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spiritualhappiness
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Has anyone tried this, what are the benefits and what did you feel if you experienced this?
Would like to try this out myself, want to see what everyone else feels about this.

33 Replies
Moonfeather
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RE: Sweat Lodge experience

I have fond memories of the one and only sweat lodge I attended, many many moons ago. It is a very good experience for releasing, healing and connecting with your inner self and with your guides/gods/mother earth...

The one I attended was run the native way, with four cycles of prayer and focus.All participants joined in building it beforehand and fasting, so by the time we all stripped off and went in, we were all well prepared for it. Yes, male and female naked bodies!! 😀 Luckily several of us were half-blind without specs, so we couldn't see the expressions on others' faces, lol. Anyway, by the time we all squeezed in there, there was no room for self-consicousness and that whole experience has left me with a refreshing outlook on my naked body! I even went skinny-dipping in the sea the next day... and got a nasty chest cold for my sins...

Things you must check about any sweat lodge - isit run properly by experienced people? Are there safety rules like bottles of waterin the lodge, a system to allow people a fast exit (often thru an escape route at the back) anda health check so that people liable to heart problems don't go in? Do they have plenty of water at hand to douse participants between rounds so their pores properly close and they don't catch a chill? (kinda like a sauna will have cool showers) Do they use the special kind of heat-retaining rocks which will not split and explode over everyone when splashed with water? (don't know the name of the rocks, but it is important. Not just any rock will do)

Those are the main things I would want to know before entering a lodge with people I've not worked with before.If they sit down with everyone and go over that kind of checklist beforehand, then you should be able to relax and enjoy a wonderful experience!

BB
Moonfeather

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MaleAurora
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RE: Sweat Lodge experience

When I went to the MBS In Olympia there was a stall there who run Sweat Lodges (think its based in Reading)................it certainly grabbed my attention and its not naked!! I think I'm going to go and experience it soon...just deciding on dates really.

I could do with a mental clear out!

MA

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Holistic
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RE: Sweat Lodge experience

Moonfeather:

Are there safety rules like bottles of water in the lodge, a system to allow people a fast exit (often thru an escape route at the back) and a health check so that people liable to heart problems don't go in?

Two further contraindications which come to mind are low blood sugar, and asthma.

Holistic

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kcamiss
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RE: Sweat Lodge experience

I have been in a sweatlodge. The main thing to remember that although the facilitator and doorkeepers are doing the same things each time....each sweatlodge is a different experience.

Facilities - Yes check these out so that you feel very comfortable with your surroundings as I too went to a female naked one and the men were in another place on the property and then we swopped over. The men did their sweatlodge and the women went to a waiting room still enjoying the moments after the sweatlodge.

What happens- Do talk with the facilitator on the order of things and why some of the rituals are performed? This helps to bring confidence and understanding.

What do I do? - Just relax and enjoy. A lot of time is spent cleansing the body not just outside but spiritually inside too. Your breathing is noticed a lot as well. Each person will discribe the experience differently. The sweatlodge traditionally is done in four parts as the fours compass points and giving thanks to all the parts of the world for supporting you this far. On the first three entries to the lodge you may come out at any time if you feel uncomfortable but on the last portion you are invited to go in again but once in you must remain and endure that secti on. This is do with things like challenges in life, facing your fears, being honest with yourself and many others like this. I found that bit hard but I did it and the facilitators are inside the lodge with you monitoring what is happening and usually someone with a lot of experience not only in sweat lodges but spiritually as well.

The heat in the lodges are a very different one to saunas and can be hotter. The hot stones are heated in a pit outside the lodge under the fire and they are kept in the fire until they are white hot. Then they are scooped into the lodge where they is another much smaller pit and they start to heat the lodge. Once done you may enter the lodge but entrance must be done correctly as there are not lights usually inside the traditional lodges. This has to do with traditional beliefs and religious beliefs of the native americans. Once the last section is over you very often go back to the main room and discuss your experience and some people have very profound ones and others just are there to enjoy.

Amazingly even though you are in a crowded igloo you have a very private and personal experience.

Contra-indications - There are a few but I'm sure with a good facilitator they will take all the correct precautions. If you do not see any signs of this you may not be with the correct group thats right for you.

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tigress
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RE: Sweat Lodge experience

I wear a swimsuit when I go to sweats..it is not obligatory to be naked.
I also put a colourful scarf on my bag where I leave my clothes/towel etc so it is easier to find when I come out of a sweat.

tigress

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sachamama
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RE: Sweat Lodge experience

I read that if they ask you to do it naked its not in keeping with traditional shamansim and is more like a new age thing.

