Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Banya Experience

When I went to Russia over the summer I got to experience a Banya for the first time. This is something very much like a suana. But, instead of relaxing or simply laying in the suana like we do in America, in Russia they whip you with branches of leaves! There is a reason for this though. You are supposed to go into the Banya when you are sick, after swimming in a river, or anytime you need cleansed. They say that by whipping you with the leaves cleanses your body from toxins or whatever comes out of your body with the sweat. You are supposed to go in the Banya without clothes but I decided against that idea. In the winter the men like to use a Banya after hunting. They go in nude ofcourse but everyone once in awhile run out and roll around in the snow to cool down. This sounds a little crazy to me though.
Although it seems wierd that being whipped by leaves while trying to relax in a sauna is odd, I really enjoyed it and it really is a relaxing and cleansing method. Whoever gets a chance to go to Russia, definately find a Banya!

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