For as long as I can remember, sweating has been part of my daily routine (welcomed or not). Whether it was playing sports as a kid, collegiate track practice, and now during my morning commute on the subway, it’s our body’s natural way of cooling down. But could it possibly play a larger part in our lifestyle? Enter Shape House, an urban sweat lodge. I first learned of it when reading about Selena Gomez’s secret to maintaining her amazing figure, so, of course, I’ve wanted to try it ever since.

After doing a bit more research, the premise makes complete sense. Not only is sweating detoxifying and calming, but this idea of sweating in a communal place has been going on since the Roman times. To share this experience, my two coworkers and I headed around the corner from Newsette HQ to one of Shape House’s four New York City locations. Upon entering, we were greeted by burning incense and calming orange décor, immediately putting us at ease. Our personal guide told us about sweat’s benefits, from better skin to weight loss and higher energy (sounds great, right?). After the discussion, she led us through the quiet hallways, which seemed like we were in an entirely different universe than the noisy, busy streets right outside. After changing into the clothes they provided, we were each led to our individual rooms that contained our infrared heated beds and a television.

How much better could this be? I crawled into the bed and they tucked me in with a bottle of water and a TV remote nearby. They told us to press a button in case we had any questions, and that they’d check in on us before the last twenty minutes, when more intense temperature kicked in. After placing headphones on our heads, the timer clicked on. Fifty-five minutes of sweating and all I had to do was lay there and watch a movie—pure bliss.

I turned on “Moana” to distract from the beads of sweat that slowly began forming and dripping down my face. As the bed got warmer, I reminded myself that Selena, amongst many other celebrities, are regulars and sing the praises of this place. After the staff checked in on me, I was shocked to feel how damp my cotton shirt felt. All sweat and no work, how could this be real? The feeling of sweating without actually doing any exercise was undeniably pleasing.

Before I knew it, the fifty-five minutes ended–and we were reunited, then led to the communal room with reclining chairs and soft background music. Relaxed and damp, we enjoyed the tea and oranges they provided to boost our Vitamin-C levels after losing so much salt. We talked about the shows and movies we watched and agreed about how great it was to detoxify. After relaxing in the communal room, we felt rejuvenated and ready for the day! My skin looked refreshed and even moisturized, no creams required.

Final thoughts on going to this relaxing sweat? When you are in need of sweating out those toxins after a night-out, or even want a reset cleanse, I recommend heading straight to one of Shape House’s many NYC locations. Are you making an appointment yet?

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