Matsana Healthy mats, healthy yoga Tue, 02 Feb 2016 04:40:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Yoga, The Contact Sport Thu, 10 May 2012 01:30:36 +0000 Webster’s defines “sport” as “any activity or experience that gives enjoyment or recreation; an activity requiring more or less vigorous bodily exertion…” so yoga definitely qualifies for the “sport” moniker. But what about the “contact” part? Contact sports are the ones where participants are generally expected to slam into one another. While yoga, hopefully, doesn’t result in that kind of contact, there is definitely a more subtle contact that occurs with your fellow participants. And it’s insidious because of its hidden nature and potential consequences.

Almost without exception, the articles that have appeared about protecting yourself from antagonistic microbes at the gym and while doing yoga, recommend wiping down gym equipment with anti microbial towlettes and bringing your own yoga mat to the facility. While the towlette treatment may work for machines,  unrolling your personal yoga mat onto a studio/fitness center floor, then rolling it back up again for storage, and feeling like you’re a paragon of personal hygiene, is the height of absurdity. Your mat has just made intimate “contact” with all the human detritus (think sweat, saliva, hair, dead skin-a virtual microbial snack bar) that was left behind by the last class and now you have rolled it up ensuring that all the aforementioned have been transferred to the “clean” side of your mat for your next class. Never mind that you’ve probably put your mat inside a yoga bag, or the trunk of your car where that microbial load is making whoopee at alarming rates in this dark, warm, moist, incubator-like place.

The National Hockey League and the National Football League recognize the importance of being proactive about decreasing the microbial load on their equipment for the prevention of illness that affects their bottom line when a player gets sick. Some antibiotic resistant bacteria like Methycillin Resistant Staphlococcus Aureus (MRSA- are common and can be life threatening because they are fast moving with very limited treatment options. After several outbreaks of MRSA in locker rooms (think warm, moist places with lots of people- like yoga studios?), professional sports teams researched and got serious about prevention. The end result was investing in equipment to sanitize their sports equipment.

The point is that pro sports equipment managers and trainers recognize the dangers of microbial contaminants to their players and their team’s bottom line. They spend thousands of dollars to prevent both. You may think that yoga and professional sports are far apart. And in mission and spirit you are correct. But microbial organisms are not selective about the intent or mind-set of their hosts. As long as you are offering a warm, moist environment, with a snack-bar thrown in, you can count on microbes contacting you.

For less than $2/day, your studio or fitness center can provide a Matsana machine for customers to keep mats, yours and theirs, healthy. Healthy mat, healthy yoga.

Tell your studio that you want one where you practice.

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Darth Virus Fri, 02 Mar 2012 10:46:40 +0000 When we started out looking into the panoply of inhabitants on yoga mats and studio floors, one oddball player in this arena was the virus. They are neither fish nor fowl; requiring neither oxygen nor moisture to retain viability. If a virus particle, or virion, were the size of a volleyball, a single bacteria cell would be about 700 feet high! In other words, viruses are miniscule and are only viewable through an electron microscope. You might be asking, “How does something so small and apparently ‘dead’ have the potential to wreak such havoc with human health?” Good question!

Unlike human cells or bacteria, viruses do not contain the machinery (enzymes) needed to carry out the chemical reactions that define life, nor do they require oxygen to remain viable. Instead, viruses simply carry a genetic code that wreaks havoc with its target host and the one or two enzymes to decode their genetic instructions. This genetic code is contained in the viral core, as DNA or RNA, and is surrounded by a protective coat of protein. So, a virus must have a host cell (bacteria, plant or animal) in which to come alive and make more viruses. Outside of a host cell, viruses cannot function. For this reason, viruses tread the fine line that separates living things from nonliving things but their non-life nature is what makes them very durable and not easily rendered inert. 1

Viruses have a huge variety of shapes and complexity. Like a LEGO set, they can be as simple as a single tile, or more complex than all the tiles in the box put together. A subset of viruses called bacteriophages look like a hybrid of a spider and the lunar lander and use bacteria as their host.



Viruses enter our bodies through our nose, mouth, or breaks in our skin. Once inside, the protein coat of the virus looks for the appropriate cell for attachment. For example, respiratory viruses look for respiratory tract cells. Once inside the cell, the viral DNA or RNA recruits the enzymes of the cell to replicate itself until the cell reaches its capacity and bursts, releasing a trainload of replicants to repeat the process.