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tsegyal
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RE: Sweat Lodge experience

I have taken part in many sweatlodges over the last 9 years in particular. Every lodge is distinct and unique and no lodge is ever the same .For those who are going for the first time or those who have gone many times there will always be something unique and insightful for the individual on many levels.

Be it a simple desire to see what it is all about to wishing for a deeper understanding of one self or the ways of those who have been given permission by the tribal elders or holy men to give sweat lodge ,to teach it properly and be a guide to that which can be shared through the bringing together of others on their life journey.

It is a very responsible and powerful position to have to lead a lodge and all that occurs within it.

Quite often it is led by people who know little of its history and traditions in the tribes of the Americas.They are a part of the sacred ceremonies of the peoples and it varies from tribe to tribe ieCrow and Souix. There are variations but the aim is essentially the same to connect with great spirit, the earth and the ancestors, the animals of the earth who have passed over, the list is endless.Every lodge will have a focus for each person be it for healing ,for an issue in their life to help them gain understanding and to pray for healing for all life that exists in whatever for it is manifested.

A lodge is one of the most sacred ceremonies of the Souix nation and it has been in existence for many hundreds of years The US goverment tried to ban it along with many other ceremonies like the sun dance,the wearing of feathers and the use of their own languages like in Tibet and other places today.So the lodge is no longer a secret but an open and powerful expression of freedom to be who they are in the open and not behind closed doors afraid of being caught.Because if they were the chance were they would have been killed.Thiswasreality and not fiction today it is an ongoing struggle with the US and the native americans to regain their lands ,culture and everything elsethey lost wihtt he genocide that occurred in The US.

Not being political here or heavy just giving some background to the sweat lodge in recent years and other sacred ceremonies that where banned by the USfor many years.

The lodge takes place with a person who guides and is there to support the group in theire purpose for being there,be it personal or for a group with a common aim.

The guide is there to provide and maintain a safe space for those who are there.

That is the underlying foundation for a lodge to be safe.Then to be open to ,learning about theculture perhaps if that is what is being taught or it may be a healing lodge for those who need itor to remember those who hae passed over.The lodge will usually begin by entering the lodge trough the door in aparticaular direction,then to sit down relatively close together. The people present will normally wear a tee shirt, shorts or cottons bottoms or something like a sarong.The aim os not to have people nake dthough that may occur but then that is not a lakota souix sweat lodge which is done with great respect .Yes it can be fun and you have a laugh. It is not a sexual thing what so ever though people may have what they call a lodge it is not really .There are many quacks,idiots and so called teachers out ther who try to lead them.The reality is the ego has to be left at the door or else spirt will not work through the guide and those who are there.

Again it is important to focus the attention on the intention of the group or those individauls who are present this provides the foundation for many possibilities ie healing,a release on a deep level a greater understanding of one self and a connection with spirit or ancestors and of family.

It is also a celebration of life ,that life never ends that it changes and evolves constantlywith love as the cornerstone for each persons development.[/alig

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Moonfeather
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RE: Sweat Lodge experience

Thanks for your full and frank reply, Tseygal. The lodge I attended was a European one and there was no pressure to be naked, it just seemed right at the time. It was a very sincere, welcoming experience and very, very profound in many ways. The energy during the rounds was different every time and every single one of us received something important to them.
I treasure that experience and hope to attend another sweat lodge at some time. 🙂

Moonfeather

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wolfen
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RE: Sweat Lodge experience

hi all, sweats are great ...do one !....i like mine HOT, somewhere between blast furnace and nuclear meltdown:D.....

mixed nakedness is frowned upon by most traditionals as it stimulates the wrong sort of thoughts in the lodge.....if the leader insists on it that should get the alarm bells ringing,

ive done a few in this country[uk] and hav'nt really had a bad experience.....but you will face your fears so be prepared for this...

re. health conditions.....well if you are healthy in mind, body and spirit then their is no need to sweat !!.....i have heard of all manner of illness being cured in the lodge, some have even been stretchered in and walked out un-aided....but be careful and dont try to be a hero or you will get burnt....i know ive been there..lol.

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Azzizi
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RE: Sweat Lodge experience

Tseygal - thanks . This was an informative post to read, and fascinating. I would like to know more about various tribal practices and beliefs. I shall look forward to reading more of your posts.

