With the widely profiled rise of a shade exclusively termed ‘millennial pink’ – it seems that the hue is more ubiquitous than ever. Alas, the holistic concept of Salty Yoga taps into far more than just the aesthetic values of the color. It might seem that yoga in a room that is floor-to-ceiling baby pink is just another fitness marketing gimmick – case in point: yoga with goats. But Salty Yoga fuses the physical and mental workout of an asana practice with the all-natural premises of salt therapy.
Tucked away in Breathe Salt Rooms, the yoga chamber is a low-lit, salt-covered eden away from the bustle of New York City’s Park Avenue. Every surface of the chamber is covered in rocks of Himalayan pink salt, which is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory by nature. Salt lamps also line the room, and a halogenerator emits fine particles into the air.
The idea is to take your body through an hour of slow flow movements, allowing the benefits of salt therapy to clear the lungs, and relieve symptoms of respiratory ailments like asthma. While we are often warned about excess sodium in our diets and it tends gets a bad wrap in the health world, Breathe’s Salty Yoga class aims to help bring awareness to your breathing while simultaneously stretching out the intercostal muscles, toning the diaphragm, improving posture and strengthening the body. Salt therapy has also been proven to help treat skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, so you can add that to its myriad of benefits.
During our hour-long, zen-inducing class, the focus was on improving flexibility as we held poses for far longer than usually required during the average yoga practice. Our instructor, Masako, explained that this was a more subtle, grounding form of yoga in which the longer time for holding a pose helps to open up tight hips, shoulders and backs. After multiple minutes in ‘Happy Baby’ position, my body started to feel the strain. According to Masako, this sensation is almost intended to mimic the stress that living in a hectic environment has on us physically. Training our body to accept the uncomfortable nature of the pose is like the resilience we need to get stronger in every aspect of our lives.
“Salty Yoga became popular in New York City due to its ability to help better breathing during yoga which is essential for proper alignment during poses and a connection between the mind, body, and soul,” Breathe’s Marta Dulaba told Lonely Planet. “For individuals who haven’t tried dry salt therapy before, Salty Yoga is a great start since you are guided through the session. Negative ions emitted by heated salt help relax even further helping you fully clear your mind during yoga.”
For more information about classes and pricing, see here.
Contributing author: Freya Drohan, Lonely Planet Writer