The first thing that hits you is the heat.
Step in and let it slide around your body and envelope you. Relax into it. You can feel it in your chest when you breathe. Your eyes will adjust to the dark. The bright fluorescent lights of other gyms put the focus on the mirrors and meters and your fancy workout clothes, for better or for worse.
Here at Melt Fitness, the lights are off, the heat and music are up, and the focus is on you. In the dark, you look inward, and that’s exactly how the bosses like it.
Kelly Sodergren wants to melt your face off. Figuratively speaking.
The founder of Melt Hot Fitness is evangelical about her intense exercise methods, and the lifestyle she wants to support. Earning her first certification at age 19, Sodergren has had a lifelong relationship with intense physical fitness.
“Fitness has always been my first love. I knew I wanted to make it a full time job. It only took me fifteen years to get there. Fifteen years in banking. I ran the studio by myself for a year and a half while I held a full time job. Looking back… I don’t know how I did it.”
Steeling herself through tough emotional situations, and living with severe ADHD, she discovered that running helped center her like nothing else could. Heat, she found, accelerated that process. This inspired her to turn up the temperature on her classes— to 90 percent humidity, and 105 steamy degrees.
“We keep it hot—we keep it humid. The layers start to come off. The physical layers that we see literally in their clothing, and the emotional layers that we can’t see, but they can feel… It is so important to what we deliver here and our experience that we are able to just purge all of that stress away. We do that physically with (the help of) our building.”
The mechanics of this sizzling system are much more complex than just cranking up a thermostat. To maintain the proper heat and humidity to teach the hot classes, Sodergren has taken each step of the energy process into consideration.
At her Westerville location, the building’s walls are double insulated and wrapped. A special HVAC system was installed that controls and equalizes heat, along with a state of the art system that pulls humidity into rooms. The new 8,000-square-foot space in Dublin Village Center has all this, plus infrared radiant heat panels to dial up the thermogenic effect.
A studio and method designed with intention from the ground up, that’s what Sodergren wants for her customers. Leading a team of 30 “bosses,” she oversees a split schedule of various scorching sessions. From barre to lifting, hot yoga to method, stride and beyond, Sodergren and her team want to whip not just your body, but your mind and soul into shape.
“We aren’t with them just in the fitness part of it. We’re really trying to be their lifeline to be the best version of themselves. We’re really like their partner on this journey. This community is amazing, and the work here is legit. It changes bodies, and it has changed a bunch of lives.”
Sodergren sweats with her team in the heat and the dark to get to an intimate physical and mental space that takes people out of their day to day. Changing of old habits sometimes requires a shove. One needs to heave oneself out of a rut. The push and pull of steamy 105-degree yoga, or the thumping music and 90 degrees of the hot stride class, or lifting weights in the dark and the heat might be what you need to shed a few extra pounds, or the psychic strain of the pattern and grind of your day to day.
“We really want people to dig in and go ‘I remember when I was excited about something,’ or, ‘I remember when I was fired up about life.’ People lose that. For whatever reason, they get beat down. Job, family, relationships… Life beats people down. They come back in here and they start to find their fire again and it’s pretty awesome.”
Melt Hot Fitness
106 E College Ave., Westerville
6659 Dublin Center Dr., Dublin
Medical marijuana arrives in Columbus next week
Got your card? Terrasana – central Ohio’s first dispensary for medical marijuana – will open to patients in Ohio’s medical marijuana program this Tuesday, March 26th.
The dispensary which also has plans for locations in Cleveland, Fremont, and Springfield Ohio will open at 656 Grandview Avenue.
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According to the company’s website, Terrasana’s goal is to connect high quality cannabis to patients in need with a doctor-driven approach focused on education.
Prices for the dispensary’s products start at 40 dollars per unit, though it’s unclear what that equates to in quantity or dose at this time.
Will you line up to be a day-one patient in Columbus’ growing MMJ scene? Let us know your thoughts in the comments
Float, flow, stretch, and breathe toward a healthier you
Being the best possible you is about more than just eating healthy and working out. It’s about mind, body, and spiritual fitness as well. Fortunately the city is home to a bevy of experts, practitioners, and spas to help you find your bliss and be the best possible you.
1. Tune Everything Out
Floatation therapy uses a pool of approximately 10 inches of heavily infused epsom salt water as a form of pseudo sensory deprivation to help you achieve complete peacefulness. The idea is to use floating to achieve the same state of mind as right before you fall asleep at night where your mind is at ease and your body has fully relaxed. You’re encouraged to focus on your breathing and meditate. For a fully immersive experience, float tanks can be encapsulated. Drifting away in an hour-long session, users have reported feeling calmer, getting a better night’s sleep, and feeling more in tune with their mind and body.
Check out: Ebb & Float, ebbfloat.com | True Rest Float Spa, truerest.com
2. Manage Pain
Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine in which sterile needles are placed on “meridians,” or lines of energy running along the body which correspond to organ systems. Acupuncture is used to treat a variety of conditions and provide pain relief, possibly by competing with pain signals to the brain. Cupping can be used as a complementary therapy to acupuncture and offers some effects of deep tissue massages by placing glass cups (often on the back) to create suction and increase blood flow, augmenting other benefits of acupressure practices.
