The Ugly Truth about Open Cell Yoga Mats


Yoga has been in trend for decades, and for good reason.  People who want to have a healthy lifestyle as well as overall wellness enroll in yoga classes.  There are now many yoga variations designed for every person’s various needs. 

Although people go to yoga classes to be physically healthy, but there are really times when you can catch viruses and other illnesses.  The culprit?  Unclean yoga mats. 

Greg E. Cohen, a podiatrist at the Long Island College Hospital gets numerous complaints from women clients about itchy red patches on their legs, inner thighs and soles of their feet.  At first, he was not able to tell from which the bacteria came. But eventually, after a couple of questions from his patients, he found out that more than 50 percent of his clients who have cases of fungal, viral and bacterial infections all do yoga and are using communal mats.

Dr. Cohen says that sweat, when combined with fungi, viruses or bacteria, open the floodgates to hundreds of skin infections and diseases.  People, especially yogis, are actually careful about their health, which is why they wear slippers in common showers and locker rooms.  However, when it comes to yoga mats, they rely too heavily on the yoga center to provide clean and disinfected mats.  The sad truth is, however, that after interviewing managers of yoga centers, most of them revealed that they wash their yoga mats only every other week and wipe them off with an antibacterial yoga spray in between.  Also, the floors are not disinfected as often as it is needed, and just by laying your yoga mat on the dirty floor can transfer bacteria and fungi to your mat.

The problem is that most yogis use open cell mats because they are porous and provide an anti-slip surface.  This proves to be more advantageous when doing intensive yoga because sweat ordinarily makes your body slip.  The pores in open cell mats provide traction, but it also absorbs moisture making it difficult to thoroughly clean and disinfect.  


These days, closed cell mats are gaining popularity for health reasons.  And, when combined with a yoga towel, they offer the same kind of anti slip surface open cell mats provide.  Closed cell yoga mats, like the NOW Eco TPE Yoga mat is easy to clean, provides traction for sweaty hands, and latex, rubber and toxic free.  Unlike open cell mats that are less dense and wear out more quickly, closed cell mats like the NOW Eco TPE, are denser and are difficult to wear out. And because they have closed cells, they don’t absorb and retain sweat or provide a breeding ground for bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Knowing these things, which would you rather use—open cell mats that absorb everything from sweat to fungi, or closed cell mats that clean easily and more hygienic? Remember, skin infections can easily be avoided with proper information, good hygiene, and the right set of yoga gear.

Looking for a good quality closed cell yoga mat?  Get the Now Athletics ECO TPE Yoga Mat exclusively on Amazon.

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