Eden Salt Studio’s Tori Jones first tried yoga during law school. After spending hours researching and drafting at Georgetown, she was looking for a way to decompress and stretch out her body. It was there she found her calling.
“I did yoga teacher training in Washington, D.C. because I was interested in learning more about the philosophy I was hearing when I would take yoga classes,” Jones says. “It was also a creative and relaxing outlet for me because I was overworked and unhappy practicing law."
After three years as an attorney in D.C, Jones moved to Arkansas to be closer to family. She debated opening a studio in Pine Bluff or White Hall, with the intent of her practice targeting an underserved area, but when she couldn’t make the numbers add up to make financial sense, she went on to spend time on her career in policy and law.
And then, Jones says, “Studio ownership kind of snuck up on me.”
While visiting family in Tennessee and at the urging of Jones’ mother, she and her husband Leon went to visit a salt cave for the first time. They didn't know what to expect, imagining going underground or to a spa with mud soaks and salt scrubs, but were surprised to find themselves at a strip mall. After just 10 minutes inside the "cave," both were comfortable and relaxed, and at the end of the session, they realized more of the benefits: Jones was able to breathe clearly, free of her seasonal allergies, and Leon, a sufferer of asthma and sleep apnea, had one of the best night’s sleep of his life.
That's when they decided to open a salt studio in Little Rock. But with concerns locals would be unfamiliar with salt therapy, Jones knew what would help spark interest.
“What better than yoga?" she says. "Both therapies revolve around breath. The synergies are amazing and we've developed a truly unique wellness space.”
Modern Dry Salt Therapy, or halotherapy, began in the salt mines of Europe and Russia. Originally called "speleotherapy," it is a respiratory therapy which involves the breathing of salt-infused air in the micro-climate of a salt mine.
“Natural salt caves have been used in Eastern Europe for more than 150 years," Jones says. "People started using hollowed-out areas of salt mines, which were referred to as 'caves,' as underground health resorts and sanatoriums. Modern Dry Salt Therapy is an alternative and complementary treatment to improve respiratory issues, skin conditions and general wellness.”
Eden Salt Studio’s salt therapy and yoga rooms are equipped with halogenerators necessary to circulate dry, salty air recreating an underground salt cave. While sitting in the salt room or practicing in the yoga studio, clients breathe the air and the salt reaches the deepest part of the lungs to absorb bacteria, pollutants and to provide an anti-inflammatory effect.
Located in west Little Rock, Eden Salt Studio is currently the only facility in Arkansas that offers both yoga and salt therapy. There are also options for both private and group salt and yoga sessions, as well as massage incorporating halotherapy and products including Himalayan and Dead Sea salts.
“We truly believe our space is a healing space,” Jones says.
Jones completed her 300-hour yoga teacher training in 2012 and teaches a variety of yoga styles including vinyasa, power, yoga with weights and restorative flow. Between Washington, D.C. and Arkansas, she has taught well over 1,000 hours and holds multiple yoga designations and certifications, including recently completing her prenatal yoga teacher training at Blooma Nashville.
But at the end of the day, it was about much more than yoga and salt for Jones.
“One of the reasons I wanted to open up a wellness space is because in Little Rock, I never quite felt comfortable at many of the wellness spaces. Whether it was because of my size, race or religious beliefs, I could never quite find a perfect fit.
"When people come to Eden, I want them to feel at home.”