LA Pod Goals: The Rise of the Infrared Sauna

LA’s latest hotspot, SaunaBar, is a one-stop destination for healing, cleansing and balancing.

By Abby Tegnelia

LA detox worshippers are seeing the light at infrared saunas, which use light to create heat for deep, sweaty healing. Leading the pack: SaunaBar, which pairs cutting-edge technology with one-on-one care for tailored detox, healing and weight loss programs. Celeb fans such as Brie Larson and Ryan Seacrest have been seen at the LA’s infrared OG, which has pioneered the movement on the West Coast after years of popularity in Europe and Asia.

While many trendy infrared saunas offer only far infrared light, SaunaBar’s SaunaPods are “full spectrum”: far, near and mid. “Far is used for heating the core and getting a good sweat, which is a great way to detox the body,” says founder Joseph Harounian. “Near infrared light penetrates the body deeper, so it’s great for healing and reducing pain and inflammation.”

Unlike traditional saunas that users step into, the roomy lie-down pods stop at the neck. Your head is left in fresh air, allowing longer sessions. If that’s not accommodating enough, the futuristic-looking pods are each lined with 440 jade stones, which, Harounian says, “are known for their healing, cleansing and balancing properties.”

SaunaBar, which also offers Lymphatic Compression Massage, Whole Body Vibration and Magnetic Resonance Therapy, boasts that the pods burn up to 600 calories per 30- to 40-minute session, and can lower blood pressure and improve sleep, among other benefits. “This specific process of heating,” says Jourdan Rystrom, SaunaBar’s director, “helps to release toxins on a cellular level, which then get disposed of via sweat or elimination.”