Sauna Meditation 101: A Guide to Meditating in the Sauna

Sauna meditation 101

Imagine combining the soothing heat of a sauna with the calming practice of meditation. When you meditate in a sauna, the benefits are amplified. By adding sauna meditation to your routine, you can experience a host of benefits.

The warmth helps release endorphins, those feel-good chemicals in your brain, making it easier to relax and find inner peace. It’s a perfect way to ease your mind, reduce stress, and create a little zen in your day.

Not only does it help with stress and anxiety, but it can also improve your sleep and elevate your mood over time. It’s like giving your wellness journey a powerful boost.

Want to meditate in a sauna at home? Check out Shym Sauna’s range of indoor and outdoor saunas. Contact us so our expert team can help you choose the right one for your meditation needs!

The Art of Sauna Meditation: Can You Meditate in a Sauna?

Meditating in a sauna? Absolutely!

Meditation already helps clear your mind and reduce stress. Combine that with the soothing heat of a sauna, and you’ve got a perfect recipe for ultimate relaxation and mental clarity.

Sauna meditation blends these two ancient practices, offering a unique way to connect deeply with yourself and enhance your well-being. The heat boosts your cardiovascular system, increases blood flow to the brain, and relaxes your muscles, creating an ideal setting for mindfulness.

But whether it’s right for you is a personal choice. Some people love the warm, humid environment for relaxation and focus, while others might find it too intense.

Sauna Meditation Guide: How Do You Meditate in the Sauna?

Sauna Meditation Guide
Source: Freepik

Sauna meditation is quite flexible, allowing you to incorporate music, aromatherapy, guided sessions, and other techniques.

To get the most out of your experience, it’s essential to create the perfect environment and prepare yourself properly. So, below is a step-by-step guide to help you achieve the best experience while meditating in your sauna.

First Step: Choose the Right Type of Sauna for Meditation

Let’s start with choosing the right type of sauna to enhance your meditation experience. First off, you’ve got two main types to consider: traditional and infrared saunas.

#1. Traditional Saunas

Think of a traditional sauna, also called a Finnish sauna, like stepping into a warm, dry oasis. These saunas use a wood-burning stove with hot stones on top, creating a toasty environment usually ranging from 150 to 195 degrees Fahrenheit. The intense heat makes you sweat buckets, which is fantastic for detoxing, boosting heart health, speeding up muscle recovery, and even improving sleep.

Here’s a tip: Splash some water on those hot stones. The steam that sizzles off not only ups the humidity but also enhances relaxation, making your meditation session even more immersive.

#2. Infrared Saunas

Now, let’s talk about infrared saunas. These don’t heat the air around you like traditional ones. Instead, they use infrared light to warm your body directly. This means the ambient temperature stays between a more comfortable 48 to 60 degrees Celsius, but don’t be fooled—you’re still going to sweat plenty.

Many people find this gentler heat more conducive to a calming meditation practice. Plus, infrared saunas come with their own set of perks, such as better circulation, pain relief, skin rejuvenation, and stress reduction.

Which type is better for meditation, traditional or infrared sauna?

Honestly, it boils down to what feels right for you. Some folks love the intense heat of a traditional sauna for pushing their mental limits, while others prefer the soothing, manageable warmth of an infrared sauna for a more relaxed session.

Both types have their benefits, so choose the one that aligns with your comfort level and meditation goals.

How to Prepare for Sauna Meditation

How to Prepare for Sauna Meditation
Source: Freepik

Meditation is personal, so what works for another person might not work for you.

Some need music or special lighting, while others prefer silence. The key is finding what helps you relax and reconnect in your busy lives.

Before you jump into the sauna, follow these tips to get yourself and your space ready for the ultimate meditation session.

Step 1. Choose the best time for meditation in a sauna.

When it comes to picking the ideal time for sauna meditation, it’s really about what suits you best.

Some folks find an early morning session kick-starts their day with a refreshing boost. Others might prefer it post-workout to enhance relaxation or in the evening to unwind after a long day.

Listen to your body and see when it feels most comfortable and undisturbed. Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, choose a time when you’re naturally calm and free from distractions to fully immerse yourself in the experience.

Step 2. Set up the sauna environment and use meditation aids.

Creating the perfect sauna environment plays a big role in enhancing your mindfulness practice. Imagine trying to focus on your breathing in a cluttered, messy environment that is too hot and uncomfortable—it’s nearly impossible, right?

Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen.

It’s essential to create the perfect atmosphere where you can truly relax and meditate.

Using meditation aids like lighting, music, and aromatherapy can also help make your experience more enjoyable.

So to set up a sauna that helps you reach a peaceful state, follow these tips:

  • Temperature

First off, find the ideal temperature. You’ll want a cozy, inviting warmth, typically between 65 to 85 degrees Celsius.

Start on the lower end if you’re new to this; you can always dial it up as you get more comfortable. The goal is to stay focused on your breathing and relaxation, not on being too hot or too cold.

  • Lighting / Color

Think about lighting. Even with your eyes closed, the color around you can subtly influence your mood.

Blue or purple lighting can help you relax, creating a serene atmosphere. If you’re indoors, soft, dim lighting can mimic the soothing qualities of natural sunlight which can help with your meditation.

Many saunas come with built-in color therapy (chromotherapy) options, so take advantage of these for a calming effect.

  • Music

Now, let’s add some music. Soft instrumental music or nature sounds are perfect companions for your sauna meditation.

Avoid lyrics to keep your mind clear and focused. You could try nature sounds, binaural beats, or even Buddhist chants for a touch of tranquility. If your sauna has a built-in sound system, use it! Keep other devices out to prevent any distractions.

  • Aromatherapy

Finally, bring in the power of aromatherapy. Gentle scents can transform your sauna into a sanctuary of relaxation.

Try adding a few drops of lavender or chamomile essential oils to your sauna water for a calming effect. Eucalyptus is great for a refreshing feel. Mix oils with water before pouring over the rocks to avoid burning.

If you prefer natural herbs, sprinkle sage or cedar on the rocks or warm them in a pan on the heater. Just be sure they don’t burn, as smoke can be unpleasant.

Step 3. Now, prepare yourself before going to the sauna to meditate.

Once you’ve got your sauna set up, it’s crucial to get yourself ready for some peaceful meditation. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Stay Hydrated: Sauna heat can dehydrate you quicker than you might think. Drink plenty of water before and during your session. Aim for around 15-30ml of water for every 0.4kg of your body weight.
  • Avoid Alcohol: Steer clear of alcohol before your sauna meditation. It can dehydrate you further and interfere with your mindfulness practice. Also, avoid sugary drinks and caffeinated beverages like soda, juice, coffee, or energy drinks.
  • Light Meals Only: Avoid heavy meals before your sweat session. Think of it like exercise – you wouldn’t go for a run on a full stomach. A heavy meal can make you uncomfortable and disturb your zen state. Opt for a light snack like a slice of toast with jam, a small bowl of soup, or a piece of fruit to keep your energy up without feeling weighed down.
  • Dress Comfortably: Go for loose, comfortable clothing. Choose lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton or linen that don’t restrict movement and allow your skin to breathe.
  • Manage Your Hair: Use a headband or light hat to keep your hair and sweat off your face. This simple trick can help you stay focused during your meditation.
  • Ditch the Devices: Leave electronic gadgets out of your sauna session. They can be distracting and don’t handle high temperatures well.
  • Bring a Towel: A clean, dry towel can serve as a mini meditation mat. It provides a stable base to sit on and adds a bit of cushioning from the hot wooden benches.

CAUTION: How long should you meditate in a sauna?

When it comes to meditating in a sauna, the length of your session really depends on your comfort level and schedule.

It’s wise to start with shorter sessions, around 5 to 10 minutes, and gradually extend them as you get more used to the heat.

Don’t push yourself too hard; always pay attention to how your body feels. If you start feeling uncomfortable or lightheaded, take a break and cool off before diving back in.

To stay safe and get the most out of your sauna meditation, keep your sessions to about 15 minutes at a time and ensure you’re staying hydrated. Focusing on your breathing is key, so make sure to take deep breaths in and out through your mouth. Remember, the goal is to enhance your relaxation, not to overexert yourself.

Best Techniques for Meditating in the Sauna: So, What Should You Do During a Sauna Meditation Session?

What Should You Do During a Sauna Meditation Session
Source: Freepik

Here are some techniques you can try:

#1. First Step: Practice Mindfulness

Start planning how you’ll practice mindfulness by utilizing breathing techniques (more on this later), essential oils, and aromatherapy.

“Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.”

