Common-Sense-Filter: Using yoga mat outside in shared space
March 26, 2020 4:49 PM   Subscribe

I live in SF and have no outdoor space of my own. My nextdoor neighbor has a protected concrete courtyard (not accessible to the street) and generously offered me and other neighbors the use of her courtyard so we can get some fresh air during shelter-in-place. I would like to bring a yoga mat out there and do some yoga/stretching, but given that it's a shared space, my yoga mat would be touching ground that others are walking on. This is probably bad, right?

I would have to thoroughly disinfect my entire yoga mat after each time. I'm guessing this is NOT a good idea, but I wanted to ask: (a) is this is a bad idea (b) if it is, how else can i safely use a protected concrete courtyard?

I've been bringing a camp chair out there sometimes and doing phone calls, but I'm really wishing I could use it for exercise.

The courtyard would be empty whenever I am using it. It's very small, maybe 10 feet by 10 feet.
posted by rogerroger to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you roll the mat up like this, the ground side of the mat will never touch the side of the mat you're doing yoga on: link.

If you also use the mat indoors, you might want to buy a second one for outdoors, so the outdoor mat doesn't touch your floors.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 4:54 PM on March 26, 2020 [6 favorites]

I would not worry about this at all as long as nobody's out there with you. Leave the yoga mat in your foyer for the duration of this arrangement, don't bring an outdoor yoga mat inside. Clean it when it goes back to being an indoor mat.

Don't touch other surfaces. Wash your hands when you're done.
posted by fingersandtoes at 4:55 PM on March 26, 2020 [5 favorites]

Best answer: #1. The main way the virus spreads is via the droplets & aerosols. So keeping the area use to one person (or one household) at a time is your most important precaution.

#2. The other normal precautions would be to wipe down surfaces such as doorknobs & your yoga mat with some disinfectant before/after your use the area; wash your hands before/after; don't touch your face.

#3. Depending on what you're putting the mat on, you could spray that ground surface area down with disinfectant, too. Something like concrete or wood, for sure. I would put this in the "abundance of caution" category but apparently that's the category we're in now.

Something you can make in bulk for cheap like the recommended proportion of chlorine bleach/water, spray it on the surface and let it dry. You don't even have to wipe etc. (I don't know that I would use bleach on wood--especially someone else's wood--as it will, most likely, bleach it over time, even though the bleach solution is quite diluted.)

FYI here is what the CDC recommends for chlorine bleach disinfectant:
Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or
4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
That & other disinfectant recommendations here.

#4. Some have suggested that sunlight is a good-enough disinfectant, but apparently that is not really true, especially for an area that is getting a fair bit of traffic and different people using it in a relatively short period of time.
posted by flug at 5:08 PM on March 26, 2020 [3 favorites]

Could you put a towel or two under the yoga mat and then wash them after use?
posted by kinddieserzeit at 5:17 PM on March 26, 2020 [5 favorites]

Best answer: I would fold the yoga mat in half so the “clean side”
totally covers itself- and then roll it. That way the side that touches the ground will never touch the side you make contact with.

You can draw little Xs on the back with a marker to remind you which side not to lie on.

Roll it out, use hand sanitizer, do yoga, fold and roll it up, wash your hands.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 6:56 PM on March 26, 2020 [3 favorites]

I wouldn't bother hauling a yoga mat outside to use as the cleaning requirements would drive me bananas. Maybe you could do some standing/balancing moves without the mat outdoors and continue your routine indoors.
posted by Gino on the Meta at 10:19 AM on March 27, 2020

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