Minnetonka High School's Student News

Minnetonka Breezes

Minnetonka High School's Student News

Minnetonka Breezes

Minnetonka High School's Student News

Minnetonka Breezes

The Sauna Renaissance
The Sauna Renaissance
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The Sauna Renaissance

The+Sauna+Renaissance
Simran Kaur

Picture a sauna. Chances are, for non-sauna goers, you pic­tured a gym sauna­ sticky, suffocating, and all together over­ whelming. Audrey Sadura, ’25, mentions that “it felt hard to breathe” when describ­ing a steam sauna. For many others, however, the picture is much more enticing.

Minnesota as a whole has moved away from the former image in recent years, as the sauna industry booms. More and more innovative approaches to the traditional sauna experience, dating back to 2000 BC, have sprung up. They range from por­ table saunas, including those of Megan Kress, owner of Sauna du Nord, to floating saunas in Lake Superior. As new saunas pop up across the state, interest soars. New conversation sur­ rounds their many results, namely health ben­ efits and connection with others.

First, health benefits. Mayo Clinic has cred­ ited saunas with reducing risk of chronic ill­ nesses such as Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, decreasing stress, and alleviating certain breathing issues like asthma. Addition­ ally, different types of saunas can offer various unique benefits. For example, infrared saunas, which utilize lamps rather than traditional steam, improve blood circulation to alleviate muscle soreness. Sadura says that steam saunas are “really good for your sinuses and voice. I’m always worried about getting vocal damage, so feeling good in my vocal cords is super important.”

The second ben­efit of saunas is how it helps with “connect­ ing with ourselves and other people;• which is what Kress says drives her business. Not only do saunas provide a unique space to foster connections, but the heat causes the release of mood enhancing en­ dorphins, which in turn release stress. Stress can often act as a harrier to action, meaning that just by being in a sauna, people are more open to those around them.

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These benefits have always surrounded sau­ nas, so why the sudden interest in recent years? Kress attributes some of what she calls a “re­ naissance in saunas,” adequately named due to its place as an ancient tradition for many cul­ tures, to the unique experience it provides. “I do think the trend in today’s society is to have more experiences rather than owning things:·

Some innovations of the traditional sauna have enticed people as well. Thermaculture, a sauna experience involving cycling between a hot sauna and freezing pool or lake, has re­ ceived glowing reviews. The shocldng shifts in body temperature can lead to a sense of equi­ librium, similar to the feeling achieved through meditation.

Thermaculture, along with all traditional and modern iterations of saunas, is open to every­ one. “I think everyone should try it;’ Kress says. “That feeling and what it does for your endor­phins and your body is magic.

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