Yes you read that right. Stark bollock naked. No bikini, no swimsuit, nada.
But can you actually give someone a compliment about his beautiful body? And what do you do if someone wants to squeeze in an already full bubble bath? A wonderful day of sauna is the ultimate form of relaxation for many people.
The steam and high heat make the bathers perspire. Infrared therapy is often referred to as a type of sauna, but according to the Finnish sauna organizations, infrared is not a sauna. The oldest known saunas in Finland were made from pits dug in a slope in the ground and primarily used as dwellings in winter.
There is nothing more Finnish than sauna, and many Finns think you can not grasp Finland or its culture without bathing in a sauna. However, Finns understand that foreigners have certain inhibitions and concerns when it comes to stepping in a heated box with no clothes on. Have a look at our tips below and you need to worry no more.
The quiet calm and the soothing heat of a sauna are designed to help you relax, but if you or your friends are unsure about how to behave in a sauna then that relaxed frame of mind and body can be difficult to achieve. Public saunas will usually have a set of rules or guidelines posted up so that all the bathers know what is expected of them and what to expect. Nudity is a very personal issue.
My German partner at the time first introduced me to the naked German sauna, when I was visiting him from Canada. You can read all about that terrifying experience here. I swore it would be my last visit to a German sauna.
And so, even with centuries of history behind them, these rooms can inspire sweatier palms than foreheads. Luckily, editors Scott and Rebecca are here to help. According to Scott, many guys try and prove their toughness by staying in as long as possible or trying to outlast their friends in the sauna.
Nothing new about being told off, as even liberal Berlin, to which I recently moved, is full of baffling rules. For the Germans, this is as normal as a trip to the supermarket. As in Scandinavia, saunas are revered here for their relaxing effects, circulatory benefits and power to make you sweat a pint in 10 minutes.
Most Finnish people like to take a sauna at least once a week, typically during the weekend, which is why so many businesses, including the Parliament House, have a sauna. Even a branch of Burger King in Helsinki has installed a sauna for business meetings. A public sauna such as this is often hired out for the annual company party and the sauna session becomes a part of the festivities. A workplace sauna session runs the same way it does in private homes — the sauna is heated up to the appropriate temperature, everyone strips off, they enter the sauna for as long as they feel comfortable rarely more than ten minutes at a timehave a cold shower, then relax with a beer or a light meal.