It is not always easy to explain what Russian banya is. A lot of people think that Russian banya and Finnish sauna are the same, however, there are a few significant differences.
- Effect to the body
Sauna is mostly dry, the air humidity in it is usually no more than 20%. That’s why it can be over 100°С hot (about 212°F). However, this air can burn. Banya is filled with steam, which give you the deepest warmth.
The most peculiar attribute of banya is a venik (whip), made of birch, oak or juniper branches. Whipping yourself with venik looks like a torture, but feels better than massage, and is good for your blood circulation.
Sauna has equal pressure inside and outside. In banyas the inside pressure is higher than outside, that’s how the lightest steam is formed.
Effect to the body
Sauna has an antiseptic effect, killing bacteria on your skin. Banya improves your blood circulation, opens the skin pores and relaxes your muscles.
Visiting a Russian banya can be a unique real life experience in Russia, that you cannot get anywhere else. This is an excellent way to immerse in the Russian culture and traditions!