Salty dog gets a whole new meaning. Say hello to halotherapy, the latest trend in yoga. No, it’s nothing to do with angels, but for allergy sufferers, it’s touted to be heavenly.
Halotherapy, which is the fancy name for salt therapy (halos means salt in Greek, by the way), is actually pretty old, like millenia old, with roots in Europe and the Middle East. But it’s the hybridization with yoga classes that’s recently been catching on and making news as a trendy health thing.
So, salt therapy yoga. We get plenty of that at the beach! Kidding. Though this type of therapy does involve being surrounded by salt and breathing in salt air. The salt spa, as it were, “mimics the environment inside a salt cave” with Himalayan salt lining the walls and floors. On top of that, salted air is pumped into the salt “chamber” and breathing it in is said to help respiratory issues such as asthma, allergies, and conditions like cystic fibrosis.
And where is breathing considered a super important component and focal point? (Well, besides life…?) Yoga! Here’s what salt therapy yoga might look like, based on Breathe Easy, a salt room spa offering their special Salty Yoga classes in NYC.
“Most people don’t know how to breathe efficiently and effectively,” Breathe Easy co-founder Ellen Patrick told Well+Good. Having been a yoga teacher for 35 years, Patrick developed their Salty Yoga “to help people breathe better by bringing an awareness to the breath, paired with the full benefits of salt therapy,” she said.
So is salt therapy actually good for you? The jury’s kind of still out; there isn’t a whole bunch of research to back up some of the claims, BUT there have been a few studies to suggest positive results, which ABC News pointed to in their coverage of the trend.
A New England Journal of Medicine study in 2006 found that inhaling salt-infused vapor improved breathing for 24 patients with the chronic endocrine and lung condition, cystic fibrosis. In another small 2006 study, in the European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, subjects with asthma reported breathing easier after several weeks of regular halotherapy treatments.
A 50-minute Salty Yoga class will set you back $25, which is a typical price for most any other yoga class in the city. The session is more of a slow flow, so you won’t be producing much sweaty salt yourself, though we imagine you’ll exit with a nice saline sheen like a margarita glass ready for the drink. Unfortunately, they do not serve complimentary tequila and lime (as far as we know). But that’s a whole other new potential trend, now isn’t it.
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