I’ve been sweating in some form for as long as I can remember. From dance lessons to rigorous workouts to hot yoga, my body has been in some sort of physically elevated state since I was a child. I enjoy the feeling of warm temperatures in general (which is probably why I live in a sunny state), and I gravitate toward heated environments in general.
I discovered far infrared heat quite by accident, as part of my work as a journalist. Nearly a decade ago, I was invited by the owner of Sweatheory (a Los Angeles based day spa) to try one of their personal saunas. Previously I’d enjoyed both dry and steam saunas, but I’d never experienced infrared heat. I immediately fell in love. The feeling of being surrounded by radiant heat was unlike anything I’d ever experienced, and I was hooked from minute one.
(Far) infrared heat works by heating up your body from the inside out. So even though I’m sweating profusely (and trust me, at 170 degrees I’m sweating profusely), my skin doesn’t heat up. It’s the most intense and relaxing feeling all at once, and I don’t see myself stopping this practice any time soon.
I’ve heard of people using the sauna to lose weight. But honestly, that’s not a thing. Passive sweating does not shed pounds. You just lose water weight, and the minute you hydrate… you put it right back on. So I would not using the sauna to try and shed anything other than some unwanted stress.
I personally use it to soothe my muscles and joints. Because I put my body through rigorous movement on a regular basis, getting into the sauna is the perfect way to help me unwind and decompress. It’s the perfect way for me to step away from the demands of … life … and be still in an environment that feels like a warm cocoon. If you don’t have access to a standalone sauna, there are plenty of places who make sauna blankets. There are also places who make infrared yoga mats (think of it like a large heating pad). I love to practice on it when I’m feeling particularly creaky and want to warm myself up quickly.
If you’re a fan of heated rooms or practices, I highly recommend trying out an infrared sauna. It’s been such a lovely gift to myself, and I indulge as often as I can.