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2016 Snow Walkers’ Rendezvous: Garrett Conover offers us an introduction to Finnish Style Sauna in North America

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Guest post series continues.  Welcome Garrett Conover from rural Maine, USA.  Garrett shares a deep resonance and appreciation of the authentic sauna experience.  He is ambitious and passionate towards sharing this appreciation.  For example, in 2016, soon after hearing about the 612 Sauna Society in Minneapolis, MN, Garrett made contact with fearless leader John Pederson, myself, and a few other Minnesota sauna spirited folks, then flew out to Minneapolis, met all of us, took high end photos, while experiencing and documenting much of the spirit of this budding community movement.

Garrett Conover generating Loyly in his sauna while the Maine winter winds blow.
Garrett Conover generating Loyly in the sauna while the Maine winter winds blow outside.

This winter, 2017, Garrett put on the following presentation.  Thankfully, it was well documented by Alek Gusev.  I am excited to share the presentation with you below.  Here is a summary of Garrett’s main points:


  • Benefits over time:  One of the beauties of engaging with a direct and authentic Sauna tradition is that we gain all the benefits of refinement and experience as perfected over a very long time regardless of the timing of our personal introduction.
  • With our own twists: And, based on those roots, we are free to evolve our own personalized rituals and ways of being attentive to something so much richer and more profound than something we might reinvent on our own.
  • Low cost access to entry:  Access to the health, happiness, and community splendors of Sauna need not be out of reach. While many can afford to have architects and contractors, like Nils of Solhem Sauna, build something in the ten to forty thousand dollar range, anyone can make a sweatlodge, or create a “found” sauna from scavenged, recycled, or re-purposed materials, such as Mary Flemming’s chicken coop sauna.
  • Attention with meaning: Whatever is possible to achieve in creating or investing in Sauna, it remains critical that everything about the siting, building, even the trail to it, and the details of ritual, are approached with supreme attention to esthetics and context because this has to do with the qualities and meanings each of us applies to our lives.
  • Meanings beyond restorative:  The bigger importance of Sauna as deliberate restorative time aside, has everything to do with the generosity, reverence, thoughtfulness, and care we apply to community, circle of family and friends, and as individuals. This can not be understated.

Editor’s note:  please note the guest knitting away contently.  To me, she is illustrating flow state being/thinking.

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2 thoughts on “2016 Snow Walkers’ Rendezvous: Garrett Conover offers us an introduction to Finnish Style Sauna in North America”

  1. This was a fantastic video, informative, and should be reproduced more widely. I would like to get in touch with Scott, and discuss some future plans with him

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