4 Relaxing Activities to Pair With Your Outdoor Infrared Sauna Session

SunRay Saunas Cayenne 4-Person Outdoor Infrared Sauna HL400D

Here’s an offer.

Have a cookie now or three cookies after three hours of cardio?

If your answer is anything but a resounding “now,” you’re definitely in the minority.

Delayed gratification certainly doesn’t come instinctively, which is why it’s not strange to find lonely outdoor saunas at the back of people’s homes despite the investment.

So, it’s commendable that you’re exploring soothing activities to facilitate your commitment to sauna sessions, and pairing them with relaxation exercises is an excellent way to go about it.

As such, we’ve collated four activities we’re sure you’ll find relaxing and fun for your outdoor sauna experience. As we go over each idea, you’ll also learn:

  • How socializing and bonding turn your sessions into something to look forward to
  • The relaxing and soothing effect of mindfulness and meditation practices
  • Why aromatherapy becomes more effective in a sauna
  • How listening to music helps calm your thoughts
  • How Sun Valley Saunas support relaxing activities

Related Read: How Exactly Does an Infrared Sauna Work?

1 - Socializing and Bonding Away Through the Heat

Golden Designs Karlstad 6 Person Outdoor Hybrid Sauna GDI-8226-01

Think back to your last lunch date with the girls, catching up on the latest gossip. Or your recent meet-up with the boys, bonding over Draft Day.

Remember how relaxing the whole experience was?

Well, that was oxytocin, the bonding hormone, at work for you. It’s also what makes pairing your sauna sessions with similar socializing activities an excellent idea.

It could be a session with your co-workers, family, or neighbors but to everyone involved, the experience becomes a relaxing wellness routine to look forward to every week.

You long for candid conversations, playful jokes and banter, and exciting stories to end your week.

Consequently, this anticipation makes it easy to commit to long-term sauna benefits, such as an improved lipid profile and metabolism, while bearing their present cost of sitting through 140°F sessions—positive association.

Socializing was the inspiration behind the Golden Designs Karlstad 6-Person Outdoor Hybrid Sauna or GDI-8226-01 for short. It’s designed to accommodate as many of your loved ones and best pals with a roomy interior of 75 inches in height.

For perspective, a 75-inch height (or 6 feet and 3 inches) is significantly greater than the average American adult height of 69 inches (male) and 63 inches (female). This translates into ample space to stand comfortably inside the GDI-8226-01 with plenty of headroom to spare.

But you won’t be standing through your sauna sessions and whilst seated, your height drops by half. So, the average height of 69 inches becomes 34.5 inches and 63 inches becomes 31.5 inches, both of which are well below the sauna’s ceiling of 75 inches.

What that means is you’ll barely notice the distant ceiling except for its color therapy lighting at the center of the whole setup (more on this later).

Looking For A Great Deal? Find this amazing bonding and relaxing tool today at Sun Valley Saunas and save up to 16% through our Affirm program plus an additional 5% with the SUMMERSAUNA promotion while it lasts.

2 - Meditation and Mindfulness Techniques

Golden Designs Visby 3 Person Outdoor Hybrid Sauna GDI-8223-01

In your comfortable seated position, gently close your eyes and focus on your breathing by counting each inhale and exhale.

As your mind begins to quiet down, open your eyes slightly and sense the light streaming in from the ceiling and washing over your body. Notice its color and the effect it has on your emotions.

What does it evoke?

You’re now fully engaged in a mindfulness technique that forces your mind away from the daily stressors and into the present moment.

Suddenly, you’re aware of the subtle things in your environment such as the air you breathe in, the light around you, and the feelings they trigger.

You’re approaching a relaxed mental state.

This is the calming effect of meditation and mindfulness exercises, proven in a study of 276 patients to reduce stress and anxiety as effectively as the well-known anti-anxiety drug, Lexapro.

