I hate winter but I love saunas. I love them so much that 8 years ago I made up my own Sauna Yoga Program – just so I could spend hours in the hot rooms and cold plunge pools.
Wait a minute Sandra, yoga in a sauna? What are you doing in there? Does anyone faint? Are you actually naked in there and doing stretching? Are you crazy?
I got so many hilarious questions when I started the program, but my reply was something like this: if people can talk loudly to each other in saunas, if they can drink alcohol in cool plunges and beat their bodies with wood or special herb wraps inside, well, why couldn’t we do some meditation inside, calm and cool breathing and maybe stretch the legs and lower back?
Surprisingly the program went really well for another two years but then my desire to travel sneaked in, so I surrendered the program to the wonderful staff there.
Let the official program routine that I taught stays a secret until I swop the tropical locations with sauna benches again and for today let me share with you 3 things I do in a public sauna and nobody knows I’m doing them:
- I meditate. It’s hot, it’s dark it’s intense. It’s a perfect place to meditate.
- I count blessings. Instead of checking that sandy clock on the wall every five seconds, I lengthen my spine, place my hands on thighs and close my eyes. I got ten fingers so while pressing one by one down I think of 10 little things I’m grateful for. People wonder while I smile, but I just keep on counting.
- I observe my breath. My good Indian friend and a master yogi told me: “Sandra if you just learn to fully observe and follow your breath, you win.” And I still haven’t found a better place to do that than in a sauna, where how you breathe affects how you experience the whole thing.
How do you spend your time in a sauna? Let me know in the comments.