THINGS WHICH CREATE A PERFECT FINNISH SAUNA EXPERIENCE
Did you know that there are almost three million saunas in Finland, a country of five million inhabitants? For Finns, sauna is often a place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life while warm steam caresses your face. The places where Finns enjoy their sauna experiences range from electric saunas at homes to lakeside cottage saunas. There is no one right way, but instead the sauna experience is always based on the sauna-goer and the situation. Thus, the sauna experience is the sum of numerous small details that any sauna-goers can easily utilize!
THE FINNISH SAUNA EXPERIENCE IS THE SUM OF SEVERAL SMALL THINGS
Having a sauna can be an exciting experience, and even the smallest details contribute to creating the perfect sauna experience. The most important part of the sauna experience is the cleanliness and safety of the sauna. Here cleanliness does not only refer to the absence of physical stains and dirt, but also to the appearance of the sauna. When decorating their saunas, Finns invest in high-quality linen products. Finnish saunas are often adorned by linen textiles, and Finns like to relax in the sauna by lying on their back with a linen sauna pillow under their head. Often there is also a small decorative object, “the spirit of the sauna”, or a sauna fountain on the sauna stove. And even though Finns go to the sauna completely naked (even if it is a public one), the sauna experience includes wrapping yourself in a clean towel afterwards.
Scents are also part of the Finnish sauna experience. This tradition stems from lakeside cottage saunas that are often located right next to water, under birches with gently rustling leaves. Using a whisk made of birch twigs is, in fact, one of the Finnish sauna traditions. When taking a sauna at home, Finns often pour a few drops of sauna scent into the bucket of water gradually thrown on the sauna stove. Sauna scents create a genuine Finnish summer atmosphere and boost the wellbeing-promoting effects of going to the sauna. In the steam of the sauna, the natural essential oils in the sauna scents relax and refresh both the body and mind and also stimulate the metabolism.
Studies show that if you want to optimize the health effects of going to the sauna, you should stay there for at least 19 minutes at a time. This may sound like a long time, but you can also lie down in the sauna. Finnish sauna traditions also include taking small breaks to cool off, and in the winter, you may also encounter Finnish sauna-goers dipping in cold water through a hole in the ice!