Vacations Spring 2018

Health & Wellness

The intense Saunagus experience combines three sauna sessions at extreme heat with aromatherapy and a dip in the Øresund. Saunagus Experiencing Denmark’s By Emily Price

KURHOTEL SKODSBORG SPA ©KURHOTEL SKODSBORG

After exchanging a few nervous glances with the others, we step into the sauna and settle in on seats around the room. The space is small. Our group of five takes up all but one of the places inside, and the room is already hot. Very hot. Tina begins, mixing suggestions on how to relax with encouragement to not leave the room. She waves a towel around above us, sometimes using it like a fan to push the warm oil-scented air toward us. Three minutes pass, then four. The heat is what I imagine standing in a lit fireplace might feel like. It’s so hot you feel like your skin is burning, but you’re not uncomfortable. At the five-minute mark, she stops and opens the door, but asks that none of us leave. Our Saunagus experience is only a third of the way done. The open sauna door constitutes a “break” of sorts. Tina steps out and returns with a bucket full of ice water, which she tosses on each of us, a

startling and refreshing experience. The sauna door closes, and we repeat the process for another three minutes. Tina says the heat is less intense, but it feels the same as the first session. When it’s over, we grab our robes and head outside: we’re going in the ocean. Outside the spa is a small dock that leads down to the Øresund, the sound separating Denmark and Sweden. One by one we walk to the end and take a small ladder in. The water here is colder than the ice water from before, cooling our body temperatures just in time for one last session in the sauna. The final sauna session is the shortest. After two minutes of more oils and hot temps we’re once again let out, this time to head to the small dunking pool on the spa’s porch and then back into the world. While it was certainly a strenuous experience, it’s a positive one, and definitely something I want to experience again.

AROMATHERAPY ©KURHOTEL SKODSBORG

SIZZLING HOT SAUNA ROCKS ©KURHOTEL SKODSBORG

Saunagus is a unique aromatherapy sauna experience offered at a spa just outside of Copenhagen. Tina is responsible for guiding us through the experience, as well as administering the oils as things go on. Saunagus is described as an experience with “a long-lasting effect of relaxation, calm, circulation and renewed energy and strength”, but from Tina’s description, it sounds like we’re about to run a marathon that we forgot to train for.

“This is going to be a very difficult experience. You’re going to want to leave,” our Saunagus instructor, Tina, a tall and exceptionally fit woman in her mid-30’s warns. Standing in front of our group of five, she cautions that Saunagus is an exceptionally difficult experience. We will have to “work” while we we’re inside the sauna and we are guaranteed to have at least one “fight or flight” moment where we want to give up and leave, however, she encourages us all to stay.

SAUNAGUS INSTRUCTOR ©KURHOTEL SKODSBORG

KURHOTEL SKODSBORG SAUNA ©KURHOTEL SKODSBORG

52 • Vacations ® • Spring 2018

Vacations® • Spring 2018 • 53

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