Transform your bathroom into a luxury status sauna. Follow these simple instructions and your stress will melt away into the bathtub! Follow these simple instructions to create a sauna in your very own bathroom. Then, instead of hopping in the cold car to head home, you can just make a cup of tea, curl up, and get cozy.
Benefits of Sweating
Detoxification of skin and organs
Revitalizes and rejuvenates the skin
Relieves muscle stiffness, pain, and tension.
Reduces numbness, stiffness, rigidity, heaviness.
Improves mobility of the joints
Balances nervous system
Your home sauna may be used a la carte, or as an essential step in detoxification. If you are doing home Pancha Karma, begin your sweat immediately after morning Abhyanga. You may even begin to fill the bathtub while the oil is still on your body. As you heat up, your pores will open to absorb the grounding, nourishing healing oil. Simultaneously, ama (toxicity) that has been loosened by home PK practices will be eliminated. In Ayurveda, it is best to nourish while detoxifying, so that no deficiency or healing crisis is created.
- A small bathroom easily converts into a sauna.
- Insulate: Cover your windows so cold air does not leak in from outside during cold weather. Roll up towels and place them at the bottom of the door.
- Heat: Close the curtain to seal in steam. Fill the bathtub with 4-6 inches of very hot water. You may also use the few inches at the bottom of a shower.
- Prepare: Fill a medium sized bowl with cold water and soak a washcloth. Every few minutes, squeeze some cool water onto your face, back of neck, and top of your head. You may leave the cold washcloth on the top of your head if you like. Rose water hydrosol is a lovely way to keep from overheating while in your home sauna. Simply keep a bottle within reach as spritz your face every few minutes. Have a glass of warm water or ginger tea next to the bathtub.
- Ambiance: Your swedan is meant to be a healing experience in which toxins are removed from your body, that calms your nervous system. Keep lights dim, light candles, add soft music if you like.
- Swedana (start sweating): Place towels on the floor to keep your feet warm. Pull the shower curtain back half way and sit next to the bathtub. A chair or the side of the tub will do just fine!
- Meditate: What to do while sitting in the bathroom doing nothing? For some, this sitting quietly can be quite uncomfortable! Go ahead and simply close your eyes and enjoy the peace. The heat of the steam will naturally slow down your mind.
For some people doing nothing can cause anxiety or aggravation. If you notice these feelings, a great way to work with what comes up is to meditate. Choose a simple phrase that feels powerful and healing to you and repeat it in your mind. When you notice that the phrase has disappeared and you’re thinking about something else, go back to the phrase. Some options I love are:
- Healthy, Happy, Whole.
- So Hum: In your mind, say So as you inhale and Hum as you exhale. That’s all.
- My Body is Healthy, Vital, and Strong.
- Create an affirmation of your own that supports your healing process.
Less is More
For some, especially those of Vata and Kapha constitutions, it may feel like you could stay in the comfort of your sauna all day. Swedana treatment is traditionally done for no more than 10 minutes in a sweat box. Since your steam will be less concentrated, 15 minutes will be fine. Pitta predominant constitutions should not exceed 10 minutes in the sauna.
Instructions complete! The only thing left to do is wrap up in warm, soft clothes, make some tea, and curl up with your favorite movie. And the cat!