Do you like a sauna? I find it is like cilantro – people either like to eat cilantro or they don’t. Or dark chocolate – you either love it or you are strictly a milk chocolate person. People who I have asked about a sauna either love sitting in that wooden sweat box or they absolutely don’t.
Well, I like a sauna.
Today, in keeping with my commitment to visit the gym at least three days a week, I went there to work out for the third time this week. Like anything, the hard part is just getting there. Once I got started, however, it felt good. My reward today was a visit to the sauna when I was done. Wrapped in a towel, I stepped in and sat on the top shelf with my legs stretched out on the wooden bench in front of me while leaning against the wall. Ahhhhh. Ohhhhh. It was hot. Duh. Of course it was hot! But I heard that a proper sauna sit should be about fifteen minutes. So I closed my eyes and breathed slowly. It took a few minutes of adjusting and relaxing, but pretty soon my body felt like it was melting and the sweat started. Oh yeah. I felt like I was in a crock pot – but I liked it. It felt like every pore in my body was opening up and all the dirty sweat was pouring out. I have read that sweating like that does indeed purge your body of some toxins. But the extreme heat also increases your circulation and gives you a rosy glow.
I made it the full fifteen minutes. As I got up to leave I took a close look at the thermometer on the wall and it said about 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Holy cow! … or beef! That’s more than the internal temperature that I cook my meatloaf to! Now I know what a meatloaf feels like! As I went to the shower to rinse off, I found that the parts of my body that I kept wrapped in the towel were actually more pale and protected from the heat than the flushed parts of my exposed skin. It was like my towel acted like the foil and protected parts of me from browning in the oven.
It made me think 🙂
If extreme sweating in a sauna acts to cleanse and purge a body from dirt and toxins, it would be awesome if we could get rid of all the spiritual dirt and sin that way too! Have God put us in the hot box and force us to come clean. But I guess that would be too much like running the car through the car wash and we really need to feel sorry for our sins and misdeeds. Sometimes, just ‘fessing up and admitting our wrongs is the hardest part. A genuine and true heart that asks for forgiveness is all God wants to offer us forgiveness – and we are washed white as snow. No sweat necessary.
So I also read that a session in the sauna where you have your whole body sweating can actually have you producing up to four cups of sweated sweat. Of course one must be diligent about rehydrating. But, doggone it, if I was in there slow cooking like a meatloaf or pork roast, why can’t that puddle of sweat be part rendered FAT?
Psalm 51:2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.