Klafs ABC of well-being

A banja is the Cyrillic term for a traditional public bath in Russia. In a Russian banja, the temperature does not exceed 70°C, but the humidity level can be up to 100%. A stove is situated in the centre of the room, and is generally fired by wood. Russian banjas are actually very similar to Finnish saunas, except that the temperature is slightly lower whilst the humidity level is higher. To stimulate blood circulation, bathers whip themselves lightly with boughs of fresh silver birch.