Wednesday, September 9, 2009

To wipe or to wash?

Tonight was my solitary practice night... and I SO didn't feel like practicing. I kept imagining ways to "punk out" tonight, even using the "No one's expecting a blog post about it... so no one will notice!" excuse. Despite the fact that the past few days have been emotionally stressful, with impending unemployment with my end of contract looming, being turned down for job-training (being temporary sucks) and just overall gloominess, I just wanted to slouch petulantly on the couch. And eat cookies and drink beer. (my tipsy down dog in a skirt- tried warrior II.... buuut not so great a la skirt+beers lol).

Instead I rolled out my mat, lit a few candles and cranked Krishna Das UP to drown out the pressure washer cleaning the Pentecostal Church next door. He's been washing that church for three evenings straight.... for HOURS. It's loud enough that when it stopped (he just did) my ears are ringing. Seriously, pressure washers have to be one of the most WASTEFUL ways to use water I have ever seen. For example, if he used a lower end pressure washer that used 2.3 gallons per minute, for four hours each day for three days that's 1,656 gallons of water. It's likely he spent a lot longer than four hours a day. (he JUST started again at 8:00pm!!!)

In any case, my practice was fantastic and extremely intense. Like I was trying to sweat my emotions out, which is where the energy needed to go, any softer practice and I would have broken down in tears like the emotional time bomb I was encapsulating. Instead I Om Namah Shivaya'd it out. (see my pretty yoga wear marks? They are evidence of my love of yoga)

After the intense practice I got out some vinegar/water combo to wash my mat. If you'll remember, I had a bit of an episode with trying to figure out how best to clean my mat- eco style. Needless to say, water and tea tree oil wasn't ideal (swollen fingers!) and full bathtub cleansing often resulted in slippery mats. Also, as I'm not a fan of commercial yoga "washes" or "wipes" (most of them have parabens, chemicals and overall non-green ingredients). Why would you BUY special washes in extra plastic packaging when water and vinegar and a few essential oils will do the same thing? Since we have coin laundry I wasn't going to waste 1.50$ and the energy and water to wash my mat. As a result I've been wiping my mat down with 1/4 cup vinegar, 3/4 cup water and cinnamon essential oil drops.

With a newly created vinegar+water+peppermint+three drops of dish detergent (eco!) I started wiping down my mat... and got a wiff of... smelliness. Oh my. Perhaps.... I should give it just a quick wash in the
tub. I have been wiping it regularly, but.... maybe it just needs a bit deeper of a clean.

Annnnnd.... the result was horrendous. Although I am mortified that such FI
LTH was hanging out in my mat, on my fingers, cheeks and feet, I felt I must have photographic evidence for all the visual learners out there who believe that wiping your mat is enough. Or, perhaps all the yogi/ni's who've never cleaned their mats.... ick. Also a good reason to bring your own mat to class, especially with all the H1N1 paranoia happening recently.

Currently, my mat is hanging out on the chair, drying slowly but surely. I'm thinking two entire days of drying in order to assure that no left over slippery-ness from water molecules remaining in the weave. The cotton mat has been thrown into the washer, though and dried very nicely! Andrew reports (as he did the laundry today and as per his awesome self washed my mat) that it wasn't awkward or difficult and the colours did not run!

Now... it is time for cookies and beer.


article and and photos authored by EcoYogini at


  1. I hope work settles down and they give you a bright shiny new contract and lots of training...

  2. He he, I have those exact same wear marks on my mat :)

  3. Oh, how I love this! I too have indulged in a delicious beer before remembering that I wanted to practice. (oops....) And Krishna Das is *excellent* for yoga. I haven't had a pressure washer to contend with, but the husband did grind coffee beans one night last week. The earbuds came in handy.

  4. P.S. I have a closed-cell mat (Manduka Eko), so I just spritz it with a Dr. Bronner's-and-water mixture, then wipe it down. They say not to soak it or throw it in the washer, and I figure the closed-cell structure helps keep the nasties from burrowing into the mat (yuck!).

  5. good for you, i woulda gone straight to the beer and cookies ;-)

  6. Good for you, getting yourself on the mat! I can totally relate to sitting on the couch, eating beer and cookies, except for me, it's a soda I crave, and sometimes give in to.

    I am experiencing some similar job-related stress. I interviewed for a 50-hour a week position last week, and won't know if I get it until NEXT week. The truth is, I'm not sure I WANT it. But I sure want the stable paycheck thing! ;) With my move coming up, I need to have something reliable, but at the same time...this is far from my dream job.

    I don't know. Yoga is scheduled for today, thankfully! Maybe that will help me calm down.

  7. well, at least you practiced your saucha last night! i actually toss my mats in the washer on delicate and air dry them. namaste, kitty (innerspace and organic orgy)

  8. Thanks so much guys :) The yoga helped, and today I even did some MORE solitary practice... a gentle, short yoga. and i didn't even cry- YES. :)

  9. Wow, that bath water is crazy! This is a good reminder that my mat is in serious need of a clean. I'll have to try the cinnamon essential oil, sounds like a good idea...

  10. Good luck with everything. I have similar anxieties in my head these days too and lots of yoga really helps!

    I need to go home and clean my mat now. lol


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