How’s the weather been for the past few months? Oh my gosh it’s been soo damp and so humid! The unprecedented amount of rain that we have been having has not only displaced people from their flooded houses but also created a rich environment for mould to grow.
Finding and Cleaning the Mould
Mould especially likes to grow in places where it’s lacking in air flow. Houses on a slab, in damp areas and those that are built into a hillside are particularly vulnerable due to lack of circulating air around the foundations.
I have two daughters living on the east coast and both are struggling with mould. One daughter’s house tucked away from the breeze and nestled into the side of a hill has a dreadful mould problem. In the rainy weather she goes on mould patrol and spends much of her day with vinegar spray bottle in hand, cleaning it away. She finds mould growing on furniture, door frames, behind pictures, on ceilings, doors and shelves. My other daughter is not quite so badly off as she has some good airflow but still she has found it on her furniture and walls. Fortunately there are many great articles popping up these days on how to recognise it in your house and efficient ways of cleaning it away.
Minimise and Maybe Prevent the Problem
The answer to preventing the mould is to take the moisture out of the air. Run air conditioners, dehumidifiers and place moisture absorbers in your cupboards. Unfortunately all the dehumidifiers in our area seem to be sold out and there haven’t been moisture absorbers on the shelves for weeks. In the absence of a dehumidifier all we can do is run the air conditioner if we have one, turn on the fans, and keep the windows open to create better airflow.
We can also make our own moisture absorbers. The ones most readily accessible with ingredients from the supermarket are ones made of baking soda, rock salt, charcoal and coffee whitener. All of these ingredients absorb water from the air so you can place them your cupboards or dank places. This is a very informative site which gives you details on how to use these products and others which aren’t quite so readily available.
Mould and Your Health
For the sake of our health it’s vitally important to clean the mould away. Important because mould can surreptitiously creep up on us and invade our bodies. We can feel sick without even knowing why because the symptoms of mould exposure can be attributed to many other conditions. Recognising symptoms of mould exposure can be a bit tricky. Mould is most likely to affect those who elderly, asthmatic and those with a lowered immune systems but with ongoing exposure it can also affect those who were previously quite healthy. Symptoms may present as untoward tiredness, breathing problems, rashes, irritated sinuses, headaches and symptoms similar to the flu. With all the flooding and rain that we have been having doctors in our area are seeing an increasing number of people with these symptoms. They are unpleasant and at times debilitating so it is important to treat the mould, treat the symptoms and stay well.
Anti Mould Yoga Practices
While Yoga practices won’t make the mould go away or prevent it lodging in our houses there are some great Yoga practices which offer ways to deflect and prevent mould symptoms.
First Line of Defence – The Nose
Neti is a yogic way of irrigating the sinuses with salt water. Neti washes away any mould that might be lingering in the nasal passages. So if you’ve been exposed to mould or have an ongoing mould problem in your house it’s a good idea to regularly wash out your sinuses and then coat them with oil (Nasya) to prevent any moulds taking up residence again.
Nasya is a very simple practice of coating the nasal passages with oil which helps to clean away impurities that might be lingering. Usually sesame oil or ghee is used. A small amount is placed on your little finger and you coat the inside of your nostrils so that when and if you inhale mould spores it will help prevent them from hanging around.
Keep The Lungs Clean and Strong
Deep breathing or Complete Yoga Breathing refreshes the lungs and helps to keep them clear and healthy.
Kapalabhati is another yogic breathing practice which helps to strengthen and cleanse impurities from the lungs.
It should be noted that any deep breathing should always be done in clean air, otherwise we could be exacerbating any problem that we might have.
Deep breathing the fresh sea air is ideal for cleaning our lungs so why not drop in on Andrew’s Community yoga class at Burleigh 8am on a Saturday morning and enjoy the fresh air as you do your yoga asanas.
For those who like indoor yoga you can rest assured that any air you breathe at the ASMY centre at Mermaid Beach has been purified by a hospital grade air conditioner. This air conditioner is fitted with special HEPA filters which were installed as a buffer against any viruses, bacteria, moulds and other pathogens which may be circulating in the air and making our students sick.
Keep Your Immune System Healthy
Why not check out this article on our website. It features information about the importance of lymph flow for our health and immunity. And this article is full of ways in which we can keep our immune system healthy. When the immune system is under attack by mould spores we are more likely to stay strong and buoyant with the above practices. So take the time to look after your body and stay healthy through these damp and trying times.
By Vrndavan Dasi
Founder and Principal of Veda Yoga Teacher Training