Sauna Talk is a show about the authentic sauna experience. Recorded (often) on the sauna bench, we talk with interesting guests about sauna including such aspects as building sauna, enjoying sauna, and health and wellness benefits to sauna. The rising sauna tide is lifting many boats and we look forward to some left turns that we hope to keep listeners on and off the more enjoyable and less trampled authentic sauna trail.
Sauna Talk #071: Summer Sauna
Today on Sauna Talk, we are joined by several different summer guests to my island cabin sauna in Northern Minnesota. This episode features guests from literally all over the world who have all found themselves on my sauna bench which I co built in 1996 and is still humming along strong.
The sauna is 3.5 hours North of Minneapolis, MN close to the Boundary Waters Canoe area on Lake Vermilion, one of the largest lakes in Minnesota. Stretching 26 miles East to West, our cabin sits on the largest of 365 islands, Pine Island. There are no roads or cars on 7 mile long Pine Island, but there are some hiking trails, and one of my fondest memories and routines of sauna on Pine Island is to fire up my sauna stove, then take an island hike, in nature, returning to pull the coals forward and maybe toss a sauna log on the stove.
For many, this is where the resonating wonderfulness of sauna shines. In nature, detached from the business of day to day. Birds chirping, water lapping along the shore, long twilight evenings that transition slowly. When the thought of tossing another log on the sauna stove isn’t a question, but something you just do (after pulling the coals forward). This is where and when we get full appreciation of the fact that Sauna in nature is bigger than all of us.
Alex & John. “I’ve been coming here my whole life… Wood fired and great heat is what I love.” Becca & Garrett Lamppa. “My dad welded all the Kuuma stoves out of Lamppa Manufacturing until about 2017.” “Finnish culture is very close to home.” Bill & Ingrid. “The fist thing we did is start planning for our backyard sauna.” “We are enjoying our sauna and still working on our sauna.” Lee Sarkela. “My memory of sauna goes back to splashing in the bucket on the floor as a young child.” Petri Leivonen & Mike Tuttle. Scott Gallis & Family from Brazil. “Where you are at is where you are able to enjoy it the most. In sauna, friendships are forget. People are able to get on the same vibration and welcome peace.”
Sauna Talk #070: Lewis Jenkinson
Today’s Sauna Talk podcast episode is with Lewis Jenkinson, who shares with us his heart and soul of good sauna. Today on the bench we welcome Lewis Jenkinson from the absolute midpoint of England, just North of Manchester. With the rise in interest of sauna – real sauna – (not lightbulbs, toaster ovens, or other minimally ventilated fragmentations), it’s interesting to learn how others have become impassioned with and driven towards advancing the authentic sauna experience in their lives.
It’s a simple formula, really. And In Lewis’ case, his drive towards authentic sauna was propelled through his resonating positivity of contrast therapy. We’ll hear his journey while marshal arts training, then cold immersion therapy, and onto the sauna bench. Lewis’s unfulfilling sauna experience at the gym sauna, heated by a toaster oven with 9 rocks and terrible ventilation, has driven him deep into the depths of discovery into the authentic, quality sauna experience.
Many of us curious enough can become knowledgeable about good sauna and are in clear understanding of the Holy Trinity of good sauna (heat, steam, ventilation). And Lewis is right there with us, a kindred spirit of good heat.
Sauna Talk topics for discussion
Trip to Germany – oh boy this way incredible. We get to hear about his Therma Erding, the World’s largest spa, just outside Munich, Germany.
History with Sauna, getting hooked and mental wellbeing – started martial arts, diet and exercise. Moved on to cold water and breathing, finally discovered sauna. All my adult life has unknowingly been searching for powerful ways to reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety and Insomnia. I was later diagnosed with Aspergers and ADHD which made total sense.
Cedar Sauna Company – Knew I needed my own sauna so started a mobile sauna company to share with the UK but then began to import and build barrels from Russia. Realized not to rely on imports and studied sauna construction. Company enquiries are flooding in and the company is going from strength to strength quite rapidly.
