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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Breathe: Simple Name Says Volumes about Dry Salt Therapy: An Interview with Ellen Patrick of Breathe salt rooms with four locations in NY.

Salty Yoga class available at Katonah and Park Avenue, NYC locations and coming soon to Dobbs Ferry.


Certified yoga therapist and breathing expert Ellen Patrick and her husband, NYC entrepreneur Gary Patrick, opened their first salt room, Breathe Easy, in Manhattan in January 2014. The fact that in less than two years, they opened three more locations—now simply called Breathe—speaks to the popularity and effectiveness of the natural therapy the couple introduced to the NYC area. NA recently interviewed Ellen to learn about recent developments.

What are your four locations and the dates that each one opened?

We opened our first location at 7th Avenue and 53rd Street within Better Health Chiropractic in January of 2014. The next location opened in May of 2014 within Oasis Day Spa at Park Avenue and 32nd Street. The next two spots were in Westchester County. We opened in Dobbs Ferry in July of 2014 and then in Katonah in November of that same year.

Tell me about your recent rebranding from Breathe Easy to Breathe. What has changed besides the name?

Our strategy behind the recent rebranding was to communicate to the consumer the extraordinary experience they will receive at Breathe. We are about supporting the well-being of our clients in a luxurious and unique environment. A salt room is like nothing they’ve ever seen or experienced before—and we are the only salt rooms in the NYC area. Not only do we offer dry salt therapy for respiratory and skin health, but you’ll also find offerings of meditation, yoga, Reiki, sound baths and more.

How do the salt rooms help with flu and cold season?  

Dry salt therapy assists in alleviating the symptoms of many respiratory conditions. It is particularly effective when dealing with colds and flus. First and foremost, salt’s natural healing qualities are anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal. The drying mechanism of salt will clear mucous from the nasal and sinus passages. In addition, the antiviral qualities will help destroy these viruses. Salt’s antibacterial effects prevent a worsening of symptoms into sinusitis, and its anti-inflammatory quality helps prevent these viruses worsen into bronchitis, asthma or pneumonia.

Dry salt therapy is very effective as a preventative against the cold and flu, as it will kill viruses before they become an issue. For this approach, it’s ideal to visit about twice a week.  But once the cold and flu are active, daily use of dry salt therapy may significantly shorten the duration and severity of the illness.

This therapy is recommended for everyone who breathes. There are no side effects.

Tell me about the kids’ rooms at Breathe.

Breathe’s Westchester locations, Dobbs Ferry and Katonah, have an adult room and a kids’ room. Recognizing children’s vulnerability to colds, asthma and other respiratory conditions, we feel it is important to provide a space where children can play while improving their health. The beach-like environment of our salt rooms—the floor is covered in salt crystals—immediately invites kids to dive in and play as if they were building castles in the sand. We provide pails, shovels and other toys, so kids look forward to the experience and parents are relieved to have found a fun way to support their children’s health.             

In addition, our Dobbs Ferry and Park Avenue locations have salt beds. This method of administering dry salt therapy is a more private experience. Whereas our salt rooms hold approximately eight people, the beds are for those who may need a shorter, more concentrated session. In addition, a salt bed is ideal for those who suffer from skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. Because of the bed’s privacy, a client will feel comfortable taking off a piece of clothing to expose the patch of irritated skin. In a typical salt room session, clients wear their street clothing.

What’s your connection with yoga? Tell me about the yoga classes offered in the salt rooms.

I have been practicing yoga my whole adult life, and in 2000 I became certified to teach yoga.  Since then I spent 10 years continuing my studies to become certified as a yoga therapist. This means I use the tools of yoga, such as postures, meditation, breathing, etc., to support clients on all levels of their being, which includes the physical, physiological and psycho-emotional. In addition, I owned and directed the Yoga Sanctuary in Mamaroneck for 12 years. 

As part of the services of well-being that we offer at Breathe, I created Salty Yoga, which is a fairly typical yoga class with a focus on the anatomy of breath and how to enhance an individual’s ability to breathe. During this class, salt is being aerated into the room. I use postures to stretch and strengthen the main muscles of respiration. In addition, I use visualization and breathing techniques to increase the lungs’ capacity to inhale and exhale. When clients learn these skills, they can then fully maximize the effects of the dry salt therapy. 

We are currently offering Salty Yoga at Katonah and Park Avenue and plan to offer it at our Dobbs Ferry location soon.

Breathe is located at 50 Livingstone Ave., Dobbs Ferry (914.591.2600) and 200 Katonah Ave. 2nd Floor, Katonah (914.232.5600) in addition to its two locations in NYC. For more info, visit