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Departing words after a sauna: “Ok, so everybody knows what their doing, right?”

This is what happens after a sauna session in JP’s backyard Minneapolis sauna.

Unlike a lake cabin sauna – where the participants are family members or longtime close friends or neighbors – an urban backyard sauna can bring together strangers, thanks to the social web of the sauna’s owner JP and the 612 Sauna Society.  Also,

Unlike a hotel sauna or health club sauna – where the vibe may often feel more like an airplane terminal of strangers – a backyard sauna evokes a comfort level and spirit of tribesmanship.

Hot room conversation on the bench can be short:

“Hi, i’m Chris” followed by silence (a very Finnish vibe!).  And this is perfectly, wonderfully comfortable.  Invariably, the day has been long and full, the trip to JP’s backyard sauna possibly an adventure, and one needs to “chill out” in the hot room and begin to untangle their own wires, often introspectively.

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Human interaction – especially amongst like minded folks – can get going quickly in sauna.

Complemented with a wonderful cool down outside after a sauna round, before you know it you’ve bumped into someone else who shares a common interest:  “Wow, you make beer too?”  or shares a common friend: “You mean you actually went to school with that guy?  I work with that guy!”  The interweb not of Facebook or same Pinterest photos (insert cram here), but an interweb of something significant: real personal interconnectivity.

Being comfortable in sauna can lead conversation down some wonderful trails.

Like a hike in the Olympic Mountains, the air is fresh and the endorphin rush is real.   Folks are engaging in something together.  The rubber band theory of sauna helps one relax, opening the pores and “thought’s in my mind.”  This leads to sauna talk.  Conversations on the bench can easily veer towards:

  • A story of calamity that is now hilarious, thanks to the healing of time.  (Write it down).
  • Dalai Lama and the secret of happiness. (Google it).
  • “I’m going to Duluth on Friday too.  I’d be happy to give you a ride!”  (Get email address).

Real stuff.

Often, so much can happen during a couple hours in a backyard sauna, one is left asking:

“Ok, so everybody knows what their doing, right?”

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