It rained all day Thursday, then turned bitter cold overnight. We awoke Friday morning to a hard covering of ice everywhere. Driveway, sidewalks, treacherous conditions, but some battled it by going to work or shopping.
Never left the house, all day
Not me. I stayed put. Turns out, I spent most of the day seated at my home office, working away. As the day wore on, looking outside, I realized that time had gotten away from me as it was now late afternoon, and starting to get dark. I had hardly moved more than 100 steps the entire day, as it is merely 10 steps or so to the kitchen and bathroom, an embarrassing showing for my Fitbit, for sure.
Fired up the sauna
Should I fire up the sauna? I was in one of those rare “take it or leave it” kind of moods. Then with a voice in my head: “you never regret taking a sauna” I step out out my back door, skate strutting my way 20 steps out to my backyard Minneapolis sauna. It felt good to feel the cold air on my face. It felt good to light the stove and prepare for this sauna session. Returning safely back to the house, I filled a couple water bottles, set one outside and then made my way to the stationary bike in the basement.
A good 45 minute bike ride later, I strip down and make my way back safely out the back door, out to the sauna: 145f and ready for more wood. Perfect! Pulling the coals forward, I add another log to the hot coals and tick tick tick goes the stove (from expanding metal). I then step back outside and dump a bunch of cold water over my head. Yeah!! Wake up call! Sauna time! Back into the hot room I go, for a long building sauna round 155f… 160f… delaying that first blast of water on the rocks, 165f enjoying a rising dry first round. Then, 170f BLAST, on goes the water… “pssssssssstttttttttt” Ahh…… a solo sauna. I can be aggressive with the water on the rocks.
A journey without leaving the backyard
This is sauna in our own backyard in winter. 20 steps out our backdoors, and we are instantly brought to somewhere else, far beyond the borders of our own backyards. The hot room is small, but it feels vast and expansive as we let our minds take us away. Many of us keep our eyes closed in sauna. This helps with the transformation (and keeps our eyes from drying).
No traffic. No crowds. No people. Sauna. Simplicity.
After a good long hot round, we step outside and our journey beyond our property line continues. After a douse of cold water, we may sit outside with steam billowing thinking of nothing, or something that wants to be thought about. We breathe in the fresh air and appreciate how sauna is our time.
No traffic. No crowds. No people. Sauna. Freedom.
Two more sauna rounds
As we know, a sauna rounds becomes complete after our body core has completely cooled back to neutral. After about 10 minutes outside, as the winter cold starts to penetrate deeper than our skin, we recognize that it’s time for another round. Back into the sauna we go.
Hot, hot, steam… ahhh… eyes closed, taking in the heavy, thick heat, feeling it penetrate deep into our bodies. No rush. Meditative silence. Sweat building.
No traffic. No crowds. No people. Sauna. Tranquility.
Time to leave the hot room? Well, cold water across our bodies is “about the best idea we’ve ever heard!”. So, off we go. again Cold splash, cool air, refreshing… ahhhh.
How long are we out there? Couple hours maybe? However long our sauna retreat, we return back inside the house feeling as if we went somewhere. A journey. Somewhere far from home, like another country, even.
Though our GPS trackers won’t say we went anywhere this Friday, we feel as if we have gone on a long, pleasant journey.
A wellness retreat without leaving our property.