I'm really, really glad I did my practice! I really needed it.
Loo asked how I clean my clothing and mats. It's such a process! Given how much Astanga I do, hand-laundry feels like a hobby! I used to think that if I just threw my stuff in the bucket with some detergent right after practice, that would do the trick. Everything would dry and be sweet smelling for the next day.
Ha, ha! If only it were *that* easy! The sad truth is, clothing gets stinky from Astanga. All of those nasty toxins have to go somewhere so they take up resident in yoga clothes. I've experimented with various strategies over the past few years and I've found system that's full proof for me.
I'm sharing it here, but remember: your mileage may vary. What works for my stink might not work for your stink. For awhile, I tried Dr. Brommer's lavender soap to soak my stuff. The bacteria in my clothing *laughed* at Dr. Brommer. It didn't work for me at all.
So here's my secret formula:
I own two sets of practice clothes. Two yoga tops and two yoga shorts/capris. I tend to buy good quality because I'm hard on clothes. Lu is expensive but their clothing holds up well and that's important when you're wearing it and washing it literally every day.
My first line of defence is Tide with Febreze. Yeah, it smells like ass, but I've gotten used to it and it does a great job of cutting the odour. I use it for daily laundering as well as my weekly machine wash. Every day after practice, I dump my clothes in a bucket with detergent and soak them for a half-hour, thoroughly rinse and hang everything to dry in the bathroom.
My second line of defense is a weekly white vinegar rinse. This is *key* and particularly important for my yoga tops, as they get horribly stinky even with consistent washing. In a bucket with an inch of water and an equal amount of white vinegar, I thoroughly saturate the tops and let them soak for a half-hour. Next, I add water, detergent and throw the yoga pants in for a soak. After a half-hour, I rinse everything then put it in the machine wash with my regular load. I allow it all to air-dry afterward.
My Manduka gets a thorough scrubbing once a week, on Friday. In a spray bottle, I combine 1 part white vinegar to 2 part water, plus 20 drops of tea tree oil and 20 drops of lavendar. I spray the mat until it's wet and let it sit for about 10 minutes. I scrub it throughly with a wet towel and rinse it off in the tub. It takes about 24 hours to dry.
I have two Mysore rugs in regular rotation and use each one three times before washing it. Rug-washing days are Tuesday and Friday. I'm using the 'thick' rugs now because they don't bunch up on my mat. The thick rugs take *forever* to dry, so alternating between the two allows time for that. I soak the rug in the kitchen sink for a half-hour with detergent, rinse it in the tub, wring out as much water as possible, then air-dry.
Princess Fur gets a bath in the tub, every two weeks with baby shampoo (which smells sweet to my nose and probably horrific to hers). And she's brushed as often as I can corner her (read: not often enough). :-D
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