Sauna in the UK – the scene is growing quickly. There is a huge rise in mobile sauna businesses and I manage a What’s App group with my friend which was created to help mobile sauna entrepreneurs set up and run their own business through sharing information with other businesses owners. In true British fashion, the UK seems to be moulding it’s own sauna culture taken from cultures all over the world including Russian, Finnish, Estonian, Lithuanian and German styles.
What is good heat – manageable and breathable. A heat which initially seems mild but creeps up on you almost imperceptibly, sending your heart rate higher and higher until you have to leave. A cold plunge is essential and the thought of which helps me to keep with the heat a little longer.
Recurring Sauna Talk questions
Mobile sauna anywhere in the world – someone already said space which would be serene but I’m gonna go with a winter riverside landscape with lots of people. Everyone would be invited to strip off and enjoy the sweat.
Sauna with anyone – my grandfather. He was a stoker for the navy so I recon he would have taken to sauna quite easily.
Favourite sauna moment – cold plunge, before or after. This is where the world goes quiet for me. My normally racing thoughts go quiet and it feels like pure serenity. Sauna helps me to spend longer meditating in the cold.
What is most misunderstood about sauna – that it is intense. It shouldn’t be. It should feel as relaxing as a warm bath on a cold day.
Sauna Talk #069: George Cory
Today on Sauna Talk, we meet with photographer George Cory, who is documenting the British sauna movement. George Cory is reporting in from Folkestone on the Southeast Coast of England. He is a current master’s student studying photography and is an avid sauna enthusiast.
We catch up with George in his hometown in Great Britain. He is one of the first photographers in the UK to immerse himself in this emerging culture and has so far documented the owners, builders, and users of authentic saunas in the UK. Reflecting the passion of those involved, George takes the opportunity to express the importance of sauna culture. He shares in imagery and dedication how these values are being adopted in Britain.
During our visit, you’ll get to hear from George about the exhibition of his photo project ‘Löyly Life’ in his hometown of Folkestone from Monday 15th – Saturday 20th August. The exhibition will also be the launch for a small run of books created that feature the project. The book includes foreword from sauna owner Sam Glyn-Jones and Q&A with Heartwood Saunas founder Olly Davey.
British Air offers several non stop flights from North America to Britain, but if you can’t make it to the exhibition but would like to secure a copy of the book, please message George on Instagram @georgecory_ . The photo books are priced at £15 (free shipping unless international)!
Sauna Talk #068: Yana Kaiser
Greetings from Sompasauna in Helsinki. Today we visit with Yana who takes us through her deep connection to sauna, from Aufguss at the large public saunas in Germany, to the Danish Sauna Association, and now with her employment with Studio Puisto, a Helsinki based architectural firm that focuses on sustainable hospitality and sauna design. Here we have a look at their new commercial sauna project Saunaravintola, Northeast of Tampere, Finland.
Sompasauna To be able to Sauna Talk is one thing, and to be able to Sauna Talk on the bench is another. And today, it was a treat to be Sauna Talk with Yana by the shores of the brackish Baltic Sea at Sompasauna, the world’s only free public sauna open to all at any time day or night.
Sauna Aid Yana shares with us the origins of Sauna-Aid, and her involvement with the initiative. The brainchild behind it, and the relationship with the organizations like the International Sauna Association.*
Yana introduced herself to me at this year’s World Sauna Forum in Tampere, Finland, along with Heikki Riitahuhta, Partner with Studio Puisto. We later met up for sauna in Helsinki. Hearing her story compelled me to bring out the recorder, and share her love and passion with you. Yana is part of a young generation of sauna enthusiasts. And, like many of us, Yana is motivated to more than just enjoy time on the sauna bench.
Sauna-Aid Participating organizations:
Japan Sauna Spa Association, Lithuanian Bath Academy, Association of Professional Bathmasters, British Sauna Society, Finnish Sauna Society, Polish Sauna Society, German Sauna Association, Norwegian Sauna Society, Danish Sauna Association, Finnish Embassy in Poland, North American Sauna Society, Swedish Sauna Academy, New Zealand Sauna Society, The Australian Sweat Bathing Association, Finnland-Institut Berlin, Austrian Sauna Society, and the Czech Sauna Association. (More organizations to follow.)
