This week sees another lifting of lockdown restrictions in England and a mass returning of people into gyms and yoga studios. Which is bloody fantastic if like me you have really missed the un-replicatable levels of energy you get from being in the same room as people doing something you enjoy. Zoom is all very well, but it doesn’t come close to the real thing when it comes to something like yoga in my opinion. Although I do know some people who love it. Different strokes for different folks!
What we may not miss however is other people and their germs and icky habits. We aren’t yet at a point were we’re allowed to get too close – so no mats lined up in studios like the proverbial sardines in a can for now. But even with social distancing, it’s still a good idea to keep things as clean as possible and one way is with a yoga mat spray. This was a very common feature even before lockdown in studios that offered hot yoga, but surely now a little bottle of spray should be a stalwart feature in anyone’s yoga or gym kit bag. Even without the dreaded C word, our exercise mats come into contact with all sorts of germs from our shoes, feet, hands and if your house is anything like mine, dogs who LOVE to come and play just as you roll out your mat.
Of course it would be very easy to go out and buy the first anti bac spray you can find, but these sprays are full to bursting with nasty toxins. I don’t clean my house with these kind of products so why would I clean my yoga mat? Especially as my face gets particularly close to it! Luckily it’s super easy to make your own non-toxic, earth friendly spray that can work as an anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. And on top of that, you can also use essential oils that will have an added aromatherapy benefit. So you could for example have two different sprays, one with uplifiting and energising qualities for the beginning of the day, and one with relaxing and sleep inducing qualities for the end of the day.
So lets looks at the herbs that are known as anti-virals. These include echinacea, aloe vera, elder, lemon balm, eucalyptus and liquorice. There are plenty of others – for example garlic – but I think that would only be appropriate for sprays used in vampire slayer circles!
Anti-bactierial herbs include lavender, clove, peppermint, oregano, rosemary, benzoin and pine.
And then finally, anti-fungal herbs include thyme, marigold, myrrh and wild indigo.
So a great place to start would be to chose an herb – the easiest way to do this is using essential oils – from each category. Have a little play to see which smells go well together. There are however super hero herbs that do all three. These include eucalyptus, echinacea, aloe vera and wild indigo so to make things super easy, pick one of these!
The following is a recipe for a yoga mat spray that went down very well with it’s recipient:
300ml spray bottle (I like to use coloured glass ones to keep my essential oils fresh and reduce my plastic waste)
Distilled water – filled to 3/4 of the bottle
Witch hazel – top off to the shoulder of the bottle
Lavender – 30 drops of essential oil
Wild orange – 18 drops of essential oil
Clove – 12 drops of essential oil
Eucalyptus – 6 drops of essential oil
When I make up my herbal potions and remedies there is always ritual, intention and incantation involved, and the ingredients are all charged by the light of the full moon. So you can of course make this recipe up yourself, but for added potency, ask The Witch of Leith Hill to do it for you 😉