Sacred sauna, ice holes and hot tubs

Full Definition of sauna. 1 : a Finnish steam bath in which the steam is provided by water thrown on hot stones; also : a bathhouse or room used for such a bath. 2 : a dry heat bath; also : a room or cabinet used for such a bath.

For many Finns, the sauna is revered, sometimes even seen as a holy or sacred space.  They are found in most homes and often there are several: summer sauna, winter sauna, cottage sauna, sauna by the lake.

The Säynäjäkangas family have many saunas and enjoy them at least several times a week  – both for health reasons and for meditation practice.

We were honoured to be invited to join in their sauna and hot tub routine as night fell and the temperature dropped to minus 15.

Brothers, Arttu and Janne, were ‘ice warriors’ and created a hole in the ice to jump into in-between saunas.

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Janne
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Arttu
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they begin to drill and cut
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then take to the axe
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the first hole is made
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Janne contemplates: maybe this hole is over too deep a part of the lake – they may get lost underneath…
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another hole is created
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we come back at night and wait by the hole…in the dark with only a torch…
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Arttu is the first “ice warrior”…
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Arttu deep in the hole – but he can touch the bottom of the lake
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next “ice warrior” Janne…
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now he is submerged – only hands can be seen
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up he surfaces…
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now time to meditate…
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time to get out before he freezes…

 

watch the action!

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Jorma with his hot tub
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what a location !

 

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wood fired to warm the water
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after a hot sauna inside…a few minutes in the snow (or ice hole) and then it is time for the hot tub ahhh…then repeat…for several hours…
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the summer sauna hut…conveniently located to lake close by for quick dipping between saunas
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inside the summer sauna house – all wood fired
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