ORIGINAL POST CREATED FOR POP SUGAR
Wanna burn 1,000 calories in one sitting? But literally...sitting, or laying down? Same. Which is why, one week ago I found myself sweating profusely from my earlobes while wrapped inside of a glowing hot sleeping bag.
The concept of sweating for health is nothing new. Native Americans have embraced ceremonial sweat lodges for eons and the creators of “hygge”, Scandinavians are masters of the sauna. But now with the invention of FAR infrared technology, the modern sauna experience is next level. Places like Shape House in Los Angeles and New York claim that one session spent in their hot pocket-esq bags will burn between 800-1600 calories, improve your skin and sleep quality, and detox to the nth degree. Selena Gomez says it’s her get-skinny secret, Emma Roberts loves the glow, LL Cool-J says it helps him stay cut. And all you have to do is lay down, and watch TV? Sign. Me. Up.
I chose a rainy Saturday morning for my first session. I prepared by eating a healthy dinner of grilled salmon and asparagus the night before, and a light snack (banana) plus plenty of water shortly before my session. You can wear pretty much anything because Shape House provides a cozy cotton outfit during your actual sweatventure. Still, I chose a cozy hoodie and leggings because as much as you’ll want to, they encourage you not to shower for a while afterward in order gently wind down the sweating process. A quick change from my own hoodie to the long sleeves, cotton pants and thick socks provided and off I went into the darkness… The “urban sweat lodge” houses several beds, all lined up but separated by curtains for privacy (if you want it) or left open if you’re sweating with a buddy. Each person gets their own TV complete with HBO, Netflix, Hulu; you name it they’ve got it. An attendant tucked me into my sack, sat a bottle of water by my bed and showed me how to navigate the Roku before leaving me to sweat out my demons, er, toxins.
The introduction video helped me learn what to expect; which was about 20 minutes of cozy resting followed by 35 minutes of gradually increasing heat that makes you sweat from places you didn’t know had pores. Now, I’ve never been one for extreme heat. Saunas aren’t my favorite and Bikram yoga is my personal hell. So I’ll admit that I was mildly terrified. Thankfully, I needn’t have worried because if you do get panicky, the sack opens easily by velcro or you can simply slip out your arms anytime. The attendant checks on you twice, but I passed the time easily with a few minutes of meditation followed by an episode of GIRLS. The worst discomfort that I experienced was the residual effects of the aforementioned asparagus. Apparently not the best choice before an inside-out detox. But if ever I doubted the FAR infrared abilities to pull out toxins, all doubts vanished with the pungent reminder of last night’s meal. I kept thinking that this would be a great hangover recovery tool after a night of too much wine…
The 55 minutes were over before I knew it, and it was time to cool down in a little zen room with fresh oranges, more water and hot tea. Eventually I ditched the mop of cotton swathing my body, resisted the urge to shower (they do have lovely showers available if you choose to ignore their advice) changed back into my own clothes and headed home.
So, was the sweaty experience worth it for more than just a fun Instagram story? I spent the rest of the day feeling calm, slept like a baby and awoke the next day to jeans that fit just a little bit looser. On Monday I bought a package of 3 sweats at Shape House. Rainy days when I need to warm up? Lazy days when I can’t make it to the gym? Bloated days when my jeans feel like a death sentence? You ain’t got nothin’ on me and my hot pocket.
Shop the Post
Shape House Single Sweat $50
Sunday Forever Hoodie $68
Style Club Denim BABE hat $12
Hip BPA Free Water Bottle $16
Verday Sugar-Free Chlorophyll Water $39 for 12
Yuni Beauty Shower Sheets Body Wipes $15 for 12