Michigan

Saunas

CULTURE - COMMUNITY - CARE

MI Sauna Story

MEET MOBILE SAUNA DESIGNER DANIEL SARYA DDS MPH

MI Sauna started as a vision in 2018 to spread the appreciation of and to share the Sauna Culture in North America.  Growing up in Traverse City, our founder Daniel Sarya was raised to have pride in his Finnish heritage. All of his ancestors emigrated from Finland and are still very close to his relatives there to this day.  It was on one of his trips back to visit his relatives with his wife Julie and daughter Lilly when he realized that the sauna culture back home was lacking and that needed to change.  From there, the planning process began.

 

Having a full-time job as an orthodontist meant Dan only had nights and weekends available to work on what became his sort of ‘mission from God.’ Despite having slow steps, the process continued over the next couple of years. The obvious way to grow the sauna culture is simply to build more saunas but there are a lot of people who for whatever reason, are not able to do that. Also, inviting people over to sauna at his house was not able to bring in people outside of his current circle of influence. So the idea to build a mobile sauna came about.  This would allow it to be brought to the people and to the lakeshore when possible.

 

 When the world slowed to almost a screeching halt in 2020, plans were becoming finalized. A trailer had already been purchased and a framework was being built. Suddenly, time to work on this project became available. With the help of his son Matthew and nephew Michael, the project was a gift from God during unprecedented times.  

Along the way, when things got difficult someone would always show up to keep the project moving forward. The name MI Sauna also happened that way too; one day unexpectedly, a Facebook friend moved out of Michigan and was abandoning the michigansaunas.com/.org web domain and wondered if Dan was interested.  Without hesitation he said yes and laughed because he would often refer to it as ‘my sauna project’ and the name MI Sauna stuck.

 

It is fitting because MI Sauna is your sauna is often repeated and meant wholeheartedly;  It was built to bring a better understanding of what the Sauna Culture truly is to the people…

This is a picture of Dr Daniel Sarya in Finland smiling on the shoreline.
Picture of the empty stove that heats the sauna.

CULTURE

GETTING BACK TO BASICS....WHERE LIFE AND NATURE BLEND TOGETHER 

Culture is the first tenet of our core values.  Sauna has been referred to by some as a sort of Nature Church and is a place where life becomes more simple. At the end of a busy day, it is important to find a positive way to decompress.  Because sauna is such a healthful way to relax, most Finnish people sauna at least once a week and some do it more than four times a week.  Actually, because it is so ingrained in society, the Finnish Sauna Culture was added to the UNESCO intangible heritage list in 2020; for reference, others on that list include Reggae from Jamaica and Yoga from India.

Mother and Daughter enjoying an ice bath after a hot sauna session

“There is nothing better than a sauna, unless it is a sauna with a friend.” 

- Joseph Vokes -

Community

 Everyone is equal in the sauna

Community is the second tenet to round out our core values. Because the act of heating a traditional sauna takes effort, the heat is usually shared with other like-minded individuals. Of course there are personal saunas for 1-2 people in homes but generally speaking, they are larger and accommodate groups of people. Events of the day are often scheduled around the sauna experience and in most Finnish cities there are at least a few public/community saunas where people can go for a couple of hours and take the heat without having to do the work of heating it.

Perspective of the Sauna from the inside with three people enjoying their session and waving.

CARE

FOR THE HEALTH OF IT

Care is the third tenet of our core values. Sauna promotes a healthy lifestyle from designing and building the structure, harvesting wood, and getting the sauna ready for use in addition to simply sweating and cleansing oneself in the sauna bath. Aside from the physical health aspects, there is also the mental wellness component associated with the sauna culture as well.

Dr Dan smiling in an ice bath in the middle of winter with snow all around him.
 

Contact Us/Book a Session

403 E State St - Traverse City - MI 49686

michigansaunas@gmail.com / TEL: 231 409 9535

Please contact us for any questions or to book a session.  Sessions are 1 hour long. Special multiple hour pricing.

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