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What is Löyly?

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Time to read 1 min

Löyly simply means the steam that rises from the sauna stove when a bather pours water on it. In some cases, it could also refer just to the heat of the sauna.

If you want to go even deeper, however, it also refers to the soul of the body, in Finnish folklore, that is. The soul is said to have been connected to the physical body and leaves the body as soon as one takes his final breath.

Löyly was thought to have strong connections to the underworld. When entering a sauna, one had to greet the löyly. Löyly could be good or bad, and good löyly was welcomed in the sauna while bad löyly was driven out with different spells.

It was said to be able to get rid of diseases, and it was also said that this holy sauna löyly could fix bad relationships.

Now, to a more practical view of löyly:

When a ladle full of water is thrown on the sauna stones, it actually evaporates right away and makes the air in the sauna more humid. The sauna users feel much hotter and sweat more profusely when that occurs.

If you're going to sauna and want to give löyly a shot, keep these things in mind:

First and foremost, use the ladle always. If you were to pour water directly from your hand, you might get scalded when the water hits the sauna stones because of the intense evaporation. The ladle is there for a reason: it keeps your hand safe.

The second tip is to begin with a small amount and gradually increase it. The increase in temperature can be critical and you would rather not drive yourself or any other person out of the lovely sauna environment by getting too hot for your comfort.

Always keep in mind, the sauna is a place to relax – if you like a lot of löyly, then go ahead. If not, that's fine too!