When she first opened Bikram Yoga Portsmouth in 2002, Owner Sara Curry’s philosophy was “come for the yoga, not the spa-ambiance.” To her, Bikram yoga is an intense practice. It didn’t matter what her studio smelled like.

But when she moved locations, she saw a 32 percent increase in revenue, due to memberships. She realized then the studio where her new and old members practiced needed to reflect on the outside what they were doing to their bodies on the inside. “When you are in a beautiful, clean space, you start to believe you are worthy of all that is good in life. You deserve cleanliness and beauty,” said Curry.

From having the studio cleaned once a week to having an “army of cleaners” that vacuum, clean the mirrors, wipe off sweat streaks, and much more, every week, Curry said her cleaning habits have changed over the 14 years she’s been in business. And her students are noticing.

“In a Bikram class, people sweat. A lot. Even if they collect all of their sweat on their mat and towel, they still drip across the floor walking out of the room. The cooling sweat we release in class doesn’t have much odor, but the nervous sweat from the meeting you attended before class sure does,” she said. “I can’t control what people are putting into their bodies or what they have for a cleaning routine, so I want to get that sweat out of the room as often as possible.”

She explained when students hold a pose, he or she are staring at whatever is in front of them to maintain focus. By doing that, they’ll notice the cleanliness or uncleanliness of a studio.

But her No. 1 weapon for fighting the “Bikram Yoga smell” is the flooring. While Curry acknowledges a lot of studios like the look of wooden floors, sweat eats away the veneer and can create an odor. Instead, she installed Flotex Flooring, which is similar to a vinyl and is easy to mop.

Curry even specifies what products she uses to clean. For most of her cleaning, she uses a mixture of white vinegar, tea tree oil and water. For bigger jobs, she uses Shaklee concentrate and even splurges for an Odorox hydroxyl generator, which is safe on lungs. And she lists her procedures on the studio’s website. “We list what we use to clean and how we consider the environmental impact of our business on our website, because we want our clients to realize that these are important factors to us and we take seriously our responsibility to do good business, even though it costs a lot more,” said Curry.

For now, she does not outsource her cleaning practices. Instead, Curry created a karma yoga program that allows students who can’t afford a membership to practice for free, in return for cleaning the studio.

Take a look at some of Curry’s cleaning Practices at Bikram Yoga Portsmouth:

  • Daily cleaners scheduled to perform tasks.
  • Every other day, the bathrooms are cleaned. On the opposite days, the floors are mopped.
  • Bikram Yogo Portsmouth has, “supplement cleaners who dust vents and doorjambs and take care of monotonous details like spider webs, dirty trim, and washing sweat streaks off the walls.”
  • Once a week, the hot room carpets, entry mats and yoga rugs are steam-cleaned.
  • Curry encourages yoga studio owners to clean their dryer vents every other month.
  • She shampoos the yoga studio’s carpets weekly, but would do it every day if she had time.
  • Curry diffuses the doTERRA Essential Oil and OnGaurd blend, which fights airborne bacteria.