I tried yoga in a salt therapy room and loved it! Watch the video above by clicking the "Is Salt Healthy Or Not?" image. You can win the experience I had by reading this post and leaving a comment at the bottom. I'm picking 3-5 winners by November 1st, 2016.
Unique workouts are my thing, but doing yoga in a room covered in salt from floor to ceiling was definitely a first for me. I had no idea how it was going to play out until Ellen Patrick explained that we would be doing traditional poses on a thick layer of Pink Himalayan salt at a pace that's much slower and less balanced than we're used to. It would take extra focus and lots of deep breathing, but once we surrendered to the salt and it's uneven surface, we would be in a state of relaxation like no other.
All I can say is that I have an entirely new view of SALT! For years I thought salt was my enemy. I had no idea that it could help alleviate my eczema, regulate my sleep schedule, clear up my congestion and just overall relax me. I thought of salt as a really bad thing that I craved in my favorite savory foods but should try my hardest to resist. And then, here at Breathe Salt Rooms, I meet Ellen Patrick who is telling me the complete opposite. Salt, taken the right way, is really good for you!
As you can see from watching my video Is Salt Healthy or Not, I asked Ellen a lot questions about her business, which includes four locations throughout New York. She's been pioneering salt room therapy for years while treating herself in various therapy units that she has within her own home. She has a chamber shaped like a shower which she gets into with one of her beloved dogs to help the pup breathe better. It's clear to me that Ellen takes salt very seriously, and she believes the world still has a lot to learn about the health benefits of this mineral.
While interviewing Ellen in the cavernous Breathe location at 1 Park Avenue in midtown Manhattan, a salt air diffuser saturated the air in the room to help us breathe better. It's like a salt cleanse. You can't smell the salt but after a few minutes you can taste it on your lips. Who needs or want this kind of therapy? The answer is people who are suffering from different kinds of non-life threatening ailments, like a sinus infection, a persistent cold or skin problems. They come here to lounge in the room for an hour or to take a dynamic yoga class with Ellen. They believe in the healing properties of the salt on their skin and within their respiratory system. The regulars love how the salt calms both their nerves and physical tension.
I'm always a bit skeptical about treatments like these, but within minutes of Ellen's salty yoga class, I could feel what everyone who loves salt therapy talks about...an incredible sense of calm and loosening of the muscles. You get a little sleepy and start to feel a sensation of floating or drifting. If you have a wet cough or drippy sinuses, you begin to clear up. If you have pain, a lot of your aches go away during the yoga practice. It's not dramatic by any means but like I said, this kind of therapy isn't for life threatening diseases. It's for health issues that are making your life less productive and that you just want to get rid of fast. Skin irritations, muscle pain, inflammation and respiratory issues can be frustrating as they get worse over time. So if you have an hour to kill, you'll definitely get your money's worth and nip it in the bud at Breathe.
As a lifelong yogi, I really loved the salty yoga class and would much rather spend my hour moving than just lounging in the salt room. I felt like I was breathing the salty air in more deeply during the practice compared to just sitting. The fact that I could get in a light workout while simultaneously receiving the salt treatment was win-win. My friend Sylvie Curci, who is an acrobatic athlete, took her session to the next level. Yup, we Instagram'd it!
I have to admit, I fell in love with the whole experience. A few weeks later, I bought myself a beautiful salt lamp, which I turn on at night in my bedroom. It's similar to the lamps in the pic above with Sylvie. I don't think it's a placebo effect; I actually fall alseep much faster now.
Are there other ways to immerse yourself in salt for similar results? Sure! Take an espom salt bath, apply Accel Recovery Lotion or attempt a DIY salt body scrub. It's really cheap to make--just add salt plus a few other ingredients from your kitchen. There are all kinds of ways you can reap the benefits of salt without actually eating it. But none, in my opinion, are as fun as taking a salty yoga class.
I'm picking 3-5 New York based people to take a FREE yoga class at Breathe Salt Rooms. If you live in the area or will be visiting soon, leave a comment below to be entered. Please tell me why you'd love to be chosen and what kind of salt is your favorite. Single session classes at Breathe Salt Rooms cost $35. There is a $50 introductory 5-class package for new clients. Locations listed here.