Darth Virus

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,

Leave a Comment