Do you start out with a nice steam, a dunk in a pool, a hot/wet sauna, or sit in the hot tub for a bit? Yes, the tub is supposed to be very hot, and yes the pull-chain shower is supposed to be very cold, but what is unique about our Banya, as opposed to others, is there are lots of options for in-between temperatures. There’s a tepid pool (traditionally, it’s ice cold) and also temperature controlled showers on the main floor. Besides being a really social activity, the point of visiting a banya is to move your body from temperature to temperature based on the age-old Russian theories that doing so will increase circulation and raise your body’s immunity to sickness & give all your internal organs a spring cleaning! I can’t really testify to the physiology, but I do know that after visiting our banya, if you really do it right, you will feel as if you’ve spent a week on vacation! The facilities are very clean–The cleanest of all the Banyas, and the staff work really hard to keep it that way. We take great pride and care in what we do.
At some point in the sauna, you will see people beating one another with leafy birch branches. This is normal, enjoyable, and also supposedly increases circulation. It definitely exfoliates. If you want you can buy your own Venik (oak leaves) and whip your friends with it!
Drink water the whole time. And when not in the pool or the hot tub, keep a towel around your head to help regulate your body’s temperature. This protects you from turning into a giant blob of jelly after only an hour into your visit and helps keep you hydrated.