Cedar and Stone Nordic Sauna


How Sauna Teaches us to Overcome Life’s Challenges

Nordic Sauna on the Shores of Lake Superior
Nordic Sauna on the Shores of Lake Superior

When was the last time you faced a challenge?

For most of us, they come daily at varying degrees. Some days we are worried about making ends meet. On other days we are holding onto hope that the diagnosis of that dear family member will be anything but the worst case scenario that is running through our mind. An honest view of life includes challenge.

Our lives include the heat of challenge each day.

We believe you are built to withstand the heat.

Sisu is, most poetically, “The ability to make it through a long winter.”

In Finland, there is a cultural virtue called sisu (SEE-soo). This virtue marks Finnish culture and is a concept that is hard to translate directly, but let’s give it a shot. Sisu comes from a Finnish root word for “inner” or “inside.” A direct translation might be to have sisu is to have “guts” or “inner strength.”

You might also associate sisu with grit, perseverance, and determination. Ya know, all the stuff you need at mile marker 21 of the marathon, 5.2 left.

We think the most true to form definitions include more than just the distance, but the conditions of the race. It’s one thing to complete the race, another to complete the race with an injury, in difficult weather, or in record time (See Finnish Olympian Paavo Nurmi).

You need sisu when things are stacked against you.

Sisu is, most poetically, “The ability to make it through a long winter.” Something absolutely needed in Finland, and here in the Sauna capital of North America—Duluth, MN.

We are all facing challenges each day. Big ones, that shape the rest of our lives. And the ordinary challenges of daily life.

We believe:

You are built to withstand the heat.

You are built to weather the cold.

Sauna trains us to do that. In our practice of learning to sit in the heat of the sauna and submerge in the cold water. We learn that we as humans are built to withstand adversity. We learn that the challenges of our lives can’t hold us back from the life we hope for. We learn the quiet inner strength of sisu.

Olet sisukas! // You have sisu!

For more on this topic check out: “The Finnish Way: Finding Courage, Wellness, and Happiness Through the Power of Sisu” by @katjapantzar

Learn More