The Finnish Sauna experience is well known all over the world. There is at least one couple in Pennsylvania, United States also who makes Sauna even more popular. Cindy Ross, 60, and his husband enjoy their own sauna especially spring and fall time.
“And we like to sauna when it rains, as the sauna has a tin roof and the rain sounds lovely. For my family, taking a sauna is a celebration and a special occasion,” Cindy Ross says.
She knows what she’s talking about. The sauna was already built 30 years ago.
“We built the sauna as practice before building our Scandinavian style log home. My husband and I wondered if we should build a smaller building like a toolshed or an out house. Then we thought that a Sauna would be more fun!”
Ross´s Sauna is wood fired. They own multiple acres of hardwood forest and cut dead and dying wood for heating their home and Sauna. The stove is fed wood from the outside however Inside the Sauna room there is stove out of two metal drums. Cindy´s husband built it.
“There are 230 kilograms of igneous rocks in wire mesh saddlebags draped over the sides of the wood stove inside the Sauna room. These rocks heat the Sauna.”
Ross´s family fires up the sauna about 2-3 hours before they go in. Then they take three rounds and sweat about 20 minutes at once. Cindy Ross thinks the best temperature is about 85-90 Celsius.
“We are not fond of moist wet sauna heat as we live in a hot and humid climate here in the Mid Atlantic in Pennsylvania. So we keep it quite dry.”
Sauna is relaxing but it is also a very social event; one without screens or technology. Also Cindy’s friends and other visitors have visited the Sauna.
“Even when we have friends who have not met before, after taking a sauna together, they are fast friends from the shared experience. Sharing stories and laughter, listening how various friends from different part of our lives find a commonality with one another. There is always something to talk about and the conversation is high and humorous.”
After having a Sauna Cindy Ross has her own delicacy and It´s not sausage as we usually assume in Finland.
“We always eat ice cream. We like to have something cold after hot Sauna,” she tells.
In Pennsylvania the sauna is pretty unusual but there are some Saunas at gyms and in the fitness clubs.
“But they are tiny boxes with an electric heater which is far different from a log Finnish sauna in the woods,” Cindy knows.
Text: Essi Rikama