Sauna – healing and contemplation
(Picture from Grotto Sauna in Canada)
For us in Scandinavia the sauna is a true healing place. For me, grewing up in Finland, sauna was a true part of my everyday life. I did not go to sauna every day as a child, but at least 2-3 times a week. Friday evenings was a must for all in the family.
In Finland all my friends had a sauna in their home, no matter how big or small house. Even friends living in small apartments had a sauna either in the apartment or a communal one in the basement of a building, where the neighbors would take turn and book their weekly hours in the sauna.
When moving to Stockholm I was without a sauna for many years and how I missed it. For me it’s the best way to reduce stress, to completely calm down and detoxify, both the body and the mind. I have not found a yoga session or meditation style that could ever deliver that same sensation of wellbeing that I feel after a sauna session, completed with a dip in a lake.
After many years in Stockholm we bought an old house and could build our own sauna. How happy I was to return to my child hood habits and routines… and also be able to share them with my children. Teaching them to get used to the heat and convincing them how great it is to run out from the sauna and roll around in the snow and quickly get in again to heat up… Well, my kids, born in Sweden, are not as convinced as I am about the sauna & snow combo…yet…
And now we are in Spain… and yes we have enough of the warm temperatures here, but how we miss that ritual of contemplation, stillness, purification… Do I have to mention that we are of course planning for a sauna project in the Mallorcan countryside?
// Maria, originally from Jakobstad, Finland
(Picture from Bastubåten in Larsmo, Finland)
Here are some interesting Sauna Facts:
- First story of saunas can be read from 50 years after Christ was born.
- It is believed that the Vikings might have brought the tradition to Nordic countries.
- The original sauna was a ‘Smoke Sauna’ (Savu Sauna) – it takes 8 hours to warm up and has no chimney.
- At the very first Swedish bathing house, founded in 1269, women used birch twigs to whip the client’s skin into tingling pink freshness.
- SAUNA – is a Finnish word
- Saturday used to be the traditional Sauna Day – to bath, as a preparation for Sunday.
- Löyly – is the Finnish word for the steam that rise from the owen when water is poured over the hot stones. Also called the breath of the spirits.
- Birch twigs are handpicked at a certain time of the year, and are used to gently hit the skin. It cleanses the skin, boost circulation, nourishes and disinfect.
- Normally Sauna is a place for silence and for beingness – inner peace, and inner beauty.
- The old proverb “in the Church and in the Sauna we should behave in the same manner” says a lot about the importance of the old sauna culture.
- For us in Scandinavia quality time in a sauna, followed by a cold dip in a lake is one way to achieve high levels of health. Why not join us and enjoy the Nordic lifestyle and wellbeing in LivNordic Spa’s bathing experiences, where the sauna and cold experiences are the basis for inducing deep relaxation and wellbeing.Did you know that the largest sauna in the world is found in Norway? It opened in 2015 and is 180 sqm. The Agora Sauna (picture below) can take up to 100 persons and has a beautiful view over mountains and sea. It is located in Sandhornoya and the design is inspired by Norwegian fish racks.(Picture from Agora Sauna, Norway)