How To Keep Your Yoga Mat Clean


Between minding your breath, balancing in tree pose, and avoiding a face plant during crow pose, a yoga practice gives you plenty to think about. So it’s easy to overlook the care and upkeep of your mat. 

Still, reasons to keep your yoga mat clean abound (even if you aren’t a germaphobe). A clean mat is safer and healthier for anyone who uses it. 

No matter whether you own a mat or share mats at a studio or gym, read on to learn why it’s important to clean a yoga mat, and discover tips and tricks to do it right. We’ll also cover some of the signs that indicate you should replace your mat. 

Why It’s Important to Clean Yoga Mats

It’s not pleasant to think about, but your skin swarms with all sorts of creepy crawlies in the form of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and microscopic mites. These microorganisms move from your hands to your yoga mat during your practice. And the same thing goes for the oils, sweat, and tens of thousands of skin cells your body sheds every day.

That’s not all: If left unchecked, living organisms such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses multiply. And because these microorganisms thrive in humid environments, they’re likely to reproduce in a hot yoga studio or on a sweaty mat. 

For the most part, even a large amount of bacteria, fungi, and viruses likely won’t cause harm. But for people with broken skin or compromised immune systems, exposure to microorganisms could result in a skin infection, athlete’s foot, plantar warts, or ringworm. 

Now that you know how dirty human bodies can be, we probably don’t need to spell out why it’s important to clean a yoga mat. But here goes: Washing your mat on a regular basis helps limit the buildup of germs and other substances. And the same thing goes for cleaning a shared mat at a yoga studio or gym — only in this case, you’ll protect yourself from other people’s microorganisms and protect other people from yours. 

How to Clean a Yoga Mat

Now that you know how dirty your yoga mat is, here’s how to clean it right. 

1. Check the mat’s website for instructions. 

Different mats are made up of different materials. Check the website for your brand of yoga mat to see if they have specific instructions regarding how to clean your mat. Follow the manufacturer’s tips if you find them. 

2. Wipe down your mat after every practice.

After every class or practice session, wipe down your mat. An antibacterial hand wipe or antibacterial spray will work in a pinch. But in a recent study, researchers discovered that the widespread use of antibacterial sanitisers in gyms and yoga studios may be unintentionally contributing to an explosion of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. To stay safer over the long-term, you may be better off using a 50-50 vinegar and water spray and a clean towel instead of antibacterial options. (If this option isn’t available at your gym or studio, consider requesting it.) Make sure any cleaner you use is safe for porous surfaces and human skin. Let the mat completely dry before you roll it up. 

3. Deep clean your mat regularly. 

If you own a mat, it’s best to deep clean it occasionally. If you practice nearly every day, plan to wash your mat thoroughly at least once a month using one of these strategies.

  • Hose it down

If the weather allows, head outside with a mild detergent, a sponge, and a hose. Spray down your mat, scrub it with detergent, rinse it thoroughly, and let it air dry out of direct sunlight. (Direct sun exposure can cause foam to break down.) Dry the mat completely before you roll it back up for storage. 

  • Soak it

If your home has a bathtub, you can deep clean your mat indoors. Fill the tub with lukewarm water, get the mat wet, and scrub it. If it’s been a long time since your last cleaning, let it soak for a while. Finally, rinse the mat and hang it until it’s completely dry.

  • Use a cleaning solution

You can purchase a cleaning product that’s designed for deep cleaning yoga mats or make your own with vinegar, water, and tea tree oil. No matter which solution you use, liberally spray down one side of the mat with it, let it sit for a while, rinse the solution off, and dry it with a clean, dry cloth. Repeat the process on the other side and hang the mat to dry. 



Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Old Yoga Mat 

Even if you take great care of your yoga mat, it won’t last forever. At a certain point, you’ll need to invest in a new mat. Depending on the materials and construction of your mat, the time frame can vary. Here are some signs it may be time to replace your old mat. 

  • Your mat has permanent indents

Take a close look at the surface of your mat. Does it have squished or sagging sections where you regularly place your hands or feet? If so, it may be time for a new mat. Worn areas don’t provide much support, which can be tough on your joints. Plus, indents make balance poses more challenging, which can lead to accidents.

