I love to sing the praises of the infrared sauna. I’ve blogged about it a few times, tweeted it, instagram-ed it, and it seems to have gotten you lot curious on this whole infrared biz. So, here’s the ins and outs. I’ll run through the physical benefits, the metaphysical magic of it, what it looks like, what it feels like and what you can expect to pay for one (if you decide you after this post that you just gotta have it).
Compact. Tidy. Non-invasive.
This is what she looks like; a neat little timber-effect box with a reflective door and window. This one is about 2.5 metres long by 1.5m wide, and it’s about 6 ft tall (My head scrapes the top when I stand up).
Firstly, I have to mention how important is it to let the sauna heat up for about 20 minutes. Otherwise you’ll be sitting in there, cold, thinking geez is this thing even working? Also, obviously I don’t climb into the sauna with perfect curls and a nice cardigan (!); less is best and I always wear a bikini. In fact, do you have an old worn out bikini that you could wear? Because when you hit the 30 minute mark, you’ll be drenched. My mate Deano heads in there wearing sweatpants and a shirt. Ick! Dry reach. I have to wonder how often he washes his clothes! Haha…
I digress. When you climb into the sauna with towel and book and iPod (and in my case, crystals) in tow, it feels like the Sahara Desert has thumped you in the face. Bam! You’ll probably gasp. You might even momentarily hate it. Personally, I have learnt to love this feeling; my body instantly releases any tention that a clammy winter ensues. The heat is dry, dry, dry. There’s not a skeric of moisture in the air. Again, this is something I love about the infrared. Your body is warmed from the inside out, and just when you think you’re never going to break out into a sweat, the flood gates open. Sweat starts pouring from your face onto the pages of your book and it runs down your back like a waterfall. I know it’s not the most attractive visual, but try and liken this to the sweat of a spin class- it feels good.
One thing- just remember to breathe through your nose (like in Bikram).
Inside the sauna box, there’s a bright light with a slide of different colours to choose from.
In a nutshell, here’s a run down of the physiological benefits depending on the colour.
But this wouldn’t be Such Different Skies if I didn’t offer you my personal, magical, metaphysical reasons for using colour therapy in the sauna. I always opt for spiritual healing.
I Consult My Chakras.
Let’s say for example, that I’ve got a lot on my plate; a lot of creative commitments. I’ve scheduled blogging, I’ve committed to guest posting and I have to respond to coaching clients. It’s easy to weaken to overwhelm in situations like these. But instead, I like to spend a little time with Universal energy, inviting creativity into my life. I’ll split my time between the yellow and blue lights. Yellow because it’s the colour of our third chakra (solar plexus)- our power source; picture a huge, bright beaming sun spiralling out from your diaphram. This is our creative centre, and I use the sauna to energise this chakra. Blue represents our throat chakra, and energising this area facilitates expression. I’ll also take in some chunks of citrine and carnelian, with the intention that creativity will hover over me and surround me. A nice book or some inspiration audio helps also.
If I’m financially stressed, I’ll split my time between two colours, green and red. Green because it’s the colour of money and abundance, and red because it’s the colour of our base chakra, and to me, it represents stability. This is totally subjective, and I go with whatever feels right. Always keep in mind the power of intention. If you declare that the colour red will empower you, or that the colour blue will calm you, then it will. Catch my drift?
Weight Loss + Maintenance
It doesn’t matter how impeccable my diet is, if I’m not moving, my weight is, and it moves up! This season, I’m doing a whole lot of sitting on my arse, and I have the sauna to thank (along with my diet and meditation) for keeping me trim. Sweat, baby, sweat. The two seasons I’ve done in Mount Buller are the only two winters where I haven’t gained weight (in fact, I tend to loose weight here). This isn’t the be all and end all, but we’re all women here, so I thought you might appreciate this info.
Please refer to above statement: sweat, baby, sweat. Also, after 45 minutes to an hour in the hot box, and once you’ve had a shower, you’ll feel as though you’ve had a purifying facial. Bliss!
The prices of infrared saunas have dropped dramatically since I was researching them last year. If you pop on over to eBay you’ll see some for as little as $500! I’m not sure how much they cost if you visit them casually in a salon or spa, but I’d assume it would be at least $20? Correct me if I’m wrong. Anyway, if you have a little nook or cranny in your home that’s looking pretty lonely and you’re craving some magical, sweaty colour therapy, you might want to consider installing this healing powerhouse in your home.
This beauty is going on my vision board!
What do you think petals? Intrigued? Inspired? Wanting and needing? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you ever used an infrared sauna? How do you compare it to a steam room? Let me hear it in the comments below.