Is it safe to go to the yoga studio while coronavirus is spreading? And if you run a yoga studio, what steps can you take to prevent coronavirus from spreading in your studio?
Sweat cannot transmit the coronavirus, but some items at the yoga studio that are frequently touched could cause a threat, says a doctor.
Whether you run a yoga studio yourself or you frequently attend one, you will want to know what risks there are of contracting coronavirus while doing yoga.
Given that we are currently being advised to stop touching our faces in case of coronavirus, it seems logical that the risk of developing coronavirus increases while you’re at the yoga studio, where you’re surrounded with other people, most of whom are sweating, and you’re possibly sharing certain items like yoga props.
The good news is that sweat alone will not cause you to get coronavirus. However, you should definitely be mindful when you are using items that other people have touched.
The worst threat of getting coronavirus is via physical contact such as when you’re at church, where people often shake hands, said Dr. David Thomas, a professor of medicine and director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
However, Dr. Thomas states that if there is a known case of coronavirus in your local community you may want to take extra precautions— “that’s, perhaps, a time to be more cautious with all types of exposures [which included being at the local yoga studio],” Dr. Thomas told the New York Post.
Scientific research has yet to pinpoint precisely how the virus is transmitted between people, but studies have shown that the virus can remain on certain items for up to nine days. The worst items are ones that are touched frequently and gripped, such as doorknobs. So, you might not want to be sharing a yoga-chair with anyone.
One owner of a yoga studio in Washington State told YogaJournal that people have stopped attending yoga sessions because they are concerned about the virus.
There are, of course, things yoga studio business owners can do to help ensure safety. Disinfecting all items three times a day and asking people to stay home if they are feeling sick. Yoga teachers should also avoid physical contact with students. And if you are worried about the effect that coronavirus is having on your yoga business, aim to be open with your members. Tell them about the steps you are taking to safeguard your members. You can always share a message on social media or send a letter to your members to educate them about preventative measures your yoga studio is taking.
There are many ways that both members and owners can prevent cases of coronavirus at the yoga studio.
David Carney [president, Orangetheory Fitness] recommends wiping all equipment including yoga mats, block and chairs. Members might also like to take their own wipes to the studio to ensure that any equipment they use is one-hundred percent clean. An alcohol solution with minimum of 70% alcohol is recommend according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
And of course, wash your hands and face. While the odds of contracting coronavirus at a yoga studio is still relatively small, it is always worth taking precautions. And for yoga-studio owners, it is imperative to let your members know about the preventative measures you are taking.
For more, read our guide to yoga and mindfulness for COVID-19.