Wearing of a yoga mask is part of the new normal apparel as what we consider in these trying times. With the pandemic, we should always consider the health and well-being of ourselves and those around us regardless of what we are doing. Yoga masks have long been a common way of guarding against and deterring the transmission of bacteria and viruses when doing Yoga.
It is not that hard to determine what kind of face mask to wear for Yoga – you just need to learn which type is better to use when doing Yoga. It is also smart to make sure that the mask is sufficient to provide enough breathing capacity during the activity.
Yoga Mask: The Different Types
N95 face masks
In certain places, N95 face masks are limited and are generally only available to health care staff. Nevertheless, if you still have an N95 face mask lying around, you might want to consider wearing it during your yoga class or work out.
However, you need to note that this sort of face mask is not the safest choice when doing Yoga or any physical exercise. Even though what you do is just moderate physical activities, it is still not recommended.
While it is true that the use of an N95 face mask can help you shield yourself from Covid-19 (as they can remove about 95 percent of tiny particles out of the air), however, the volume of air pressure that travels inside the mask is quite limited.
These differences in oxygen are a vital factor that you should consider when you opt to wear an N95 mask during Yoga. A study had shown that that N95 face masks decrease oxygen consumption by almost 20%. When you do Yoga, you need to relax and do proper breathing exercises; wearing an N95 mask may impede you in doing such.
Surgical face masks
Surgical face masks do not offer as much security as N95 face masks do. It is not that effective for filtering aerosolized viruses.
As you can observe, surgical masks loosen their elasticity quickly and are prone to getting more destroyed easily. It can even be a nuisance to use because, when you have used it over time, it tends to loosen, and you have to keep it from rolling down the nose, even with regular movements. This only shows that it is not ideal for you to do aerobic exercises like Yoga or runs while using this type of mask.
Cloth face masks
Cloth face masks are the perfect option for people to use when doing intense physical exercise, including Yoga, because it is versatile enough to survive movement. Although cloth face masks are not as effective in filtering aerosolized viruses such as Covid-19 droplets, they still offer a certain level of protection rather than not using one eaten all. It will ensure that we refrain from touching or putting our hands in our mouth.
You can always speak to a healthcare professional about what is right for you and whether it is appropriate to wear face masks when practicing Yoga. Remember, make sure to pay careful attention to the body’s signals when doing some physical exercise.
You will also need to pay particular attention to how you feel about it. Yoga masks can make you feel uncomfortable and sweaty. Whenever you experience shortness of breath, overheating, light-headedness, and other signs, you should consider putting out your mask for a while to inhale oxygen properly. Take your time and do not force yourself to go about again if you still do not feel well.
It is normal for people to seek some sort of normality in this pandemic, however not all people are comfortable donning on a face mask. Some may find it a bit weird to wear a mask when doing some workout. Hence, during this tough time, it is still best to stay at home and do your exercises or Yoga alone. This will keep you from the need to always wear a mask, and there would also be a lesser chance for you to get infected with the virus.
Tips When Wearing A Yoga Face Mask
…during intense Yoga
Doing any intense Yoga with a face mask is not recommended. Gyms and studios are typically tight, enclosed rooms – thus increasing the humidity level. High humidity and the wear of face mask will make it difficult to breathe – so it is no wonder that even healthy individuals will still feel out of breath when doing intense Yoga.
…for menopausal women
As mentioned earlier, wearing yoga face masks will make you feel awkward and sweaty. Women in their menopause stage are most vulnerable to vasomotor effects. So, even in a more relaxed yoga session, wearing a face mask will produce enough internal heat to cause a hot flash.
…for those who have health and respiratory conditions
Any person who suffers from chronic health problems or is immunocompromised should also see a specialist. When you are one of them, you should know about the exposures to Covid-19 and the health of using some face mask. It refers in particular, to lung disorders such as COPD, asthma, and emphysema.
The following details on the proper use of surgical masks are taken from the experience in health care environments.
- Position the mask properly to protect the mouth and nose and eliminate holes between the face and the mask;
- Avoid moving the mask while in use;
- Remove the mask using the correct procedure (i.e., do not touch the front nor remove the lace from the back);
- After removal, if you unintentionally touch a used mask, clean your hands using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
- Replace masks with a fresh, clean, dry mask as soon as they are damp and moist;
- Do not use single-use masks again;
- Discard and dispose of single-use masks directly after each use.
If medical masks are used, careful usage and disposal are necessary to ensure that they are safe and prevent any change in the risk of infection associated with improper use and removal of masks.