Check out: Urban Acupuncture Center, urbanacupuncturecenter.org |12 Meridians Acupuncture, 12meridiansacupuncture.com
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3. Release Tension, Stretch, and Increase Flexibility
Thai yoga, also referred to as Thai body work, is not your traditional take on massages. Instead of lying still while a massage therapist works on your body, Thai yoga has specialists that move, stretch, and position your body in a multitude of positions to best help your troubled areas, which could be great for people who struggle with lower back pain or stress-caused conditions. The theory behind Thai yoga goes back to Ayurveda medicine, developed in India, where the practice was based on a balance of mind, body, and spirit through energies in the body. Thai yoga hopes to channel these energies through massage, compression, and stretching and allow them to flow more freely. The practice features various techniques dependent on how your body is feeling that day; this could mean the use of oils, or the use of voice with mantras. Beyond a more well-stretched and massaged feeling afterwards, many users said they feel rejuvenated mentally and spiritually.
Check out: Jai Center For Wellness, jaicenterforwellness.com |Reden Yoga, redenyoga.com
4. Breathe Better
Halotherapy is the therapeutic use of a room lined from ceiling to floor in large crystal salt to simulate the cool but dry atmosphere of a natural salt cave. A device (appropriately named the halogenerator) smashes salt into microscopic pieces, allowing them to be released in the air through ventilation systems.
In 45-minute sessions, users can relax and breathe in the salty air, which has been claimed to potentially alleviate breathing issues such as asthma or allergies. Additionally, the calm, quiet, and dark rooms are perfect for a moment of mediation. The salt has been also said to help with skin bacteria and impurities, similar to popular mud masks made with minerals from the Dead Sea.
Check out: Tranquility Salt Cave, tranquilitysaltcave.com |Philosophi Salon and Salt Spa, philosophisalon.com
Refresh Resolution: 14 cheap, free ways to fulfill your health goals
Getting in shape is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. Plus, after all that holiday binging, your body is begging for some tlc.
Getting in shape can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be! Below is a list of 14 ways to have a healthy New Year.
$1 down, $10 a month, no commitment, now through January 15.
As a member, you’ll have access to a full workout facility 24/7, over 50 group training sessions per week, and Free Pizza Mondays (because you can’t be good all the time).
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Crushing it Columbus
333 W Broad St., Columbus
No fancy equipment, no professional facility, just a good old-fashioned workout. Crushing it Columbus meets every Wednesday at 6:15am on the stairs of COSI to sweat it out.
Everyone is welcomed, no matter the experience level.
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535 E Whittier St., Columbus
Looking to get fit in a safe(r) space? Queer Yoga offers $6 yoga classes every Tuesday. Yoga mats are encouraged and all are welcome.
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Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks are offering several winter hiking events throughout the season. Three Creeks, Scioto Audubon, and Prairie Oaks are just a few of the participating parks. Some of them are pet friendly too!
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Work off that Sunday brunch with free yoga at Lululemon’s Easton and Polaris locations. All experience levels welcome!
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Cap City Salsa
566 W Rich St., Columbus
Dance those pounds away with a four week salsa course hosted by Cap City Salsa. For $12 per session, you’ll learn some salsa basics for beginners!
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3535 Olentangy River Rd, Columbus
Supplement your workout with healthy thought processes. Ohio Health is offering a free six week course focusing on the topics of chronic illness, healthy eating and mental wellness.
This women’s health class runs Jan 28- Mar 4th and registration is required.
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The Fitness Loft
625 Parsons Ave., Columbus
The fitness loft offers a variety of classes from cycling to zumba to boxing. They’re currently offering a Groupon special, plus one-year memberships for 20 percent off and six-month memberships for 10 percent off for new and current members.
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Kinetic Climbing & Fitness
717 Hadley Dr., Columbus
Switch up your workout and have an adventure at Kinetic. Grab a climbing buddy or collect a whole group to save big on Groupon.
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Break a cool sweat at one of Columbus’ ice rinks. Head to one of Ohio Health’s Chiller Ice Rinks, where public skating is available throughout the week for under $10. They also offer Friday Night Meltdown, a public skating event with a DJ.
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3969 Trueman Blvd., Hilliard
They say that abs are made in the kitchen, so learn how to properly fuel your body with Dr Kevin Sarich and Ali Cooper as they lead free health classes on how to lose weight with healthy eating. Reservations required.
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Babes HIIT Columbus offers several cheap and free monthly fitness events at numerous locations in the area. They offer free winter hikes, champagne and yoga, Fitt camp and so much more.
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Yoga On High
1020 Dennison Ave. Suite 202, Columbus
Yoga on high offers free (donation based) ABC inclusive yoga classes every Saturday from 2-3pm. Each week features a different teacher and style of yoga so you’ll never get bored! Registration is required and accessible through their website.
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609 Oakland Park Ave., Columbus
Interested in Crossfit? This Clintonville gym offers free community classes every Saturday at 10am. This three class trials gives you the opportunity to dip your toes into the pool of crossfit. No registration is necessary, just show up!
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