[sm=nature-smiley-008.gif]

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Eagle
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RE: Sweat Lodge experience

Hi spiritualhappiness

I do sweat lodges fairly regularly as part of my spiritual path. They are a great way to connect to Spirit and to your higher self. They are a cleansing and healing ceremony and no two are ever the same!

I would highly recommend that you give one a go because words cannot give you the experience for yourself.

If you would like details of sweats which you could attend, please PM me and I will give you the information. Most of the ones I go to are in Derbyshire and every now and again there is one in Somerset or near Brighton. Nakedness is optional (although usual) and there are sweats in Derbyshire which are either men only or women only.

Blessings
Eagle

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spiritualhappiness
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RE: Sweat Lodge experience

Ahh slight problem, with info I am in scotland, I am wanting to go to the native american sweat lodge in Glasgow.

Thank you for sharing.

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Eagle
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RE: Sweat Lodge experience

Hope you have a great time there and hope you meet some lovely people.

Blessings
Eagle

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tsegyal
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RE: Sweat Lodge experience

Hi There is a sweat lodge being led and organized by

White wolf walking up at Culdees in Borelands at the village of Fearnan over looking Loch Tay .I fyou acess the web and put in Culdees you will get a link and information .

The lady lived fort a time on the lakota souix reservation with Wllace Black Elk before he passed over and she was given permission to carry the lodge to Scotlandand to help the Celtic

people reconnect with there own traditions as well.

She is currently arranging sweat lodges as she has a base at the above Culdees and the lodge is already in existence because I helped it to be put up.So I know it exists.

She is a lady of integrity and honesty and has much to share but you have to make that decision for yourself.

The phone number for contact and information is: Please contact Graham via the PM/email link for phone number/details ,

Leave a message and she will get back to you

I hope this will help you even if only for direction and some advice about the sweat lodge and how it can help you on your

path.

Happy searching ,

Graham Mcgoldrick

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spiritualhappiness
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RE: Sweat Lodge experience

Who is Graham?;)

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tsegyal
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RE: Sweat Lodge experience

Hi , I am Graham or Tsegyal as is my buddhist name and I replied to you about the sweat lodge unfortunately I forgot to remember that you should not put phone numbers on the forum a sit is not consistent with forum guidelines.

My apologies for this again to the forum.

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voyager
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RE: Sweat Lodge experience

I've been on a sweat lodge run by the Openhand team [link= http://www.openhandweb.org/]http://www.openhandweb.org[/link] and I found it really great, though quite taxing by the final minutes. It is a great opportunity to share and unburden yourself in safety, and is a profound detox of the body (and mind too really). It is quite challenging, drink lots of water before and especially after it. Most lodges have straight-forward rules about when you can exit, and by all means do leave if it's too physically stressful.

Our lodge was in complete darkness, so it didn't really matter what you wore or not as the case may be. I did find it took quite some time before my ego let go, as the situation is so novel and hence it wants to retain control to protect the self. However, this letting go did happen towards the end and was a release.

Would I do it again? Yes, definitely.

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jbarry
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RE: Sweat Lodge experience

I had my first experience when I was visiting Sudbury Ontario, Canada, my cousin goes often and invited me and my wife. The Ojibwa ritual was intense but cleansing as they brought the Grandfather rocks in and closed the entrance. My experience was much like Kcamiss and everyone was in pretty much shorts or bathing suits both male and female as we sat in the womb of the earth. We talked with the shaman before hand and my cousin explained some of the rules.

We all circled the fire in the same direction and tossed sage to the 4 directions and then put tobacco on the large East Grandfather rock, then as we were directed we went in on our knees and told where to sit and I was told if it gets to hot put my face to the ground which I did end up doing by the way.

After a few minutes the first group of Grandfathers were brought in and the shaman put cedar on them and each of us used the pipe to the four directions.
The entrance was covered and as the songs were sung, water was put on the rocks. We only did 4 rounds but were told this was a very hot session, it is a personal experience and I would say listen to your limits. On the last round when it was the men that were singing there is a time when you rise up into a full kneeling position and thump your chest it was hotter than I expected and I was face down in no time thinking about how I was wondering if I could hang on.
I hope to go again on my next visit.

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iisiis
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RE: Sweat Lodge experience

Hi,

There are regular sweatlodges at Lendrick Lodge near Callender. i think thats close to Glasgow. Also if your up for travelling a wee bit, there are excellent sweatlodges at Anam Cara in Inverness. I haven't been to Lendrick lodge, but I know people who have, and they enjoy going there regularly. I often go to anam cara, the sweatlodges there are run by Twobirds and are very beautiful experiences, each one is unique. They both have there own websites, I'm not sure if its ok to post a link, but they are easy to find if you do a web search.

