The art of the Finnish Sauna

The art of the Finnish Sauna

I went on a tour of saunas in #Finland to learn how the Finnish people #relax and unwind. I went in many types of saunas to appreciate this important part of Finnish #culture, and even had a go at hot #yoga in a sauna! This was a great #aspirational trip and was good for my skin too!


  This planet does not need more “successful people”, it desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.  

Many years ago, when I was working as a freelancer interpreter, I worked on a project for a Finnish Woods exporter at a Trade show, that was the first time I heard about Finnish Sauna, Geographically speaking, nearly 80% of the land in Finland are natural forests. The natural resource and cold weather made it a perfect match for Finnish culture to integrate Sauna into their daily life. Before I went to Finland, I didn’t realize the importance of Sauna until I recently experienced the mystery of it at Ruka & Kuusamo, the famous lapland in Finland.

from  $495

Sauna Party Bus Tour

 Kuusamo, Finland
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  I didn’t realize the importance of Sauna until I recently experienced the mystery of it  

Finnish people believe that every sauna has an elf to protect it. If you had an argument during sauna, Elf would feel offended, and burn your house.

The interior of a Finnish ice sauna

They also say elf existed so that children don’t do anything silly during sauna. Parents will take 3 months year old children to sauna too.

Our guide, aka Sauna elf Eveliinna told us stories about Sauna. It’s a tradition for Finnish people. Every Finnish family has a sauna, it’s imbedded into their lifestyle. Sauna also offers a great way for Finish people to socialize.

The cold waters of Finland

It is a really mindful thing to do, because you don’t have cell phones there, perfect time to enjoy a quality time with family and friends.

  It is a really mindful thing to do  

Rumor has it that Women even give birth at their sauna, because it’s warm and clean and soothing. It has therapeutical affects.

They use the natural type of leaves Nettle to mix with honey, and salt for scrubbing the body.

Before Finnish bride gets married, in order to wish her happy marriage, her friends will take her to a ritual sauna. They will put Nettle or birch branch (vasta) underneath her body, that is a kinda of the herb which make people feel pricking, that is to remind the bride that marriage is not always smooth. Then the bride has to circle around the sauna room shouting her ex names naked, in order to let go of the past failed relationship. We were joking about if she has many exes, then she will freeze in the cold weather before her wedding.

Finnish sauna can be really gentle, not like other sauna, if you stay there for 5 minutes, you already feel dizzy. Every sauna room’s door has a space which allows air to come in. We have to drink a lot of water or their special Tanva tea which helps our metabolism to speed up. The toxic in our body can be swept off because when we sweat, it goes away.

Luka ice sauna

ICE SAUNA, it’s a house built of ice and with the right temperature, we get to enjoy sauna inside.The best part is ice hole dipping , after enjoying sauna, we can jump into 0 degree of water to enjoy that hot + cold sensation. When I did it the first time, I couldn’t help screaming so loud. The after feeling was insane, you have to try it to understand the extreme feeling. Right after I got out the ice hole, my blood vessles expanded and I don’t feel that cold all of a sudden.

  The after feeling was insane, you have to try it to understand the extreme feeling  
Traditional log cabin

They have many different types of sauna, I have tried Smoked sauna (savusauna), the smoke enters the room while the sauna is being heated and produces a pleasant fragrance of wood smoke. A wood-fired stove is most usual in Finland. but now, the electric stove is most common, traditional one has to be heated 5 hours by labour, which is way more expensive. 

Ice dipping

Lin Yutang wrote in “The importance of Living” that when a Chinese is engaged in difficult negotiations he first gives his antagonist a delicious meal in pleasant surroundings and only then gets down to the difficult part of the meeting. The guest is so comfortable after the meal in the pleasant surroundings that he finds it hard to argue.

Finnish businessmen and politicians take their adversaries to the Sauna. Hostility melts in the steam as the birch whisks swish, and stubborn minds begin to accept compromise. You can’t really say no in your birthday suit, can you?

A tip for newbies: Usually hot air rises, so the hottest place in the sauna is where the walls and ceilings meet. If we sit on the platform, our head will be exposed to the most heated place. So you might start with lying on the platform with your feet in the air. Feet can stand the heat better than the head.

  the hottest place in the sauna is where the walls and ceilings meet  

The ultimate tour is 13 hours sauna tour, they take you on a bus which has sauna and Karaoke on it, then they bring you to different types of saunas. Even the bus has a sauna on it, and on top of that, a karaoke machine. Even though I haven’t got to experience the ultimate tour, but I could imagine how smoothy my skin would become after the sensational treatment.

Sauna is wellness thing, Leave your worry and hurry in the dressing room before you enter the sauna. Finnish believe in nature, silence. they even have sauna yoga and sauna meditation.

The Finnish sauna club!
  Sauna is wellness thing, Leave your worry and hurry in the dressing room before you enter the sauna  

Luckily enough, the next day, we (bloggers from UK, Denmark and US, of course our host Ruka Tourism director Kimmo), tried Sauna yoga. I have tried hot yoga before, but Sauna yoga is a really new thing, even for Finnish people. 

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