Sauna Talk #067: Sauna Days 2022
Today on the bench we hear from several guests attending Sauna Days 2022 at Larsmont Cottages. What a great time we had, sharing our collective and individual passions about sauna. We came from all over, but are united in spirit! Let’s here from:
1. Katy, Sisu & Löyly, Grand Rapids, MN. Who has a sauna by the Lake Superior shoreline, build and converted from an old Fish House on site.
2. Eric, Voyageur Saunas. A big fan of the sauna tribe, and sauna builder from Twin Cities, Minnesota.
3. Dan from the The Banya House in Burnsville, Minnesota.
4. Alex from Bsaunas USA. He initially won the Eric Conover Sauna Magic book. as he traveled all the way from Buffalo, NY.
5. Keegan Kittock, Deep Wave Sauna. Building saunas for several years. Meeting new people who share the same passions, with like minded people.
6. Justin, Cedar & Stone Nordic Sauna. “Our world right now is starving for connection… Almost every single time, sauna is the best way to relieve stress.” New people who have never heard about sauna are coming to sauna. We are drawing on tradition. We get to create together and be part of a community.” In Duluth, access to trails are only 1/4 mile away. Nature is right next to us in 218. Justin doesn’t own and run a sauna company, he owns and runs a stress destroying company.
7. Meinrad Signer saunameinrat.com. Manitoba. Sauna rental or group sauna guide. We are living in a climate very similar to Finland and the Baltic states. A lot of his customers are Russian born.
8. Tom Carlson, a Sauna Map Champion from Madison Wisconsin.
9. Darin Mays, Urban Wing Co. Sauna confessions. I’d be in the hot room, and Darin in the cool down room, during Covid. Urban Wing sells patented designed sauna vents. Sleek, clear cedar. Part of a morning dip Sunrise dip into Lake Superior. We adapted the Mindstrong Harvey 5/15.
10. Nick from Arizona. Surprised his wife that Sauna Days is his gift for his wife for Mother’s Day.
11. Andrea and Art, unwind-body-mind.com Spa wellness center in Wisconsin. “Sauna brings what is real.” More meaning and connection. We can serve a lot of people with sauna.
12. Beau, Ben from Hayward, Wisconsin. Beau is starting a sauna rental and sales business in Hayward, WI.
13. Jean, up for the community and experience. Bringing friends in, like Kate. “when you love something, you bring it to the one’s you love.”
Let’s go Sauna!
Sauna Talk #066: Dr. Jonathan Bricker
Dr. Jonathan Bricker is a Professor of Public Health Science at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center and University of Washington in Seattle.
A recipient of over $25 million dollars in research funding, and author of over 110 scientific publications, Dr. Bricker’s research focuses on developing and testing health habits that prevent cancer. He has been enjoying sauna since his first exposure in 1991 as an exchange student in Oulu, Finland.
He now enjoys his backyard sauna which he constructed with his family and friends.
It’s always a great treat to Sauna Talk on the sauna bench, as opposed to via Zoom, as was the case with many previous episodes during Corona. But today, Jonathan and I were able to sweat it out together in my Minneapolis backyard sauna. As you will hear, Jonathan was in town to visit a studio film set to record a master class on how to quit smoking.
In the SaunaTimes post introducing this podcast episode, you’ll find a link to Jonathan’s Bricker’s 2014 Ted Talk entitled “The Secret to Self Control” which, by the way, has over 7 million views. We discuss “willingness” and its association and application to sauna and contrast therapy.
For those times when you can’t sauna
Always good content and good info for long time sauna lovers and those new to it. Glenn’s a great host that keeps listeners engaged and has thoughtful questions for guests.
Just love this podcast
Glenn is so amazing, this podcast is one of the most underrated and informative podcast out there.
Keep it up, Glenn!
Learning the magic of sauna
Putting the final touches of my sauna(built following Glenn’s ebook), enjoying the podcast and learning “how to sauna”. Thanks