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Russian banya. 100°C ( 215°F)

 The best way to take a Russian steam bath

баня, banya

One of my favorite traditional Russian things is the tradition to go to a banya. Banya is a special steam bath, which don’t have analogues in other countries. I adore it!

Many people heard about Russian banya, but never tried it. I will tell you, what you should do, when you will visit banya on your Russian holidays, and what the best way takes it for having maximum effect. I hope that my article will inspire you to have Russia travel, and we can go to banya together.

отзывы баня 2, review banya 2

First of all why Russians go to banya? It is not just because they want to keep their bodies clean, but also to improve their health, to be free of diseases, lose weight, wash off “tiredness” or remove stress. Any Russian will tell you that he never saw someone nervous, sad or mad in a banya. Banya “washes off” all negative emotions.

When you will have Russian holidays, you will be able to visit traditional home village or more modern city banya.

отзывы баня 3, review banya 3

Here several advices you should follow to have the best time in Russian banya!

Advice 1 – What you should take in Russian banya:

At least 2 towels (first for drying your body, second for sitting in the steam room); rubber slippers; special hat; shampoo, gel and other; sponge for body; swimming suit or swimming trunks (if you plan to go out of the steam room); water; medical herbs, special banya liquor for aroma, things for skin (if you want).

Advice 2 – In contrast to Europe saunas, it is not customary go naked to joint steam rooms (where there are women and men together). Therefore, don’t forget to check before you come to the steam room to wear a swimming suit, to avoid shocking Russians. But many banyas have split steam rooms for women and men, there you can enter without cloth, and nobody will point a finger at you.

Advice 3 – Before you will go to the steam room you must cover your head with a hat. “Hat?” – in surprise you will ask. – “Why do I need it in the Russian banya?” You need the hat to avoid the strong heat so it doesn’t spoil your rich hair and doesn’t overheat your priceless head. This hat can be made from terry cloth, special wood or felt. In extreme cases you can just wrap your head with a towel.

банная шапочка, banya hat

Advice 4 –  When accessing the steam room, often you should take off your slippers, especially if it is a home Russian banya. Visiting a city Russian banya, if it is lawful, I prefer to keep my shoes.

Advice 5 – If you already be able to feel in your Russian travel as a real expert of Russian banya and want to make temperature in the steam room hotter, take the ladle and water the stones. But don’t water them a lot because the stones can get cold. Pour out every time not more than 0.5 – 1 liter of water. And, please, be careful; don’t get frizzled by steam, coming up from stones.  To increase the effect directly after this you can wave the towel under the stones.

Advice 6 – If you want to add medicine effect or aroma to the steam in Russian banya, make herbs in water or drip several drops of banya liquid at ladle for aroma and squirt out to the stones.

Advice 7 –  There is a traditional Russian things in banya is a banya broom. What do we do with broom in banya? We are beaten by it. But don’t be afraid, this is not fight! It is a very healthy procedure for the body if you do it right.

To feel the procedure of being beaten by a broom better, I hardly recommend for the first time on your Russian holidays to use service of banya man (banshchik). Yes-yes, we have this profession in Russia. The Russian banshchik is a specialist, who knows all about the Russian banya, the technique and nuance of using the broom.

But if you still decide to make it yourself, first you should make a broom. Put a little bit very hot water in pelvis and drop out broom there, in such way sticks was under the water, cover it and leave for 10 minutes.

After that, you (previously good steamed) lie down on the bench. Other person (better if it is professional banshchik) takes a broom, a little bit shakes it and begins to whip your body, first with easy slaps and gradually increasing the force of the hits.

Foreigners, who visited banya in Russian travel, watched how a broom whips the bodies so strong and thought that Russian banya is a torture. In the steam room when the broom whipped them, they thought that «their death came and waits for them». But after Russian banya foreigners noted that they felt very good. The Russian banya was an amazing and exciting experience in their Russian holiday and it stays forever in their foreigner memory.

банный веник, banya broom 3

Advice 8 – Before you will sit on the bench in the steam room put the towel, at first, it is more hygienically, and secondly, because the benches can be very hot! When you will choose the bench, remember that low benches have lowest temperature 50-70 C (120-160F), but high benches have temperature 90-100 C (190-215F).

Advice 9 – At the moment when you can no longer stay in the steam room, run out and swill yourself by cold water or jump to the swimming pool, if the banya has it. In the home-made Russian banyas, if there is a river close, you can run to it. At the winter time Russians rub themselves with snow or fall on snowdrifts. You can try it also. But it is better to do it when you are very hot, after 3-4 sets in the steam room, otherwise you can get sick after your visit in Russia banya.

сугроб после бани, snowdrift after banya 2

Advise 10 – In Russian banya you can use different traditional Russian things for skin scrub. The most common things for Russians are honey, salt and coffee grinds. We do it for the skin recovery and elimination of toxins.

Advice 11 – In Russian banya people often use pelvises for washing the body and head.  But before using it, we wash it with soap and several times with boiling water.

Advice 12 – After the Russian banya it is very good to have a cup of tea or glass of beer.

отзывы баня 4, review banya 4

That’s all for today. See you soon in Russian banya on your Russian holidays!
 Tour. Take a steam bath in Russian banya

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