Join the ‘happiest country in the world’ as we share our secret!
Anyone who either is Finn or knows a Finn is aware that, sauna is an integral part of Finnish culture. If you're curious to see what the fuss is about, we are inviting you to come and sweat it out in our very own sauna. The human body is never as beautiful as 30 minutes after sauna.
Every year, there is one day the Embassy sauna is open to the public, the Finnish Crazy Games. Be quick, as this is a popular activity. You can register online from October 1st, 2019. Sauna sessions will only available for the first 60 people who register.
Those lucky enough to register will need to bring their swimmers, towel, and a water bottle. The sauna sessions are coordinated in conjunction with volunteers from the Australian Sweat Bathing Association a not-for-profit organisation that aims to spread knowledge and love of sauna.
Sauna is at the heart of Finnish health and well-being
Sauna is such a part of the national culture, there are roughly 2 million saunas for 5.3 million people. That’s, almost one sauna per two people! Sauna offers a relaxed setting, but it can also encourages open discussion, idea generation and here at the Embassy, sauna diplomacy.
To add to its relaxation benefits, sauna has many proven health benefits as the sauna increases calorie burning, expels toxins, relieves stress, and kills viruses and bacteria. Today, this national pastime acts may well act as motivation for Finnish digital innovations transforming the global health and well-being industry.
How to sauna?
Usually, you heat the sauna stove (kiuas) beforehand so the room has time to warm (usually to about 80°C – 100°C). Showers are taken prior to entering the sauna. In the room, there are pots full of water, you use large ladles to throw the water onto the stove filled with hot stones, thus creating what is known as löyly (pronounced ler-lu) – the wet steam rising from the stones.
Once the air is heavy with moisture, you sit back, relax, and enjoy! Finns will also use a branch of birch leaves (vasta or vihta) to hit themselves gently in the sauna, as it opens the pores and increases blood circulation.
When the heat gets to a point where it feels uncomfortable, to cool off you can jump into a hole in an ice-covered lake, roll around in the snow, or at the Embassy (which is unfortunately devoid of ice covered lakes), you can take a shower. Then the process starts again, often cycling through two or three times before the sauna-goer decides to undergo a final wash and sit down for a refreshing beverage.
The most important thing when taking a sauna is listening to your body. You should stay in the heat as long as you feel comfortable. If you get your heart rate up and then you cool down several times over, you will leave with a heavenly glow, and you will feel relaxed for the rest of the day.