Summer Bathing Rituals for Your Backyard
Bathing rituals have been quietly healing for centuries. From ancient Rome to the modern era, history tells tales of cultures making bathing a staple of healthy lifestyles and traditions.
The oldest known bath was found in the early 1900s in the Indus Valley in Pakistan that dates back to 2500 B.C. The Great Bath, as it’s called, sat on top of the highest mound in the 250 acre city of Mohenjo Daro. Even in this ancient city, archaeologists believe that bathing was an important ritual, used to renew the health of its citizens.
Historically, across the globe, bathing rituals have been rooted in tradition. You’ll see bathing rituals as a staple of daily life in cultures throughout Asia and the Middle East, but brought to prominence by the Greeks and Romans who drove bathing rituals to popularity as a wellness and social practice. Even the Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, is quoted as saying, “The way to health is to have an aromatic bath and a scented massage every day.”
Today, bathing rituals look a bit different thanks to the advancement of modern technology and all the perks that come with it. They’re still a great way to socialize and give the body a boost too, and what better time to work on your health and spend time with friends than in the summer. So we’re here to give some inspiration, celebrate the summer season, and chat about one of our favorite topics — bathing rituals. Here’s how you can enjoy this wellness practice right at home this summer season, with of course, a few more modern amenities than our ancient predecessors.
Types of Bathing Rituals Across the Globe: Take Your Pick
Across cultural practices and traditions, bathing rituals differ from country to country. So whether you like being submerged in warm, mineral-rich water, cold water, or sweating it out in the sauna, there’s an option for any wellness seeker — wherever you may be.
Take a Soak in a Bath or Mineral Pool
If we take a look at history, some of the first bathing rituals in bathhouses date back to the 2nd century BC, where in ancient Rome people bathed and socialized in exquisite pools in grand mosaic buildings. With a variety of rooms and spaces to relax, these Roman splendors have prompted the inspiration for our 21st century bathhouses.
Today, you can visit places like Knot Springs in Portland, Oregon or AIRE Ancient Baths (which has locations around the world in NYC, London, and Barcelona), that offer an immersive wellness experience. You can enjoy traditional spa and massage treatments and pools with varying water temperatures as well as steam rooms and treatment rooms.
Travel overseas to Iceland or Japan and you’ll find people bathing outdoors in natural hot springs or onsens. Fun fact, in Japanese culture, bathing is just as important as eating or sleeping. If you’re traveling there soon, you can read about some of our favorite places here.
Sweat it Out with Sauna Bathing
Another type of bathing ritual is sauna bathing, and we have the Finns to thank for giving us the gift of sauna. For countries prone to colder temperatures, a place to escape the cold and sweat has been an effective form of cleansing for hundreds of years.
In Finland, a country with a population of 5 million and a whopping 2 million public and private saunas, there’s a strong cultural love for sauna bathing. It’s a tradition often shared between friends and family, young and old. And here at Sauna House, we’re all about sharing sauna time with others, whether you choose to use our bathhouse or enjoy a sauna of your own at home.
Bring Global Tradition to Your Own Summertime Bathing Rituals at Home
There’s no better season to spend time outdoors than summer, and what better way to celebrate the season than to bring the bathing rituals of the world to your own backyard. Here’s how you can turn your outside area into a summertime wellness oasis.
A sauna at home
Do as the Finns do, and enjoy the heat of summer with a sweat session in your very own outdoor sauna. The great part about having a sauna at home, is that not only is it private, you can pair it with amenities for a bathing ritual extravaganza. Choose your preferred size sauna and shape to get started. We love the barrel shaped saunas from Thermory, made from Spruce, that offer a rustic look and blend seamlessly into any backyard. To really feel immersed in summer, put your sauna on your deck or patio to enjoy the warm weather and all the greens and colorful hues of nature.
With warmer weather, spending time outside is a no-brainer. If you already have a pool or a hot tub, add a cold plunge to your backyard to complete your summer bathing routine. Not only is cold plunging great for your health, but the elevated design of modern tubs can really spruce the place up.. Some of our favorite picks are The Plunge and Blue Cube. You can learn more about them here.
Creating the Ultimate Backyard Summer Bathing Set-Up
With a sauna, a hot tub, and a cold plunge, you’ll have everything you need to enjoy the summer and join in on bathing rituals from around the world. Need help determining how to start building your outdoor sauna? Have questions about a cold plunge tub? Let us know! We’re here to help you create your outdoor wellness oasis.