The Russian Sauna is called Banya and has been used as such for centuries. Here the sexes sauna strictly separated, which works over different visiting times or different facilities. The health effects of the Russian sauna are the same as in the "normal" sauna, the improvement of the blood circulation and the improvement of the efficiency of the immune system, but the way of saunaing is different.
Temperatures in the Russian sauna
But the Russian sauna gets much hotter, the temperatures here can be well over 100 °C.
Sauna lovers heat a banya with a wood-fired sauna oven - other variants are out of the question. However, the Russian sauna gets much hotter, the temperatures here can be well over 100 °C. For comparison: In the Finnish sauna, a maximum of 80 °C is usually reached, but the Finnish sauna uses more infusions. But also in the Banja, infusions take place, where hot water mixed with essential oils is added to the sauna stones. The air humidity is thus significantly increased and the heat is perceived as even more effective. For many sauna visitors this means a considerable amount of habituation, because the great heat is an enormous strain on the cardiovascular system.
Construction of the Russian sauna
The banya consists of a wooden cabin, which is comparable to the usual sauna. Usually the Russian sauna consists of several compartments: There is a washroom, a sweat room and a relaxation room. The washroom is considered an elementary component: here, sauna-goers scrub themselves with water from wooden tubs, whereby this water does not necessarily have to be heated. The used water is drained outside via a gutter. The wood stove is also fired from the washroom. In some cases, the recreation room and the washroom are located in one room, but the wood-burning stove is always fired from the washroom.
Further special features of the Banja
By the way, the Banya is used as a typical meeting place for business talks - many cooperations and projects have already been established in the Russian sauna.
The Russian sauna is not only much hotter than the Finnish version, but the visitors can become active themselves - this is however again comparable to the Finnish sauna. The sauna guests easily beat themselves or other visitors with the "wenik", which are leafy birch twigs that have been soaked in water beforehand. The so-called tassels are used as a massage. It is important that the birch twigs actually still have leaves, otherwise the tassels become very painful. That is why sauna lovers use fresh branches directly from the trees in summer, while dried branches are used in winter. The water from soaking the birch branches is used as an infusion - in fact, it is the most popular sauna infusion of the banya. This birch water infusion is followed by beer on the popularity scale - alcohol as a typical Russian variant. It is no coincidence that the custom of using vodka for the infusions is quite common. However, of course nobody returns from a sauna completely befogged!
In the Russian sauna the guests are naked - hence the strict separation according to the sexes. After the last sauna session or between the individual sessions, the visitors go to the relaxation room. There they eat small snacks or drink beer or tea. Afterwards they go to the next passage or the relaxation break heralds the end of the sauna visit.
By the way, the Banya is used as a typical meeting place for business talks - many cooperations and projects have already been established in the Russian Sauna.