Russian Baths, The Russian Banya Steam Bath
While many Americans may visit their local sauna every once in a while, or even take a trip to a very nice one that is miles away, they usually do it for a bit of relaxation and that's it.
Russians take their banyas much more seriously. It is often a daily process and is used to promote good health, beauty and circulation.
The benefits of the banyas are far too many for locals to ignore, and the relaxation aspect is wonderful too.
For these reasons, the banyas are a weekly routine at the very least.
The Banya Steam
Going to the Russian Baths is more than just sitting around in a bunch of steam. The steam itself has to be perfect so that it's not too light or clammy. The fires are heated to a certain point, and small amounts of water are poured onto the coals.
It evaporates very quickly, creating a hot, dry and thick steam rather than a cooler and lighter steam. The water that is poured onto the coals often contains herbs to make the experience even better for you. For instance, it might contain eucalyptus and pine or other scented herbs.
Benefits Of The Russion Banya
The steam of the Russian Baths instantly opens the pores of bathers, and causes them to begin sweating. Through this sweat, toxins are removed and dirt and oil is pushed out. Visitors often wear Chapkas, or felt hats to protect the hair.
Relaxing while the steam does it's important job, a bather will occasionally pour a small ladle-full of water onto the hot coals. This immediately fills the room with thick steam and heat.
After the bather has gotten a good sweat worked up, he or she will step outside into the cool air, take a dip in cool water or even roll around in the snow in order to help him or her cool off.
Because the steaming process is repeated several times, between breaks the bather may enjoy themselves with a game of cards, snacks or some other interesting thing until they enter the banyo again.
Often these people will use small bundles of birch wood or some other appropriate wood to beat gently against their bodies until the skin is a rosy color.
The purpose of this is to ensure good and lasting circulation all over. This is also repeated, as the banya process is repeated. After the entire bathing process is complete, individuals are often massaged down with oils and are left feeling completely relaxed and clean.
The entire process is actually quite beneficial to health and skin, and Russian individuals enjoy visiting their banya to ensure that they are healthy and happy!
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