To practice mindfulness in the sauna, follow these steps:

  1. Find a Comfortable Position: Sit upright with your back against the sauna wall, ensuring you’re relaxed but not slouched. Place your hands gently in your lap.
  1. Close Your Eyes: Let your eyes close naturally. If closing your eyes isn’t comfortable, pick a spot to focus on. Begin to breathe through your mouth, feeling each breath as it moves in and out.
  1. Focus on Your Breath: Pay attention to the rhythm of your breathing. Notice the sensation of air entering and leaving your body. Don’t try to control it; just observe.
  1. Gently Redirect Wandering Thoughts: When your mind starts to drift, softly guide your focus back to your breath. It’s natural for thoughts to come up; acknowledge them and then let them go, refocusing on your breathing.
  1. Relax Your Body: Imagine tension melting away with each drop of sweat. If you notice any tightness, concentrate on relaxing those muscles. Think of stress and worry exiting your body along with the sweat.
  1. Be Aware of Your Surroundings: As you breathe, extend your awareness to the heat and warmth of the sauna. Take note of any physical sensations or emotions that arise.

Stay in this mindful state throughout your sauna session, letting the experience fully envelop you.

#2. Incorporate Breathing Techniques

Our bodies are always reacting to the world around us, thanks to the autonomic nervous system. This system has two main parts: the sympathetic nervous system, which handles your “fight-or-flight” reactions, and the parasympathetic nervous system, responsible for the “rest-and-digest” state.

Breathwork is a fantastic way to activate the parasympathetic system. Breathing deeply in the comforting heat of the sauna can help you feel more relaxed, lower your stress, and even decrease your heart rate and blood pressure.

Best Sauna Breathing Techniques

Here are a few you can try:

Diaphragmatic Breathing as the Ideal Breathing Technique for Sauna Meditation

Diaphragmatic breathing, also known as belly breathing, involves inhaling deeply through your diaphragm rather than your chest. It’s simple: breathe in deeply, allowing your belly to expand, then exhale slowly.

This technique is perfect for the sauna. It’s easy, calming, and helps you stay relaxed. By focusing on deep, slow breaths, you can effectively manage any stress or anxiety that might pop up.

#3. Practice Visualization Meditation

I know it might sound odd to combine visualization with meditation since the latter is usually about letting thoughts float away. But hang on, there’s a method to this. When you visualize, you hone in on something specific—maybe an event, a person, or a goal you want to nail—and you imagine it as a reality.

Visualization is powerful on its own, but when you mix it with meditation, you’re steering that calm, relaxed mind toward the particular outcomes you desire.

Ready to give it a whirl? Check out Healthline’s list of visualization meditation techniques here!

#4. Do a Body Scan Meditation

Ever feel like you’re not fully in tune with your body? Body scan meditation is here to help with that. Essentially, you’re scanning your entire body for any tension, discomfort, or anything that feels off.

What’s great about the body scan is how it helps you connect with your physical and emotional self. As you become more aware of your body’s sensations, you can better understand and address any issues that come up. This practice can lead to a sense of overall well-being, both mentally and physically.

#5. Hydrate!

Staying hydrated in the sauna is crucial, so be sure to drink up before, during, and after your meditation session. It’s a game-changer for keeping your body balanced and feeling great.

Remember, sweating in the sauna means you’re also losing minerals, so it’s smart to refuel with something that restores those lost minerals.

While opinions vary on the best type of water—be it alkaline, mineral, or tap—the key is to avoid water purified through reverse osmosis since it lacks essential minerals.

Besides water, munching on foods high in water content such as grapes, watermelon, and cucumber can help you rehydrate. Soups and broths are also excellent choices—they’re easy on the stomach and pack a hydration punch with added electrolytes.

Here’s a quick list of recommended hydrating options for your sauna sessions:
  • Water
  • Mineral Water
  • Electrolyte water
  • Coconut Water
  • Natural Juice
  • Watermelon
  • Water with lemon or  lime, and a pinch of salt
  • Gatorade

Risks and Precautions Before You Meditate in the Sauna

Risks and Precautions Before You Meditate in the Sauna
Source: Freepik

Thinking about meditating in the sauna? Hold on a sec – there are some important risks and precautions you need to keep in mind before you start.

