Othership Toronto: Meditative Sauna and Cold Plunge Experience

I am constantly looking for places in Toronto that can provide me with a much needed mental and physical break from the hustle of work and living in the city. Enter, Othership. Othership provides a an immersive sauna and ice bath experience that not only rejuvenates the mind and body, but also connects you with your self on a deeper level. There’s nothing better than hot cold therapy for getting you out of your head and into your body to experience transformative benefits. With its popularity rising and more people seeking a safe space in the city to unwind, Othership now has two locations; one downtown on Adelaide Street West and one in Yorkville.

Benefits of Hot Cold Therapy Toronto

Image Credit: Othership Instagram

What To Expect At Othership Toronto

Both Othership locations are set in cozy, inviting spaces where you practically feel the tension melting away the minute you step inside. The ambiance is softly illuminated by the gentle glow of low lighting, casting a golden hue upon the tranquil space. Shadows dance playfully across the walls, creating an atmosphere of intimacy and relaxation.

As you inhale, the air is alive with the soothing scent of essential oils. When you enter you can enjoy the seating area while sipping on a tea and allowing yourself to ease into the meditative experience you’re about to embark on. At Othership, the ancient art of hot-cold therapy meets modern mindfulness in an immersive experience like no other.

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Othership Yorkville Sauna

I have attended a number of Othership guided classes and the experience begins in the sauna, where warmth envelops you as the Othership guide begins to explain what you will be experiencing. The guide plays music as they take you through a series of breath work and meditations that help you to release any tension or stress you may be holding onto. The Guide then selects specific blends of essential oils to add to the journey and perform a towel dance dispersing the scent throughout the sauna. They also do vocalization work, which at first I was hesitant about but to be honest, once you embrace it, it does provide a huge release. Who knew, the juxtapositon of the quiet space mixed in with you being loud momentarily could feel so healing and empowering. Every guide has their own approach to the class so I would recommend trying different instructors to see what resonates with you. Some guides also incorporate self massage during the sauna session, which is a great way to give your lymphatic system a boost as you sweat out toxins. As the first sauna sessions draws to a close the Guide, instructs you to exit the room in groups and go over to the ice bath area for the cold plunge.

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Othership Cold Plunge

Full transparency, the cold plunge is what I was most afraid of when I first stepped foot in Othership. I’m one of those people that typically runs cold so while I more than look forward to sitting in the heat of the sauna, I was weary of the cold plunge. However, by chance or perhaps serendipitously, before my first Othership experience I was listening to a newly released Mel Robbins Podcast with a breath work expert (Listen here). In this podcast the guest provided proper breathing techniques, which calm the nervous system. So the minute it was my turn to step into the cold plunge, the words from the podcast stuck with me and as I lowered myself into the icy water, I found that I was able to quickly embrace the sensations without so much as a flinch. One of my friends was with me and commented that she was impressed with how smoothly I reacted to my first time cold plunging.

tips for cold plunge

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Tips For A Cold Plunge

If you want to get through a cold plunge for the first time, I would recommend lowering yourself in, putting your arms across your chest and tucking your hands into your arm pits. Then as you submerge up to your neck, just take slow, measured breaths in and out through your nose where it feels like the breath is pushing down versus expanding your belly outwards. From my experience, the people that move around a lot on their first time and start to panic have a harder time staying in the full two minutes. And to be honest I didn’t really feel the type of cold I was anticipating but rather it felt more like pins and needles.

As you step into the icy waters, a rush of exhilaration washes over you, awakening every fiber of your being. For two minutes, you surrender to the icy embrace, feeling the stresses of the day dissolve with each breath. Once you get out, you almost feel a head rush after the first time. It really is a great way to connect your mind and body and provides a deep sense of renewal. After the cold plunge, we warm up in the Sauna again before closing out the session. But I have heard that some classes offer, multiple cold plunge sessions too so it just depends which one you go to.

Sauna Cold Plunge Therapy Benefits

Beyond the immediate sensory pleasure of hot-cold therapy, lies a wealth of benefits for both body and mind. Here are just a few reasons how introducing Othership into your wellness routine can benefit you:

  1. Enhanced Circulation: The alternation between hot and cold temperatures stimulates blood flow, promoting circulation and delivering vital nutrients and oxygen to your cells.
  2. Immune Boost: Exposure to cold temperatures has been shown to activate the body’s natural defense mechanisms, bolstering the immune system and increasing resilience to illness.
  3. Stress Reduction: The sauna’s heat helps to relax muscles and release tension, while the cold plunge induces a rush of endorphins, leaving you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
  4. Muscle Recovery: Athletes and fitness enthusiasts swear by hot-cold therapy for its ability to accelerate muscle recovery, reducing inflammation and soreness after intense workouts.
  5. Mental Clarity: The contrast between hot and cold temperatures invigorates the mind, sharpening focus and enhancing cognitive function.
  6. Mood Elevation: The release of endorphins during cold exposure can uplift mood and alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, promoting a sense of well-being and balance.
  7. Detoxification: Sweating in the sauna helps to flush toxins from the body, while the cold plunge tightens pores and promotes lymphatic drainage, aiding in detoxification.

With each visit to Othership, I feel like I’m peeling away layers of stress and tension and I honestly end up having the best sleeps the nights that I do it. There’s also a wonderful community aspect to Othership as well, where you feel comfortable swapping stories but you can just as easily have your alone time if you prefer not to interact with others. In a world that often feels chaotic and overwhelming, Othership offers a sanctuary—a place to reconnect with yourself and rediscover the boundless beauty that resides within.

Learn More About Othership Toronto here.

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