Alex Schulman is a writer, media entrepreneur and dedicated sauna user. In cooperation with TylöHelo, Alex and his wife Amanda have renovated the sauna in their Stockholm apartment with the unique combination of traditional, soft and IR. Alex tells us about the relaxing aspects of sauna, and about experimenting with temperatures.
Why do you have a sauna in your home?
”My father was Finnish and I grew up with sauna bathing as a given part of my childhood. Of all the things my father gave me, the sauna tradition is what I appreciate the most. What an incredible joy it has given me over the years!”
Why did you choose to replace your sauna for a new one?
”Due to back strains, my doctor recommended me to sit in an IR sauna once a week. I tried one time and immediately felt an enormous effect. My apartment had a traditional sauna, I learnt from TylöHelo that is is possible to combine with IR panels, so we did.
What is important in the sauna?
”For us, it’s many things. Most importantly, the sauna shall be a calm place. The kids are very welcome in the sauna, but they are not allowed to yell in there and not to run in and out. I’m very strict about this, the sauna is not a playground, it’s a place I need to relax.”
When do you go into the sauna?
”Every night when the kids have gone to bed. And every Sunday afternoon with the whole family.”
What do you do in the sauna?
”That has changed. I used to bring my iPhone and listen to a pod. But now, I often prefer total silence.
How did you find out that sauna bathing is good for you?
”The effect is comparable to a good workout. It’s so incredibly noticeable directly after the sauna. My body is relaxed, the skin feels fresh – I feel cleaner than after just having a shower. It has become a daily way of getting rid of, not just my dirt, but foremost the entire day. You could say that I use the sauna to bathe the working day off and come out as a different person.”
Do you prefer having a sauna by yourself or with whom?
”Basically, I’m the one who sits in the sauna alone. But I have also realised that some of the most earnest conversations I’ve ever had, have taken place in the sauna. When you have poured water on the stones and they fizzle, then go silent, and you sit next to someone you like... The conversations initiated then, the tranquil thoughts in the heat, can be lovely.”
You have installed the unique combination of a traditional, soft and IR sauna. Who in the family likes what?
”Amanda just does the IR. 80 percent of my sauna time is traditional.”
What is the difference between the three types of sauna ?
”For some reason, IR makes you sweat heavily. It feels into the marrow, in a medical way. But I can miss the total heat in a traditional sauna, so I have started to experiment a little. I turn on both the traditional and the IR sauna at the same time, I raise the temperature and try to find a perfect balance between the two.”
What were your thoughts about design and material?
”We wanted a sauna with place for the whole family. My mind was set on dark wood, wide panels on the floor, walls and in the ceiling. TylöHelo showed me the grey taika panels and I fell for it directly. It goes very well with the IR panels, giving the sauna a classic and modern look at the same time.”
Did it turn out the way you had expected?
”It got better!”
”Take advantage of the view and create a stylish look”
Hanna-Louise Widberg is Marketing Manager at TylöHelo and she designed the sauna together with Alex.
”The room has an amazing view over the rooftops of Stockholm with windows in two directions. Therefore, we chose to place the benches on the other walls, it also gives the sauna a social atmosphere. For the kids to enjoy the sauna and not become too hot, only one wall has backrests with IR panels”, she says. The beige marble floor is matched by the grey taika panels on the walls and by the benches made of aspen.
”When designing the sauna, we wanted it to match the adjacent bathroom which is modern and stylish. The look is amplified by a toned down and indirect lighting. The soft lighting allows the view to stand out and creates a restful atmosphere”, says Hanna-Louise.