HIVWith each infected cell burst, exponential amounts of new viral material are released in the host (you) and symptoms of the infection appear and spread rapidly. In the case of a respiratory viral infection, the dissemination of the virus occurs through sneezing. The explosive force of the sneeze thorougly mixes the viral material with the surrounding air to be sucked in by nearby, unsuspecting hosts, or simply to be deposited upon surfaces to lie in wait for another target.


H1N1When your body detects a viral invasion, it responds by producing chemicals called pyrogens that cause your body temperature to increase (fever). This actually helps slow down the viral infection because it is optimized for normal body temperature of 98.6 degrees. Slowing the viral process down allows your immune system to gain the upper hand and start eliminating the invaders.

Some viruses will infect a host cell and not replicate right away. Instead they are content to mix their genetic instructions with the host cells. When the host cells reproduce, they impart the viral genetic code to the new cells. This is called the Lysongenic Cycle. The corrupted cells continue to reproduce until some predetermined or environmental trigger occurs that signals the replicants to begin a more typical viral attack (the Lytic Cycle). HIV infected people can live normally for years before showing any symptoms of AIDS, but their cells can still infect others. Because viruses do not require the normal conditions for “life”, they can remain viable for years outside of a host.


How do you protect yourself from this insidious, machine-like invader?

The single most important preventative measure is to avoid contact with the bodily fluids of other people. That includes dried fluids! Sweat, mucus, blood (duh!), saliva and anything else that was once wet. Remember that viruses don’t need moisture or oxygen to survive while waiting to do their dastardly deeds.


Now here comes the plug. Matsana destroys viruses on your mat. The high intensity, germicidal, ultraviolet light of Matsana destroys the DNA or RNA of viruses so that they are rendered inert. Matsana performs a viral vasectomy, if you will. After one pass through, any viral bad guys on your mat can only shoot blanks. Your body starts singing “keep a-knockin’ but you can’t come in” and you go skipping down the street, clicking your heels, feeling all is right in the world.

Ask your studio to contact us.


1 Dr. Craig Freudenrich,

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Informed, respectful and nothing to fear. Sun, 05 Feb 2012 03:31:16 +0000 I don’t respond well to people who try to scare me into doing something. The usual hot buttons are scarcity, poverty, health, or loss of something.

The dilemma for Matsana is informing you yogis about very real health issues regarding mats, without scaring you. Matsana’s purpose is to give you a convenient, inexpensive means of maintaining your mat in healthful condition with the knowledge and comfort that you have done your bit.

Here is an excellent blog about a dermatologist focusing on yoga mat issues . I encourage you to read it.

And I hope that you come away with an understanding that yoga mat hygiene is not unlike other personal hygiene issues. Do you fear what’s going on with the bacteria counts in your mouth? On your hands? Your body? Probably not, because you have incorporated daily oral, hand-washing, and bathing hygiene practices that keep bacterial growth in check. We floss, we brush and, in a pinch, use our fingernail to get that chunk of spinach out of our smile. And once or twice a year, we go to the dentist and get professionally jack-hammered, sand-blasted and fire-hosed. We wash our hands before preparing food, or eating. Surgeons do this AND wear gloves. We shower and wash our clothes to keep bacteria in check so that we can share an elevator with somebody without making them gag.

Our personal mats, coming in direct contact with public floors and our bodies should receive the same kind of routine hygienic practises that we afford our mouths, hands, bodies and clothing. It’s not being germophobic, it’s being respectful of others and ourselves in a shared exercise environment. Read the link, be informed, respect your classmates and discard the fear.


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Matsana Blog Launches! Sat, 07 Jan 2012 00:09:21 +0000 Wow! After surviving getting our Word Press blog up and running, inventing yoga mat cleaning machines seems easy!

HELLO! We are Matsana, aka John and Laurie, and we want you to know that Matsana is the first ever machine to use UV-C light to sanitize yoga mats. We also want you to know that anything that appears on this website will be well documented,  truthful, and the straight dope on UV-C technology, bacteria and viruses. We like direct, accurate, and transparent information on things concerning our health and assume that everyone else does too.

So if you have questions about UV-C technology, microbial bad actors, machine questions, or Rosie’s Boston Cream Pie, give us a shout here and we’ll do our best to steer you right.


John & Laurie Burnaby

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Matsana – Simple Directions Right on the machine Tue, 27 Dec 2011 03:16:26 +0000

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