Hope this is helpful

[sm=love-smiley-009.gif]deb

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kcamiss
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RE: Sweat Lodge experience

Oh my goodness. It's amazing how a topic stream developes. I have read this one all over again and I have noticed some very different reactions to my last entry.

My nakedness in my sweatlodge for instance.
This was a choice right from the start, however it would not have been so if the men had joined in also. It was designed to be a very closed sweatlodge with only women experiencing it and when we came out of the lodge we were covered up by the door keepers who was also guarding our clothes and blankets (although it was lovely to feel the cool air on the body after the heat of the lodge)

The men were kept strictly away and were trusted not to peek and we offered the same respect when they had their lodge after ours.

The other aspect of this lodge was when the men were in theirs we did a meditation to see if we could link into anything significant and we did! We picked up pictures.....feelings....smells. When the men returned we discussed our experiences with each other (clothed) and to our amazement there were links with what we had seen. For instance onelady had seen a unicorn. The door keeper for the mens lodge had a hidden tatoo of a unicorn nobody knew about or seen before hand. This is only one example of our lodge.

I would do this again naked or not as being naked is not a problem to me when I am with like minded people that only wish to go into the lodge for its cleansing and teaching powers. I came into the world naked and will go out the same. This though has to be your own judgement call and you can usually feel when you are with a 'safe' group to do this with. Nakedness is not a shame issue but it is a very private one and you must feel safe to do this otherwise it will interfere with your experience or more it will make you feel that you want to terminate your attendance premiturely perhaps.

I am part Lakota anyway by my Great Grandmother so for me it was the chance to connect with that element of my ancestory. I now know that I want to go to USA and really connect with my native american part of my life. This has always been a desire for me since being a little girl and hearing my father tell me about my Grandmother and now I have visited USA in Minnasota, which is close to my particular connections, as I have family out there. It amazes me how one stream of my life developes to expose other important parts of my life and desires. I hope to one day discover a lot more about my Grandmothers life and her connections and to fill in the missing pieces of that aspect of my history as I feel there is a definate connection and influence of my life.

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katzlips
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RE: Sweat Lodge experience

hey there
im a novice and wish to rectify it. i want to participate in sweat lodge but cant find any in my area also have a fear of it being imprperly run too so if anyone can help me it would be much aprreciated. im in manchester area so if anyone knows of any place can u let me know
thanks
catherine

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hnasc
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RE: Sweat Lodge experience

I have probably done a hundred sweat lodges. Without exception, every one was healing in one way or another, on some level or another.

I remember the very first time I sat in Sacred Lodge. Even then, I knew I had done this before. It felt like home.

Each Lodge is different. I have had visions, received emotional and physical healings, experienced spiritual acceleration, had shamanistic journeys and faced a lot of my personal fear demons.

In my experience, the Lodge provides Sacred Space for healing, by it's very design. When I humble myself to crawl inside the Lodge, I am put in a posture of surrendering. Then, when the door is closed, I am submerged in darkness and heat and the outside world retreats.

Beyond the wisdom of the design, is the gridline of strength created by dedicated ceremony throughout generations. This is an energetic gridline of power created by ceremony after ceremony after ceremony. The earth remembers.

What happens in a particular Lodge, for me, has a lot to do with what I'm taking in with me.

When I've went into a Sweat Lodge burdened by anger, doubt, worry, confusionor other personality issues, it has burned me, scorched meinto a state of spiritual surrender.

Other times, when I have been ill physically or emotionally in pain, the experience has been of penetrating warmth that felt supernaturally soothing.

Yet other Lodges, I have been cold. I learned that those Lodges often meant the presence of the Divine Feminine.

I've come out of Lodges envigorated and I've crawled out of Lodges barely able to move. Either way, each one was spiritually significant and powerful.

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tigress
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RE: Sweat Lodge experience

I took part in a sweatlodge this weekend, held by a canadian who has strong links with Blackfoot tradtions.
The lodge leader was very respecful and I felt in good hands.

Modesty was the order of the day and everyone was clothed.
there were 5 rounds, with singing in each round.

It got very hot and I was told that the heat is also connected to the intensity of what people were healing and releasing

I felt as if I was in a good community of human and other beings, and after the sweat, a red kite circled over to see what we were up to on her land

tigress

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oakapple
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RE: Sweat Lodge experience

Hiya

Sounds like a wonderful experience......did you fast before the ceremony. I know the origininal sweat lodges were associated with visions and finding guides......maybe the kite you saw is one of your guides......a very skilled hunter, with exeptional vision.......sounds good to me.

