During the past few decades the number of saunas in Finland has grown quite rapidly. There are now over 1.5 million saunas in this country of five million people.
Bathing in sauna is a centuries-old ritual, where the sole purpose is not to cleanse the body, but also to care for the mind. Even if the physical benefits of sauna are often self evident, the spiritual healing can be just as powerful. There is something very profound in the energy of the hot room, perhaps because as we enter the sauna, we leave our clothes, our titles, and our smart phones in the dressing room.
Whether it's a cabin sauna by the lake, or a communal sauna in a hotel spa, going to one is an act of self care. A holistic experience, an investment in body and spirit.
It's reassuring to know that in this age of biohacking and constantly pushing ourselves to be healthier and more successful, to do better – no pain no gain! –, there are still some things in life that are healing and beneficial, but require only our attendance, and not much else.
Bathing in sauna is relaxing, but it also is invigorating. It is beneficial for our cardiovascular circulation, softens tensions in our muscles and joints as well as deep cleanses our skin. In addition, it flushes toxins, burns calories, and improves the quality of our sleep and reduces stress. It's a true manifesto of soft values: all you have to do is sit still – or better yet, lay down – and let the sauna lift your spirits, calm your mind, and take care of your body.
If that's not magic, I don't know what is.
Next time you leave the hot room, take a minute to breathe in a little deeper. Cherish that feeling, take it within you. Let the magic of sauna stay with you a little longer.
Model Anni / Brand Photo Katri Kapanen Muah Heidi Viskari Lighting Eepu Näsi Style, Concept & Text Anna Pirkola & Kirsikka Simberg / Studio Plenty