Dust mites. Parasites. Viruses. And virulent bacteria. Practice or teach yoga in a group, and these bugs will be beside you as you move from Surya Namaskar to Sarvangasana. It’s enough to make a yogini sick—unless you take careful steps to guard against germs.
In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, saucha or cleanliness is considered an essential niyama or self-discipline. At Hot 8 Yoga we are honoring this precept as we disinfect the air, provide floors that will not grow bacteria, add humidity into our rooms, scrub our mats, steam clean our yoga floors, and work to combat the growing number of illnesses and infections that are related to group fitness.
How does Hot 8 Yoga disinfect the air we breathe?“Eighty percent of disease is caught by direct or indirect contact—either interacting with a person who carries germs or touching a surface where those organisms live,” says Philip M. Tierno, Ph.D., author of The Secret Life of Germs and director of clinical microbiology at New York University Medical Center. “Both types of contact are common in yoga centers.”
Hot 8 Yoga has developed a state-of-the-art climate control system in which fresh air is added when needed and all of the air in the studio is being circulated to pass over ultraviolet lights that we have installed in all of the ducting system. This method of sterilization has been used primarily in medical facilities and sterile work facilities, however Hot 8 Yoga has taken the science from these facilities and added it to our yoga rooms.
Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) is a disinfection method that uses short-wavelength ultraviolet (UV-C) light to kill or inactivate microorganisms by destroying nucleic acids and disrupting their DNA, leaving them unable to perform vital cellular functions.
Hot 8 Yoga’s UVGI devices produce strong enough UV-C light in our circulating air to make them inhospitable environments to microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, molds and other pathogens. We have coupled the UVGI with our filtration system to disinfect the air in all the yoga studios and create an air environment that is 99.98% free of all harmful bacteria. Hot 8 Yoga’s UVGI technology is energy effective, environmentally-friendly and a chemical-free way to eradicate dangerous microorganisms in our hot yoga rooms.
The result is fresh air that doesn’t smell and is not full of harmful bacteria. Not all hot yoga studios are created equal. At Hot 8 Yoga, we have taken the time, energy and extra expense to create the healthiest possible yoga practice environment. The benefits of a clean air environment are enormous, clean air will: help prevent colds and influenza, prevent headaches after class, provide relief from asthma, hay fever and sinus problems, reduce fatigue, and breathing problems, and relieve sore throats, runny noses, wheezing and sneezing.
What about the floors we walk on?Bacteria can survive for several hours to several days on the floors we walk on, while viruses can actually linger for weeks. Warm, humid conditions such as those found in hot yoga, vinyasa, or ashtanga rooms are the perfect breeding ground for these bugs. How many types of germs lurk in a group yoga setting? Literally thousands. Just walking across an unsanitary studio floor is enough for a yogini to catch some really nasty things like staph infections.
Unlike restaurants (overseen by health departments) and gyms (following guidelines set by the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association), yoga studios aren’t subject to strict sanitary standards. That’s why it is so important to take notice of the studio you are practicing in.
Hot 8 Yoga has taken special care to make sure the floors you walk on with your bare feet are clean and made from a material that will not promote the growth of bacteria, mold, must and mildew common with carpet, cork and even wood flooring. Our flooring is made of Poly-Extruded Matting (PEM) that has been specifically designed for extreme durability and ease of use around moisture and humidity. Very simply, it's the best flooring choice for a yoga studio floor. PEM Yoga Flooring virtually eliminates odors, moisture problems, and the hazards associated with other toxic flooring products. We are creating an environment that is clean, safe, and hypoallergenic.
The Hot 8 Yoga flooring is a safe, textured, slip-resistant surface that provides sure footing for optimum safety. It is also shock absorbing for less stress on the body and less risk of injury. Most importantly the porous construction allows ventilation to prevent stagnant water buildup and the special waterproof material does not absorb water nor stay wet like carpet, wood or cork, and is specially designed to allow for moisture evaporation, which prevents mildew, fungi and bacteria growth. Finally, the floors have been treated with Micro-Chek Anti-Microbial, a non-leachable biocide that further guards against the growth of mildew, fungi and bacteria.
Wood Floors may look nicer but are they really safe in a hot, humid environment?Off-gassing, the release of particulates or airborne chemicals, from the wood flooring in yoga rooms may be harmful, especially in a very hot and humid environment. Floors like wood that have naturally occurring formaldehyde and in particular floors that have been engineered or are laminated, pose a particularly high danger. At even low levels, formaldehyde can irritate eyes, nose, throat, and skin, or trigger an attack in asthma sufferers. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer considers the gas a human carcinogen. So reducing your formaldehyde exposure when possible is better for your health. Many of you may remember the “60 Minutes” report that said laminate flooring from Lumber Liquidators—produced in China and sold in the U.S.—had been found to emit formaldehyde at levels several times higher than California regulations allow.
At Hot 8 Yoga we do NOT use wood, cork or carpet in any of our yoga rooms. Our flooring was specifically designed to not release any particles, filaments, or harmful outgases like carpet or wood may cause, and provides a dust-free, less-toxic, and hypoallergenic environment.
Hot 8 Yoga seeks to provide the cleanest and most efficient environment for its yogis to practice in. From our state-of-the-art climate control system to our UV-C bacteria and viral disinfectant procedures, you can be confident that when you practice at Hot 8 Yoga, every aspect of the experience has been carefully controlled to give you the optimal conditions. Allow your breath to take over knowing that every inhalation you take is filling your lungs with fresh and purified air. Let your movement guide you knowing you are practicing in the cleanest and most technologically advanced yoga studio.