Perhaps a nod to nature, or non-conformity – an outdoor shower is, in my view, like waving a flag of freedom.
A shower (or lake plunge) is critical to a sauna round.
A thorough clean rinse after a session in the hot room is critical to help clean out the pores, washing away sweat, toxins and dirt. All regular sauna enthusiasts do the clean rinse. Most of us aspire to sauna by a beautiful lake, where the clean rinse is implicit with a simple dive off the dock. But a backyard sauna clean rinse can be easily had by installing a simple $15 garden hose attachment. My backyard sauna shower, dangling over a tree branch, is detailed here.
A few suggestions about using backyard showers:
1. Cold water only. A cold rinse is much more exciting and purposeful than a warm shower. I am not sure why, but both women, men, and kids all scream like girls on a roller coaster when they first encounter a cold outdoor shower between sauna rounds. Yes, the body is hot. Yes, the mind is expecting warm water, but my advice is to embrace the cold. Don’t think about the cold water on your skin, think about how good it feels in your core. Think about its function, the clean rinse, and helping close your exposed pores, helping your body start to equalize.
2. Rinse like it’s your last rinse, every round. It’s the right thing to do. What’s up with those folks who come out of a sauna, dripping sweat, reaching for their towel to dry off? This writer struggles to think of anything more yucky. A towel should be used to dry off extra clean water from the body. Not sweat. Skin needs rinsing, not drying.
3. Chill out. Arguably, the best part of a sauna round is just after the clean rinse. The body and mind go through an expansive endorphin rush. This is when any negative thoughts (money, work, sore back) literally wash away. This is when you reset. This is when you don’t rush the moment but sit down or stretch out and enjoy the cool down process of your sauna round. This is when you are open to new ideas. New insight and opportunities. This is when the moon casting its shadow is most beautiful, when a friend’s joke is most funny, and when the misty garden all wet with rain sounds most like poetry.