In the mood for mindfullness
Bus ride from Helsinki to start the day with barefoot walk at natures own paths at Porvoo. While earthling as your feet touches the ground you can feel yourself connecting to the Earth’s natural energy is foundational for vibrant health. During the hike we’ll be gathering herbs for steam bathing later on the evening. Lunch is served at a restaurant that uses local ingredients. After the lunch there is a possibility to short sightseeing tour in old town of Porvoo.
Example programme in Southern Finland for mindfulness & wellbeing incentive.
- Group size: 10 – 20 persons, best time to take the tour: May – September
- In Winter season the activities can be replaced with snow shoe hike, ice swimming and sauna yoga.
- Duration: 1 day
We’ll continue to a mansion where we get to know SUP paddling with beautiful seascape. If you manage to get wet during the paddling training we have a warm smoke sauna at the beach. In the evening the sauna experience will continue with the gentle heat of the sauna yoga that effectively melts away the strains. After the perfect relaxation the gourmet dinner is served at the mansion.
There is nothing more Finnish than sauna, and many Finns think you can not grasp Finland or its culture without bathing in a sauna. There are five million inhabitants and over three million saunas in Finland. For Finnish people the sauna is a place to relax with friends and family, and a place for physical and mental relaxation as well. Finns think of saunas not as a luxury, but as a necessity.
Taking a sauna begins with having a wash (usually a shower), followed by a sit in the steam room, the room being typically warmed to 80–110 °C (176–230 °F). Water is thrown on the hot stones topping the kiuas, a special stove used to warm up the sauna. This produces great amounts of wet steam, known as löyly, increasing the moisture and the heat within the sauna. Occasionally Finnish people use a bunch of birch called a vihta to gently beat oneself. This has a relaxing effect on the muscles and also helps to soothe the irritation from mosquito bites. When the heat begins to feel uncomfortable it is customary to jump into a lake, sea, or a swimming pool, or to have a shower. After the sauna it is a custom to sit down in the dressing room or on the porch of the sauna to enjoy beer or soft drinks.
In the winter, rolling in the snow or even swimming in a hole cut in lake ice, an avanto, is sometimes used as a cooling effect.
The sauna is one of the very few truly audio-visual stimulus free space, which can help manage stress. The slow-paced exercise carried out in the quiet environment of the sauna calms and focuses the mind in the present. Sauna Yoga is a good way to relieve the symptoms caused by the modern busy life.
The gentle heat of the sauna effectively melts away the strains and the beneficial effects can be felt immediately after a single session. The poses are based on various yoga styles and practised seated in a temperature of approximately 50°C (120°F). Some of the poses help to relieve tensions in the neck and shoulder region and remove excessive strain on the spine and surrounding musculature, while others work to strengthen the trunk and leg muscles.
The typical Sauna Yoga session lasts for 30-45 minutes and is suitable for everyone and requires no previous yoga training experience.
Images via Visit FInland: Eeva Mäkinen, Harri Tarvainen, Elina Sirparanta