San Luis Obispo Spa

November 11, 2014


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When we sometimes make more eye contact with profile pictures than actual people, it can feel socially daunting just to share a cab. In a sauna, you share a hot, often humid space with pants-less strangers. And so, even with centuries of history behind them, these rooms can inspire sweatier palms than foreheads. Luckily, Groupon Editors Scott and Rebecca are here to help. He's a seasoned sauna-goer, who’s been cranking open his pores in steam rooms since childhood. (Read his guide to Chicago’s Russian-style Red Square Spa here.) She's a newer guest of this humid world, with just one, informative visit to the Korean-style King Spa under her belt. Together, they'll demystify the steam room, addressing sauna etiquette, health, and more with both basic and advanced-level tips. What if You’re New to This? Pick Your Seat Carefully. Heat rises, so those benches are reserved for those who really crave the heat. Close the Door. Leaving it open sends all that precious heat and steam billowing out of the room. Don’t Make it a Competition. According to Scott, many guys try and prove their toughness by staying in as long as possible or trying to outlast their friends in the sauna. First off—this goes against the chief principle of sauna-ing: relaxing and letting go. But more importantly, it’s unsafe. And nobody looks tough when they’re dehydrated or passed out. Drink Lots of Water. Because the steam prevents sweat from evaporating, you're losing fluid but not cooling down, so it’s easy to become dehydrated. Limber Up Somewhere Else. Light stretching overhead is fine, but floor-quaking calisthenics distract other people in the sauna, and slippery floors can make it a dangerous game. Don’t be Scared to Ask Questions. Saunas are part of a tradition that could stretch back to the Native American sweatlodge, the Finnish lake-side sauna, and the Russian banya. People feel culturally connected to the practice and are usually happy to explain it to newcomers. So if, for example, you’re intrigued by the sight of a platza treatment—in which one person ‘smacks’ or bathes...

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