  • Your joints are achy

Do your joints hurt after yoga class when they didn’t in the past? Achy joints may be another sign the cushion on your mat is wearing away. You should feel supported in every pose. If you don’t, it may be time for a new mat. 

  • You’re slipping all over the place

If your mat once did a good job of preventing slips and now feels like a slip-and-slide when you get sweaty, it may be time for a replacement. Slippery mats make accidents more likely. Look for a new mat that offers plenty of traction.

  • Your mat is deteriorating

If your mat has holes in it, leaves bits of foam everywhere, or is going bald, you’ve loved it to the point of retirement. A declining mat isn’t supportive.

  • It’s smelly (even after you clean it)

If your mat has developed a permanent “eau de sweat,” and even a deep clean doesn’t get rid of it, then you (and your classmates) will benefit from a fresher mat. 


Even if it takes a little extra effort after class, it’s important to keep your yoga mat clean. By taking small steps to regularly maintain your mat’s cleanliness, you’ll prevent the buildup of dirty, stinky, and potentially infectious microorganisms. And that’s a good reason to relax and breathe deep. 

By Laura Newcomer

Laura Newcomer is a writer, editor, and educator with several years of experience working in the health and wellness space. Formerly Senior Editor at the health site Greatist, Laura is now a professional freelance writer and editor based in Pennsylvania. Her writing has been published on Washington Post, TIME Healthland, Greatist, DailyBurn, Lifehacker, and Business Insider, among others.

The original article :

10 Reasons to Participate in the BYN 30 Day Challenge

Challenge yourself to complete 30 classes in 30 days or 5 classes a week for 4 weeks.

We know its not easy, but committing to a regular practice is life changing and a challenge may be just the way to jump start your motivation! Signing up for the challenge is easy. Stop by the front desk to register or sign up online at

If you are a member you can take the challenge for free, top up if you would like to take the Transformation Challenge, or put your membership on hold.  

Once you register, for the Transformation Challenge you will receive weekly clean eating meal plans, support emails, measurement tracking sheets and access to a private Facebook/ WhatsApp group with the BYN staff, teachers and the director Karim. Still not convinced? Well, here are 10 more reasons you should join either challenge!

1.  Be Accountable

When you work with a group, or set a goal “publicly” it helps to keep our eye on the prize.  Let us know what your goals are and we will check in with you as the days go by.

2. Feel the benefits of a regular yoga practice
Use this challenge to jump start a regular practice!  The more you practice the better the results. 1-2x a week is maintenance. 3+ a week you will feel the benefits a lot quicker.  Get stronger, more flexible and reduce stress.  This practice will make you want to take care of your body more.  Because guess what? If you don’t you will feel it on the mat.  And that is okay.  This practice is not about the postures but about how you feel outside of the yoga studio too!

3. Its a great way to get started
Even if you have just started with us you can join this challenge.  Use these next 30 days to commit to the practice.  Dive in.  See what its all about.  Try different times, different teachers, different classes and see how they feel in your body and mind when you practice FREQUENTLY.

4, Create a long term habit
Once you commit to the next month, you very well may realise that you love the way it makes you feel…and why would you want to stop feeling great?!

5. Be a part of a community
You will be working with a group of like-minded people with similar goals in mind.  You will be able to see how everyone else is doing, share your frustrations, celebrate your victories…and hey, a little healthy competition isn’t a bad thing! Can you do this on your own? Of course you can, but your likelihood of success is amplified with just that bit of accountability and group dynamic!

6. Sleep better
You will.

7. Eat better
You will want to because when you don’t, you’ll feel it.

8. Take time for yourself
You deserve to take time for yourself.  And you may be surprised at how much more accomplished and focused you feel the rest of the day.  You know the routine in an airplane: you put your oxygen mask on first before you help others! Same in life.  Self care so you can be a better human in the world!

9. Feel accomplished
You know that great feeling you get when you cross something off your to-do list? There is just something about it! You will feel accomplished every time you get to check off another class that you have completed! You will be inspired by your own discipline.

