YOUR SAUNA PLAYBOOK
(tips and best practices)
If your main goal is Relaxation…
- Always listen to your body. The therapeutic effects of heat exposure can be wonderful, but they can also be damaging. Be cautious at the outset of any new sauna regimen, and always make sure to drink water before, during and after any sauna session.
- Know your limits. Only enter the sauna once it has reached your preferred temperature. Otherwise it may affect your experience, and make it harder to relax.
- Take it slow. For your first initial sessions, only stay in the sauna for roughly 10-15 minutes at a time. Take a break to cool down and drink some water.
- Treat it like exercise. Stay hydrated, be mindful of whether you have a full or empty stomach, and don’t eat too much beforehand.
- Be loose. No uncomfortable or tight-fitting clothes. Looser is better, and lesser is better still!
- Be strong, and still. Sit upright, leaning up against a wall or backrest if possible. Relax your hands at your sides or in your lap.
- Breathe. With your eyes shut, concentrate on breathing through your mouth. Make note of the sensation each time you inhale and exhale the warm air.
- Don’t wander. If your mind begins to stray, bring your thoughts back to centre by focusing on the heat, and how it feels on your skin.
- Visualize. Once the sweating begins, visualize it as a cleansing, which will help purify your body removing stress and negativity.
If your main goals are Health & Wellness…
- Wash your face first. Since you will be sweating profusely, you want to prevent any blocked pores and start with a clean slate. Remove any pre-existing sweat, dirt, makeup or other buildup with a gentle exfoliating scrub.
- Hydrate. It is imperative that you drink lots of water before, during and after your sauna, as you will be dehydrating your body aggressively.
- Don’t overdo it. The heat of a sauna can have diminishing returns on your blood circulation and other bodily functions. If possible, alternate between the sauna and cold plunges in a pool, in the ocean, or in the snow. If none of those are particularly close by, a cold shower will suffice.
- Wash up and avoid breakouts – which are caused by a combination of sebum, salt and bacteria on your skin during a sauna. Sweating produces lots of salt, that needs to be washed off immediately. Don’t forget that your scalp is skin too, remember to rinse your hair and use your fingernails to scrub off muck and grime.
- Cool it. After the cleansing above, turn back the dial on the shower. The cold water brings blood back to your vital organs, and also helps your pores contract back to their resting size. Your pores should not remain open, so it’s important to cool them off, but only after washing off all the sebum and salt that came out in your sweat.
- Repeat. Many find that they enjoy a second sauna session after the cool off. Beginners should limit this to one additional sauna, and of course, always follow up with a second cool off session.
- Following the final rinse and cool off, dry yourself off with a towel and then apply moisturizer. Hot temperatures can have drying effects on skin, so it’s important to restore any lost hydration. Don’t forget to hydrate internally as well!