Are you continuing to put off taking your first yoga class due to the presumption that all those bare feet will stink up the classroom?
Even the appearance of all those bare feet could be a turnoff to some would-be yogis.
I recently took up yoga, having taken classes in three different rooms (three different health clubs; I belong to a chain).
None of the yoga classes stunk of smelly feet. And the only feet I can really see are those of whomever is right next to me — and even then, this opportunity is limited due to the poses and concentration involved.
I used to do a lot of martial arts – where bare feet on sweaty bodies abound. Strangely, I never detected the stench of all the bare feet in martial arts classes.
This is probably why, when I decided to take up yoga, the thought of stinky feet never crossed my mind.
If you fear that YOURS will be the smelly ones, there’s no rule that states you must go without shoes and socks in a yoga class.
I recommend booties (which can be worn over socks if you want double protection). But make sure that the booties have slip-resistant pads on the bottom.
Never do yoga in just plain socks, as they will not provide enough slip-resistant friction.
If your concern, however, is over the feet of other participants, you may want to consider setting your mat up near the room’s door.
But it’s highly unlikely that you will detect the collective odor of bare feet.
On the other hand, by sheer chance, you might end up next to someone with really malodorous feet. If that happens to you, do not let this define your perception of yoga classes.
I’d think that most participants would make sure that their feet are squeaky clean before stepping into the classroom.
Of course, not all participants will be coming straight from home. Depending on the time of the class, many will be coming straight from work.
And some will be coming in right after a sweaty stint on a cardio machine or an hour of hard weightlifting.
At any rate, after taking martial arts (where feet sweat more than during yoga) for many years, and not having suffered the fate of inhaling the stink of bare feet, it’s safe for me to assume that at least in a well-ventilated fitness studio, a yoga class will not smell of stinky grimy feet.
Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.