We’ve got our way through the heat of summer. It’s getting dark earlier. The breeze now comes with “ahhh” coolness. As we exit our hot rooms, whether we duck under the backyard shower or dive off our docks, we are enveloped with that familiar, welcoming “righteous” coolness.
Northeast Minnesota is home to a small but loyal sect of sauna enthusiasts who call this experience “cowani” – a Naive American sauna enthusiast abbreviation for Cool Water Nirvana.
Next time you hear someone “yelp” like a frightened rabbit, as that fresh beautiful cold water hits their body between a sauna round, suggest instead that they reach for a different conditional response. Suggest they shout “cowani!” but from deeper in the diaphragm, less whiney, and with a little bit more command: “co-wa-ni !”
Next time you’re hit hard by that wonderfully fresh, cold fall water, try “cowani!”
It’s kind has a ring to it, like “timber!” for when the tree falls.
What is Cowani? It is a foundation for inner strength. Sisu. In the moment mind fullness that helps us focus on the core of our body, not the skin, stimulating the vagus nerve of the parasympathetic nervous system, which reduces the body’s fight-or-flight response and all kinds of other goodness that may be better saved for another day.
CO-ol WA-ter NI-rvana