So you want to learn to use a sauna ah? Well you have come to the right place. Different cultures use forms of saunas in different ways.
Ultimately you should have a relaxing experience. A connection of the mind, body, and spirit. Or the mind and body, whatever you prefer as long as you're relaxed. Before you learn how to use a sauna there are some important things you need to be aware of.
First, talk to your doctor if your health is questionable or if you are taking medication.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol
- Take things slowly so you can get used to the sauna. Start with about twenty or fifteen minutes and have the temperature low at 80-70c
- If you feel dizzy or ill, leave the sauna
- Have you just finished exercising? Take a rest for fifteen-twenty minutes before you enter the sauna.
- Do not have a big meal before entering the sauna
- Do not drink lots of liquid before going into the sauna. The odd glass of water is fine use your own judgment.
- Go to the toilet first if you need to, before going in.
- Any clothing you wear should be loose and light fitting.
Ok so now that has been established lets go on to the main course, how to use a sauna!
When you get into the sauna begin on the lower bench. Feel free to lie down or sit.As you get accustomed to the heat, go up to the upper benches.
The range of temperature in the sauna is usually about 70-90 c. Some users who are more experienced take up top a water boiling point .The main aim is to sweat freely without feeling ill or faint. If you are ill, that defeats the purpose of the sauna
There is not really a hard and fast rule about the length of time in the sauna. It should be a length of time that you feel at ease with. Usually it is about twenty minutes for a more experienced sauna user fewer than forty minutes.
In a Finnish sauna, a vihta or vasta is used to softly hit yourself. A vihta/vasta is a bundle of leafy birch twigs. They are used to improve the blood circulation. Obviously the leafier it is the better.
As you move up the sauna, get up slowly. There is no rush anyway right? You are in the sauna to relax. Getting up slowly means that you avoid a light heading feeling.
Once your sweating and feeling warmed up the next stage is to create the loyly by putting the water on the rocks. Get the loyly and not only the steam this is important. In order to get the loyly, the rocks have to be hot.
As the water is poured, you should hear a hissing and popping sound. By doing this the water is vaporized which make a kind of invisible cloak of heat. That is the loyly, if is just steam and fog then that means it is not hot enough.
There is a couple of ways to cool off you can dive into a icy cool lake like it is done in finnish or Latvian culture or something similar (not my preference) or have a shower (my preference)
The cool down is as important as heating. Just take a few moments after leaving the sauna.
If you re not used to cold showers take a warm one and gradually make it colder, so the shock is not too much. After this if you re shivering or cold than that is a sign enough is enough. You can either go back home or go back in or sweat some more.
Have a nice cool refreshing drink of water. In Latvian or Finnish culture, it is common to have a beer afterwards.Either way enjoy it you have earned it.Back to the top
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