25 June, 2012

The dirty little secret about hot yoga

Off the mat.

You'd think yoga is the simplest and most maintenance free type of "exercise" one could do. Put on a pair of shorts and a tank top, go to a studio, take a class, continue with your day. Well, we all know and acknowledge that it's not quite that simple. You probably want to buy your own mat. Maybe you even want your own cool-looking yoga towels. If you practice more than once or twice a week, you probably need several yoga towels, and several outfits to wear for yoga.

And we also all know that it doesn't really take one hour to do a one hour yoga class. You need to allow time to get there from wherever (unless you are fortunate enough to live next door). You need to allow time to cool off after class. And you need time to shower. So, realistically, a one hour class is more like an hour and forty-five minute commitment of your day.

That seems reasonable, though, right?

Except there is another part that nobody wants to talk about, but if you go to yoga often, you know what I'm talking about.

That something is laundry. And it's not trivial, and it is not pleasant, and it is a giant neverending albatross on your back. The yoga clothes get wet and nasty. There is always some transition period from removal to the point at which you arrive at home. That transition period would more aptly be called the "incubation" period, because it apparently takes about five minutes for mildew to began forming. And once mildew does find its way into your things, the battle goes on and on, and it's a losing battle.

I have tried rinsing my things at the studio. Doesn't really help. I have tried soaking them in the sink until I have time to hang them up, as a prelude to eventually doing a load of laundry (since I don't want to do laundry every day). Doesn't really help, except as damage control. When I finally do laundry, unless I am fortunate enough to have thoroughly dried the laundry on the first try (since it seems like every dryer known to human kind requires two rounds of drying to get the clothes dry), this seems to make the mildew "happier," if that's an emotion that molds are capable of experiencing.

There are articles online about how to fight this battle. I have read tales of baking soda. I have read tales of vinegar and lemon juice. I tried the latter, and it seems like an illusion. Baking soda I have not tried, but it's really my last resort.

It feels like my life has become this daily war against mildew, and I am worried that all of my clothes are destined to become "infected" by it. It could take over my entire world.

The worst part is that, when I come home from yoga, the last thing I feel like doing is dealing with this. But perhaps this is part of my practice?

Could it be said that "The mildew begins when you want it to end?"

Or would it be more appropriate to say that "the Laundromat is just another kind of mat?"

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