Hygiene in the yoga class

Two years ago, upon returning from a cruise where yoga mats were piled high along the wall, I asked the question, “Who cleans the yoga mats.”

Molly Ginty, writing in Yoga Journal, discusses how to create a healthy environment in your yoga class.

Here are the highlights.

  • 80% of disease is caught by direct or indirect contact — either interacting with a person who carries germs or touching a surface where those organisms live.
  • Both types of contact are common in yoga centers.

Here are 7 questions to ask the yoga center to help ensure your health.

  • Sanitation standards
    • Who cleans the mats and how often?
    • Who mops the floors and how often?
  • Bacterial barriers
    • Are shoes left at the door to keep bacteria out?
    • What are the guidelines about wearing long-sleeves and pants?
  • Hand sanitation
    • Are facilities available to wash your hands before and after class.
    • Are antibacterial soap available?
    • Disposable towels?
  • Mats
    • Are private mats allowed?
  • Sick students
    • Are they encouraged to stay home?

The bottom line?
Yoga students are told that yoga boosts immune function. OK, but don’t forget to complement the immune benefits with a common sense approach to hygiene.

11/5/08 20:21 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.