10. Be a part of something bigger
People have been practicing yoga for a long time.  By practicing yoga you are part of a long lineage of folks who have found that yoga will make you feel energised and gain self knowledge.  It’s time tested.  We know it works. You will too!

For more information on the Challenge see:

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5 reasons to replace a meal a day with a smoothie

Smoothies have become awfully versatile over the years. In addition to being a succulent dessert and a post workout slam, they are also quite the photogenic model on social media.

But a smoothie’s talents don’t end there! The benefits contained in that blended bundle of goodness are so tremendous, that it is encouraged to replace 1 meal a day with a smoothie. That’s right, swap the eggs and bacon with a delicious blended delight and watch the magic happen.

So what is the secret behind smoothie greatness? How can you improve your smoothie-making skills? What ingredients should you use to maximize your smoothie experience?

Whether you’re new to smoothies and simply looking for the motivation to try, or you’re a smoothie master searching for some new ideas to blend with your own, you’ve come to the right place to get all your questions answered and more!



Maybe you’re comfortable with your eating habits. You like your granola, your sandwiches, your pastas and you have your occasional salad. Why switch it up now?

Smoothies can improve your health, your lifestyle and overall well being. And that’s just the beginning. I could go on all day listing the advantages! However, as you probably don’t have all day to weed through all there is to know, I will limit myself to the top 5.


Depending on your age and gender, you should be getting about 2 cups of fruits and vegetables a day. In today’s world full of fats, fried foods, salts, grains, meat, etc., achieving this goal can be harder than it seems.

But it becomes a lot easier when you can mix and match a couple servings in the blender and let them slide smoothly down your throat. Fresh produce you don’t even have to chew through and you can check the fruits and veggies right off your daily list!


We’ve all experienced kitchen disasters. Pork chops left long enough in the oven to bake to a blackened mess. Chicken soup so salty no amount of extra broth could save it. Carrot cake that’s a little more like carrot pudding than it was supposed to be.

But when the whole point of a recipe is to be a mess of ingredients blended into a delicious meal, you really can’t go wrong! You chop, you throw the ingredients in, you press go and viola! You’re good to go.


Most meals typically hit high on the calorie intake scale. This is why replacing one meal a day with a fruit-and-veggie-filled smoothie is a great way to get all the needed vitamins, minerals and fats and keep things low on the calorie scale!

Also, since your blender has already done half the work your body normally does during the digestive process, your body will thank you with a healthy digestive system and you can direct that extra energy towards other things!


As much fun as it is to stay in all day watching Netflix from your pile of tissues, no one likes a cold.

You can keep sicknesses at bay by strengthening your immune system with blended fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C. And the money you saved from not having to pay for cough drops and doctor visits can be used for your smoothie ingredients!


Food is fuel for the body. And the best kind of fuel is healthy carbohydrates, which you can get from the fruits and veggies in your daily smoothie!

Healthy carbohydrates can help regulate your energy as you need it throughout the day, which can help get rid of those mid-afternoon crashes.


Now that we’ve talked about the benefits, lets get into the technicalities of a smoothie. No two smoothies are the same and each one speaks to specific needs. Some common smoothie types are green smoothies, fruit smoothies and protein smoothies.


Green smoothies are a combination of leafy greens and fruits. They are also generally dairy free with juice or water as the liquid base.

A green smoothie is a great choice of daily blended delight, because dark, leafy greens are about the most healthy things you can find on earth. Although you can get your greens in salad form, you’re a lot more likely to consume those much needed portions when they can be sipped instead of crunched.


Fruit smoothies have a liquid base of water, juice or milk, mixed with – you guessed it – fruit! This smoothie can be a meal replacement or an afternoon energy boost, but most often it’s a tasty offering to satisfy that sweet tooth.

If you’re looking for an smoothie for your daily routine, this may not be your best choice. Because fruits contain so much sugar, fruit smoothies can give you more than your wanted calories and also spike your blood sugar. But if you’re looking for a healthy dessert option, then a fruit smoothie is definitely the way to go!


