What you do in a Finnish Styled Sauna and what not to do?
The Finnish have woven the sauna into the fabric of their culture like known one else. As we go along I’m sure we’ll be adopting our own codes of conduct.
Here are ten tips direct from the Finns.
- Sauna is good for everybody. Only newborn babies and people with serious conditions like open wounds or heart problems should avoid sauna.
- Finnish sauna has nothing to do with sex, and suggesting it will not score points with Finns. It is a place for physical and mental cleansing, and many suggest one should behave in a sauna as they would in church. That is not to say that you shouldn’t relax-just kick back and take it easy.
- Getting invited to a sauna is an honor. If you have a reason for declining, fair enough, but it better be a good one! Bathing in a sauna with people is somewhat of a bonding process-when you’re bare in all senses of the word, you’re sure not to hide anything. It is said that in Finland, more important decisions get made in saunas than in meetings.
- Colored lights, aromatic fragrances and relaxing music have nothing to do with Finnish sauna. Real Finnish saunas are dimly lit, there’s no music or smells except for fresh birch and natural pine tar.
- Wear a swimsuit or towel
- In groups, women and men go to sauna separately, but families go together. When in a mixed group that is about to go to sauna, it is perfectly fine to ask people and discuss who should go with who.
- A “vasta” or “vihta’ is a bundle of fresh birch twigs that you gently whip yourself with. It sounds strange, but is really good for your skin-you’ll feel the smoothness afterwards.
- There are no rules for how often you should throw more water on the stove. Whenever you feel like another wave of steam, go for it.
- You will be sweating heavily in a sauna, so be sure to drink plenty. Water is probably best for you, but beer and cider is what Finns enjoy the most.
- There are no real rules when it comes to sauna, and the way it is done totally depends on the occasion. The most important thing is to relax and enjoy the blissful post-sauna feeling of having cleaned both your body and your mind.