Aufguss - A ritual
The sauna Aufguss-session is a wonderful ceremony for both body and soul!
What is an aufguss? Well, simply itâ€™s the German translation of the Finnish lÃ¶yly, it is the ritual of sprinking the hot rocks on the sauna stove with water to make steam, literaly "pouring on". Sometimes the water is scented with herbs or other essences.
This is a procedure administered only by a trained Aufgiesser.
Most saunas post their aufguss schedules near the information desk in their saunaland. It shows what times, which saunas, and what special features will be featured in each aufguss for the day. When you see one that you would like to try, go to the appropriate sauna a few minutes before the aufguss is scheduled to start and take a seat. Consider the temperature of the sauna when you do this, because if you thought it was hot normally, it will seem much hotter during the aufguss.
When the appointed time arrives, the Aufgiesser arrives. He or she works for the facility. The aufguss begins with the hanging of a sign on the door: â€œAufguss in progress: Please do not enter.â€ If the sign is up and you go in anyway, you will raise the ire of all the others in the sauna. However, if you are inside and the heat becomes too much for you, it is (grudginly) tolerated if you leave quickly.
The aufguss begins with the door being propped open, and the Aufgiesser uses his towel as a fan. This does two things: It brings fresh air into the sauna, and it gets the sauna stove firing at full power. When he closes the door, he will introduce himself, and give a short description of how long the aufguss will last, and what to expect.
Now comes the water on the rocks.
Your Aufgiesser will have entered the sauna with some buckets in hand. These can be filled with plain water, but usually will have some essential oils or other fragrances mixed in. Intensive aufguss will have whole buckets thrown on the rocks at once, sometimes followed by buckets of ice, which vaporizes more slowly and prolongs the aufguss. As the water steams off of the rocks, you will feel the heat of the sauna become more intense as the air becomes more humid.
Now the Aufgiesser begins by taking her towel and twirling it around over her head to circulate the hottest air throughout the sauna chamber.
You will feel a greater sensation of heat after this. Next she will start at one side of the room, and fan a group of people with her towel to wash hot air over them. She will walk around the room and make sure everyone gets a dose of this heat. Sometimes sheâ€™ll then work her way back to the starting point.
When it is your turn, sit up straight, and spread your arms slightly away from your body. Close your eyes and exhale as you hear the snap of the towel. Enjoy the wave of heat that rushes over your body. If you feel like the heat will be too much, raise your legs in front of your body, and hide your face behind your knees, letting your legs shield your body core from the extra heat.
When your Aufgiesser is done, give her a round of applause before she leaves. Then cool down, replenish your fluids, and find the next scheduled aufguss.
Stregthens Your body against cold and reinforces the immunitary system,
regulates the body cycles and the metabolism,
relaxes the muskles.
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