As far as I’ve seen, Fins have two favorite questions to ask to internationals: “what do you think about the people?” and “have you tried the sauna yet?”
It took me two entire months of refusal, smiling and saying “not yet but I’ll do it soon” to actually do it.
I could give a short answer for that question and simply say: Yes! it’s amazing!
But, (un)luckily for you, I’ll give a really long explanation of how and why the sauna changed my life….
For many years, I went to a religious school for women. The daily-praying type. We were taught to act like a lady, to walk like a lady, to smile and even to think like a lady, so when I knew that in Finland, people would actually gathered, COMPLETELY NAKED, in a hot-like-hell place, the “live like a lady” alarm turned on inside my head and I could clearly picture the nuns of my school, pointing me out with an accusatory finger.
I avoided the topic as much as I could, but the weather was getting colder and the idea of spending an hour in a warm place, was too good to reject it.
So I took a deep breath, accepted the possible sins and faced my fears….
Next thing I knew, I was there -with a towel of course-, eyes closed, feeling the hot air entering my lungs. Surprisingly, I didn’t think about the nuns and the disappointment in their eyes. I thought about my grandma instead, a tough woman with high emotions who took almost 50 years to find peace through the meditation. She was so excited with her new discovery that tried to spread the knowledge among her grandchildren. Of course we were young and reckless and didn’t feel the need to find anything but good jobs and master’s degrees…. However, sitting there, allowing the sweat to cover my body, completely relaxed, I imagined that at the end, that was the whole point, the thing that my grandma tried to explain for so many years.
I laughed only to imagine the explanation I would give to her: “Guess what grandma? I found peace while I was completely naked in a hot room, now I got your point, thanks for sharing”.
So I decided that as soon as I go back to Mexico, I’ll tell my grandma that I found a different type of meditation without entering into details, and If you see the nuns, please tell them that there are Christian ways to be naked in a room, and that ”Sauna” can be definitely considered as a lady-way to spare time.