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The Hip Mom’s Utica Square Redux

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Finally we pass by a new-ish yoga studio that I hadn’t noticed before:  Salt Yoga. “Stretch. Strengthen. Sweat. Smile” is the studio’s welcoming siren call. Salt offers a slew of yoga classes, and specializes in “hot” Bikram yoga. For most of its classes, Salt uses a state of the art infrared heating system, which penetrates below the skin, into the muscle tissue. Warming the body with this system enables muscles to stretch further and more deeply with a lower risk of injury. This radiant heat is like the sun (except much nicer than Tulsa’s sun in July): natural, silent, draft-less and odorless. The heat purportedly aids people who suffer from seasonal allergies (isn’t that every Okie?) and arthritis. Salt claims that practicing hot yoga will also detoxify your body, increase circulation, strengthen your cardiovascular system, improve skin appearance, strengthen the immune system and reduce pain and cellulite – woo! The temperature in all “Strengthen and Sweat” classes ranges from 80 – 90 degrees.

But Salt doesn’t just offer their signature hot class. They also offer yoga for preschoolers, yoga for tweens, girls’ yoga (5-10 years) and boys’ yoga (5-10 years) –  classes for the kiddies are not heated. They also offer private instruction and sell yoga retail items – clearly an all-inclusive yogi nirvana! Salt has a great introductory program – just $10 for unlimited yoga for 10 days, to decide if it’s something you want to pursue. This is a super cheap way to experiment with different classes and teachers. I decide to try the Strengthen and Sweat class – I did take a hot Bikram yoga about 12 years or so ago, so I should be fine, even if I’ve had a million C-sections since then, right?  Wow, the class is fun – and challenging! I had forgotten how completely drenched in sweat one becomes when performing – or attempting to perform – the yoga poses. Luckily, Liz, my instructor, is both passionate about yoga, and patient no matter whether you’re a beginner or a more seasoned practitioner. That’s Salt’s motto: “No shoes. No cell phones. No egos.” There’s none of that yogier-than-thou vibe I’ve gotten at some yoga studios; everyone seems happy and relaxed, without a big agenda. I just barely make it through the class – there are a lot of muscles I haven’t used in a long, long, time – and lay for an inappropriately long interval in “savasana” – which is a fancy yoga way to say “nap.” But I feel generally more energetic and alert all day after the class. So whether you’re new to yoga, or can do a lean, mean warrior pose with one brain tied behind your back – go try Salt. 

So that surprising Utica Square ­— you’ve probably been there a million times, but there’s always a new reason to go back – like getting your skin over-analyzed or sweating your brains out! Go on, shop, sweat and have fun!

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