The clean studio
Clean, fresh air for the studio. By John Barker
Having endured a year like no other, we are all excited about returning to yoga in the studio as an essential part of the nation’s return to normality and looking after our health and wellbeing.
Providing a safe and healthy environment in which to practice has never been more important, to ensure both instructors and students are confident to return to classes. Since 2008, Humidity Solutions has provided humidification and heating solutions to over 200 studios in the UK, gaining years of experience on how to achieve good temperature and humidity control in a variety of different buildings.
Temperature and humidity
The amount of moisture the air can hold varies with its temperature – the warmer the air the more moisture it can hold. This means there is an interdependent relationship between air temperature and moisture content and, to reflect this, the humidity level is expressed as ‘relative humidity’ (RH). For example, 50% RH means the air is holding 50% of its maximum moisture-carrying capacity. 100% would be fog – saturated with no additional moisture-carrying capacity.
Health and humidity
Humidity control of the hot yoga environment is as important as temperature control. Hot yoga studios have embraced temperature and humidity control to ensure that at around 40°C the air is pleasant to practice in, creating a great environment without feeling dry and dehydrated. The humidity encourages healthy sweating, as perspiration does not evaporate as quickly at a humidity of over 40% RH as it would in drier air. This ensures maximum benefits from the yoga session.
Fortunately, the humidity control in the studio also contributes towards creating a healthy environment, as well-documented research shows that humidity of between 40-60%rh reduces the likelihood of airborne transmission of harmful bacteria and viruses, such as Covid-19. This occurs because the aerosols containing the harmful bacteria attach to the water droplets in the more humid air and drop to the floor or surface quicker, where they can be cleaned or wiped away.
There are a wide range of humidification solutions, from humidifiers that use heat from gas or electricity to generate steam through to high pressure nozzle systems that spray cold water into the air as a fine mist so that it evaporates instantly. The steam or mist may be introduced directly into the air in the studio, or it may be added to the fresh air being introduced by the ventilation system.
Clean, fresh air
Whilst maintaining RH at 40-60% is proven to reduce the spread of airborne viruses and bacteria, a regular supply of clean fresh air is essential to reduce the level of these harmful air particles in the first place. Indoor air quality can be greatly improved through air filtration and purification, literally cleaning the air that circulates through the studio.
Humidity Solutions supplies a range of commercial-standard air purifier units perfectly designed for environments such as a yoga studio or office, which can clean air volumes from 450m³ to 900m³ up to three times per hour. Combining both style and functionality, each unit uses HEPA filter (used in hospitals and cleanrooms) to remove bacteria, dust and viruses from the air plus a carbon filter to remove odours. Some models also include a UVC lamp which damages the genetic structure of viruses and kills airborne pathogens. The air purifiers continuously monitor and regulate the air quality, temperature and humidity and are controllable manually or via an app.
So, whether your studio is designed for just hot yoga, or any other type of yoga, through both humidification and air purification you can create the ideal environment, providing peace of mind that you are ensuring the safest and healthiest air quality for all participants.
The important thing is that the chosen solution suits the size of the studio, the nature of the building and its utilities, and the potential variation in occupancy between classes. The latter criterion is essential for optimising the energy efficiency, and therefore the running costs, of any system.
John Barker is managing director of Humidity Solutions (humiditysolutions.co.uk)
First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.