Recently my sister Cyrille made me rediscover a magical place in Geneva called “Les Bains des Paquis”, which offers a multitude of activities, including sauna and winter swimming.
Each time I go back to Geneva (I now live in Lausanne), I include this new ritual in my visit: three 20 minutes sessions of sauna (90°C/200°F) broken up by swimming in the lake (7°C/45°F). I then take a hot shower and head to the relaxation room where I lather my body with Alchimie Forever products, curl up in a blanket, drink water and read.
Here is wat I love the most about this Nordic tradition.
It is invigorating. Every time, I come out much more energized than I came in and my body and my skin also feel and look healthier. Wim Hof, nick named the Iceman for his ability to maintain a constant body temperature in extreme cold conditions, has generated a lot of interest over the past years on the health benefits of the cold. Many interviews and scientific papers discuss effects on body fat, immunity, depression, muscles, inflammation and sleep.
It helps me with my body image. You can wear a swimsuit, but most people are naked. No one is there to judge. People are only interested in the physical and spiritual experience of the sauna and winter swimming. Being naked with others without feeling any judgment helps me love my body as it is.
It is beautiful. The sauna is on the lake, which makes you feel like you are in the middle of nature even though you are in the middle of the city. From the sauna’s windows, you have a beautiful view on Geneva and the lake regardless of weather or time of day. The saunas are extremely clean (each part of your body needs to be resting on your towel) and it always smells good thanks to the eucalyptus water regularly pored over the hot stones (no sweaty smell).
I truly recommend this experience to everyone, even those of you who do not like the cold, you’ll be surprised, I promise.