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John's NW Wisconsin cabin sauna building (a former garage).

Sauna Talk: John Breitinger shares his deep appreciation of the sauna experience and tells us about his tremendous cabin sauna build project

Today the bench we visit with John Breitinger.

John is a Minneapolis resident and commercial real estate developer who has been in this field for a while. Currently, John is doing some major consulting work for a large bank. He has a cabin about two hours north east of Minneapolis Saint Paul, Minnesota. This cabin is a very old-school cabin with a few outbuildings. As you will hear described in this episode, one of the buildings on his property is a garage. Built in the 1930s with a lot of character, he got to scratching his head and thinking well this would be an ideal place for an authentic sauna.

John’s recently completed sauna build project

John is a great photographer. He captured the building of his sauna. Check out this post here. In addition, you’ll see John’s meticulous approach to his sauna building project. Being a commercial real estate developer, John is well familiar with all of the aspects to a project. He leaned into this build with much the same rigor and enthusiasm as with his day job.

John’s NW Wisconsin cabin sauna building (a former garage).

Yet there are two things about John that bare noting: One is that he stumbled upon the authentic sauna experience much like many of us, through his overseas travel in Europe, Northern Europe specifically. The deep heat stayed in his bones, like it does with a lot of us including myself. John brought that feeling back with him to America. Here, he was able to realize this feeling again.

The second important thing about John and sauna is his deep, soulful appreciation with the healing nature of sauna with within oneself and also as a community gathering opportunity. Based on John’s experience with the Native American sweat lodge, he is acutely in tune to the adaptation of that practice as a healing and a bonding potential element for a gathering of people. I think this is explained well by John in this interview.

I am happy to have lent my hand as a consultant to John’s sauna build. He did it right, on so many levels as you will hear in this episode.

I wanted to introduce you to John through my eyes, as a friend talking casually on the sauna bench. Once again Sauna keeps giving and giving. Authentic Sauna draws just so many great people into my life I’m very grateful for this.

Please welcome my friend John Breitinger to sauna talk.

Enjoying a cold beer after hot sauna with John Breitinger, Sauna Talk
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4 Comments on This Post

  1. Thanks for a fantastic interview! As someone who is exploring options for a backyard sauna build, it was helpful and inspiring to hear about John’s process of moving from vision to reality. I have been focussing on a 12×8 build (probably similar to one suggested in the ebook), but John’s experience really highlighted the value of nice sized chill out/changing room. Now I am at least dreaming about the possibility of a 16×12 or 16×10 structure with a legit chill out space during sauna time and as a backyard retreat/hangout space anytime (at least three seasons). Anyone have experience with a backyard structure bigger than 12×8 that serves both purposes?

  2. Great to meet you Glenn! Talk to the neighbors about developing the old power station as a sauna. I think it would be great!

  3. Nate: Glad you enjoyed the interview! Yes, I have experience with a backyard structure bigger than 12×8. As you point out, “a legit chill out space” helps bring the sauna experience to an “11.” There’s nothing wrong with a smaller changing area, yet if one is looking to provide a sauna party space for lots of endorphin rushing between sauna rounds, I suggest considering the “garage annex” sauna build.

    Bumping out an existing garage allows the sauna builder to dual function the garage. ie. for a kick ass sauna party, park your cars on the street and break out the ping pong table. I’ve lived this for 30 years now. While my wife and her non sauna friends would be Hgge. chilling in our living room by the fire inside, I would be in the backyard having some pretty raucous fun sauna parties, all within the footprint of our property, without waiver forms or extended permit applications from zoning and planning.

    Joi de vivre in a health and wellness fun kinda way. Here’s a pic of my garage sauna mahaul. Hope it inspires!

    BONUS: After backyard sauna party, host can easily escort guests to property line wearing only Troxers and smile.

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