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An Interview with Finnish Hockey Player and Sauna Advocate Nolan Yonkman 

We interview hockey player Nolan Yonkman about sauna use.

As promised we are continuing our interviews with Almost Heaven Sauna customers and advocates with the hope of spotlighting the variety of ways saunas can be used and enjoyed. Nolan Yonkman is a professional hockey player for Finnish team JYP Jyvaskyla. Here’s his interview:

Yonkman is #43, on the right.

Q. Tell us a little about yourself and how you became interested in Harvia/Almost Heaven Saunas?

A. I was introduced to Harvia during my time in Jyvaskyla Finland playing for their professional hockey team JYP.  Harvia and I had a great relationship as I developed a passion for the sauna culture. Once I returned to North America, they put me in touch with Almost Heaven Saunas. 

Q. As a hockey player, what role does a sauna have for you (and other teammates)?

 A. As hockey players, we are under a constant demand to push our bodies to maximum performance. The hockey schedule allows for some recovery time and that is where I feel the sauna can really help flush out any stiffness and sore muscles that have been pushed to their limits. I personally would sauna after every practice and game day to help with recovery. 

Q. How can sauna use be beneficial to athletes at all levels – professional or not?

A. Athletes are always looking for a way to maximize their recovery. Lactic acidosis and muscular fatigue can prevent an athlete to not recover in the most efficient way. By utilizing the sauna and cold therapy, an athlete can flush the body of that unwanted heavy feeling after high competition. 

Q. What is your sauna routine in the off season? Do you continue to sauna all year-round? 

A. I would love to sauna in my offseason, however it’s hard to find a good sauna here in North America. Unless (of course) you’ve invested in an Almost Heaven Sauna. 

Q. What are some other ways you have embraced sauna culture?

A. Not only have I used it for recovery but as a great way to catch up with friends. 

In Finland it’s used as a social aspect. Some saunas have TVs where you’re able to watch favorite sport games. Also, since it’s a hot climate, cell phones are put away creating a present feeling and a conversation starter.  So often we are on our phones too much and this is a great way to decompress. 

Q. How is your sauna experience in Finland different from your experience back in the states? 

A. Community saunas are a big culture in Finland. They also encourage water on the rocks and stove so it can create a great steam sauna unlike you find here in gyms and hotels. 

Check out that Harvia logo on the sleeve. Harvia is a sponsor for JYP Jyvåskylå.

 Q. If you were trying to convince a friend to get a sauna, what three main points would you make?

A. Recovery and relaxation 

Social interaction 

Health benefits beyond just muscle recovery


Thank you for your interview Nolan, and for being such a committed sauna advocate!

Stay tuned for more interviews to come!

September 13, 2019 •