Yoga Teachers: Stinky Yoga Clothes and a Bad Breath?

by Tomasz Goetel

Wouldn’t you agree that one’s ability to teach a yoga class could be technically powerful, charismatic, and inspired—and it would be good for nothing if one’s yoga clothes smelled and the teacher was attacking his or her students with bad breath?

Someone told me once that they took a weekend intensive with one very well-known and respected yoga teacher. The workshops and classes were great, but there was one problem: the teacher had a horrendously bad breath, which you could smell from three steps away.

I remember that story for many years now and always check myself for smells. I recommend to you to check, too, if you are a professional teacher. Among several possible problems, there are two major ones we’d like to mention:

Stinky clothes
As far as the yoga clothes are concerned, after 6-12 months, they simply need to be thrown away. The stink of sweat get into the seams and does not any longer wash out. I suggest 2 things:

  • If you’re not sure whether your washed clothes smell bad or not, ask your friend to tell you. Put the clothes under their nose. Ask for an honest opinion.
  • Use different sets of clothes for teaching and different sets for your practice (Hot Yoga teachers, especially!)

Bad breath
A prolapsed or blocked bowel may lead to chronic bad breath and that would require colon therapy as well as dietary changes. Other than that, acute bad breath can be handled with a self-test and a couple of solutions.

(Cupping your hands in front of your mouth and exhaling to check for bad breath is not a reliable test.)

Here are a couple of good self-tests:

  • Lick the back of your hand, and let it dry for a moment, then smell the hand. If it smells bad, you have bad breath
  • Scrape the back of your tongue with a spoon, and let it dry. If it smells bad, you have bad breath.

In order to eliminate bad breath, other than doing a colon cleanse, do the following:

  1. Regularly scrape the back of your tongue from any mucus or phlegm. This can be done with a tongue scraper or toothpaste and toothbrush.
  2. Floss.
  3. Rinse with mouthwash. You should rinse after flossing/brushing. Rinse for about 30 seconds, vigorously. Check the label on the bottle for how much liquid to use and for how long. After rinsing, don’t eat or drink anything for 30 minutes.

I hope this is helpful, everyone, and when we’ve covered those basics, we can now shine. =)

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