The practice effectively eliminates the negative train of thoughts that would otherwise stream in progressively and like a gathering snowball escalate into a state of distress.

Now, couple this stress-relieving influence of mindfulness techniques with the thermal healing nature of a sauna session and the relaxation experience takes on a whole new level of mind and body serenity.

Heat causes sweating and leads your body to release endorphins, the natural feel-good hormone. At the same time, mindfulness exercises eliminate stressful thoughts by focusing on the present and the effect is an overall sense of relaxation and holistic wellness.

In appreciation of this effective synergy of mediation and thermal healing, Sun Valley Saunas offers the Golden Designs Visby 3-Person Outdoor Hybrid Sauna—also called the GDI-8223-01 for short.

It features a chromotherapy lighting system that shines various colors to facilitate mindfulness techniques such as color-guided meditation and the positive emotions they create. These include a soothing blue hue, an enthusiastic and warm yellow, as well as an energetic red color.

This synergy of colors and emotions makes the Visby 3 Outdoor Sauna especially effective at facilitating your immersion during sessions and maximizing the mental and biological benefits of infrared therapy including stress reduction and skin rejuvenation.

Discover more relaxing features of the Visby 3 Outdoor Sauna on Sun Valleys Saunas and how they help you get the most out of your sessions.

3 - Aromatherapy, Scents for Relaxation That Pair Well With Your Infrared Sauna

AromaSteam Electronic Oil-Delivery System With Stainless Steel Caddy For Essential Oils & Chakra Oils

Lavender, a sweet and floral aroma with a slightly woody undertone.

It’s a scent that needs no introduction and it’s probably among your favorites, but what's more interesting about this fragrance is its recent starring role in a study of aromatherapy for relaxation on nurses.

However, the findings are why we’re convinced pairing aromatherapy with your sauna is a fantastic idea to boost relaxation.

A Case for Aromatherapy as a Relaxing Activity

Under instruction registered inpatient nurses of a high-tempo telemetry unit voluntarily took three encased drops of lavender oil at the start of their shifts. For three weeks, the nurses inhaled directly at the fragrance (twice) whenever they perceived stress.

At the study’s end, the average stress score dropped to 75 from a high of 85, with 89% of the participants recording enhanced stress relief and relaxation.

The explanation? Lavender, acting through the nose receptors, accesses the central nervous system and, successively, the brain’s limbic system in charge of emotions. This stimulates pleasure and triggers a rest-and-digest response that slows stress hormone production.

The whole process is a powerful chemical action that explains why certain smells instantaneously trigger soothing memories of places, people, and past experiences. But picture the effect of paring this entire scented operation with the diffusive heat from your sauna.

Your perception of the fragrance increases as well as its therapeutic benefits.

Aromatherapy and Your Infrared Outdoor Sauna, a Perfect Match

The interaction between heat and scents is why aromatherapy works excellently with your sauna.

Heat intensifies the fragrance notes by speeding up evaporation. Meanwhile, the humid air within your sauna holds on to the evaporating aroma, causing it to linger like the earthy scent you pick up after rain.

Did You Know: The pleasant smell that comes with rain, mostly after a long dry spell, is known as petrichor.

Together, these elements create the perfect environment for you to experience the scent longer and more intensely, enabling maximum benefits in terms of positive emotions and relaxation.

Our favorite scented wellness tool is the AromaSteam System, which electronically atomizes fragrances before pumping them to your steam source.

This function enables precise control over the intensity of your fragrance while eliminating waste by dispensing just the right amount of essence to exactly where steam diffusion begins.

The AromaSteam System works perfectly with our flagship brand Golden Designs, including the Nora 2-Person Hybrid Sauna with its 240-volt and single-face rating.

Golden Designs Nora 2-Person Outdoor Hybrid Sauna GDI-8222-01

This eliminates any need for bridging devices or modifications so you get started on aromatherapy as soon as the installation is complete. What’s more, the device is fully equipped with installation hardware saving you the hassle of sourcing components.

