There are some fitness fads that you should take with a pinch of salt but this certainly isn’t one of them. DOSE writer Sam reports on her experience of ‘Salty Yoga’ – a new style of yoga that takes place in a heated room where pure salt is aerated into the environment…
It’s easy to see why you could think this latest trend is just another in a long line of gimmicks –we’ve seen the likes of beer yoga, dog yoga and even goat yoga.
However, there is nothing gimmicky about Salty Yoga and in fact it is said to have many major health benefits.
Since ancient times, salt therapy (or halotherapy) has been used to treat all kinds of health problems and strengthen the immune system. Salt is a mineral rich in anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties and when inhaled it is thought to help detoxify the respiratory system.
It also emits negative ions, which could counter the potentially harmful positive ions we absorb from electrical equipment such as mobile phones, computers and televisions.
The craze has proved popular in New York and now it has made its way across the pond to south London, so I put on my yoga pants and went to see what all the fuss was about.
I booked into a one-hour Vinyasa/power class at Salty Yoga, an intimate studio in Elephant and Castle. This isn’t one of those boutique spaces with all the bells and whistles (there are no towels or water facilities so make sure you bring both) but the salt room is pretty special.
Pink Himalayan salt covers the walls and floors, which is heated to around 26 degrees so it’s hot but you’re not sweating buckets.
My instructor, Laverne Shirfield, had us moving through a series of standing and seated detoxifying twists – like supine twist, revolved triangle and revolved chair pose – as we filled our lungs up with salty air.
I found that the salt really opened up my airways allowing me to breathe more easily and come deeper into the postures. I even mastered a new trick, side crow, but I’m not sure the sodium can take credit for that one.
And I must mention the most relaxing shoulder and head massage that Laverne gave me while I was in savasana. I’d encourage everyone to go for that alone.
I left the class feeling totally revitalised and with a taste in my mouth like I’d eaten a big bag of ready salted crisps.
Will I be going back again? Absolutely.
Drop-in classes are £9 per session.
Visit saltyyoga.co for details