A protein smoothie is a blend of fruits and veggies high in protein. It’s also common to add a protein powder to give it an extra boost. This is a great option for a meal replacement, because protein is a lot of what your body looks for in a meal.

A great time for a protein smoothie is right after a work out. Your body can use the help rebuilding muscles, which they need protein to do. Protein smoothies are also a great option right before bed and right after you wake up. Your body could put the protein to good use by building up for or recovering from those 8 hours without food!


1) Pick Your Greens

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First thing’s first; you need a few good handfuls of greens. If you’ve been blending for a while, you probably have your favourites, but if you’re just starting out, consider a mild green like baby spinach or collard greens.

These two greens provide ample amounts of vitamins and nutrients, which will keep your immune system buzzing, but tend to blend up almost tastelessly with other ingredients.

2) Pick Your Fruits


Again, if you’ve been blending for awhile, you know what you like, but if you’re just starting out, consider a few low sugar fruits that taste delicious, but won’t spike your blood glucose. (A steady blood sugar is the key to all-day energy,)

A few low sugar fruits include: Strawberries, raspberries, green apples, lemons, limes, blueberries, and melon.

Use about 1 – 2 servings of fruit in your smoothie (a serving is about a half cup of smaller fruits, or one whole medium fruit like an apple or orange).

Even though bananas aren’t typically classified as “low sugar,” they make a great, creamy base for smoothies (and also provide magnesium and potassium), so consider having a few frozen pieces of banana on hand to add to the mix!

3) Pick Your Protein Supplement

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Protein powder is one of the easiest, quickest ways to increase the amount of healthy protein in your smoothie. If you’ve never used protein powder before, we recommend starting with an organic, Hemp protein. Hemp protein is one of the easier protein powders to digest, blends well into most smoothies, and is often low in fat and calories.

Start with one tablespoon of hemmp protein, and slowly increase to two tablespoons (or one full scoop) depending on your tastes and energy levels.

If protein powder isn’t for you, consider adding three tablespoons of nuts (cashews and almonds work great), a half cup of plain, unflavoured greek yogurt, two tablespoons of flaxseed or hemp seed, or a half cup of rolled oats. While these options aren’t as low in fat and calories as hemp protein, the fat they do contain is good-for-you fat, and works to keep you satisfied for hours.

4) Pick Your Superfood


At this stage, you should pretty much have everything you need to turn your green smoothie into a meal replacement, but there’s no harm in adding a teaspoon or two of your favorite superfood!

Superfoods like moringa powder and maca root powder are great additions if you want a little extra energy.

Camu camu or baobab powder are fantastic for boosting the antioxidant and vitamin C content.

Cacao, lucuma and cinnamon add a touch of sweetness without any extra sugar, as well as a pop of anti-inflammatory goodness.

Green algae like chlorella or spirulina will help boost your immune system.

Whatever superfood you choose, start with a teaspoon, and then add a little more over time depending on your personal tastes.

If you’re new to the world of superfoods, we sell Organic Superfoods from Mynawiri, the Kenyan Superfood Company that includes Spirulina, Moringa, Baobab and Neem powder.

5) Choose your liquid

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What do you want to use as liquid for your meal replacement shake? Good, old fashioned clean water is always an option! If the ingredients you add are flavorful and creamy enough, then sometimes water will do the job just fine. If you’re looking for something a little more dense than water, then we would suggest the following:

  • Almond milk. Preferably unsweetened. If you have some time on your hands, you can even make almond milk yourself!

  • Coconut milk. You can get this from a carton like almond milk, from a can, or the best option would be to make your own by blending the coconut flesh with the coconut water. Go for unsweetened versions, with as few fillers and additional ingredients as possible.

  • Hemp milk. Seems to be trending these days and is a good, nutrient-rich option.

  • Flax Milk. Contains a similar nutrient ratio as almond milk and tastes just as good. Opt for unsweetened if possible.

  • Coconut water: Another great option that is rich with electrolytes and great for hydration.

How much liquid should you include in your smoothie? Generally 1-2 cups is plenty, but you can always add more if needed for consistency.

Blend everything together.