When to Avoid Meditating in a Sauna

There’s no hard rule on timing, but certain people should be extra cautious or avoid it altogether. Here’s the scoop:

  • Medical Conditions: If you’ve got conditions like multiple sclerosis or specific heart issues, it’s smart to check in with your doctor first. The intense heat and humidity can aggravate these conditions.
  • Pregnancy: Expecting? Better play it safe and consult your healthcare provider. High temperatures can be risky for the baby, especially in the first trimester.
  • Respiratory Issues: Got asthma or another respiratory condition? High heat and humidity might be triggers, so it’s best to get a thumbs-up from your doctor before hitting the sauna.

Other Precautions to Keep in Mind:

  • Skip the Booze: Drinking alcohol before a sauna session can increase your dehydration risk and mess with your body’s temperature control. Not a good combo.
  • Feeling Under the Weather?: If you’re sick, have a fever, or are recovering from an illness, steer clear of the sauna. It can stress your body and might slow down your recovery.
  • Time Limits: Stick to 10-20 minutes in the sauna to avoid overheating. If you’re in an infrared sauna, you can stretch it to 20-45 minutes, but no more.
  • Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate: Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your sauna session to keep dehydration at bay.

Other Key Things to Know When Meditating in the Sauna

Are There Any Guided Meditations for Sauna Use?

Absolutely! There’s a whole world of guided meditations specifically designed for sauna sessions. These meditations offer step-by-step instructions on how to relax, focus, and maximize your sauna meditation experience.

You’ll find plenty of these on popular meditation apps, websites, and even YouTube. It’s worth exploring a few different options to see which ones resonate with you and suit your needs best.

What Science Is Saying About Sauna Meditation: What Are the Benefits of Doing Meditation in a Sauna?

Below are a few scientifically proven benefits of meditating in a sauna as listed by Forbes:

  • Promotes Relaxation and Reduces Stress

Sauna sessions help your body relax and lower stress levels by balancing stress hormones. Plus, many folks report better sleep after using the sauna.

  • Helps to Relieve Pain

Saunas might ease chronic pain conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia by relaxing muscles and improving circulation.

  • Improves Heart Health

Regular sauna use can benefit your heart, reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes, especially with frequent use.

  • Improves Respiratory Tract Function

Saunas can boost respiratory health by humidifying airways and reducing inflammation, potentially lowering risks of conditions like COPD and asthma.

  • Reduces Inflammation

Frequent sauna sessions may strengthen your immune system and lower chronic inflammation, which is linked to many health issues.

IMPORTANT: Remember, the benefits of sauna meditation can vary from person to person. It’s important to pay attention to your body and avoid overdoing it, as excessive time in the sauna can be harmful.


Can you relax in a sauna?

Absolutely! The warmth in a sauna helps to ease muscle tension, especially in your face and neck, which often bear the brunt of daily stress. This soothing effect is one of the top reasons people enjoy saunas. Plus, you can enhance this relaxation by meditating while you’re in there.

Can you meditate in an infrared sauna?

Yes, you can! Infrared saunas provide a more gentle heat because they warm your body directly rather than the air around you. This makes them an excellent choice for meditation. To meditate in an infrared sauna, find a comfy spot where you can sit or lie down without disturbing others. Take some deep breaths to help you relax and ease into a meditative state.

Can you meditate in the steam room?

Definitely! Steam rooms are perfect for meditation because they help you unwind and remove distractions. The warmth relaxes your muscles, making it easier for your mind to let go of stress and wander freely.

How do you meditate in a steam room?

Meditating in a steam room can be quite refreshing. Start by sitting comfortably, preferably away from where the steam is strongest to avoid burns. Close your eyes and take deep breaths, feeling the warm, moist air fill your lungs. If you find the heat overwhelming, step out for a breath of fresh air or shorten your session to maintain comfort.

Is meditating in a sauna good?

Yes, it is! The heat in a sauna not only helps you sweat but also allows you to focus and achieve a deep state of relaxation. Regular sauna users often notice both physical and mental health benefits, including improved mental clarity. It’s one of the key advantages of combining sauna time with mindfulness practices.


Blending sauna sessions with meditation is a fantastic way to boost your health and well-being. Plus, it can make your sauna time even more relaxing. Next time you’re in the sauna, give meditation a go.

Don’t worry if meditation feels challenging or even a bit frustrating at first. Like any worthwhile pursuit, it requires practice. Stick with it, and soon enough, you’ll start reaping the benefits of a consistent meditation routine!

Ready to start your sauna meditation journey? Explore Shym Sauna‘s stunning collection of indoor and outdoor saunas. Contact us today and start your zen journey!

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