Hot or Not Yoga’s Himalayan salt room is a sweet success

Local yoga studio offers oasis of relaxation and rejuvenation

Pink Himalayan salt – is it a gimmick? A bougie seasoning that lots of middle-aged moms buy at TJ Maxx? Another facet of the millennial obsession with everything rose gold? Or does it actually have properties that have real potential for health benefits?

Recently, I had the opportunity to spend some time in a Himalayan salt room. The one I visited was inside of Hot or Not Yoga and Massage Studio, one of my favorite yoga studios in Newport News with its close proximity to campus, inviting interior and comforting vibes. 

So when I was driving out of Hidenwood Shopping Center one day after running some errands, a sign in front of the door caught my eye. It advertised this new little oasis of relaxation and invited passersby to come inside to try it out themselves for 30 minutes for only $10. My curiosity (and insatiable need to spend money I don’t need to be spending) got the better of me, and I decided to give it a shot later that week.

Before I attended my salt room session, I did a little bit of research on the alleged benefits of Himalayan salt to see what I was getting into. According to a number of different websites I visited, immersing yourself in a room full of Himalayan salt can have a lot of positive effects on your skin and your respiratory system.

This makes a salt room a great idea for those who struggle with allergies, other lung issues and skin conditions from psoriasis to normal acne. The dry, sterile salty air in the room helps to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation. 

The negative ions contained within Himalayan salt cancel out with the positive ions we tend to pick up from being on our phones and electronic devices so often. This balance can contribute to a more positive and relaxed mindset. A soothing, sterile space like a salt room is the perfect place to unwind and to cleanse and treat your body as well as your brain.

As a full-time college student with two jobs, multiple extracurriculars and more unnecessary stress than I know what to do with, I’m always on the hunt for an opportunity to relax. I was extremely excited to try something new that could potentially help with my dry, sensitive skin and also bring a little bit of calm to my busy days.

I walked into Hot or Not Yoga on a cold, rainy afternoon and spoke to the woman working at the front desk. She disappeared down a long hallway to go get the salt room ready for me as I was the only one who would be using it at that point in the day. After a few minutes, she beckoned me to follow her down the way she came. In the building, one long hallway leads to the main yoga studio, and the other one she led me down led to the salt room. Small canvases with paintings of different yoga positions were hung on the wall, adding to the overall vibe of relaxation and centeredness.

The room was dimly lit and paneled with parquet patterns of Himalayan salt blocks that were stacked up on top of each other all the way to the ceiling of the room. There were three reclining zero gravity chairs situated in different spots within the room. A small heater created warmth, and two ceiling fans spun slowly, spreading the microscopic salt particles through the air. On one of the walls that wasn’t covered in Himalayan salt bricks were little shelves that each held a small salt lamps shaped like rocks.

The woman asked me what color I wanted the light in the room to be, and when I asked for blue, the room filled with a dark royal blue color. She also told me that I was able to play my own music from my phone if I wanted to or instead choose to just listen to the ocean sounds and white noise they provided (I decided to do both to achieve maximum chill).

She then left me alone to enjoy 30 minutes of relaxation and supposedly all kinds of benefits from the salt. The dim blue lighting, subtle warmth from the heater and the combinations of my “chill” playlist on Spotify and the ocean wave sound effects all added up together to create a calming environment. 

I tried to put my phone away and just think about where I was in the present moment as I closed my eyes and listened to my music and the ocean sounds. It was so peaceful that I almost fell asleep. I eventually lost track of time and wandered out when I thought my time was just about up.

It was hard to leave such a relaxing space. Whether its benefits are placebo or not, it was a great place to relax and spend some time in a place without any expectations, and my skin did feel a little softer after I left.

If you’re looking to fit a quick trip to a local oasis into your busy schedule as finals week approaches in the next month, be sure to give the Himalayan salt room at Hot or Not Yoga a try. As strange as it may sound at first, you might be surprised at how helpful it can be to spend some time in a quiet, warm room full of salt.

~Anna Dorl, Lifestyle Editor~

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