Stretch Your Life Span!
Ever shown up to class and realized you already stink, even before slapping down your mat? Hot yogis, I feel your pain. After only a few classes, a funk develops in brand new yoga wear that resists normal laundering. Tech fabrics are great at wicking sweat from skin but cleaning them is a whole other challenge altogether.
Don’t throw away that smelly yoga tank just yet. In addition to the preventative measures you can take to limit the bacterial growth causing the stink, there are new sport laundry products that can help keep your yoga clothes smelling fresh for as long as you want!
First, prevention. After yoga, laundering clothes immediately is not always possible. The next best option is hanging clothes up and isolating them from each other. I am not suggesting you place smelly yoga clothes on padded satin hangers alongside your fine washables in the boudoir. No. Rather, I mean, throw them over a shower door, on a towel rack, a robe hook. Air them out in the interim between yoga class and laundry time, otherwise mold and bacteria get trapped inside the fabric and things get more difficult from there. If you’re working, do your best. This is a triage situation. Try your car’s rear deck, a desk drawer, a bag with breathable fabric. Just—please—no plastic bags. Even a hamper is better than a plastic bag.
When you do wash your yoga clothes, you can pretreat them in a mixture of vinegar and water to try to kill bacteria. I say you can do this because it will probably not work as far as killing any smell goes, but this strategy is advocated by the eco-friendly cleaning products people. I believe it’s a waste of time, but I’m including it because I know yogis like to be kind to the earth. If it works, even better.
What you will end up doing, though is spending the money on a specialty sport wash. I would just start here; using vinegar, baking soda, or lemons is like bringing a knife to a gunfight. There are many of these washes available at sports equipment stores and on Amazon. The only problem with these washes is figuring out the proper amount of detergent to use and a bizarre, embarrassment-of-riches-like problem that they work so well that sometimes you end up transferring the stink from clothes to the drum of the washer. (If this happens, you just wash an empty load with detergent.)
Turn your clothes inside-out before you wash them. The sweat and funk is mostly on the inside, not on the outside, so get the detergent focusing on the problem areas. Use the hot setting, both with water and the dryer. Some of the higher tech fabric will say they cannot be washed in hot or dried on hot. Do what you think is best. The labels tend to be a little risk-averse, and some clothing can take more of a beating than the manufacturer suggests. If you’re worried about it, stick with warm or cold water and hope for the best. What you do not want to do is put an article of clothing that still stinks into a dryer, so make sure to sniff-test everything once it comes out of the washing machine.
Having a hard time catching sleep? Feeling drained after waking up? Our life is always on fast pace leaving our body and minds in a constant state of work. Always rushing after responsibilities, checking your phone from time to time for important emails and trying to catch up with goals makes us forget how important sleep is and how much it affects our lives.
Have you counted thousands of sheep and still feel as alert as you can be? Have you taken melatonin that doesn’t seem to actually make your eyes heavy? It’s probably time to reassess how we recharge our body and mind through the night.
Lack of sleep can lead to stress levels rising, unwanted weight gain, heart disease, weak immune system and sped up aging. It also impairs our cognitive ability, causes anxiety, depression and sometimes hallucinations.
Flow to your zZzs.
Breathing is important in relaxation. It tells the parasympathetic system to trigger the body to ease out. As you breathe deeply, the muscle tensions are released and the clogging thoughts you acquire during the day evaporate. These Yoga poses are designed to help you calm the body and mind, and prepare you for a morning full of energy to face the day.
Head to Knee/ Janu Sirsasana. Sit upright on the floor and extend your legs together to your front. Allow your knees to be slightly elevated if needed and keep the spine straight. Bend you right knee and let the sole of your right foot rest on the floor, touching your left inner thigh. Use cushion to support your right knee if it can’t stretch all the way to the ground. Lengthen your spine as you inhale and exhale reaching for your left foot. If you can’t touch your toes, just reach as much as possible but do not force to point of pain. Keep you gaze on your big toe. Breathe deeply for few times. Repeat the same process on the other side.
Legs on Wall/ Viparita Karani. Sit near a wall facing it. Slowly lie down on your back and bring one leg up on the wall then the other. Adjust your body closer to the wall allowing your legs to relax further. Extend your arms to your side with your palms facing the ceilings. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Feel how gravity works on your leg’s blood flow, relaxing its tensed muscles. You can use a strap or belt and put it on your lower legs to assist in keeping them together, and allow you to let go of effort and relax deeper.
Angled Seated Forward Bend/ Upavistha Konasana. Sit straight on the floor and make sure you avoid slouching. Extend your legs as much as you comfortably can in the V position. Inhale as you lengthen your spine, keeping it straight and reach forward to the floor as you exhale. Go deeper into the stretch with every exhalation you make. Consciously breathe and allow the stretch to relax your whole body.
These Yoga poses promotes relaxation of the whole body and the muscles around our eyes. It helps sooth the nervous system, tuning all noise out, creating a calm environment, welcoming sleep to take over. While sleeping, the body restores damaged cells and flushes toxins out. Yoga’s magnificent gift of meditation along with its physical practice helps to fix your broken sleeping pattern, waking you up rejuvenated and prepared to face the day with energy and positivity.