Your yoga mat is disgusting and here's why

Don't borrow one from anyone either.

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There may be a lot of health benefits to practicing yoga - from being fit to improving your mental health - but the zen environment is actually not so zen as it's crawling with microbes that aren't particularly good for you.

"Yoga mats are the worst," Dr. Robert Lahita, a professor of medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey, told Elle.


Apparently, the foam rectangles are a "perfect incubator for many of our skin infections" thanks to all the sweat and infrequent cleaning.

So what can you get exactly? A plethora of infections, including ringworm, staph infection and athlete's foot. Yikes.

And that's just from personal yoga mats. The communal ones are even worse.

But as it turns out, avoiding the un-zen nastiness isn't that complicated. For one, never borrow mats from anyone. Just don't do it.

And as for your own mat, keep a good routine of cleaning it with soap and warm water.

Namaste - may your zen be microbe-free.

Feature image © iStock