The Spirit of Sauna
by Esa Ylijaasko / VII Mentor Program
You’re watching the red moon rising from the east under the northern lights while your sweaty body is still in shock after sitting in a hot and steamy tent. A bat hunts at shore of a lake – you’re connected with the mother nature.
A myth says that saunas have a power of healing. People use to heal themselves self by whipping their bodies in steamy saunas with birch whisks usually. You thank the spirit with a ritual when you throw heat on the huge pile of hot stones – calling the spirit of Sauna.
Not even a long time ago people use to give births in saunas – some would also take the last journey there.
Sauna is a sacred place to all Finns. The architecture reminds one of a religious buildings. It’s a religion. We build saunas in the most creative ways… in a car, a boat, a tent or even a train. It’s the first thing we build in a new home, it’s the first thing we do after a long trip. It’s a temple where everybody is equal. All undressed and naked. Men and women. It’s confessional where the sins are washed away.