I know they were once, males only, was yours mixed gender.

Oakapple xx

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tigress
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RE: Sweat Lodge experience

when I have done sweatlodges in the past, we were advised to fast, for this one we were invited to bring bananas /muesli bars etc for in between rounds..I took some fresh fruit salad.

we had a different focus for each round..cleansing,prayers,thanks and Love,with different herbs on the stones in the lodge each time too

very special.

there is an opportunity to go several times a year, so am thinking of going along to the next one

I dont think the kite is one of my animals....

tigress

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wolfen
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RE: Sweat Lodge experience

ORIGINAL: tigress

I took part in a sweatlodge this weekend, held by a canadian who has strong links with Blackfoot tradtions.
The lodge leader was very respecful and I felt in good hands.

Modesty was the order of the day and everyone was clothed.
there were 5 rounds, with singing in each round.

It got very hot and I was told that the heat is also connected to the intensity of what people were healing and releasing

I felt as if I was in a good community of human and other beings, and after the sweat, a red kite circled over to see what we were up to on her land

tigress

5 rounds...thats odd.....usually four, any particular reason ? .....red kite ?....iam guessing it was over wales way?

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tigress
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RE: Sweat Lodge experience

5rounds...thats odd...not odd...just notthe traditionyou are used to.maybe.usually four, any particular reason ? .he did not say....red kite ?....iam guessing it was over wales way? I have seen them in Wales too, but this was oxfordshire

tigress

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Sauna Meister
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If you goto festivals in this country, then you can easily enjoy(not sure that's the word to describe it!) a sweat lodge for yourself. These can be found each year at Sunrise Celebration, Big Green Gathering, and Glastonbury.

I did one in 2007. There was a ceremony around the bonfire first which lasted a staggering 3 hours. It wasn't untill midnight that the sweat lodge was available to use. It was mixed sex and naked. When it was time to go into the sweat lodge, everyone stripped fully nude and then held hands and walked in. Even as an experienced sauna user, I found it VERY hot indeed. I don't know the temperature it was in there, but it must have easily been over 130C I'd say. I didn't even last one full round(each round is about 20 minutes I think). I lasted about 10 minutes. People had to shout "DOOR" if they wanted to get out. And I went as soon as someone shouted to leave. As well as finding it very hot, another reason why I was so eager to leave and get dressed is that I was very worried about my clothes being stolen from outside! That would have been a bit inconvenient to say the least! Everyone has to leave their clothes outside, they don't have locker facilities! To cool off, a guy outside empties barrels of water onto you.

I'm not sure if I'd do one again.

I wouldn't recommend anyone participate in a sweat lodge, unless you are accustomed to using saunas regularly.

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wolfen
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If you goto festivals in this country, then you can easily enjoy(not sure that's the word to describe it!) a sweat lodge for yourself. These can be found each year at Sunrise Celebration, Big Green Gathering, and Glastonbury.

I did one in 2007. There was a ceremony around the bonfire first which lasted a staggering 3 hours. It wasn't untill midnight that the sweat lodge was available to use. It was mixed sex and naked. When it was time to go into the sweat lodge, everyone stripped fully nude and then held hands and walked in. Even as an experienced sauna user, I found it VERY hot indeed. I don't know the temperature it was in there, but it must have easily been over 130C I'd say. I didn't even last one full round(each round is about 20 minutes I think). I lasted about 10 minutes. People had to shout "DOOR" if they wanted to get out. And I went as soon as someone shouted to leave. As well as finding it very hot, another reason why I was so eager to leave and get dressed is that I was very worried about my clothes being stolen from outside! That would have been a bit inconvenient to say the least! Everyone has to leave their clothes outside, they don't have locker facilities! To cool off, a guy outside empties barrels of water onto you.

I'm not sure if I'd do one again.

I wouldn't recommend anyone participate in a sweat lodge, unless you are accustomed to using saunas regularly.

hi, and welcome, well in my book i'd qualify your sweat experience as a bad one..if they are so hot it forces you out of the lodge then thats no good, they only need to be hot enough to get you sweating copiously, i like mine hot as being on the small side i dont sweat easily, the sweat leaders duty is to create a safe space for healing and that includes any theft issues, if your experience is anything to go by i would'nt reccomend sweats at these large type events either and you have confirmed my fears regarding such generic gatherings, sweats need to be properly and responsibly run and allthough rare there have been deaths involved when this is not adhered too.

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