This stress-busting urban sweat lodge is where you’ll find me until spring


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Photo: Instagram/@shapehouse

Attention New Yorkers: Rather than loudly complaining about your friends’ unpredictable behavior to your co-workers or your co-workers’ very predictable behavior to your friends, bring it on in to Shape House, the Los Angeles urban sweat lodge transplant (with a serious cult following), where you’re meant to vent in the safe confines of your own sauna cocoon.

Last Thursday, founder Sophie Chiche opened her second New York City location in the Flatiron district (following an Upper East Side storefront late last year and one soon-to-come in Dumbo) of infrared beads that heat up to a whopping 165 degrees and “warm you from the inside out,” explains Chiche. With 10 beds, it’s her biggest studio yet.

The purported benefits include everything from giving you glowy skin to helping you burn calories, but Chiche anticipates that Big Apple dwellers will seek out her studios for another reason: “I expect that most New Yorkers will come to Shape House to de-stress,” she tells me in the recovery room after my sweat-sesh.

At Shape House, you’re meant to vent in the safe confines of your own sauna cocoon.

It makes sense: It feels as though even TV time has become a multi-tasking moment nowadays. I’m scrolling Instagram, checking my email, or keeping an eye on the guide to make sure there isn’t something better to spend my time doing. Shape House allows you to kick back and lie still for 55 blissful moments and simply glisten.

When I enter Shape House, I change into thick socks and a dark grey sweatsuit—the better to camouflage any forthcoming water marks. A very nice woman directs me to a bed, which looks much like a massage table with a nylon sleeping bag on it. I hop inside and she tucks me in.

After about 20 minutes, I’m very dewy. I start to get thirsty so I sip on the alkaline water that she’s put by my chair, and really feel like I’m purging all the nastiness out of my body. I will say that though I like the feeling of sweating, I also celebrate any chance to put away my phone and kick my heels up.

A single session runs about $70 a pop, but depending on the weather outside, I can fully say that you’ll find me and my Texan bones parked on a sauna bed in hopes of keeping warm. Stress-reduction? Glowing skin? Yeah, yeah, those are just the icing on the cake. They’ve got nothing on feeling warm in January.

Sweating is great, but if you’d rather be freezing (who are you?!) this is everything to know about the cryofacial. And this is what to do with your skin until summer comes back.

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