Russian banya is not only a place for relaxation through steaming. It’s a complex process in which various accessories are used. The right equipment allows for a full and authentic experience of this kind of steam bath. Elements such as whisks, buckets, and specialized textiles play a crucial role in traditional banya rituals. In this article, we will take a closer look at the most important of them so that you can delve into the secrets of a true Russian banya.
Whisks for the Russian banya
Whisks play a key role in the tradition of the Russian banya. They are made from various types of trees, depending on the desired effect. Most often, whisks from trees such as oak, ash, pine, and linden are used. Each type of tree brings a different effect: oak is known for its antiseptic properties, while linden has a relaxing effect on the skin and respiratory system.
Using whisks not only stimulates circulation and opens the pores but also helps cleanse the skin and provides relief for muscle pain. To ensure whisks work optimally, they must be properly prepared. Before use, they should be soaked in water to soften and release their essences. Then, they can be gently used to strike the body during steaming in the banya, which stimulates circulation and aids in absorbing the beneficial substances from the whisks.
Buckets and steamers for whisks
Barrels are an integral element of every Russian banya. They are used to store water, which is essential for the steaming process. Traditional barrels are made of wood, which not only gives them an authentic look but also helps maintain the proper water temperature.
After intense steaming in the Russian banya, a cool shower is not only refreshing but also beneficial for health, helping tighten pores and stimulate circulation. Shower buckets are ideal for this purpose. They are traditionally made of wood and provide a quick and even flow of water.
Steamers for whisks
Steamers are special vessels used for soaking whisks before use. By submerging whisks in the steamer, full of warm water, the whisks become flexible and ready to use. Additionally, the water from the steamer can be used to pour over the stones in the stove, which further intensifies the steam in the banya.
Ladles and dippers
Ladles and dippers are basic tools in the Russian banya, crucial for the steaming process. They allow for controlled pouring of water onto hot stones, leading to steam production.
Ladles, traditionally made of wood, have a deep bowl, which allows easy scooping of water from the barrel or another vessel. The wooden handle of the ladle provides a comfortable grip while simultaneously protecting against burns. It’s important that the ladles are well-balanced, allowing precise and cautious pouring of water onto hot stones.
Like ladles, dippers are usually made of wood. They are somewhat larger and have a longer handle, making them an ideal tool for scooping water from larger vessels or barrels. Dippers are often used in larger Russian banyas, where a larger amount of water is needed for quickly pouring over the stones.
Both tools are not only functional but also add traditional charm to the entire steaming process in the Russian banya. Proper water-pouring technique is essential for achieving optimal temperature and humidity in the room, and these accessories facilitate achieving it.
Thermometer and hygrometer
A thermometer and hygrometer are key accessories in the Russian banya. The thermometer monitors the temperature in the steam room, ensuring comfort and safety for bathers. Meanwhile, the hygrometer measures air humidity, allowing it to be adjusted to individual preferences. Thanks to them, every entry into the banya becomes optimal and pleasant.
Comfort and safety during visits to the banya are as important as traditional steaming rituals. To achieve this, appropriate textile accessories are essential.
The cap is a key element that protects the head from excessive heat. In the banya, the temperature difference between the lower and upper parts can be significant, and the head is the first to feel these extremes. That’s why wearing a proper cap is so important. Hats made from natural felt are a traditional choice, as this material is breathable and does not overheat.
Towel or kilt for
A towel or kilt is essential accessories in the sauna and banya. They serve as protection against the hot wooden benches and as a wrap after leaving the steam room. Made from absorbent materials, such as cotton or linen, they provide comfort and are skin-friendly.
The right textile set not only ensures comfort but also enhances the entire banya experience, making it more authentic and enjoyable.
Cosmetics and shower accessories, massage products
During visits to the banya, it’s important not only to steam but also to care for the skin before and after the session. Using the right cosmetics enhances the relaxation effect and health benefits of visiting the banya.
Soaps and shower gels are the basis of every visit to the banya. It is recommended to use products based on natural ingredients that gently cleanse and moisturize the skin.
Massage and exfoliation brushes help remove dead skin cells while simultaneously stimulating circulation. Long-handled wooden brushes are ideal for performing self-massage, which is an excellent means of combating cellulite and improving skin elasticity.
Creams and body masks are particularly valuable after a banya session. The high temperature opens the pores, allowing active ingredients in cosmetic products to penetrate deeply and work with maximum efficiency.