Russian Sauna

Russian sauna is famous all over the world. It is a tradition handed down from the past, to promote and keep health.

Russian sauna has always been surprising for foreigners. Indeed, imagine that first you are in a hot steam bathroom, then have yourself lashed with an oak or birch besom, sometime later you run outside, and jump into white snow or even dive into an ice-hole.

Russian sauna is famous all over the world. It is a tradition handed down from the past that promotes and improves one’s health.

Russian sauna has always been surprising for foreigners. Indeed, imagine that first you are stay in a hot steam room, then have yourself spanked with an oak or birch besom, then you run outsideand jump into white snow or even dive into an ice-hole.

And you enjoy all of that!

From Past to Present

Russian steam sauna appeared in the 5-6thcenturies. It was popular among all Russian classes.

Russian steam sauna was used not only for maintaining health but also as a universal remedy to treat many diseases. In the Middle Ages in Europe there were plague and cholera. But these epidemics were not so widespread in Russia thanks to Russian sauna.

Russian steam sauna was also very important in various traditional ceremonies.

e.g. Before the wedding you should definitely take a steam bath, go to the sauna.

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Russian Venus / Kustodiev / 1926

Different Types of Russian Sauna

The traditional Russian sauna is heated until its “black.” Usually this is a wooden log house with a stove inside a steam room. The smoke from the stove goes directly into the steam room! When sauna’s walls, water and special bath stones are heated enough, the steam room is ventilated and it is possible to take a bath.

In a Russian sauna it is especially good to kindle a sauna stove with birch firewood as birch tar covers all the walls and even disinfects the air inside the room.

Lime-tree was especially valued in Russia and was preferable for having inside of a steam bath because at high temperatures and humidity it began smelling likehoney.

Unfortunately, this “black” type of a Russian sauna is extremely rare nowadays, and this old traditional version is only popular among real Russian sauna connoisseurs.

Today, Russian sauna is heated “in white.” In a steam roomthere is a stove with special traditional stones on it and the stove’s chimney goes outside of the room.

Many years ago there was another “easy” version of a Russian sauna just in a house – right inside a traditional Russian stove which had a vast space for cooking. When a Russian oven was warmed you could go inside carefully and take a steam bath. This was a fast version of a sauna for one person, which could be used when a person was soaked or very cold.

Russian Sauna Promotes Health

Russian sauna speeds up metabolism and trains cardiovascular system of a human being. It soothes and relieves stress. Also, it improves all the functions of the body and has a rejuvenating effect as well.

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Sauna accessories: a tub, a sauna ladle, a sauna hat and a birch besom

If you visit a Russian sauna ask a special sauna attendant for your sauna ritual if you have such an opportunity. At your wishthe attendant can lash you with besoms of birch sprays to open your pores and increase perspiration. Then he can scratch you with his fingers all over your body to remove dirt, soap you and pour warm or cold water.

After such treatment you feel like you were born again.

Come to Russia and surely visit a Russian steam sauna!

To discover Russia with Alexey Gureev

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