Pirts diena. A day in the sauna house together with professionals is the best way to enjoy something real Latvian. You can savour Wild SPA all year around. Escape from city stress.
My have worked as sauna specialist for six years and my partner Verners has over 20 years experience . So, we are the big fans of this wild SPA.
Our client Richard Grossman/ 2015:
Thank you to Margita Jumīte and Verners Pilsums for the most amazing experience of a Latvian sauna ceremony - an experience as unlike what most people know of as a sauna as a 12-course gourmet meal would be to a fast food burger.
The Sauna started with a walk around the edge of the woods collecting small branches from various species of trees - Birch, Rowan, Maple, Oak, Willow, and others, plus sprigs of different wild herbs. These are made into a bundle that is your own "medicine" for the sauna, Margita and Verners had already collected and bundled up leaves from many different trees and a small bundle of stinging nettes. And fresh lilac flowers. Something I've not smelled before.
You enter the wood heated sauna for the first round - just until there's a good sweat going. Then comes a cleaning with salt into which is added lavender and powdered amber. When your ready, warm water is poured over you to wash off the salt.
After a bit of time to cool down, you re-enter the sauna, lie down with your bundle of leaves and lilac flowers as your pillow, and the intensity starts. The sauna is really hot, and is made even hotter when Verners pours water on the stones. He takes various bundles of leaves and shakes them over your body to cleanse the energy body. Anyone who has been in a Peruvian medicine ceremony would recognize this But it goes on for a long time, the smell and medicine of the trees being released by the heat of the sauna. It's intense. Beautiful. And each time he pours water on the rocks it's so close to the edge of too much. As the process continues, the leaves start making contact. Some real magic is going on now. The sounds and smells and sensations and heat overwhelm the senses. Just when it's too much, cold water gets poured on. It's over, whew. But no, just a brief pause. The bundles of leaves are pressed onto the body. Massage like, More cleansing. More smell. More heat.
(Making the narrative error of shifting tenses here). I really was overwhelmed, but in a beautiful way. And it went on for quite a while longer. Verners was working so hard, an the heat was so intense, I had no clue how he could continue. And then he flipped me over and did it all again with the bundle of leaves I picked and some lilacs protecting my face from the heat.
After I was totally cooked, Verners helped me get down the stairs to the pond. The pond that in the winter is frozen except for an area large enough to get into the water.
It's not winter, but it was cold enough. I floated face up in the water, gently supported for what seemed like an out of time and out of body melting into the water. There was only breath, body forgotten. The only sound was the beating of my heart. I really can't say what was going on. It felt like Verners was moving my body through the water, maybe in circles. Maybe it was just the gentle currents in the spring fed pond. I was lost in the experience
Then I was gently raised to standing. Dizzy beyond dizziness. Almost passing out, and the cold had really penetrated deeply.
Somehow I got out of the pond, and was supported and led to the platform swing, now covered with bundles of leaves, blankets, and my familiar bundle and lilac flowers as a pillow. Margita bundled me up with winter blankets since I was so chilled. She gave the swing a push and left me there for a while, swinging in the wind, the birds, the trees, the grasses and plants, and the late evening very slowly setting northern sun. Melting into nature, into the trees, into all the elements. Resting in Natural Great Peace.