4 - Listening to Calm Music

Every moment has its music and so deserves your sauna sessions, especially when your brain synchronizes to low-frequency beats to find a relaxed state (the famous alpha brainwaves).

During this music-induced process, you switch from an intentional, goal-oriented focus to wakeful-rest mode where you’re not concentrated on any one thought or task.

This sets you up to achieve deep relaxation like the feeling you get when you first wake up in the morning without too much information to immediately process or big problems to solve at that moment.

For your outdoor sauna, this calming effect music offers makes it an excellent way to boost your sessions. Pairing music with your sittings creates a holistic experience that addresses the physical and mental aspects of your relaxation.

On the one side is the heat that helps ease the tension from your muscles in addition to stimulating endorphins via sweating. On the other are the alpha brainwaves calming your thoughts.

We recognize this potential at Sun Valley Saunas. This is why our popular Golden Designs sauna collection features Bluetooth stereos and touchscreen control panels for all models, from the Karlstad 6-Person to the Nora 2-Person.

I spend a half hour to 45 minutes in it and my back has felt a lot better. Put on some music and good to go. - Brock L., Verified Buyer

Hidden Benefit: The wireless connectivity and built-in control panel enable seamless integration of your favorite tracks and easy playlist navigation while eliminating the need to expose your mobile device to high heat and humidity.

But the music doesn’t stop there. The red cedar construction of our Golden Designs saunas gives them excellent acoustic properties. This is due to the wood’s fine grain structure that facilitates the absorption and dissipation of sound vibrations.

The result is a balanced and rich sound that explains why acoustic guitars also use the same wood material.

The Idaho Family Business Helping You Stay Fit and Healthy, Sun Valley Saunas

So there you have it, four relaxing activities to help you make the most of your sauna sessions.

If you're short on time, the table below highlights time-efficient ways to amplify your outdoor infrared sauna experience with calming activities that seamlessly fit into your schedule:

Relaxing Activity Time Required Best Time to Pair Benefits
Deep Breathing 5 –10 mins Pre or Post Sauna Instant relaxation
Music Therapy 15 – 20 mins During Sauna Enhanced mood
Mindful Stretching 10 – 15 mins Cooling Down Improved flexibility
Aromatherapy Varies Anytime Sensory relaxation

SunRay Saunas Burlington 2 Person Outdoor Infrared Sauna HL200D

We love that we helped you discover them, but we’d like it even better if we helped you find amazing deals on your sauna purchase.

At Sun Valley Saunas, we take pride in giving our customers the best service possible, and this entails providing you with competitive prices and exceptional quality on all our saunas.

As such, we offer up to 18% discounts through our Affirm program with a 30-day money guarantee because we believe in our products.

But our real joy is knowing that our family business from Sun Valley, Idaho, is helping you and your loved ones stay fit and healthy.

It warms up wonderfully and helps with the aches instructions were easy. Love the cover. - Marsha Resler-Stansbury, Verified Buyer

So, contact us today and let us help you find the best sauna for your home.

Read More: The Benefits of Using a Sauna

Wes McMahon

Wes McMahon, is the founder of Sun Valley Saunas and a seasoned ski town sauna enthusiast. In early 2021, Wes transitioned from being an attorney and sauna aficionado in Sun Valley, Idaho, to founding Sun Valley Saunas. His deep appreciation for the Finnish sauna tradition has helped him understand and select high-quality, hand-built saunas for customers throughout North America. Combined with his understanding of the therapeutic and communal benefits of sauna culture, he advocates for the wellness practices that saunas can bring to your overall health. Got questions? Get in touch by calling 1-855-963-5665 or

Important: The information provided in our articles about saunas and related topics is intended for general informational and educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult your healthcare practitioner before using saunas, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions or are pregnant. Individual health needs vary, and what benefits one person may not be suitable for another.


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