A decade ago, Shannan Hansen, a certified yoga instructor, noticed yoga mats being borrowed by her students each week weren’t being washed or wiped down. Therefore, she sought a product that would clean yoga mats quickly and thoroughly that would be natural, eco-friendly, convenient and smell pleasant.
When Hansen wasn’t able to find what she was looking for, she focused on filling that void. “During this time she happened to see an episode of Oprah where Oprah Winfrey was having a contest for small businesses called ‘O’ Get the Money,’” says Bret Allen, director of operations, Jo-Sha Wipes. “She had already thought about doing something herself, but after seeing this [episode] she decided to go for it.”
While she didn’t win Oprah’s contest, Hansen was inspired and took it upon herself to create Jo-Sha Wipes in 2004.
“With the growing popularity of yoga in America and across the world, a new market for yoga products was created,” says Allen. “The timing was right and this is where Jo-Sha first found its niche.”
The Calabasas, CA-based company offers essential oil wipes in five natural scents—lavender, tea tree, tangerine, eucalyptus, and peppermint, and are available individually wrapped or in bulk 50 pack sticker top packages. “Each scent features a unique essential oil formulation that is effective, gentle and refreshing,” says Allen.
Jo-Sha Wipes can be used to clean yoga mats, Pilates mats and fitness equipment; to clean hands, body and feet; to evoke a sense of calm and centering to the body and mind; to restore balance, soothe the senses, and naturally rejuvenate the body, mind and spirit, and more. Allen says the wipes have also become popular outside of yoga, and are used by massage therapists, for personal care and at hotels and gyms.
Made in the USA, Jo-Sha Wipes are free of alcohol and harsh chemicals, and the wipes are infused with essential oils that are naturally anti-bacterial, anti-septic and astringent. According to Allen, the oils dry quickly and evaporate completely, leaving no residue, and come from organic “essence” derived from plants, bark, flower, fruit, leaves and roots. “They deliver positive benefits to the body through smell or by direct absorption into the skin. Benefits of essential oils include soothing, calming, stimulating, refreshing, centering, and warming the system.”
Jo-Sha Wipes are available through Amazon.com and other online retailers. The company also wholesales directly for larger orders.
Other wipes on the block
Veteran yoga company Gaiam has its own line of wipes. The Boulder, CO-based company, which was founded in 1988, provides information, goods and services to customers who value the environment, a sustainable economy, healthy lifestyles, alternative healthcare and personal development.
Infused with essential oils, Gaiam’s yoga mat wipes launched in 2012, and can be used on the skin in addition to mats. According to the company, the towelettes contain no alcohol or harsh chemicals, so they won’t dry out skin, and will also help preserve the life of a yoga mat. The wipes dry quickly and evaporate completely, leaving no residue.
Gaiam’s yoga mat wipes are available at Gaiam.com, Target, and other sporting goods stores in the U.S.