Yoga Trainings and Festivals Cancelled Because of Coronavirus. Studios Change Cleaning Protocol.

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In New York, where there are 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, Abhaya Yoga in Brooklyn ensured its students that they’ve increased the number of “deep cleanings” at the studio and are wiping down all surfaces with antibacterial wash twice a day. Teachers are washing their hands before and after class and using hand sanitizer (more than usual). And yoga mats—perhaps the dirtiest culprits of all—are now treated with stronger-than-usual antimicrobial agents.

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Studio owners across the country are quickly putting policies in place requesting that students stay home if they’re sick and give extra care to wiping down their props before they put them away.

See also Stressed About Coronavirus? Here’s How Yoga Can Help

At my own home studio, Blue Lotus in Raleigh, North Carolina, I have decided to stop touching my students entirely, and have intentionally placed the hand sanitizer in a conspicuous place. The studio as a whole has begun taking extra precautions to ensure students’ safety, such as providing flip chips for those in other classes who may not want hands-on assists. Other uniquely yogic solutions are popping up too. Marla Broadfoot, a yoga practitioner and teacher in Wendell, NC, consulted with her students earlier this week about whether to suspend her Savasana forehead massages, to which they said, “no way.” Instead, they suggested adding lavender or tea tree oil to prevent the spread of the virus. “Though I don’t believe there is any evidence essential oils would be effective against coronavirus,” notes Broadfoot.

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