The Art of Sauna

~~~

We’re sometimes asked, “How does one take a sauna?”

We might respond by explaining that sauna bathers traditionally enjoy taking a sauna in rounds. They might spend 10-15 minutes inside the sauna and then cool off for a bit outside before they hop back in for 10-15 more minutes, and this can go on for multiple rounds. Bathers also may rotate between a dry heat or a wet heat, depending on when they like to apply water to the heated sauna stones.

However, we generally acknowledge that sauna bathing is a personalized experience. Each individual begins to learn what he or she most enjoys about the experience.

For example, to cool off, does one dive into a snowbank, a stream, a shower?

Should the temperature be a milder 150F, or should one try to push as close to 200F as one can?

And what about this thing called a vihta – a hand-made birch whisk with which bathers beat themselves to improve circulation? Is that worth trying?

And as a bather begins to answer these and other questions, that’s where the practice of sauna bathing becomes and art form.

April 24, 2017 •