issue with this is they take a long time to dry so you need either a couple of very warm and sunny days for it to dry hanging on the line, or it can be put somewhere warm in the house. However, as the drying process is still lengthy, the mat can often develope a damp musty smell which will linger after it has completly dried. Instead during the colder months soak a cloth in warm soapy water (small amount of detergent) and a capful of vineger. Ring the cloth out and wipe over the mat on both sides, Rinse the cloth in warm water, ring out again and wipe over the top and bottom again. You can also wipe with hand sanitiser. Some detergent sprays can degrade the foam mats, use in moderation.
Rubber mats – Not many people will tell you this but if oil gets on the mat it will leave a stain that may never be lifted. Please don’t try and put these mats in a machine. These mats are more resilient so can be given a really good scrub with warm soapy water. I would suggest that all detergents and sanitisers are diluted in soapy water before applying.
Please sanitise your hands and feet before steping on and after being on a mat.